No Man’s Sky, VR and PSVR. Players’ experience.

I’ve spent some time with No Man’s Sky VR (on Vive), and I can pick three things that I’ve loved about this game. First, and which has left the strongest impression on me, is the sheer thrill of space travel, writes Colin Campbell.

I don’t mean the floaty, intergalactic kind of virtual star-tourism. What I liked is the unusual but pleasant feeling of being on an alien planet and steering a one-person spaceship. In the VR version of this space-exploration game, when you’re accelerating on high altitude, the speed is also high – this is what I really enjoyed.

The neat perspective of a receding planetary surface is also amazing, and how you just break through the membrane of atmospheric gunk, into the open space and see all new planets you can discover. Seeing all those fantastical places that I could never expect to attain in real life is a wonderful experience I can get with VR.

Another one thing I like about this game is a bore, a tool used for boring holes in the ground. There are the other tools of course, you know No Man’s sky is about exploring things in the surface, but that one is my favorite. I don’t know how, but blasting holes and tunnels in the ground feels more exciting in VR. I feel like spending more time just tunnelling, creating underground spaces.

And there’s also a technical point, the final one. No Man’s Sky is pretty complicated, It’s been through years of iterations and tweaks. It has plethora of tools and its range of activities, which is problem for most VR games, but this one literally doesn’t have a poor choice.

First I had a problem figuring out, how controls work, but actually it simple to use, they are not intuitive, exactly, but in the context of VR, they seem to work.

No Man’s Sky is a game that requires long hours of playing, and you need to feel comfortable, while devoting your time to it. I really want to know, how many hours I will last, when it comes out this summer, as part of the game’s Beyond update.

And what about Mike McWhertor’s experience, who’s been playing the PSVR version.

That was a whole different kind of trip, writes Mike McWhertor.

I can say Hello Games made a huge jump to VR. Teleporting my spaceman to anywhere, pulling a gun from my shoulder holster, shooting, digging and gathering resources for my trek, well, it is a weird, dealing with a holographic pop-up display on the digital gloves that are actually my hands in the game. But it works perfectly and gameplay’s dragging.

Sean Murray, the developer, showed me how to teleport, how to interact with objects like healing stations and characters: by reaching out with my left hand Move controller, “gripping” by pressing the rear trigger button, and pulling on an invisible cord. I enjoyed the process, really, it’s smooth.

I didn’t feel good launching my spaceship toward the stars though. I gripped the flight control stick with my right hand, pushed forward on the throttle with my left, and rocketed off the planet. I felt my stomach’s sinking for a moment. Murray instructed me to look right and left, and I saw the planet is pulling away, few more seconds and I’m in space, wow.

More for gamers.

Hello Games can also offer alternate control schemes. They don’t need Move controllers, and players will be able to freely move around space with a DualShock 4. They should use No Man’s Sky’s VR mode as an excuse to return there. Experiencing it in virtual reality was refreshing, edging us closer to the grand promise of No Man’s Sky that Hello Games continues to deliver on in free updates.

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