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i’ve played almost 20 hours and am probably about to play some more, encouraged largely by some patches over the last week that have really improved the PC port, but before i do here’s some spoiler-laden stuff  that i’ve learned about the euclid galaxy’s outer rim, some 177Kly from the galactic core.

every star system has a race that’s in charge of things, and as far as i can tell there are three of them. unless you give an offensive answer to a question (i unknowingly said i was sentinel-aligned once) it seems really difficult to actually hurt your standing with them. interacting, trading, learning their language, finding their plaques and monoliths and ruins all improve your standing. that opens up what i hesitate to label dialogue options but it’s basically what they are on a limited level.

the gek are a race of vicious giant frogs who have come to control much of the outer rim. there is some kind of caste system in place here according to the plaques. the first spawn run the show. it was their force that apparently conquered the rim, and a second generation came out of the slime and became their soldiers. despite their despotically warlike plaques interactions with them are pleasant.

the vy’keen are a brutal race of warriors mainly aligned against the sentinels. the value toughness and fearlessness, and if one gives you the chance to punch it, take that opportunity, that’s the right choice. it will punch you back and you’ll take damage, then get a new blueprint because warbros or something. some vy’keen i think called Hive led a charge against some great big behemoth of the sentinels, but was somehow convinced not to attack or something, it’s not really clear what happened there. that’s right at the cutting edge of the vy’keen plaques i’ve found. i don’t think they and the gek get along.

the korvax are kind of gethy, and as far as i can tell their main purpose is to seek out… idk, enlightenment? they’re a synthetic race with some kind of limited collective consciousness but they do all present distinctly. space anomalies are always (So far) manned by a korvax high priest and a gek engineer.

atlas is an enigma that wants to lead you down a path. i dont know what that path is because i quickly strayed from it when an anomaly korvax told me i could fly into a black hole and go closer to the galactic center. i’ve done enough of what atlas wants to get an atlaspass v1 but that’s all. otherwise i’ve been looking for aluminum dicks and iridium to upgrade my hyperdrive. plus, atlas kind of sounds a lot like the thing the vy’keen warrior was talking about.

sentinels are the immediate enemy, but their goal seems to be to protect the environment from “explorers” (this space sure seems occupied to me) stripping its resources. planets with higher-security sentinels (especially HOSTILE) are often covered with high-value trading items, like vortex cubes or gravitino balls, and picking those up gets you chased by 2 flying and 1 walking sentinel every time. they’re easily dispatched once you’ve got an upgraded multitool.

cargo pods, finally, are your best friend. i recommend farming gold early because it’s the most valuable junk you’re likely to find, then sell it at trading posts or space stations. do the same with albumen pearls and gravitino balls and all that stuff. you need cash to buy inventory slots in your suit. i have nearly 40 now. not hearing the goddamn inventory full warning every ten seconds improves the experience a lot.

flying between planets is the worst part of the game and it really isn’t close. i’m sure they’ve hidden loading in that 1:34 flight from one planet to the next, because apart from what’s buried in a warp or docking animation there is not a loading screen to be found in this game, however, that doesn’t change the fact that you’re waiting and doing nothing at all. and you can’t tab out, because the game pauses. i’d love to just fart around with twitter while i fly to Hjwoghg-agarajag VI, but no, i have to stare at the screen. “well then just get up and grab some chips while it flies” you say. oh no. you have to babysit your damn ship because if you don’t, you’re going to attract pirates who DESTROY YOUR FUCKING BOAT while you go get a drink of white grape juice. having your boat destroyed is the worst thing that can happen. it’s worse than death. you have to start all over from wherever you are. death just respawns you at a load point, man.

i mean, not that i would know. i haven’t died. it’s extremely hard to die in this game and if you recharge shields intelligently during fights, also extremely hard to lose your boat. this is just what i’ve read online.

i’m very hopeful that soon i’ll be able to cover bigger warp distances, because right now, after slingshotting out of two different black holes, i have made it exactly 1,000ly closer to the core of the euclid galaxy. that is 0.1% of the way. i probably do not play this game for 2,000 hours. please progress faster soon, thanks.

other advice – i haven’t really bothered with getting new ships, mainly upgrading my inventory through cargo pods. i haven’t upgraded the one i have much either. i finally upgraded the warp core and i found it with increased cannon damage, but that’s it. do invest in suit upgrades though. the Tau level upgrades are very expensive but mostly worth in my opinion, just to not have to recharge your cold/corrosion/radiation/heat/flying monkey protection every 2 seconds onworld. build up enough slots and you can just sorta install them and forget them, destroying the cheapest one you don’t need if you’re really in a bind for an inventory slot.

which reminds me, that bind would be because you’re crafting something, and each component goes in a single inventory slot. you only ever have 2 elements at a time, but to make a warp cell takes something like 4 inventory slots. you need a couple of elements i don’t remember, plus a slot, where you make the electron vapour, which frees a slot where the carbon was, where you make the suspension fluid, and in the vapour’s old slot you make the antimatter with another element, which combines with some other element to make the warp cell. the elements can stack, but items like bypass chips and anything you sell and warp cell components take up a whole slot solo. it’s dumb as hell.

to make it MORE confusing, the “blueprint” recipes you discover are organized chronologically in the order you discovered them, and unless i’m missing it, you can’t rearrange them. beam focus sigma next to beam focus theta next to beam focus tau? hahahahahaha. nope, it’s all a scrambled mess. don’t know greek alphabet? you’re stuck with trial and error or hoping you judge the recipe’s rarity right to guess which is best. some weapons/ships come with multiple tiers of the same thing installed. do their effects stack? who knows? the game tries really, really hard to get in its own way with its UI/UX elements. the menus and maps are clearly designed for controller, and they work fair enough on M+K, but not pleasantly.

but i’m still going to keep playing the fucking thing because its premise and its promise remain so interesting. yes, all the procedurally generated buildings are very much clones. yes, all the planets are basically the same size and therefore gravity. yes, you’re “discovering” a galaxy that’s already filled with other intelligent beings. somehow that’s all still just so interesting to me. especially with the vy’keen making me think atlas might be aligned with my treehugging laser-blasting nemeses…

this is just a story of my journey. if you’re looking for whether the game ported to PC well, or whether you should buy it, hopefully the story will answer your questions.

i wake up next to a busted ship. it’s fairly rocky, but there are plenty of sparse trees around. i notice the windows on my second monitor aren’t organized how i want and click away. no man’s sky makes noise again when i click on its start bar icon but refuses to come back. issue: tabbing out of fullscreen kills your game. oops.

i wake up next to a busted ship. this isn’t the same place – it must not have saved my game when i started it. this place is much more lush. i jump in the ship immediately and the helpful robot voice tells me how to fix its various components. i’m not sure who this robot voice is or whether i should trust it but surely this advice is harmless. one of my components needs me to get iron, which seems easy enough, there was a block of it right next to where i woke up.

i get out of the ship and immediately overheat my mining laser. quickly, i get the hang of pulsing it so i can mine quickly without singing my hands off. the iron in hand, i mainly need plutonium. there is a cave on the other side of the ship. minecraft sends me there.

it’s not a particularly deep cave, but i can tell there’s more behind a slag of iron. i begin shooting my mining laser at it. suddenly i’m taking damage? red lasers! a sentinel! i don’t even have a weapon! i fire my mining laser at the sentinel which eventually kills it. an alarm – more are coming! i’m not sure what this place is playing at, being simultaneously right next to where i spawned and forbidden by the sentinels, so i sprint for my life. they don’t give chase, apparently satisfied.

i find the materials i need outside anyway. the iron is in great chunks, which isn’t that weird because i’ve seen videos of the game rust before. the plutonium grows in crystals which is also not that weird because this is a sci fi game. the zinc and platinum grow in flowers which is complete nonsense.

my ship now repaired, the robot begins insisting i leave the planet, but why? there’s a green question mark right over there. before heading to it, i notice something happening on the other monitor and reflexively alt-tab.

oops.

the next thing i know i’m standing next to the ship. it’s repaired. exiting the ship saves your progress. gotcha. the first thing i do is upload and rename this place – the system goes from something unpronounceable to System of Ni, my homeworld Nia. i make my way to the question mark, farming carbon and iron along the way, as well as touching a “knowledge stone” that tells me some unuseful “gek” word, until i see what looks like some kind of outpost. after picking up all the plutonium around it, i go inside and am hailed by THE EXTREMELY INTRUSIVE LETTERBOXING THAT DRIVES ME INSANE and kermit the frog. he talks to me, i guess, the words aren’t comprehensible, but i respond in a way that he likes. my relationship with the Gek improves. i interact with kermit the gek again and this time his response is only mostly incomprehensible words but also the one from the stone is there. in english.

oh.

outside the outpost is a beacon. mass effect tells me to go play with it. it needs a bypass card, which i noticed earlier is on the list of things i can make, so i do. there’s a few things the beacon is able to point me to. one of them is a “monolith.” that sounds the most interesting so i ask it to point me toward an ancient alien artifact. it’s just a 6 or 7 minute walk away, which is filled with animals for my visor and weird stone dicks i can mine for ores until my inventory is full. which is immediately. you can transfer items from suit to ship but i’m apparently miles away, because the robot tells me the ship is too far away to do that. gotta improve this thing. the monolith is surrounded by more stones that tell me words and contains some kind of weird message about a Gek empire taking over the outer rim.

oh.

i make my way back to the ship and stop at another nearby question mark, talking to another kermit the gek, then find another ship with similar stats to mine but one more inventory slot. why yes, thank you, i will be havin that. finally i turn the nose skyward. finally, claiming my rightful universe. the game tells me it’s no man’s sky but like eowyn your friendly neighborhood non-binary is no man.

there’s a space station straight ahead so i go there. another kermit is in there too. i use the button on the wall to sell most of my things on the galactic market. never knew there was such a thing but i’m happy it’s there. i leave the space station and make for the nearest planet. the pop-in as i descend is disastrous. the place is a shithole, totally barren of animals, with a mushroom here and there. i make my way into a cave and fill up all my inventory slots with plutonium before i recognize what i’ve done, then immediately start destroying it because SOME OF THESE CRYSTALS ARE GOLD OMG.

i don’t want to get too far from the boat so i head on back and go straight back to the space station to sell that gold. rich as hellllllll time to buy some things from the market WHEEZECOUGH. that’s high.

i go to the next closest planet. it’s the closest to this system’s sun and hot enough it’s crushing my life support. here i come across a giant stone dick of aluminum except sean murry is british so it’s aluminIum. which, as eddie izzard would tell you, is cheatin at scrabble. i continue my way across the planet’s surface, talking to kermits and seeking out their monuments. occasionally i’ll stop in at colonial outposts and fight sentinels for some kind of garbage reward. a buddy on steam asks me how the game is and it crashes as i’m typing a response. haha.

above this hot planet is a small group of ships made of containers. it says “destroy” so i shoot at it til it breaks open. which, strangely, attracts sentinel starships. it seems so far as if the sentinels are protecting the environment from me mining it and NPCs from me stealing from them. i’m able to out-dogfight that ship somehow and plasma burst away before the reinforcements show up, then head on.

i’m starting to itch to leave this system but there’s still two planets in the system. the fourth tells me it’s a Paradise Planet when i land and ho boy, it isn’t kidding. that place is gorgeous. mostly water but chock full of islands filled with friendly animals and alien monoliths, all kinds of plants, and my first dinosaur. that planet is beautiful but bizarrely -50 Celsius. the hot planet was as far from 0 as this place is. what a weird thing. fifth and finally in the system is the second planet i rename because the surface is covered in stone dicks filled with SOLID

PURE

GOLD

I’M RICH

this planet gets named “GOLD EVERYWHERE” to help out any future travelers and i take my inventory full of gold to the space station, though i have to wait for the LETTERBOXING OH MY GAD to get out of the way of telling me i’ve walked some arbitrary distance before i can sell it all. and with that, i am out of the system and on to the next one. bracing to come out in a meteor shower, i engage the warp drive.

my warp comes out cleanly but also right next to a container ship. this time i do not shoot at it but instead scan, which tells me there is a beacon. i follow that beacon to the surface of a planet, which points me to an outpost, where kermit the frog gives me a blueprint and the robot has the impression i was expected and he was only the messenger. who is leading me here? why? how can the robot responsible for my HUD figure this out? it sends me to the local space station where i can now afford to buy antimatter, which i do, and recharge my warp drive, but i’ve no intention of leaving just yet, there’s several planets here.

and so no man’s sky goes. i’ve reached Partner status with kermit the frog, expended my pack inventory to 17 (which is the MOST worth upgrade in the world, you absolutely must seek out those cargo pods), renamed a planet that just acid rains all the time Poisonous Hellhole to dissuade future travelers, and am ready to warp on to another system. i’m very excited to see what else this universe has in store for me and hope to get some great stores to share. and i hope you will too!