I vaguely remembered hearing about No Man’s Sky in 2016, but at the time I was constantly/contentedly playing Terraria. In a lot of ways, I’m glad I waited until 2020 to try No Man’s Sky (abbreviated “NMS”) since it’s initial release was so fraught. But now I’m hooked, and NMS reminds me of Terraria in a lot of ways, most specifically in the open-world terraforming. Nothing like being able to tunnel your way out, instead of being restricted to a specific path. Other similarities:

  1. Crafting via gathering resources and recipes, constrained by inventory capacity. This is the addicting “trying for just one more milestone” allure.
  2. freedom to ignore plot/missions –though NMS requires more effort to achieve “minimum functionality” than Terraria
  3. a retro aesthetic: fun/pretty “scenery” aka camera-mode/screenshots are a wallpaper-generator
  4. glossing over twitchy combat in favor of preparing upgrades

Ways in which NMS differs from Terraria:

  1. The technology tree is much more strict in NMS, sometimes requiring seemingly-unrelated mission objectives before you can access certain recipes.
  2. There is a lore-based plot in NMS, manifested in several ways including both flavor-text, as well as “missions” you can pursue.
  3. NMS is not as convenient to save-on-exit as Terraria
  4. Instead of Terraria’s loading-screen progress-indicators, NMS offers zoom-scrolling star field in-game animations when traveling between worlds.

I’m not the only one to compare NMS with Terraria: Top 5 builder survival games that are not Minecraft

Dare I try No Man’s Sky in VR mode? Or would it be even more difficult to resist the time-sink?