I am currently on my fourth start of No Man’s Sky, after a hilarious series of failures that almost left me dropping off the game, again. This one, though, is going to stick.
I have a storied history with the game. Back at launch, I played something like 30 hours: I disliked the early game, but got through it, and enjoyed my next ten or so hours of exploring planets pretty aimlessly. I got very lucky with one rad dinosaur planet that inspired this video, and all I really wanted was a game that was, essentially, 70s Sci-Fi Pokemon Snap. But I fell off, really hard, when I just felt like I was on an endless treadmill, and got a little depressed with it.
When NEXT hit last week, I was excited. This was my chance, after all, to rekindle my long-lost love of the chill exploration game I pined for (and sort of, almost got with the first iteration). I loaded up a new save (my original game was lost to time and a break-up) and started upon a new journey. This was NMS take two, and I was ready.
After getting through most of an early planet, I had the gnawing feeling that, uh, this all looked exactly like the launch game. Wasn’t NEXT supposed to look different? Wasn’t I supposed to be able to choose between third and first person perspectives?
After a tiny bit of digging, I discovered that NEXT was still downloading in the background. My first hour with the game in two years was with the vanilla version.
Soon, the download updated, and NEXT was my destination! I picked the normal mode, and settled in for an evening of exploration and mining. No Man’s Sky, take three! The first planet was heavily irradiated, and I quickly hightailed it to the next planet in the system, ignoring the gentle tutorializing in the lower right corner of the screen. “I’ve done this before, game! I’m a veteran explorer!”
Radiation? Pah! I got enough fuel to power my little X-Wing wannabe and landed on the next world in my little system. The plan was to get in, find enough stuff to construct a warp cell so I could go wherever I wanted, and get out.
Well, this one had firestorms. I died something like five times within the span of thirty minutes before I decided to do a re-roll. To cut my losses and just start the whole thing up again.
No Man’s Sky take four! Another toxic world. By this point, I had been clued in that every starter world is hazardous, with the express purpose of teaching you how to survive the space-wilderness, and so, I actually paid attention to the tutorials. Within an hour, I was tooling around the system, visiting new planets and spaceships and generally doing the things I actually wanted to do in the game. I started appreciating the key differences in NEXT: the prettier graphics, the more densely populated spaceships and trading ports, the missions!
The whole thing has me thinking about the concept of the re-roll in games. I do it all the time in Into The Breach, 520 hours in, if I don’t like what I see on my first island. Bugs got me down? Abandon timeline, baby!
How about you, dear readers? How often do you like to re-roll a game back to its starting conditions when things are looking hairy? Do you have any hang-ups around the practice? Sound off on the forums!