Holy shit! When I saw this game on GamePass – and while looking for something new to play – I said, “Let’s check it out!” Watched the little video which, actually, doesn’t tell you a lot about the game but it’s free to me and if I don’t like it, I can uninstall it.
I love this game. I’m hooked on it. I hate this fucking game. The first thing the game does is put you on a planet that’s trying to kill you and, yeah, that’s exactly what happened to me. Oh, the game told me what I had to do – find some sodium (more about this stuff later) and use it to beef up my protection or to get inside a cave or other structure but for me, there wasn’t anything around… so I died.
Lesson learned and, I found out, almost everyone who first plays the game gets killed right out of the gate. The game is mission-driven with both primary and secondary missions to be completed and there’s a lot of shit you gotta do… that you don’t know you have to do unless you happen to pick up the game because someone you know is already playing it and can help you. I’ll add that there are a ton of YouTube videos about how to go about playing the game and there’s a Facebook group for it but what I wound up equating the game to is also a sentiment I’ve seen expressed by other players:
This is Minecraft for adults. Once I could wrap my head around this concept, some things became… clearer. Load up on essential stuff, which is a kind of backhanded science lesson: Carbon, Ferrite Dust, Oxygen, Sodium, Di-hydrogen crystals. Claim a place and build a shelter. Sounds kinda easy… except most of the planets the in the game – and there are an untold number of them – are inhospitable and will kill you pretty quick if you’re not on your game and if the planet doesn’t try to kill you there are other things that will try.
You have to fix your gear which, of course, isn’t working the way it’s supposed to. Once you get it fixed, then you have to find a crashed ship and follow the instructions on how to fix it and get it flying… all while the planet is trying to kill you. By this point, you know that some crazy assed storm of some kind is gonna pop up and unless you were lucky enough to find a lot of sodium, well, you’re on your own unless, again, you can find a cave or some other shelter to hide in until the storm passes.
Then you leave the planet you started out on (but you can come back to it if ya want to) but one of the things I learned via YouTube is that before you leave the planet, scrounge around for these items: Cobalt, which is found in caves, and Marrow Bulbs – also found in caves. Oddly, that first planet and where the crashed ship is, there’s always a cave so you go in there and ransack it for all the Cobalt and Marrow Bulbs your backpack can hold (but watch your ass because there are things in the cave that will try to kill you, too, like “Hazardous Plants” which, when you off them with your newly repaired Multi-tool – gives Oxygen or Sodium. With the Cobalt, you wind up making a Refiner; you take the Cobalt and refine it into Ionized Cobalt… because it’s worth a lot of money.
You load up on this stuff ASAP because at one point, you’re gonna have to visit a space station and that’s where you can sell the Ionized Cobalt and all those Marrow Bulbs you collected because, trust me – you’re gonna need all the units (money) you can get your hands on. Here’s the thing that might fuck with you.
While the game is mission-driven, it’s probably best to ignore some of the missions and just roam around the place you’ll eventually call home. Scan everything you can scan (your efforts are rewarded), scrounge for the essentials and work on building your base, powering it, and a lot of other things that drove me crazy trying to do… and still does because, as I found out, you can come across something that you’re gonna need later in the game – but you don’t know that you’re gonna need it… until you need it.
Did I mention the pirates? Okay… flying the ship you repaired might take some doing to get the hang of but you could be attacked by pirates and the thing that made me insane was that, bleh, I didn’t want to fight them – I just wanted to get to where I was going – but when you have them to deal with, um, your pulse engine – it makes you go really fast and warping is something else you’ll find out about – gets temporarily disabled and your ability to boost your speed is limited.
Try keeping track of the pirates, who are zipping around you like flies on shit and you pretty much can’t move a whole lot. Early on, wiping out the pirates is pretty easy… so you know that ain’t gonna always be the case.
There is so much… shit you have to do. A lot of shit you gotta get in order to do things. I am actually playing this game on all three of my Xbox profiles – and I just recently reactivated the third one I had just to use some of the YouTube knowledge I gained and, yep, from all the mistakes I made that I didn’t know I shouldn’t have made. You get to certain points where you can’t really do something but the game keeps nagging you to do something and I finally figured out that this is the time to just roam around the planet and collect stuff to turn into units and to be able to buy stuff you will absolutely need. Here’s the real kicker:
Between my three profiles, I have about, oh, maybe close to 100 hours of game time… and I’m not even close to really getting into the heart of the game and nowhere near being able to do some of the stuff that you can do in the game. Like with Minecraft, shit… I’m looking at players on the Facebook group and all of the wonderful things they’ve built, the ships they’ve collected and some have thousands of hours playing the game – and I failed to mention that this game came out about four years ago and is available for PC, Xbox One, and PS4. So it’s been around for a while and a lot of people have been playing it for all this time.
I told my son-in-law – who’s been playing with me – “Every time I think I’ve done something outstanding, I find out that I ain’t did shit compared to what other players are doing!”
The game throws handicaps at you and at every turn. I spend more time refueling my ship and Multi-tool items than I do anything else. I have one mission in particular – to learn how to build a Circuit Board – and I have no fucking idea what I’m supposed to be doing; the game says to help the Scientist so he can show you how to make one… except, when I talk to him, there’s nothing to do for him.
So I’ve been running around looking for stuff that’s gonna get me some units. I’ve been finding broken ships and trying to fix them – and some of them need items to repair them that it’s not time for me to even know how to get them at the point in the game I am. I can get them flying… and that’s about it. I’ve bought some ships. You find out quickly that you are gonna need a bigger and better Multi-tool and those things ain’t cheap. For them, you start out with a Class C Multi-tool but you learn there are Class B and Class A devices… and they can cost a grip or two.
There is so much to this game, like the Space Anomaly, Freighters, black holes and the list goes on. Most games have a wiki that includes a walkthrough that you can reference to, at the least, figure out what you’re supposed to be doing. This game has one… and it’s completely worthless… and I know why it is.
Methinks it’s impossible for someone or a bunch of someones to come together and write a definitive and complete walkthrough for a game that is so wide open and diverse. Even the IGN wiki – and their wikis/walkthroughs are usually very good – sucks. It’s outdated and incomplete.
So like Minecraft, you just gotta figure out what you can do, when you can do, and all while staying alive. This game is easy… and not even. I love it… and I fucking hate it. There hasn’t been a day since I first started playing that I haven’t told myself, “I’m not playing this fucking game today!” – and I wind up playing it anyway. I am learning – and you will, too, if you decide you wanna try it – that every day, I need to have a plan on what I’m gonna do and stick to it. Yeah, a mission will pop up that has to be done but right now, I’m pretty much ignoring the primary missions, trying to take care of the backlog of secondary missions if/when I can… but I’ve just been stockpiling the necessities and trying to make enough units as I can.
It’s almost boring and tedious work. You always have to be mindful of how much space you have in your backpack. You can get more space but that means trying to locate Drop Pods – which ain’t easy – or being able to buy one extra space from every space station you wind up visiting; once you get a space from a space station, you cannot get any more spaces from that station.
I know this is sounding confusing and I apologize for that… but the game has, again, a lot of shit going on and so much that even as I play it, I’m confused because I just do not know how to do some of the shit I have to do or I get to a point where I just don’t want to do anything except sit in my shelter or my ship… and just be there.
It’s an amazing game and graphically beautiful… and there’s no real end to it. I read that it’s impossible for a player to visit every system and world the game can throw at you… and I believe it. I am trying to establish a base on every planet in every system I’ve visited so far… and it’s a daunting task given what you wind up having to do to build the most minimum base: You need a big enough wooden shelter; a base computer; a teleporter and the means to power it, like the Biofuel Reactor you wind up building early on in the game. You wind up running around and scavenging for the materials you need, oh, like using your scanner to find Copper deposits and then figuring out how you’re gonna get to it without something bad happening to you along the way. Most planets, again, try to kill you with hellacious storms. There are “bad critters” who’ll attack you and there are even plants – and one looks just like a Venus Flytrap – that try to kill you.
Fall into a hole that’s too deep and you’re dead unless you can save yourself. You can get lost in a cave – and just like you can get lost in a mine in Minecraft. The game is… frustrating at times but I can’t stop playing it but, yeah, if you have an Xbox and you have GamePass, go get this game while it’s still free and find out for yourself.
And try to survive. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve died in this game. There is so much about this game that I don’t know about – yet. Members of the Facebook group are always talking about stuff they’ve come across and/or have done… and I’m nowhere near being able to have a clue. With some games, if I’ve been playing for over one hundred hours, yeah – I know some shit about playing that game.
Not this one. Like I said in the beginning: This is Minecraft for adults and in spaceships and I am happy that I know how to play Minecraft even if I still can’t do all that’s possible in that worthy game. I’ll find my groove in No Man’s Sky – I just don’t know when that’s gonna happen or if it’s gonna happen at all.
Loving this game… and I’d wish it on my worse enemy in a flat, skinny second because that’s just how much the game pisses me off.