No Man’s Sky has been on the market for almost four years now, but only recently has the game been optimized for virtual reality. The game first came to PC gamers, then console players, and as always, virtual reality got the last installment of the game. That is for the better though, as the 2019 update has made this game more expansive and fun than any of the past years. No Man’s Sky is an open-world game that demands your attention.
This game has no limits, and it is ever-growing. Some games claim the same, but No Man’s Sky from Hello Games has proven that they are working every day and every night to ensure this game will literally never end. With more features and new updates often, this instantly has become of the most impressive virtual reality games up to date. It is no accident that it is the most popular game for both PC gamers and PC VR gamers alike. Let’s jump into this review and see what No Man’s Sky has to offer.
Getting Up and Running
This game is going to be growing each and every month for the foreseeable future, so having some open storage on your gaming computer is going to be essential going forward. For starters, this game is going to require at least 15 GB of open storage. From there, the game’s file size is only going to grow. As you explore more and pull more gaming data from the servers with your exploration, the full size could easily reach over 100 GB.
This game is only available from the Steam Store for VR, but it well optimized for each and every headset that Steam supports. The price of the game is usually $60, but Steam is known for bringing discounts to this game often. The game developers are Hello World, and they are always in pursuit of perfecting this game. Another part of getting up and running is the tutorial of this game. When you first get into the game, you will immediately be inside of a tutorial. Here, you will learn how to move, interact with objects, and find materials that you will need to complete your missions. This tutorial took us about 30 minutes, but we found it was essential to playing the game. If you rush through this and pay little attention to it, you will be at a major disadvantage for your entire time in this game.
Type of Game
No Man’s Sky is a virtual reality game that wasn’t first made for virtual reality. This game was first a PC game built around exploring and completing missions. Now that it has been perfectly optimized for VR, you are going to find a lot in this game that is great for immersive experiences. You are going to be gathering and exploring in more immersive ways than ever before. This is an open-world game that is going to keep you challenged at all times.
There are multiple ways to play this game and each of them are incredibly fun and expansive. You can play the story mode and play over 30 hours of quests and missions, or you can play on the infinite mode and colonize and discover as much as your little VR legs will let you. Not only will you be exploring, but in multiplayer modes, you can dogfight, race your self-made spaceships, trade, and even fight together. This game is unscripted, and it is the virtual reality game we have always wanted.
In this game, you are going to be playing from the first-person perspective. Whether you are flying your spaceship or harvesting some crops, you are going to see everything about your character. This game makes your whole body important, as some of the important ways to access your backpacks and your goods are located on your suit itself. This only adds to the immersion this game provides.
Theme and Story – Score: 9/10
The theme and story inside of No Man’s Sky is the biggest in virtual reality up to date. This game has over 30 hours of campaign gameplay, and all of it is unique and new to you as you play. The only knock on this expansive story is with the direction you are going. It often felt you were blindly following someone, as the quests didn’t always make sense and didn’t add up to what your end goal was. It was plenty of content, but we wish it would’ve flowed slightly better. With that being said, it is still one of the best inside of the virtual world right now.
Controls – Score: 7/10
We applaud the developers for using each control input to its maximum use, but it came back to bite them in the end. Unless you play this game for hours on end, you are going to find yourself guessing at the controls. They let you interact with the virtual world in many different ways, but they confused us multiple times and the controls will continue to confuse people unless they tone it down a bit. We often would end up on menus and screens we didn’t intend to be at throughout the tutorial and that only stopped about an hour after gameplay.
Music and Sound – Score: 10/10
Nailing down the music and sound in our categories takes some obvious efforts from the developers. No Man’s Sky did exactly that and they are getting a perfect score here. Luckily for the developers, the sound and music of this game have been slowly progressing for almost four years. The only real challenge here for them was adding some gnarly spatial audio for the great Valve near-field speakers, and that is what they did. No holes here.
Player Movement – Score: 8/10
The player in this game is as good as you are going to get in a free open-world game. The teleportation mechanism was utilized perfectly in this game, but there was a glaring issue. Even though you can choose which direction you land when you teleport, it was hard to get exactly where you wanted. No VR we know of have yet to crack the elusive secret to short distance traveling. Often times you would find something close to your hand, but it was slightly out of reach. Teleporting again would only make you further away from it, but getting to your crop was often a challenge.
Kinetosis – Score: 7/10
Had this game stayed away from flying inside of virtual reality, they could’ve been receiving an 8 or 9 here, but they didn’t. Flying is an important part of No Man’s Sky, but no flying translates well into VR. The teleporting is nearly perfect when it comes to motion sickness, but the flying is tough to stand for longer than a few long seconds. 7 is not a bad score here in comparison to other games, but the flying could’ve been a little more refined than it was for this game.
Environment and Immersion – Score: 10/10
If you make an open-world game inside off virtual reality, or any gaming medium, you better nail down the environment. Giving players the ability to see every part of your creation is a big deal, so the details need to be in every spot. Inside of virtual reality, immersion is incredibly important too. Hello Games does both perfectly inside of their VR game. The sounds and controls immerse you, but the theme and story do a lot of the heavy lifting in keeping you interested in coming back. The more you build cities and explore worlds, you will see why this game is deserving of a perfect score in this department.
Overall – Score: 8.5/10
This game has a little bit to brush up on, but it still is taking home the best score we have given a virtual reality game. The price tag of $60 is more than worth it. This game won’t give you days of new gameplay, but it will give you months of it. The game only will end when you stop playing it, and the worlds are without number when it comes to exploration and colonization. This game is not a part of any subscription, but that is no problem if you are on the hunt for the best virtual reality game on the market right now.