If, like me, you’re already a fan of the forthcoming No Man’s Sky from Hello Games, Christmas came early this weekend, with a new trailer landing at The Game Awards on Friday night. Featuring actual in-game footage, and several bajillion layers of awesome, it all looks as good as we’d expect it to.
Anyway, here’s the footage, in all its superlative, mesmerising glory:
Pretty freaking cool, no!?
But wait, there’s more…..
Quite a few years ago now, a friend of mine (who, it has to be said, was always much, much cooler than me, at least until he became a Geography teacher….) took me to see his mate’s band. As soon as they started their set, it became apparent that they were pretty original.
Dramatic soundscapes, infused with twisting, esoteric melodies crept across the room, which itself seemed to be suddenly crammed with huge chunks of sound, thick enough to take up actual, physical space. Tilting my head slightly to the side seemed to enable to me to pick up on a subtle rhythm that I’d missed with my ears only centimetres away, and I tried to pick up on as many of these variations as I possibly could without, you know, looking like a freak and that.
The band, as you may have guessed from my not-so-random digression into wannabe music critic mode, were called 65daysofstatic, and they’ve gone on to become pretty successful, and (here’s where things get reeeeeeaaaallly exciting), they’ve also been tasked with creating music for No Man’s Sky. Now, if ever there was a match made in heaven, it’s this (how d’ya like them apples, eh, Brangelina!?). Indeed, Sean Murray has consistently said that No Man’s Sky is inspired, and heavily influenced, by proper, old-school Science Fiction, particularly the sense of wonder, discovery, and originality that is inherent within it, and the music of 65days… is positively replete with these precise themes.
Similarly, No Man’s Sky has, to use the technical term, shiiiiit-loads of math-type-stuff underpinning many aspects of it, and 65days… are leading proponents of what’s known as “mathrock” (which, honestly, is totally a thing). Characterised by complex rhythms, beats, and driven by experimentation, exploration, and a willingness to disregard commonly accepted conventions, “mathrock”, I think you’ll agree, is a pretty good fit for No Man’s Sky.
And, on a more general note, what this means for us is that Hello Games are really thinking about every facet of the No Man’s Sky experience. Music and soundtracks can be easily overlooked, but are a crucial part of the gameplay experience, adding to and augmenting the gameplay in a myriad of complex and subtle ways. And if it is complex and subtle you’re aiming for, 65daysofstatic are, musically speaking, a diamond bullet smack bang in the middle of the bulls-eye!
And finally, if all of that wasn’t enough to make you giddier than a kid on Christmas morning, perhaps the best news of all is that it’s looking very much like No Man’s Sky will be landing next year.
As in 2015.
As in the calendar year that begins next month.
As in…. well, anyway, you get the picture: there’s a huge chance that by this time next year, we will already be boldly going places, checking out strange new worlds, and generally immersing ourselves in what promises to be the most immersive, impressive universe gaming has ever produced.
Of course, the flip-side of that is that you’ve only got a few short months to wrap up your bizniss, and say your farewells to the (overly boring) real world, but hey, nobody said exploring a near-infinite universe was going to be easy, right!?
What they are saying, though (and when I say “they”, I mean “me”, obviously) is that it’s going to be freaking spectacular, will almost certainly change games and gaming forever, and that you’d be a fool not to be really, really excited about it!!