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Is No Man’s Sky a Single Player Game?

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Hello Games’ No Man’s Sky is one of the most anticipated games of 2015, and is also one of the most ambitious games so far on next generation platforms. The idea that there are infinitely procedurally generated worlds that are all in the same universe is something that we haven’t seen before. This would hint at the fact that No Man’s Sky is very multiplayer based, having you hook up with other players to explore and survive. However, it seems that this is not the case.

When you first start No Man’s Sky, you are on a randomly generated planet that has never been discovered before and is on the outside of a universe containing all players. This would make it sound like you would be able to join up with other players to create an allegiance for survival. Sean Murray, the game’s creator and lead designer, has said in a GameSpot interview that this is not the case. “This is not a game about forming a clan or allegiances… You can cross paths with other players, but it’s just not a core component of the game.”

“There is a plan for multiplayer and for people to have a traditional multiplayer experience within the game,” Murray says, “But that is not what’s core to the game right now.”

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So it seems that No Man’s Sky has some MMO elements, but is focused on being a single player game, which is exciting for us here at OnlySP. There are, however, multiple AI that you can come across throughout your exploration that help you progress. In order to move along in No Man’s Sky, you must collect resources in order to survive and build weapons and spaceships so that you can eventually travel to the center of the universe, which is what Murray says is the main goal of the game. These AI can be friendly or hostile, and you might have to do some exploring to find them.

The universe of the game is so vast and so unexplored that we will probably never find everything there is to see, and that sense of wonder and intention for exploration is just what has me so excited about the game. No Man’s Sky has infinite possibilities, and I can’t wait to be able to finally start exploring this world for the first time in 2015.

Let us know what you think about No Man’s Sky in the comments below, and for everything single player, be sure to follow OnlySP on Twitter and like us on Facebook.

Loves to play all types of games, especially single player games. There are few games Matt won’t play. While he is new to the games journalism industry, he loves to write, talk and play games. He loves to share his opinions with the world through his editorials and reviews. He is PlayStation focused, writing reviews and news about the PS4, PS3, PS Vita and everything else PlayStation. Matt is currently a student based in the United States

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198X Review — A Nostalgia Trip Without a Destination

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198X

Some short stories feel more like chapters—snipped out of a larger work—that struggle to make sense on their own. 198X represents a translation of that ethos to video game form. As a result, the game feels unfulfilling, though that does not detract from the overall quality on offer. Ultimately, the player’s appraisal of 198X will depend on whether they place more stock in story or gameplay because while the former leaves much to be desired, the latter will be a hit for anyone with fond memories of the 8- and 16-bit classics.

In the framing and overall structure, 198X is decidedly modern, but everything else pulses with a retro vibe. At its core, the game is a compilation, weaving together five distinct experiences under the auspice of a story of personal development. From the Double Dragon-infused ‘Beating Heart’ to the turn-based dungeon RPG ‘Kill Screen’, each title feels slick, if a little undercooked. Those old-school originals could only dream of being as smooth as these throwbacks. However, the two-button input methodology results in the games feeling just a touch too simple, though their brevity—each clocking in at a maximum of 15 minutes (depending on the player’s skill level and muscle memory)—makes that less of an issue than it might have been. If more depth is present, it is hidden well, as the game lacks any sort of tutorial to guide players. Nevertheless, the stellar presentation goes a long way towards papering over the cracks.

The pixel art aesthetic of 198X is staggering. Each of the worlds that players make their way through is pitched perfectly to fit the mood it evokes. From the grungy brawler of the first game to the more melancholic mood of the open-road racer, the screen is drenched in lavish colour and far more detail than one might expect from such a seemingly simple art style.

Easily a match for the visuals is the audio. The in-game sounds of a car engine or bone-crunching strike are low-key, which allows the music to come to the fore. Those tunes are all from the electronic genre, simple, yet layered with enough depth to not feel tedious or tiring. Easily overshadowing all the rest though is Maya Tuttle’s voice-over narration as The Kid. Her tone is one of pervasive resignation that works to reinforce the same mood within the script.

That melancholia will surely strike a chord with anyone who has grown up on the fringes. The Kid speaks of once loving and now hating the Suburbia of their childhood, where memories of happiness collide with a contemporary feeling of entrapment. The words and lines are powerfully evocative—made even more so by the connection between the gameworlds and the prevailing emotion at that point. The problem is that they amount to nothing. The story comprises of these snippets—these freestanding scenes of life lived lonely—that never coalesce into anything. The Kid may find an arcade and speak of finding some sort of home and a source of strength, but it goes nowhere. The game ends just as things start to get interesting. Setting up for a sequel is no sin. Plenty of other games and media products—from Dante’s Inferno to Harry Potter—have done just that. However, to be effective, such first parts need to offer a story in and of themselves, not just the promise of a story to come, and that is where 198X falls apart.

With each game in the compilation being a straightforward, one-and-done affair and the overarching narrative feeling like a prologue at best, 198X is wafer-thin. The presentation is simply remarkable, and the package has enough variety to be worth a look, but the unmistakable impression is that something is missing.

OnlySP Review Score 2 Pass

Reviewed on PC. Coming soon to Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.

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