Wednesday, August 17

No Man's Sky ( After 20hrs )


The PC version No Man's Sky, a "indie" game, has been released. After watching several videos of people playing No Man's Sky on the PS4 I got the PC version.

After playing No Man's Sky for over 20 hours I have now formed my opinion of the game.

The Game System

I installed No Man's Sky on a computer with an Intel I7-3770 processor, 16GB of 2133mhz memory, all installed on an Asus Maximus motherboard. The video card is a 2GB Asus 660 ENGTX. Running Windows 10 Pro on a 530mb/s SSD. The game is installed on a different SSD than Windows. Connected to a LG 29" 2560x1080 monitor.

No Man's Sky plays quite well 99% of the time. It is the 1% of the time that had me pulling out my hair. I made the recommended changes of removing V-Sync, and G-Sync, and setting the fps to "MAX." which did seem to make a little bit of difference.

The Frame Rate

Most of the time I was running, flying, trading with the greatest of ease. Constantly high frame rates, smooth graphics, fluid animations. While that is happening No Man's Sky is, for me, a fun, relaxing, exploration game.

Then without warning the game would all of a sudden slow to a crawl. My experience, and trial and error, with this trying to figure out this frame rate slow down, I noticed that in my experience it always seems to happen when I am entering my space craft. I will be running along fine, then I hold down "X" button to get into the space ship, and as the canopy is closing my frame rate drops to the single digits.

Oddly enough, sometimes if I exited the space craft and walked a few feet, units, the frame rate would jump back to normal. I think this happened because of changing max fps to "MAX." Exiting the game, after making sure it was saved, and then restarting the game always brings the frame rate right back to what it should be. And the game loads quick enough, that I don't mind the brief pause as I restart the game.

The Truth ( or my experiences so far )

At the moment most of the game play boils down to flying your ship around the planet to find monuments, outposts, crashed space craft, becons, drop pods, and resources.

If you have enough units "money" and you come across a drop pod, you can expand the amount of storage your exo suit has.

If you come across a monument you can increase your knowledge of the alien race in that part of the galaxy. Learning words will possibly help you decipher future conversations.

Crashed ships give you the possibility to upgrade to a bigger, better, ship without spending money. You will have to spend resources to fix any problems stopping the crashed ship from flying, but those usually can be collect from the surrounding area for free.

Outposts give you a chance to find a better multi tool for mining, etc. Some outposts have trading terminals

There are a lot of different resources you can mine, trade, buy, or find in No Man's Sky. Some are in caves, others inside containers found around outposts. It can be time consuming to mine for resources to make money, but oddly relaxing at the same time.

Is it fun?

The majority of time playing this game will be spent either trying to collect more resources, or flying to find more outposts, or monuments, on the planet. There is very little interaction with other aliens expect a very simple three choice "choose your own adventure" style dialog. After playing the game for less then 1 hour I was already noticing the repetition in the alien interactions.

I find No Man's Sky enjoyable to play. I start each session of play ready to slowly fly over the unfolding landscape bellow looking for anything that looks slightly out of place. I could fly the ship faster, or use the scanner more. I find the simple act of slowly flying my ship left, or right, up, or down relaxing, and can spend quite a bit of time just exploring the landscape.

What have I accomplished so far?

My Exo Suit has space for 42 items. My ship has 24 spaces. My Multi-tool has 24 spaces. I have over 5 million units of currency, and I have explored 3 planets, 1 moon, and a space station. Those are all in the first galaxy I spawn in.

I think I am almost ready to leave this galaxy behind, to begin exploring a new galaxy, probably again for 20 hours.

It is a rare game
which makes me
 more relaxed
 after I play it.


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