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Many, many awards were given out to games at Spike VGX last night. However, the biggest winner of the night was a game that wasn't even nominated: No Man's Sky from Hello Games.
No Man's Sky was the standout announcement of the show. It wasn't a hard crown to earn. Most of the show's "reveals" were simply trailers from previously announced games. The actual announcements were limited to No Man's Sky, a next-gen version of Tomb Raider and the two Telltale Games. Telltales' new Borderlands and Game of Thrones projects look interesting but it's tough to get excited over the brief teasers.
The trailer for No Man's Sky wasn't long, either. It clocked in at just under two minutes but what a jaw-dropping two minutes they turned out to be. The player swam through a ocean teeming with sharks and fish and emerged on a beach lined with red trees and grasses. They walked along the coastline to a starfighter and flew up into the stars.
The seamless transition between underwater, terrestrial and space exploration is exciting enough. But here's the great part: this world wasn't tailor-made by Hello Games. It's procedurally generated. Every atom, fish, tree, and planet is created on the fly by the game.
“If you see the stars, those are real stars. They have their own planets around them, and you can go there,” Hello Games' Sean Murray said during VGX.
To recap: players explore a randomly generated planet complete with plants and animals. If they don't like it, they can hop into their spaceship and fly to a different planet. Also, there's multiplayer. And space battles. And sand worms. I'm reverting back to a bubbly eight-year-old just thinking about this game.
This trailer is so good that I'm glad Spike VGX was devoid of big announcements. If Rockstar had announced GTA 5 DLC or Bethesda had revealed Fallout 4, No Man's Sky wouldn't be getting the attention it so rightly deserves. Other studios gave Hello Games an open lane and they went in for the slam-dunk.
"We set out to make a game that challenges what it means to be next-gen, and what it means to be an indie title," Murray told IndieStatik. "It’s going to mess with people’s perceptions of Hello Games, and I have no idea how people will react. It’s different, and pretty much the furthest thing from what we’ve done before.”
It certainly is different than the stunt bike series we typically associated Hello Games with. But it looks amazing and next-gen and I want it. I want it now.