In No Man’s Sky, It all begins Here
My love for adventure brought me to No Man’s Sky. In some weird way, we were meant for each other. I love to travel, there have been times I’d drive 4,000 non commuting miles in a month. But those days, they do a number on a person’s back. So here I am, bound to my home and chiropractor appointments to keep things aligned and working.
Needless to say, I’ve followed No Man’s Sky and Sean Murray for years now. Always anticipating the next piece of information. Their best talent was keeping everything a mystery. But this backfired as the fan’s imaginations ran wild with what little information was given. This was disastrous at launch, when people freaked the heck out that there was “nothing to do” in the game. There were no waypoints, no internet cheat sheets, no quests leading them from point A to B to C… Their worst nightmares came true, they were set on a planet, cold and alone with almost zero direction on what to do.
No Man’s Sky wasn’t made for everyone. It doesn’t hold your hand, tugging you through the game from start to end like Destiny, Division, Call of Duty and so many more modern games. It just says get to the center of the galaxy and steps away, allowing you the ultimate freedom to go, and do anything you want. Gamers from Ubisoft and EA just couldn’t handle this absolute freedom, it was too terrifying for them, so they freaked out in an epic mass panic throughout the Internet.
For me, It all begins here. Dropped on a planet by some mysterious force and left alone. A deep, penetrating loneliness. In a massive galaxy consisting of millions of stars, I was alone. There could be a million players near me, but chances of finding each other would still be nearly impossible. But that’s not what the game is about.
It’s about that lone feeling. It’s about picking up those pieces of your failed past and moving forward, towards the bright center. You leave that starting planet and forge a path across the galaxy. I mean how cool is that? The game is designed to force you to let go, to move on, never looking back. It doesn’t even, for the time being give you a the ability to return home. Once you leave, it’s gone forever.
To most people, so used to being lead through a game, mindlessly pushing buttons when prompted, given nudges and pulls where to go, No Man’s Sky breaks that mold. It crushes and breaks you from the start. Abandons you naked with barely a means to survive. It then makes you explore and finally pack up and move on once your discoveries are made. While it’s true you could spend a lifetime exploring your starting planet, it’s not within the game design. There’s no beckoning quest to pull you away, this is more sinister… The planets are designed to kick you away when the time has come. With their singular biome, eventually you’ve seen everything, explored it all, even if only a small corner. The game mercilessly kicks you forward, forcing you to forgo your past and keep moving.
The entire experience of No Man’s Sky is letting go. It’s a lesson we all can use in our lives and No Man’s Sky implements this perfectly. It’s the Zen of life that we all need. That deep relaxation to let go of the past, the stress that holds us from achieving great things in life. No Man’s Sky is a vastly deep lesson in life and spiritual well being. This is why I love the game so and keep playing.