After being bombarded with recommended videos on YouTube of the first hours of the new epic sandbox game No Man's Sky, I gave in and started watching some. And then I bought the game myself because I needed it.
If you haven't been living under a rock (or are just not into the gaming community), you'll likely have heard of No Man's Sky, a new venture from Hello Games. The concept is relatively simple: you're a space explorer. You explore space, and planets, and flora, and fauna, and you mine for materials that will help you explore more space, planets, flora, and fauna. There is a small narrative arc to the game, but each playthrough is completely individualized. You will unlikely land on the same planet twice, and even less likely will you run into another player.
I've been playing No Man's Sky for about 6 or 7 hours, and I can say initially it really intrigued me. I really love exploring games, wandering around for hours on long-term fetch quests. However, the limited narrative is starting to get to me, as is the very little instruction you get once the game begins. A lot of it is trial and error. I also don't like that there's no real mapping situation. You are able to pinpoint a few key landmarks, like your ship, but it's very hard to tell where you've been, and where you've yet to go. It also seems as if the worlds could go on infinitely, which makes being a completionist very difficult if you ever wanted to explore other worlds.
As of right now, I'm still going to keep going and see how far I can get with the few quests I'm given. It is an incredibly stunning game, and so visually, it's never boring. However, with too much freedom comes anxiety, and yes, that dreaded word, FOMO. What if I spend too much time on one planet but never discover one that was just around the bend? Since there's no direct narrative, I likely won't see all that No Man's Sky has to offer, which makes for long-term playability, but also causes me some frustration. For me, the story will have to pick up a little bit, otherwise, I'd rather walk around in the real world.