Outer space, a world so vast. A world ripe for adventure, combat and exploration. The reaches of space have been a great setting for many video games. A lengthy list of games have tried to capture the essence of the universe and present it in a way players can fully grasp it’s beauty. However to properly showcase this vastness to the masses can be quite a daunting task. There are so many things that can be included in the depiction of space. You can have massive battles, explore tons of planets, find hidden treasures, and travel the universe to name a few. So many games have nearly perfected one of these ideas but only one at a time. What would make the perfect space game? I think a fusion of Destiny and the upcoming No Man’s Sky would create the best space exploration experience. Why is that, you ask? Let’s break it down.
In space there can be many stories and many ways to tell a good story. Even though Destiny’s story was a bit shallow I think the concept is sound. There is one city left on Earth. You are tasked with keeping the darkness at bay to keep the city alive. That is a good starting point. The enemy types in Destiny are also pretty detailed and fleshed out. So let’s take that concept and merge it with the openness and vast exploration of No Man’s Sky. In NMS you travel between thousands of planets in search of artifacts, and to research the universe. Add that openness and ability to travel far and wide to Destiny’s deep lore and you have yourself a rich experience. There would be no end to what you could find. Each planet could be crawling with aliens or ghostly empty hiding dark secrets.
Now from what we know of NMS, is that each planet is different and can hold its own secrets. However, I think to create an immersive experience with each planet, you could take Destiny’s “Patrol” option and really unleash it, and by unleash I mean give the user more freedom to explore the planet. Planets are huge, the patrol should be a lengthy endeavor that both rewards and mystifies the player. A planet can be huge. Fill it with undiscovered caves, alien fortresses, underground cities and ancient ruins that hold rare items, secret messages and so on. Each planet can hold its own mystery, and in order to convey it properly to players you need to make the search with each planet rich and meaningful. No planet needs to be useless. It can be scarce and empty but it needs to have a purpose.
This is where Destiny shines. Imagine playing Destiny with access to thousands of planets and solar systems. That would be out of this world. Destiny hit it on the head with gameplay, but falls short in replayability and offering the players a variety of content.. Let’s take that tight gameplay and release it to the universe. Instead having a few places to explore and shoot aliens, you have thousands to go to, each rich with its own lore. Instead of just a few alien races to encounter, you could explore the universe to find giant monsters, ancient creatures, and celestial beings.
Each planet could also be harder or easier than the next. In Destiny you have to be of certain level to even attempt raids, strikes and so on. Why not apply that to each planet you visit? This can give way to obtaining tons of gear, and really open the door for deep customization. Maybe one planet is mostly engulfed in water forcing you to go search for appropriate gear and items to properly explore that specific planet. Thus leading you finding more gear to better explore another planet. But it is not all about the gear.
In NMS, you work towards discovering new things about each planet. You find artifacts that you can then store and research. This goes towards uncovering what the planet has to offer. Let’s take that idea and fuse it with the plot of trying to sustain the last city and keep the human race alive. You would be tasked with finding certain objects, or killing specific enemies to further advance you in keeping the last city safe. This could lead to many types of gameplay styles. You could go in guns out, ready to forcibly take what you want, or you could approach the planet with tools and a strategy to carefully research what you needed. Each planet would be different, allowing players to change up gameplay techniques and working with what the planet gave you.
Another important part of the gameplay would be the ship combat. This is something NMS shows off in some of its trailers, and it looks like fun. In this fusion of a game, aliens are roaming the universe in search of planets to consume are always on your radar, leading to massive battles requiring you to properly equip your ship for combat. Opening more ways to customize your player and ship.
So now let us address the cosmetic side of this infused hunk of a game. For little things such as menu layout, graphical presentation, character model and gear, I think we should lean more towards Destiny. The game does a good job of giving you options to uniquely create your character and further customizing said character. And let’s be honest, the game does look good. But in terms of how the universe is generated NMS sky is the way to go. This procedurally generated universe is a big part of what makes this game what it needs to be. Big. And NMS seems to have created a way to do that effectively.
A game like this it needs to look sharp, and with a game of this nature you can really get creative. Each planet is different from the next so there is a lot of room to create new looks and environments. One planet could be covered in sand and another could be a lush jungle setting. Of course you would run into planets that would seem similar due to the large quantities of planets to visit. But maybe the planet seems the same on the outside but hidden deep within the core it hides a different secret.
Bringing It All Together
The point of all this is to create the perfect space game. I believe that Destiny and No Man’s Sky (still to be fully determined) are great games set in the universe beyond what we see. I believe by meshing these two games together, we could really create an experience that fully captivates what exploring space is all about: mystery, danger, discovery and research. Destiny does some things to near perfection and from what we have seen from NMS, the game also brings some things to the table. A combination of the two is something that would give birth to a vast and rich space gaming experience.
Jon Moore is the General Manager at The Game Bolt, and loves a good Oreo cookie. For more useless knowledge and nerdy shenanigans follow him on Twitter.