Starfield will eclipse No Man’s Sky
Ever since early footage of Starfield’s gameplay was released a year ago, it has been likened to No Man’s Sky. It isn’t hard to see why. Both games feature exploring the vast reaches of the galaxy in your spaceship, collecting resources to craft items, and building outposts on uninhabited planets.
Outside of gameplay, the visuals and beats of the two games have been compared. Like in the first planet of No Man’s Sky, Starfield seems to have shown off a similar rocky planet, rich in minerals. Gameplay footage has been shown of a Starfield character using a laser tool attached to their wrist to cut and collect geological resources, much like how mining in No Man’s Sky works.
The interface of spaceship cockpits in both games seem near-identical as well.
With all these similarities, is it fair to answer the question or even pose the question- will Starfield be a No Man’s Sky clone?
Will Starfield be a No Man’s Sky clone?
Firstly, I would like to pose a few questions of my own, “Is Terraria a Minecraft clone? Is Halo a Doom clone? Is Assassin’s Creed a Metal Gear clone?”
In the case of Starfield and No Man’s Sky, when you derive inspiration from the rich history that is science fiction across all its videogames, movies, comic books, TV shows, and novels, there are bound to be similarities. There are tropes that have become synonymous with the genre.
The developers of No Man’s Sky are not the first ones to dream of exploring space or building life on a new planet nor are they the first to imagine mining foreign minerals with a laser or zipping through the air on a jet pack. Spaceships are essentially just airplanes so their designs and interfaces are bound to look and feel similar. You don’t need to reinvent the wheel.
Are there similarities between No Man’s Sky and early game footage of Starfield? Yes, absolutely, but only because they draw on the same contemporaries. It doesn’t matter if both games feature outpost building or resource gathering. It doesn’t matter if both games have similar looking spaceships because a Bethesda game is going to feel a lot different from a Hello Games project. Besides, No Man’s Sky is a survival game while Starfield is an RPG with survival elements.
Starfield will not be a clone of No Man’s Sky. In fact, Starfield will surpass No Man’s Sky.
Firstly, Starfield looks to have more interesting combat, allowing players to easily switch between weapons and providing engaging encounters. Now, No Man’s Sky is mainly about exploration since it’s a survival game as mentioned before. However, the little combat it does have is very easy, begging the question of why it was included in the first place. Starfield does not seem to be wasting an included feature of the game, instead having developed it in earnest effort.
As said previously, the visuals and graphics have been a point of contention due to their supposed similarity. However, the colors of No Man’s Sky are more saturated and stylized while the colors of Starfield’s worlds are more varied with some planets being more muted while the city of Atlantis is bright and brilliant. Something like visuals can be seen as subjective, and it’s completely reasonable to prefer something more stylized, however it is more interesting and immersive to have locations with varied looks rather than having the same color palette.
Exploration is the main crux of No Man’s Sky while it is only one facet of the Starfield experience and yet Starfield’s scale of 1,000 planets cannot be touched by No Man’s Sky. Now, quantity does not always mean quality, but Starfield’s universe has a better chance of offering more varied, enriching experiences due to its size with years of content for players to explore and interact with.
No Man’s Sky has a story, although simple and relatively unattached to the game itself. Starfield, on the other hand, will offer countless side missions and a main story to motivate the player throughout the game.
At the end of the day, players will be returning to Starfield more than No Man’s Sky. The games have similar elements due to their shared origins in the science fiction genre, but they are two different games, and yet Starfield looks to do the things that No Man’s Sky does even better.
Starfield will be released September 6, 2023.
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