After being plagued with delay after delay and even lawsuits, the procedural space exploration game No Man’s Sky has finally officially gone Gold. Which means that development on the game is complete and is ready to be shipped to stores. With an August 9th, 2016 release date, that time is almost upon us. So with that date rapidly approaching, I thought it appropriate to review what we know about No Man’s Sky and talk about my personal thoughts on the game.

Obviously the first thing worth mentioning is the games top hype generator and selling point: its size. When a colleague of mine first told me that there would be 18 quintillion (18,446,744,073,709,551,616 to be precise) planets to explore, I obviously thought that he was either A: pulling my leg or B: off his freakin meds. That many planets means that it would take a single player roughly 500 billion years to visit each planet in No Man’s Sky. Even more mind boggling is the fact that the combined efforts of every player will only see the tiniest fraction of this massive universe.  In a universe that big, expect to spend a lot of time alone. You will be able to see your friends on the galactic map, however they most likely will be too far away from you to ever reach them. Which brings up a good question. Is No Man’s Sky a single or multiplayer game? Sean Murray of Hello Games, creator of No Man’s Sky, has been a bit vague about this himself. The answer, ultimately, is that it’s a bit of both. First, the chances of ever running into another player in a universe this huge are extremely slim. Even if 100 players landed on the same planet at the same time, they wouldn’t instantly be able to find each other: it’s important to remember that No Man’s Sky’s planets are the size of real planets. Take our own planet. If there were 100 people on Earth, the odds of any two of them ever meeting aren’t great, even if they wandered around on the surface for years. The same principle applies to No Man’s Sky. In an interview with Game Informer, Murray made it clear, that while players can run into other players, No Man’s Sky is not an MMO. It’s not designed to have a bunch of players all in the same place at the same time. “What we can do is, like many games you have at the moment, where you are flying around with an open lobby, ” Murray said. “People are coming into that lobby and leaving it-like if you play Watch Dogs or something like that. Effectively, we have players joining your discrete space. We’re not tying to make an MMO where you can play with literally 60,000 people on screen.” Essentially, think of No Man’s Sky as a single-player game that another player might-probably won’t, but might-arrive in at some point.

The biggest question I have pertaining to No Man’s Sky is, So, i’m in this huge universe, mostly alone. What will I do?  This is the aspect of the game that is most intriguing. Yeah, the whole massive universe thing is cool and all, but if there is not any depth of activities or gameplay to occupy yourself with inside this massive universe, then what is the point? We know that exploration is the main driving point behind No Man’s Sky and I have been somewhat hyped for this game and have already reserved my copy so I will be a day one adopter, but at this point, I am still cautiously optimistic about No Man’s Sky. One of the craziest things I have recently heard about the game, is that it will only be 6 GB! And even then, most of that is pertaining to the games music files. I guess since the game is procedurally generated mathematically, they are able to get away with such a small game file.

Ever since I first saw No Man’s Sky in motion I have been interested. Even before I heard about the whole 18 quintillion planet aspect. I immediately loved the art style, the color saturation, and the environments looked amazing. As I said before, I am cautiously optimistic, but I really want to see this game succeed and live up to the massive amount of hype that it has been able to generate. I hope that the FPS mechanics and gameplay will be solid. I hope that Hello Games doesn’t just taught the 18 quintillion planets and just call it good and sit back and rest on their laurels. I hope that they fill this massive universe with a dearth of things to see and do. I like how you can name the planets and species that you discover if you are the first one to claim it, and I hope that there is more innovations like that. Stay tuned to SportsNerdWeb for more on No Man’s Sky in the coming weeks, and come August 9th we shall see what kind of universe Hello Games has crafted….CHEERS!