It’s been a few weeks since No Man’s Sky opened its universe to the gaming community, encouraging players to explore quintillions of planets and build a name for themselves somewhere in the stars. But the game’s been met with very mixed receptions: players expressed frustration with the numerous performance issues and missing features showcased in previous demos for the game during trade shows. There’s a lot of work still to be done, basically.
The team at Hello Games has been working to fix many of the performance issues and glitches players have been experiencing for the past few weeks — releasing three patches on both PS4 and PC — but they’ve also began to hint at additional features coming to the game in the future. So we’ve compiled a few of the things we’d like to see them add into the game across the next couple months.
The Ability to Fly Freely
While flying across a planet’s surface in No Man’s Sky, you’ve probably noticed that the game keeps your ship above a certain altitude regardless of how far forward you push the stick. This safeguard keeps players from crashing into the ground below, but at the cost of navigating the surface of a planet as you see fit. You aren’t able to fly through the various canyons and mountains many of the game’s planets offer, and that’s a damn shame.
I’m not suggesting that they remove this feature completely, but rather introduce a new option in-game that allows players to turn this safety net off in order to navigate the surface of the planet — provided they are a skilled pilot. This would allow us to fly our ships through tight caverns, deep canyons, and various geographical landmarks on a planet’s surface in order to make some more memorable moments throughout the journey.
More Active NPCs
Many of the NPCs I encounter don’t seem to be terribly active lifeforms. Most of them typically remain in their seated or standing position for what seems like eternity instead of walking around the space they inhabit. The same rings true for the larger vessels I’ve encountered too, who jump in from hyperspace then sit there in front of me without moving an inch. This static rendition of life doesn’t do much for the atmosphere of the game, instead giving the impression that the player is the only one interacting with the world.
Regardless of the reason behind this, adding some movement and allowing NPCs to perform certain actions would go a long way towards making the universe of No Man’s Sky feel a little more engaging and alive. Even the slightest amount of progress would be lovely.
Building a Language Database
One of the most daunting and interesting tasks in No Man’s Sky is learning the various languages of the universe around you. Each of these languages is comprised of hundreds of words that are represented different based on the culture they embody. You’ll learn words from a few different languages during your travels thanks to monoliths, ruins, and other lifeforms; but you’ll never know how close you are to completely understanding a language.
By building a database for each language that would track the words you have learned, it wouldn’t be so difficult to fill your vocabulary with all of the hidden words scattered about the universe. Think of this addition as a checklist, one similar to the way planets are currently cataloged within the game. It would allow you to keep track of words you have learned, words you haven’t, or even just a flat percentage bar that would help track your progression to mastery.
Factions and Faction Alliances
When No Man’s Sky was shown leading up to release, Sean Murray discussed a faction system being in the game. This system was set to place various NPC factions throughout the entire game that had different motivations, goals, and practices that, as a player, you would be able to follow in order to develop an allegiance with that specific faction. These factions were also supposed to wage war on each other in solar systems around the universe, allowing you to take place in massive fleet-wide battles during your time within the game.
Now, it’s not exactly clear what happened to this. It’s entirely possible that it didn’t make it into the release version of No Man’s Sky or maybe it was brought back to the drawing board and reworked into something else. Hell, maybe we haven’t even found it yet. Regardless of its current state, the implementation of a well-designed faction system within the universe would help players develop a sense of connection and purpose that currently isn’t present within the game. A feature like this could also tie languages, lore, culture, and our current reputations into it as well in order to provide a sense of purpose to all of the basic, repetitive grinding we’ve been working at for the past few weeks.
Photos via Nicholas Bashore