No Man's Sky doesn't end when you hit the center of the galaxy

The massively ambitious No Man's Sky has always been about carving your own path through the online-connected galaxy, with no mission objectives to guide you. Even so, lead developer Sean Murray has been keen to mention that the game does have an ultimate goal: be the first to reach the center of the galaxy and discover the mysteries it holds. But as it turns out, that's not where No Man's Sky ends.

When players start No Man's Sky, they'll find themselves on the outer edge of the galaxy, and almost everyone will start on a different planet. As players explore uncharted systems and discover new planets, they'll happen across other actual players that are out to do the same. The first person to discover a planet and access its beacon can rename it, and that name will be what everyone who comes across the planet thereafter will see. Of course, this means there's an opportunity for devious minds to perform the linguistic equivalent of drawing a dick-and-balls on a bathroom stall. "There will be a filter [for keeping out bad words]," says Murray, "but the human race is very ingenious. They find a way, they'll always find a way to write the name of genitals."

Even while you're faffing about the galaxy, naming planets after your junk or fighting off waves of enemy ships, your ultimate goal will linger in the back of your mind as you embark on your "long journey" to the center of the galaxy. But once your make it, your trek isn't quite over yet. "When you get to the center, there are reasons why you'd keep playing," Murray describes. "It's kind of not the end of the journey, but I think for a lot of people it's where they'll put down the pad and almost say 'I completed No Man's Sky.'"

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David Roberts
David Roberts lives in Everett, WA with his wife and two kids. He once had to sell his full copy of EarthBound (complete with box and guide) to some dude in Austria for rent money. And no, he doesn't have an amiibo 'problem', thank you very much.