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Why No Man’s Sky Might Be Your Next Favorite Video Game

No Mans Sky

Science fiction isn’t what it used to be. Sci-fi these days is the setting for many (perhaps most) adventure video games, and it’s usually not a pretty setting. Post-apocalyptic worlds, hostile worlds, oppression by alien overlords or nefarious corporations. The game No Man’s Sky goes in a different direction, a retro direction: rather than a dystopian setting, the future of No Man’s Sky is a place and time of exploration and wonder. In a New Yorker story on the game and its chief architect Sean Murray, writer Raffi Khatchadourian breaks it down:

The game is an homage to the science fiction that Murray loved when he was growing up—Asimov, Clarke, Heinlein—and to the illustrations that often accompanied the stories. In the nineteen-seventies and eighties, sci-fi book covers often bore little relation to the stories within; sometimes they were commissioned independently, and in bulk, and for an imaginative teen-ager it was a special pleasure to imbue the imagery with its own history and drama. Space was presented as a romantic frontier, sublime in its vastness, where ships and futuristic architecture scaled to monumental proportions could appear simultaneously awesome and diminutive. Danger was a by-product of exploration: rockets that crashed on barren asteroids; plots by haywire computers; ominous riddles left behind by lost civilizations. “But inherently what is going on is optimistic,” Murray said. “You would read it and go, Wow, I would love to be this person—this is so exciting. Whereas at the moment a lot of sci-fi is dystopian, and you go, I would hate to be this person. How would I deal with it?”

Another aspect of the game that’s raising eyebrows is its sheer size: When finished, the galaxy of No Man’s Sky will contain 18,446,744,073,709,551,616 planets. “Because of the game’s near-limitless proportions, players will rarely encounter one another by chance,” Khatchadourian writes. “As they move toward the center, the game will get harder, and the worlds—the terrain, the fauna and flora—will become more alien, more surreal.”

Murray points out that the game is simply brighter and more colorful than the dark, dirty, dangerous and ruined worlds we see in many contemporary games and movies—check out the images and videos below, and visit no-mans-sky.com to learn more:

No Mans Sky

No Mans Sky

No Mans Sky

No Mans Sky

No Mans Sky

No Mans Sky

No Mans Sky

No Mans Sky

No Mans Sky

No Mans Sky

No Mans Sky

Tip: BoingBoing

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Published on: May 12, 2015

Filled Under: Games, News

Views: 10429

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