The most-hyped and anticipated game of 2016, No Man’s Sky, is launching on the PlayStation 4 on Aug. 9 and PC on Aug. 12. Built by a small team at developer Hello Games, No Man’s Sky is a game of space exploration, survival, trade and combat. In some ways, it’s a space version of Minecraft with less building and more exploration. It’s electrified the gaming community like new games rarely do, simply because of the sheer sense of wonder evident in the trailers. And because of the unique nature of the game, No Man’s Sky is the rare game worth buying right on day one—even though the reviews aren’t out yet.
Why You Should Buy No Man’s Sky On Day One
No Man’s Sky is an unusual game. The fundamental focus of No Man’s Sky is on exploration of a galaxy that is generated entirely by algorithm—every planet and moon, every plant and animal, is created on the fly according to the game’s code. That technique, also used in Minecraft and other modern survival games, allows for a universe of unimaginable vastness (it has eighteen quintillion unique planets). And the algorithms allow for strange, unusual creations and features that the game’s developers didn’t even foresee.
Much of the joy of No Man’s Sky will come from discovery—from landing your starship on a planet when you know next to nothing to find out the game’s secrets and mechanics for yourself. Going into No Man’s Sky blind, knowing little about it, is the only way to preserve the sense of wonder the game tries so hard to evoke. The game has a narrative, but it’s hard to spoil directly. But the mystery of the game, the sense that anything could be out there, won’t last as millions of players discover its secrets. You have to get in early to experience that great initial joy of exploration.
There’s a more practical reason to buy No Man’s Sky on day one as well: the initial land grab. Players can name every planet and solar system in No Man’s Sky. You don’t have to worry about running out of planets to name. Eighteen quintillion planets averages out to around two and a half billion planets per person on Earth. The land grab isn’t for actual land, but for names. Think of it like registering an email or website address: Most of the good names are already taken. Do you want to get stuck adding a bunch of numbers to the name of a planet named after yourself? Of course not! And the only way to avoid that is by buying the game right on day one.
If you’re interested in No Man’s Sky, it’s worth picking it up on the game’s release date on Aug. 9 for PS4 and Aug. 12 for PC. Reviews aren’t out yet, but early previews—even before the game’s huge day one update, which adds lots of new features—are very promising. But really, it comes down to this: Do you want a planet named after you or not?