Ever since its quiet unveiling in December of 2013, No Man’s Sky has been one of the most intriguing video games on the horizon. There’s an air of mystery that surrounds the game, and what vague details the developers at Hello Games have drip-fed us about its mathematically generated universe have been so complex and ambitious that they’re difficult to comprehend. We know it’s about flying around and exploring a universe that is, essentially, infinite (“It would take you four or five thousand years to see every planet if you spent only a second on each one,” Hello Games co-founder Sean Murray told IGN), and that this unfathomable scope is possible because every planet is assembled by the game according to an underlying system for creation that follows strict, realistic scientific rules. Even that description is confusing as hell, and it doesn’t begin to approach the question of ”Well, what is there to do in this infinite universe?”
Now, with No Man’s Sky nearing completion, Hello Games is opening up a little more about how you’ll be playing it. Yesterday, IGN kicked off its super world-exclusive bombshell month-long look at the game with Sean Murray taking several of the site’s writers on a guided tour. For 18 straight minutes, Murray and host Ryan McCaffrey get into some of those pesky details that have eluded the project’s followers for months—but only some.
For instance, you can mine resources from the environment in the form of the elements of the game’s fake periodic table. You can then sell them at trading posts or combine them to create more valuable alloys, but the more you tamper with the environment, the more aggressively every planet’s sentient, self-replicating robot militia will hunt you down. There’s even a Grand Theft Auto-style wanted meter tracking your heat. If you’d rather be a more hands-off intergalactic economic baron, you don’t even need to gather your own resources. You could just hang around at trading outposts and do the old buy-low-sell-high routine. All this cash you’re amassing is to help upgrade your ship and equipment. The better your ship, the further into the universe you can travel, with the ultimate goal—albeit an entirely optional one—being to reach the center of the universe where some sort of game-changing secret awaits. And yes, you can kill stuff, if you’re so inclined.