What do you do in No Man’s Sky? Hello Games could spend the rest of its time leading up to release trying to answer that question and people would continue asking anyway. This “18 minutes of uninterrupted gameplay” from IGN sheds some light on the situation. (There are cuts, though!)
“This is the game as it is,” says founder Sean Murray.
There’s exploring, for starters. You can find and scan creatures, name them, go to a beacon, upload that data, and earn some money. Said money can be spent on ships or weapons, both of which are procedurally generated and upgradeable. Or you could shoot, say, an overly aggressive goat that keeps charging at you. Doing so might attract the attention of sentinels, “a race of self-replicating robots” that retaliate with increasing force as your GTA-esque “wanted” level rises.
You could hop in your ship, fly into space (with no loading screens), and head to a nearby space station to trade, or watch pirates attack and scavenge their remains. No Man’s Sky has its own “sci-fi version of the real-world periodic table.” You can mine elements and combine them to create new alloys for sale at trading posts. “There’s an overall galactic economy,” says Murray.
And then that galactic map at 14:45. Holy shit.
From what I’ve seen so far of No Man’s Sky, I’m reasonably sure the first hours-long play session will be mind-blowing and totally captivating. If it can keep us hooked until we reach the center of the galaxy, or whatever we aim for as our end goal, we’ll have one hell of a game on our hands.