As you read this, new planets are being discovered in No Man's Sky. People are setting foot on these worlds to study life, map the terrain, and mine valuable resources. The universe is a blank canvas, and every one of us has the chance to fill it in and put our fingerprint on it. This is an exciting proposition for a game to deliver, and so far, that element of discovery has been a strong driving force.
Don't expect every planet to be a world of wonder filled with aliens to interact with and beasts to marvel at. Most of the planets I've charted have been mostly barren, offering mostly elements I can extract to improve my space ship. An entire solar system (consisting of six planets) was largely void of life – a discovery that took five hours to realize.
Those disappointing worlds are needed however, as they heighten the thrill of a big discovery. Finding a groove in No Man's Sky takes time. The opening minutes (and perhaps hours) can be confusing and a little overwhelming, as inventory management looms large. Just gaining an understanding of what each element can be used for takes time. Don't give up. The limited inventory space is puzzling, but I now know what I need and I feel like I've established a comfortable groove with resource management.
I thought it would be fun to chronicle my journey through the game today. Below is an active journal that I will update throughout the day, hopefully minutes after each discovery. Before we get to that, I know many of you want to know if you should play the game. My answer after spending two days with it is "Yes." If you go into it expecting a somewhat rocky start, and know that you have to stay on top of inventory management at all times, charting the cosmos has been rewarding and unlike anything I've done in game. Yes, there are big lulls in the excitement, and you may find yourself mining rocks for hours on end, but there are also strong hooks of discovery and becoming a more powerful and proficient space explorer. Here's hoping that comes across in the journal. Without further delay, let's get to it…
Starlog 00:01 – The Planet Reiner I
A new Warp Cell in the Hyperdrive leads me to Alnyevoikh-Zuen, a class F2p solar system consisting of four planets. The first planet I see looks promising. Even 450,000ks away, I like the look of it. Most of the planets I see look like dead rocks from afar, this one looks a little like Earth. I can see lush green foliage on the landmasses below the cloud cover. I have a feeling I'll find life here. I quickly name it Reiner I, an act that earns me units (the currency in the game).
00:06 – A Big Discovery
After entering the atmosphere, the first thing I think is it looks like Felucia, a Star Wars planet with giant mushrooms and pitcher plants (there's your Star Wars reference, everyone). After a quick scan of my surroundings, I'm alerted of a Monolith on the planet's surface.
00:08 – Speaking Alien
A land my vessel near the alien structure and walk up its stairs. I learn it's the Gek Monolith: Legacy of Ukkarnes. My character says "The Monolith stands silent on the planet's surface. It does not belong here. Neither do I. There is a shimmer, and then the vision of the red orb returns. The Atlas. It speaks to me again. Again I feel the half-elation, half-terror that I have met my creator. The Atlas offers me guidance, purpose, meaning. Significance in an uncaring galaxy. All I must do is follow its path, and its orders." My character the learns the Gek word "spawn." I learn a couple of other words and leave the Monolith.
00:11 – A World of Riches
I haven't seen any signs of life yet, and that could be from the toxin rain that is falling. I'll have to stay close to my ship, as the rain is hammering away at my suit, and I can only stay out in it for a couple of minutes at a time. My next discovery is a big one: gold, and tons of it. I spend the next half hour mining as much of it as I can carry. This is a rare resource in the galaxy and it should fetch a pretty penny at the space station that I passed to reach Reiner I.
00:37 – A Bid for Power
Inventory space is limited, but new vessels can be purchased. The bigger ships offer more storage. With the gold I'm digging up, I should be able to upgrade soon. After my pockets are filled with as much gold as I can carry, I travel to the station, and sell my fortune. I'm up to 152,000 units. I quickly learn I need roughly a million for a significant ship upgrade. I could settle for something smaller for $ 300,000, but I'm at a planet that is overflowing with riches. I should mine it for all of its worth before traveling further into the universe. This is going to take time, but it will be worth it.
00:45 – Another Discovery
My second trip to Reiner I produces another find: an advanced outpost. After looting its shipping containers, which contain basic elements for my vitals and devices, I come across a pod that contains an upgrade pack that gives me one more inventory space. That will come in handy, especially since I'm here to mine as much gold as I can.
01:12 – Macaroni and Cheese
All of this mining is making me hungry. I take a quick break from my game to nuke a canister of Hormel's delicious macaroni and cheese. I chose this lunch because it only takes four minutes to make. It's also huge. This will feed me most of the day. Back to the gold.
01:37 – A New Friend
With as much gold as I can haul, I return to the space station and cash in. The hanger bay is essentially a used car showroom. Every vessel can be purchased, if you have the funds. One of the sellers is Assistant Fossasy. While I can't understand what he or she says, we communicate well enough to enact a sale for 605,000 units.
01:38 – A New Ride
I'm now the proud owner of the Kizawate S17. It may look small, but it gives me five additional inventory slots. Sadly, the resources I pumped into my previous vessel don't transfer to this one, meaning I lost a warp core.
01:39 – Exploring Again
Since I'm stuck in this system, I might as well check out new planets. My next stop is Onodateyaman-Twe, a little planet on the outskirts of the system.
01:49 – Respectful Naming
Being pleased with my mac and cheese lunch, I decide to name the planet Hormel.