Quest for the Great Expanse

Spore’s space stage was the closest I’ve been to a fulfilling representation of space in a video game. Sometimes I still like to load the game up and pretend that there’s more to it than endless similar worlds and about 10 hours of gameplay (if you’re like me and chose military because it was the least boring).

For years now, gamers have been wanting an expansive universe to explore, colonize, terraform, and most likely subjugate. Something that has the customisability of Spore, has the expanse of that free universe-to-scale program that I cannot remember the name of (sorry, there was extensive googling), and is as heavily developed as Elite: Dangerous. And is, quite essentially, not boring.

No Man’s Sky is set to fit the agenda in that regard. If you’re not already familiar with the upcoming game, I’ll just stand aside and let you click that link and melt into a puddle of hype by your own free will. Otherwise, let’s continue. One of the main apprehensions surrounding this game is its ‘too good to be true’ factor, with everyone looking for the catch and wondering what about it is going to crash it down into the reality of being just another game. And in all honesty, I’m apprehensive too, though I’ve not been following the game’s development too much as I’m about 500% sure that if my laptop tries to run it, it’ll fart, fall over and die.

There are plenty of good space games out there, however. Space Engineers is a pretty cool and unique spaceship builder, focusing more on actual gameplay surrounding spaceship maintenance rather than chasing the myth of a never-ending astral playground. They recently added planets, too, which seems to be going good for them. Elite: Dangerous is, by my understanding, Euro Truck Simulator in space with the rare bit of non space-delivery-boy gameplay speckled through the cosmos. If you’re up for a bit of Minecraft in space, then Starmade might be for you… as a lefty, though, I personally couldn’t get to grips with a good control scheme. And, of course, there’s plenty of 4x strategy games if you’re up for some interplanetary conquering. The closest I get to strategy is turn-based RPG’s, myself, or maybe a bit of Civ 5 until I realise I’ve not bothered learning how to play and turning it off again.

I’ll probably get No Man’s Sky on PS4 someday… which will have to be preceded with getting a PS4 someday, and making time for it after I’ve decimated Ratchet and Clank. If there are any good space games you think I might be missing, let me know! Other than that, I’m going to go back to obsessively playing Stardew Valley, for that game is consuming any ability I may have to function as a human being away from my PC.


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