No Man’s Sky > Star Citizen?

I dropped a few bucks on Star Citizen and have been getting a steady stream of updates since. It’s a game I felt I had to at least pick up because it could be fantastic. All things to all people. On the other hand, and perhaps more likely, it’ll be overly-ambitious, buggy, and spread so thin that the bread will hardly glisten. (You heard it here first.)

No Man’s Sky was just announced at the VGX with a pretty spectacular trailer.

From what I see here it looks to me to be more in line with what interests me than Star Citizen. There’s not much in the way of details, but many important things stand out.

First we see our view jumping into a ship that is reminiscent of an X-Wing. Next we are flying up from the surface of a planet. A planet that looks stunning, but is apparently procedurally generated. I’m not likely to search out every nook and cranny of a planet, but being able to buzz around one that looks amazing “just for fun” really holds a lot of appeal. I’m getting a lot of this jive from Kerbal Space Program – but imagine it with practically infinite planets. The quick cuts show us all the classic sci-fi planets: Jungles and Deserts (complete with giant sand worms) among them.

As the ship’s nose points up, they head into OUUUTTTEEEERRR SPAAAAAAAACE! From here we see other single-man ships buzzing around, breaking the atmosphere and joining into what looks like some sort of fleet. Most notably a large capital ship that at least invokes a Star Destroyer-esk feeling of power and size.

Other flashes of gameplay show deep-space operations through asteroid fields and the like.

The great thing this game invokes is a real feeling of all our favourite sci-fi shows. Landing on a planet surface, then flying out to meet a Star Destroyer was always the one thing X-Wing vs TIE Fighter was missing.

So No Man’s Sky looks ambitious, yes, but not wildly so. It looks like it captures the feel of classic sci-fi without getting bogged down. Something I’m very afraid Star Citizen will succumb to, with its focus on trade, economy, vast universes and customisable ships. Star Citizen sounds kind of… boring. Except with space ships. A highly detailed, boring, space ship game. Just give me a number of very cool fighters to fly around in, and reasons to visit lots of cool places and blow things up.

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