As much attention as PlayStation 4 exclusive No Man’s Sky has been generating inside the industry, there’s still an avalanche worth of facts we don’t know about the upcoming exploration game. With the long-delayed title’s updated August 9 release date looming so close, developer Hello Games has begun to drop little nuggets of information about No Man’s Sky, presumably to help the world’s one remaining undecided gamer make up his mind.
A popular topic among those waiting is customization. As in, what level of customization can we expect from No Man’s Sky? The answer to that question is, sadly, a variation on “pretty much none.”
It’s All About Variety
In No Man’s Sky, everything is procedurally generated (short of the long: random based on a series of ingredients). That’s been known for some time. That said, the extent to which this procedural generation rules the roost is maybe not as well understood. Let’s take space ships, for example.
There will be a really wide assortment of ships players can buy at space stations and trading posts. However, based on everything we’ve seen, you won’t be crafting your ship, or providing any truly unique touches. Don’t expect to pick a paint job — at least not on launch day. Players will simply be buying whichever vessel suits their needs (or whichever one they can afford) and heading out into space.
The same concept holds true for both the avatar of the player’s suit and the multi tool used to defend them, catalog new finds, and gather materials.
Of course, standing firmly behind its algorithm, Hello Games seems to be hoping that the randomness woven into the fabric of No Man’s Sky will help insure that players are not actively pining for the opportunity to decide the specifics.
Distinct Upgrades Over True Customization
The game’s sense of progression comes from the player’s ability to upgrade his means of exploring the galaxy. He starts off with a basic suit, a procedurally generated multi tool, and a ship that’s essentially just an ill-equipped puddle jumper. From there, his job is to either collect or pillage enough resources to outfit himself with better weapons, suits that can survive in harsher environments, and a ship capable of getting from star to star. It’s a relatively similar loop to Microsoft’s Minecraft
Though there hasn’t yet been confirmation, it would seem that as players unlock new upgrades for their suit and multi tool, their physical appearance will change. Eagle-eyed viewers, for example, may have noticed what looks like a souped-up multi tool around 34 seconds into of the recently released “Fight” Trailer.
We still don’t know the amount of variety that will be included in the complete range of upgrades for each of the major tools (ship, suit, and multi tool), but at the very least, different weapon functionalities for the multi tool have been confirmed, so even if players can’t specifically customize your look, they will be able to choose how to handle specific encounters by picking and choosing the myriad options available as they progress.
Go Find the One You Want
The go-to response to anyone who gets a little down about the inability to truly customize gear has been a calm reassurance that theyll be able to find some version of whatever it is they’re looking for. The argument is basically that, at it’s core, No Man’s Sky is a game of exploration. Creator Sean Murray has said on numerous occasions that what he wanted most from the title was to give players the sensation of touching down on an alien planet and exploring terrain never seen before by human eyes.
Painting a ship cherry red or tossing a night vision scope on a pistol doesn’t have shit to do with the thrill of being on the precipice of real (virtual) discovery. Hello Games put its energy into providing that unique sense of discovery to every single No Man’s Sky player on the planet. So, looks like we’ll just have to do without customizable facial hair.