I was browsing the latest games at my local video game store the other day and it got me thinking – I can’t think of many big games I want for the remainder of 2016, and we’re only in March. Of course, Final Fantasy XV is supposedly coming out at some point and there’s the annual churning out of Call of Duty and FIFA (but mercifully not Assassins Creed) but aside from Uncharted 4 and maybe Doom if it’s any good there isn’t a whole lot on the horizon to get me excited.
Thankfully No Man’s Sky developers Hello Games have finally given a solid release date of June 24th, which has definitely solved that problem. This is a game I’ve followed closely since it was first announced at E3 in 2014, to the point where I watched a 90 minute performance by post-rock band 65daysofstatic with the game being played in the background. It’s procedural (random, effectively) generation system for everything from individual planets to the background music and sounds of life fascinate me from an exploration standpoint, as I like nothing more than kicking back with a relaxing game like American Truck Simulator or Stardew Valley and No Man’s Sky looks as though it’s right up my street in that regard, with danger and excitement available should the mood arise. Every planet will be explorable according to the developers, and with the randomness factor thrown in we’re set for a near infinite replay factor too – so this game is one to keep an eye on as we approach the release date.
Speaking of which, the release date of June 24th is an unusual one. Traditionally the summer months are somewhat of a barren period for largely hyped game releases, in fact I don’t know if this is true but I read somewhere that the last truly huge summer release was The Last of Us in 2013, ignoring the disaster that was Arkham Knight’s PC release last year. This could be considered a bold move if the aforementioned summer title wasn’t one of the biggest releases of 2013 and one of the most critically acclaimed games of all time, proving that as long as there’s a good game coming out it doesn’t matter when it’s released. So with that in mind lets just hope No Man’s Sky is not only good, but sticks to its release date. I’m all in favour of games getting delayed to work out bugs and all that – I’m looking at you Arkham Knight – but a blockbuster summer gaming release certainly won’t hurt sales, and the game had been in development for around four years already. It works well enough for the movies.