18 quintillion. That’s a number so large that I had literally no idea how many zeros it had until I Googled, at which point I found out that it has eighteen if you’re in America, and thirty if you’re in Great Britain. As if this needed to become anymore complicated…
18 quintillion, and what is the significance of this you ask? Well, if the figures in the newest trailer for Hello Games’ upcoming space exploration epic No Man’s Sky are to be believed, then that’s how many planets there are to be discovered and charted in the game’s universe.
What does this mean for gamers? On the one hand you could certainly say you’ll be getting value for your money; just think of all those hours you could immerse yourself and explore for, never seeing the same planet or creature or whatever twice, everything would be fresh and new all the time.
On the other hand, it also means that you will never, and I mean NEVER complete it. Like, literally never ever.
Even if everyone with a PS4 pulled in together to try and discover everything collaboratively, they wouldn’t likely stand a chance of ticking off all those zeros (whether 18 or 30) in our lifetime. And that shit’s pretty intimidating, especially for a game in which the only story based objective we know of is that you’re trying to reach the centre of the universe, and even moreso when from what we’ve seen so far the gameplay seems to comprise solely of flying to a planet, discovering said planet and all lifeforms on it, then moving on. Lather and repeat.
Now while that does all sound mighty cool, and certainly pretty damn different from anything else currently available on the videogames market, I do struggle to see how exactly this is going to result in a game that is actually fun in the traditional sense of the word.
Now please don’t interpret this as me saying I don’t like the look of the game or that I think it will fail, far from it in fact, but I am just currently struggling to foresee what exactly the ‘fun’ appeal of the game is going to be that will keep people interested for the duration of its’ seemingly limitless, procedurally generated world of 18 quintillion planets.
That all being said, I’m still very much intrigued and excited for this game. It’s something original, at least for the console space, and I like the idea of being able to go it alone, let loose in a universe of unlimited discovery to just do my own thing, even if I have literally no idea what there will be to do there.
No Man’s Sky releases for PS4 on August 10th 2016