No Man's Sky

I just finished reading yet another article about No Man's Sky that has succeeded in hyping me up even more.

My anticipation for this game is at a level I can't quite equate to anything else I've ever wanted. Well, okay, maybe the original Fable, which excited teenage me when it was introduced as Project Ego and promised to literally be the game to surpass all other games forever and always, only to release and resemble the end of a T. S. Eliot poem in comparison to its hype.

Since its initial unveiling a couple years ago, No Man's Sky seems to have grown exponentially in ambition and scope. The game they describe now seems impossible. Endless sweeping vistas. Fully-explorable worlds that are as vast and immense as those in our own universe. A limitless universe filled with more habitable planets than could ever be explored by our lifetime. At this point, it resembles some dramatic experiment with supercomputer processing, rather than entertainment for the average consumer, wrought from the power of a single video game console.

This is the type of game that makes me excited to be a gamer. This is the type of game that makes me wary about ever getting excited about anything. The lofty expectations that Hello Games continue to set for themselves resemble the outlandish claims that Peter Molyneux has been known for. I am at the same time feverishly consuming every little morsel of information about this title, and dreading its impending release because I know it can only bring me disappointment. I am (unsuccessfully) doing my best to temper my expectations, lest I become truly jaded and cynical of the industry that provides me my favorite pastime.

Right now, No Man's Sky stands as a testament that there are still games out there that can stoke my imagination like they did when I was a child. As I've gotten older, most games have revealed themselves as obvious systems with a beautiful candy coating. As well designed as some of these systems may be, they are merely bits of software and the suspension of disbelief is damn near impossible, even with the pinnacles of the industry. That Hello Games can manage to make me feel that childlike wonder leading up to a launch is wonderful. Yet, I can't help but worry that its eventual landing in my home will leave me whimpering in the dark, because I expected the Big Bang, but got an experience that instead relied on the ambitious fable concocted during its development.