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No Man's Sky team shows off refinements, promises to share a release date soon

Charlie Hall is Polygon’s tabletop editor. In 10-plus years as a journalist & photographer, he has covered simulation, strategy, and spacefaring games, as well as public policy.

No Man's Sky, the open-universe exploration game from developer Hello Games, made a cameo this year during Sony's E3 press conference. In a live gameplay demonstration led by creator Sean Murray we saw many refinements, but still no word of when his game will launch.

"We will announce the release date soon," Murray said, "I promise."

During his demonstration Murray boldly teleported far across the game's massive universe, passing by what seemed like thousands upon thousands of stars, to reach a tiny planet he had never visited before until that moment.

"Every one of these points of light is a sun," Murray said, "and every one of these suns has a solar system with planets orbiting around it. And those have life, ecology. Most of these place have never been visited. Many of them never will be."

Along the way, he passed through a battle between capital ships in orbit. You could clearly see enemy fighters launching from their carriers through multiple ports on the side.

"I could join in," Murray said, as he launched a volley of missiles at one faction. "I could take sides."

When Murray finally entered his target planet's atmosphere, amidst a shimmer of super-heated plasma, the game's HUD told him how much oxygen and other gasses were present. Already, he was gathering information about the planet that he hoped to upload at a beacon on the surface.

When he left his starship, Murray showed how resources were collected on the surface. With a hand-held mining laser he took aim and destroyed parts of a nearby rock outcropping, its pieces flying towards him to be collected.

"Every planet in every solar system is fully destructible."

You can see the whole presentation above, including Murray's brief trip underwater and a short firefight with the autonomous Sentinels that came to defend the planet from his interference.

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