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Video games...what ya playing? And what are you looking forward to?

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4 hours ago, shady inc said:

I'm looking forward to Battlefield 1. I think the first trailer is released today

Fixed the name for you.  And it looks like it's gonna be set in WW1 in an alternate timeline.

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6 hours ago, SlaX said:

Fixed the name for you.  And it looks like it's gonna be set in WW1 in an alternate timeline.

Why do you say alternate timeline?  I haven't seen anything, just curious. 

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54 minutes ago, bigmarc27 said:

Why do you say alternate timeline?  I haven't seen anything, just curious. 

That's what the rumors called it this morning.  I assumed they went with "alternate timeline" so that they can use weapons and vehicles that aren't historically accurate.   But Dice stated at the conference that's it's a realistic version of World War I.

Edited by SlaX

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51 minutes ago, SlaX said:

That's what the rumors called it this morning.  I assumed they went with "alternate timeline" so that they can use weapons and vehicles that aren't historically accurate.   But Dice stated at the conference that's it's a realistic version of World War I.

Good

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On 5/3/2016 at 8:48 PM, Chaka said:

Been on an Assassin's Creed kick lately.  Started a run of ACIII after I got back from Boston in March and finished up ACIV last week.  Just started up ACII this morning and will certainly play through Brotherhood & Revelations.  They have flaws but I really love the depth of the story telling and the quality of the voice acting.

My rig can't handle Unity or Syndicate, I'm okay with that I never buy PC games until they go on sale anyway and by the time I get a new rig those should be available on sale pretty regularly.

The only one I have never played is the original.  I know the mechanics will be wonky by comparison particularly compared to III & IV but I can live with that so long as the story telling holds up.  Anyone have an opinion on the story for the original AC?

Syndicate is IMO the best story since ACII.

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Really enjoying the hell out of Far Cry Primal, HUGE map and ridiculous amounts of fun taming Sabre Tooths and riding Mammoths.

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On 5/5/2016 at 8:55 AM, Andy Dufresne said:

Anyone end up playing Quantum Break? I bought it but never opened it and now I'm thinking I'll return it and get Uncharted 4 next week instead.

I liked Quantum Break. Its got a lot of cutscenes, and a complex and fun, but ultimately crazy plot. I'd give it a B or B+ or so, unless you really hate cutscenes. 

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After watching the battlefield 1 trailer again there appears to be a dude in knights armor and the oversized dudes with the Judge Dredd bully clubs are out of place. 

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Intended to get a lot done this weekend and then made the fatal mistake of firing up CIV5 (Huge World, Marathon time) Saturday morning.    By Sunday night it was the dawn of the twentieth century and I was fighting tooth and nail for world dominance with Holland and Persia...   Oops.

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What's coming out for PS4 in the next month or so?  Looks like I'll be spending the summer without my PC so it's console gaming only.

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19 minutes ago, Drifter said:

What's coming out for PS4 in the next month or so?  Looks like I'll be spending the summer without my PC so it's console gaming only.

uncharted?

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Started the Witcher 2 before diving into the Witcher 3.  I know people have strong feelings for and against W2, but so far so good only a couple of hours in. It is definitely clunky, but it's interesting enough to keep going at this point. If it gets to be a bore, I'll just move onto 3. 

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2 hours ago, Drifter said:

What's coming out for PS4 in the next month or so?  Looks like I'll be spending the summer without my PC so it's console gaming only.

Overwatch and No Man's Sky are the two I'm looking forward to right now.

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Playing, Uncharted 4, Far Cry Primal, MLB The Show 16

All three games are exceptional.

And I plunged and picked up Doom after watching some videos....the single player campaign looks like epic, old school mayhem. The games gore, gun-play and music is insane fun. The whole Amazon Prime 20% thing has me picking up too many new games LOL. If you love classic old school FPS (and loved Wolfenstein New Order and Old Blood) this is a must buy.

 

Also looking forward to No Mans Sky big time. Release day purchase indeed (with the ship upgrades to boot).

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Started up Ori and the Blind Forest tonight out of boredom.  What a beautiful game.  Essentially it's a Super Metroid Clone (or Metroid Vania if you like) gameplay wise which I think I remember someone in this thread comparing it to.  The story is very fantasy based though with spirit trees and what not.  No idea whats going on but I'm enjoying traversing a 2d map in a 3d rendered environment searching for new skills and unlocking others.  Surprisingly good game.  

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50 minutes ago, Insein said:

Started up Ori and the Blind Forest tonight out of boredom.  What a beautiful game.  Essentially it's a Super Metroid Clone (or Metroid Vania if you like) gameplay wise which I think I remember someone in this thread comparing it to.  The story is very fantasy based though with spirit trees and what not.  No idea whats going on but I'm enjoying traversing a 2d map in a 3d rendered environment searching for new skills and unlocking others.  Surprisingly good game.  

It's gotta be one of the prettiest games I've ever played. And man does it get challenging as you go on. It's hard as hell at times, but it never feels unfair, at least to the point I'm at. I really need to get back to it at some point.

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7 hours ago, Frank Drebin said:

It's gotta be one of the prettiest games I've ever played. And man does it get challenging as you go on. It's hard as hell at times, but it never feels unfair, at least to the point I'm at. I really need to get back to it at some point.

One of my favorite games from last year (or was it 2014?) and it is definitely beautiful with a touching story but at times it did feel a little unfair.  That feeling of frustration where you want to throw your controller at the screen type of unfair.  But it's totally worth it and I will absolutely be playing it again.

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18 minutes ago, Buddy Ball 2K3 said:

Anyone playing DOOM and have some thoughts?

And Homefront2 

 

K thx

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31 minutes ago, Buddy Ball 2K3 said:

Anyone playing DOOM and have some thoughts?

Only been playing the single player but it's amazing so far. Really large areas with tons of monsters like in the original. Much better than Doom 3. Player reviews all over the Internet have been very favorable. 

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1 minute ago, Scoresman said:

Only been playing the single player but it's amazing so far. Really large areas with tons of monsters like in the original. Much better than Doom 3. Player reviews all over the Internet have been very favorable. 

I read somewhere that it had more of a "Halo" feel than a classic Doom feel. Agree?

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No I would say more like the original Doom. It is fantastic IMO as well. The soundtrack really rev's you up as well. The gore is amazing. Weapons are great....huge maps. Great game.

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Is there going to be a racing game like Gran Turismo or at least a Forza quality game for PS4 coming out and have you guys heard of a timetable for that if it's going to happen?

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4 minutes ago, RC94 said:

Is there going to be a racing game like Gran Turismo or at least a Forza quality game for PS4 coming out and have you guys heard of a timetable for that if it's going to happen?

I hope so.  That's the onlu thing I'm missing and almost wanting to get an XBOX

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1 hour ago, Buddy Ball 2K3 said:

I read somewhere that it had more of a "Halo" feel than a classic Doom feel. Agree?

I've never played Halo.  So far it has all the original good stuff from the original doom like gore, and making you feel like a total badass, but none of the bad stuff like endlessly searching for hidden keys.  Also this is the first FPS i've played in years where you didn't need to reload.  It's pretty awesome.  

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Hey video games guys, check out my screen shots of Uncharted 4 using the photo editor:

http://imgur.com/a/nEpKo

I particularly like:

http://i.imgur.com/ZovRKf4.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/jfKF9KV.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/yW4Iy83.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/CPhxg8w.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/mE516Q1.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/9Mof0ps.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/WQQrc9w.jpg

 

If I play another time through I'm going to focus on explosions and fire fights and stuff.

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2 minutes ago, cockroach said:

Hey video games guys, check out my screen shots of Uncharted 4 using the photo editor:

http://imgur.com/a/nEpKo

I particularly like:

http://i.imgur.com/ZovRKf4.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/jfKF9KV.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/yW4Iy83.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/CPhxg8w.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/mE516Q1.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/9Mof0ps.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/WQQrc9w.jpg

 

If I play another time through I'm going to focus on explosions and fire fights and stuff.

You getting Overwatch?

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1 minute ago, Kanil said:

You getting Overwatch?

I played the #### out of, and enjoyed the Beta, but still on the fence.  I MUCH prefer 3rd person over 1st person shooters.

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1 minute ago, cockroach said:

I played the #### out of, and enjoyed the Beta, but still on the fence.  I MUCH prefer 3rd person over 1st person shooters.

The wife and I are going to play it but I'd like to get a few more in on it too.  Don't want to be stuck with randos all the time.

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1 minute ago, Kanil said:

The wife and I are going to play it but I'd like to get a few more in on it too.  Don't want to be stuck with randos all the time.

You guys over The Divison?  New content next week but the controls are so opposite of Uncharted that I'm pretty turned off to it right now.   Chances are I get Overwatch.  But for like $35 in a week or two when someone gets bored of it on ebay or CL. 

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6 minutes ago, cockroach said:

You guys over The Divison?  New content next week but the controls are so opposite of Uncharted that I'm pretty turned off to it right now.   Chances are I get Overwatch.  But for like $35 in a week or two when someone gets bored of it on ebay or CL. 

I've been gone for two weeks for work and just got back.  I'll be on Division tonight most likely.  I still have not done the strike or whatever it's called.  If you're on, want to run that?

As for Overwatch, I need to make sure we can get both accounts to play it with one purchase before we buy it but then I'll probably only play hardcore for a month until No Man's Sky comes out.  I'll spend a ton of time on that one.

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5 minutes ago, Kanil said:

I've been gone for two weeks for work and just got back.  I'll be on Division tonight most likely.  I still have not done the strike or whatever it's called.  If you're on, want to run that?

As for Overwatch, I need to make sure we can get both accounts to play it with one purchase before we buy it but then I'll probably only play hardcore for a month until No Man's Sky comes out.  I'll spend a ton of time on that one.

I'm not sold on No Man's Sky yet.  It looks kind of cool, but I need to hear more specifics about the gameplay.  It's all been kind of vague from what I've read/seen.

And I'm willing to help with the Incursion if I'm on, but I've been playing Uncharted so much I'm likely to vault an obstacle when I mean to take cover.

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18 minutes ago, cockroach said:

I'm not sold on No Man's Sky yet.  It looks kind of cool, but I need to hear more specifics about the gameplay.  It's all been kind of vague from what I've read/seen.

And I'm willing to help with the Incursion if I'm on, but I've been playing Uncharted so much I'm likely to vault an obstacle when I mean to take cover.

Don't feel obligated if you'd rather play Uncharted.  As for No Man's Sky, I could see it being a let down.  I'm really hoping it's not a game that I play for a couple weeks and then feel like I've done everything.

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I pre-ordered No Man's Sky.  The concept is cool, and it's been awhile since I was immersed in a space odyssey so I'm taking the plunge.

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No Man's Sky Q&A (Long)

 

Alright, so you’ve described the game as a Science Fiction game, I gathered that much from seeing it, can you tell me anything about the gameplay?

To break down the gameplay, I’ll be breaking things into three categories so this information is easier to keep track of. These categories are essentially “classes”, if you will; Fighter (Combat), Trader (Mining, Crafting & Trading) and Explorer (Discovery). Though it should be noted, there are no skill trees, class skills, etc. you can do as little or as much as you want in any particular field – and it’s likely you’ll do everything in equal distribution.

So tell me about the combat then. In the trailers I watched I’ve seen little more than a gun, is your spaceship even equipped with lasers?

The universe is dangerous, and you’ll be getting into combat situations a lot more than any trailer would let on. Any unknown quantity could be an ever present danger. How do you defend yourself?

Weapons. Your weapon, or weapons, are known as “Multitools” – this tool does everything from mining, to scanning life, to being your sidearm. You can fire off lasers, launch energy grenades and a multitude of other things which are being kept hush-hush.

Your spaceship is also equipped with weapons, and these will be different depending on your ship class. Traders specialise in heavy-weaponry for instance. Using lasers you can disperse enemy energy shields, or tear through enemy armour with heavy weapons.

So what will I be protecting myself from, or what will I be killing?

You’ll be defending yourself from all manner of hostile life - animals, aliens, enemy ships and Sentinels. Across any number of planets you may be being stalked by a vicious predator, you may walk uninvited into an alien’s residence or find yourself attacked by pirates out to steal your cargo.

However, No Man’s Sky is a game that lets you play how you want to play – you could be an aggressor, you could be peaceful, and this could lead you up different paths. You may choose to kill an animal to save your hide, or perhaps you’ll take pity and fire off a stray bullet in the hopes of scaring it whilst you run for cover. You may choose to instead interact with an alien you find and talk to it, rather than instigating a fight. You may choose to cloak your ship when presented with pirates, and warp from the star system leaving them in your dust, instead of unleashing your arsenal on them.

The choice is entirely up to you.

I can’t help but notice you didn’t mention “Sentinels”, whatever those are – care to expand?

Sentinels are the robotic protectors of the universe, their mission is to uphold the prime directive; don’t interfere. They’re self-replicating and ruthless, they’re very eager to do their job.

You’ll find these Sentinels across the universe, on some planets they may be scarce, others will have a large force of Sentinels and others will be empty. Responses from the Sentinels for your transgressions will vary planet to planet, so be careful how you tread.

Sentinels will be drawn to you when you break the delicate balance of life, as you destroy the environments of a planet, either through wanton destruction, mining for resources or killing the local fauna, Sentinels will be alerted. Your first “wanted star” will bring about a response from Sentinel Drones, these drones are the first line of attack, and they can gather in their swarms as your wanted level rises. Sentinel Walkers are up next, these giant two-legged robots are likely to quickly dispatch any unprepared troublemaker. Other known types of Sentinels walk on 4-legs, and appear to walk as organised units, we’re not fully aware of the capabilities, or even all the types of Sentinels.

They’re also in space – there’s no escaping from the long arm of the law. Sentinel Interceptors are there to punish your spatial transgressions, attacking harmless ships, or attacking the star systems Space Station will bring about a response from Sentinel Interceptors.

It’s worthwhile to note though that Sentinels distinguish between self-defence and a true act of violence, this can allow you to avoid run-ins with the Sentinels whilst still protecting yourself.

Something big about this game is “Procedural Generation” from what I hear, so why do we know so much about Sentinels?

Sentinels are a fixed factor, they’re the same throughout the universe. This is because they have a lore woven into the story behind No Man’s Sky – it’s up to us to find out what these Sentinels are all about. It also helps to have a familiar enemy, one you can strategise against and learn how to fight – a self-replicating army of robots is bad enough, a self-replicating army of robots which are always different is like something out of an apocalypse film!

So, as a player who wants to focus on combat, I would be upgrading my weapon components, gathering new weapons, upgrading my ship and upgrading its weapons, to instigate fights with, or defend myself from animals, aliens, ships and Sentinels. How do I upgrade my weapons, how do you make money by playing a gun-toting space cowboy?

You would be upgrading your weapons by finding blueprints, you can find these on planets, whether that be in ruins, caves, underwater, behind the refrigerator... Just keep an eye out!

You can purchase them at trade stations, space stations, alien races which you’ve aligned with may gift you blueprints, or ones which weren’t so lucky may have their blueprints taken from them by force.

Blueprints are what you use to learn crafting recipes essentially, these can lead you to better upgrades for your weapon, ship, suit, etc. and it’s important to gather a lot.

As for making money, if you’re going the route of a combatant, there’s no money to be had in killing animals – they yield you with no reward, only punishment. Unless that punishment is what you’re aiming for. Sentinels drop rare resources, and selling these could net you a pretty penny... Should you escape with your life.

Aligning yourself with military races, or more combat focused races, can net you cash as you complete missions for them – and it could also net you the support of these races as combat back-up.

Being a Good Samaritan and taking out pirate ships is also an option, destroying ships will cause them to drop their cargo – this applies in reverse, you could be a pirate and attack traders, just beware, these ships aren’t always defenceless. Their backs may be being covered by a huge freight ship, or even fleets of these ships, always be prepared.

You could always sit back and watch the chaos unfold, swooping in to scavenge loot from the battles of other ships. Just beware the pirates don’t turn on you.

It’s important to keep on top of the upgrades that are important for your survival in combat, slacking on your stopping power, or your armour, could cost you your life.

Cool, so there’s plenty of ways to make money just by being a space pirate, but you keep mentioning death, what happens when I die?

In No Man’s Sky when you die on the ground you’ll lose all the resources you were carrying, you won’t lose your weapon, suit, etc. but your spoils of war will be lost and you’ll respawn beside your ship. It’s important not to carry too much on your person, make regular trips back to your ship so you can unload cargo, and be sure to sell or use your valuable resources.

This is because in space the consequences of death are far more severe. When you die in space you’ll lose your ship, so not only is your cargo lost – so is your pride and joy. However, don’t be too disheartened, you’ll respawn at the star systems space station with the most basic of ships to get you going again.

You can tell when you’re flying a seasoned spaceship, because you’ll start to see rust, scratches, paint chipping – symbols of former victory, or close calls.

So tell me about trading resources then, what are the motions?

As someone in the business of trading resources, you’ll be looking to scan your environment on planets for resources using your multitool and seeking out rare resources. Everything around you is a resource, rocks, trees, etc. though you’re only likely to pick up basic resources from the plants you harvest, or rocks you dig into. You’ll be exploring, perhaps up mountains or in caves, on the lookout for the rarest resources the planet can offer.

It’s worth noting that all planets do not have the same resources, and the resources you can find on a planet will be determined by a number of factors. It could be based on the type of star the system has, how close or how far to the star the planet it, the environment on that planet, etc. and so some rare resources you may only find once in a blue moon – luckily, there’s lots of blue moons to be found out there.

Resources could potentially show up as points of interest which your scanner picks up, or they can be marked as grid-boxes upon rocky outcroppings for instance. Once you’ve come across a resource, you can mine it with your multitool, using a mining laser, or you could blast through the rock with explosive weapons.

Some resources will require a more powerful tool to be mined though, and some resources might require a more powerful tool to be able to detect them. Just like a Fighter would seek to upgrade their weapons stopping power to take out more powerful animals, or Sentinels, a Trader will have to upgrade their multitool to mine tougher rock.

Keep in mind though that rocks aren’t the only thing you’ll be mining, crystals and other natural growths could be resource-spots too.

Once you’ve grabbed your resources, it’s time to pack up and go, once you’ve fought off or evaded any encroaching Sentinels, and it’s off to the space station to sell your hard earned cache. Now it’s time to learn about the economy, the joy.

Pretty sure I’ve got this down-pat, you sell your items, you get money, you move on. Right?

Not quite, you trade your resources for money, that’s true, but there’s more to it than that. A resource that’s common in one system might be rare in another, a resource that’s rare in one system might be non-existent in another, and prices change to reflect that. That truckload of rare metal you’re hauling might be worth a few hundred units in the nearby space station, but it could be worth so much more in another system.

To make the most of your money and time, you’ll be planning trade routes, picking up resources in one system and selling them in another – this makes you more of a target for pirates, certainly, but you’ll have to weight risk against reward.

You’ll find that NPC ships also travel along trade routes, you could potentially be finding great mining spots and selling points by following alien traders.

There’s some ways you can tell whether an area is rich in a certain resource though, the star in the system you’re in could give you some hints as to the kind of resources you could find, or maybe a resource is more prevalent in a certain area of space, which you’ll notice is a more prominent colour than another area of space. This association of star-types, and areas of space will make it easier for you to guess where you’ll find the resources you’re looking for.

You keep mentioning NPCs and alien races, so I can assume I’ll be encountering alien races during my travels, what does this offer me?

NPCs, or alien races, are present both in space and on the ground, races have their own inclination if you will, be that military, scientific, etc. and depending on how you play the game, these races could be worthwhile allies, or enemies. A peaceful race may be predisposed to dislike you based on your heartless actions, or an aggressive military race might be keen on allying with you if you share similar goals.

Each type of race will offer something benefiting you, whether that be combat allies, new weapons, a trading alliance, etc. provided you build a strong relationship with them. You do this by interacting with the races through dialogue, how do you do this? You need to learn alien languages – though, you could always fumble your way through, guessing which tangle of letters is the right dialogue choice in the tree and hope you’ve not just called that alien’s mother a yellow-bellied space slug.

You can learn these languages through interactions with alien races, attempts at conversation could yield knowledge of new words which will then show up in English in your dialogue with the alien. You can also find alien monoliths, or other alien features throughout the universe which will teach you words, or snippets of alien language. Having knowledge of a few words before speaking to an alien race could mean the difference between being handed a shiny new gun, or having a shiny new gun pointed at your face.

You could always forgo pleasantries and just blow the doors to the alien’s homestead wide open and steal the blueprints or items they would’ve given you – just be prepared to make a fast escape after the Sentinels have been alerted. If you’ve got the resources and the blueprints, perhaps you’ll be able to craft a device you can use to hi-jack the alien’s ship – just to add insult to injury.

This is sounding a lot different to what I’ve seen in trailers, I thought this was just a game about exploration?

There’s plenty to be explored too, after all, that’s what they were hoping to capture. From familiar Earth-like scenery to mushroom forests, floating islands, crystalline canyons and more, there’s a variety of Science Fiction environments created through procedural generation to explore.

Procedural generation is something I’m worried about, how do you make every world interesting if it’s generated procedurally?

When people think of procedurally generation, the term “random” always comes to mind, however procedural generation follows procedures, or rules, hence the name.

An easy way to think about this is to imagine it like a game of football, you’ve got several players, you’ve got goals, you’ve got fans, the pitch, etc. and this is your stage. The players scoring goals, tackling other players, passing the ball, etc. are done so in line with the rules of the game, for instance, you can’t just pick the ball up with your hands, that’s against the rules. Each game of football however is not the same, you can score different numbers of goals, a certain number of passes will be made, certain players will not score, and the paths they take to the goal will be different each time.

Now, the football pitch is built in an area of the city where a lot of fans can reach, if it were outside the city however, you’d likely not see as many fans coming to the games. Relating this back to No Man’s Sky, in a star system the planets are placed procedurally – too close to the sun, it’s likely they’ll be hot, have certain resources, certain weather conditions, too far, they’ll be cold, have different resources, frozen water, etc. and in the habitable zone they’ll have life, rare resources, a nice temperature, etc.

The football pitch is your planet and in it you’ve got fans, each game you play, the fans will be sitting in different positions, there will be different people depending on the teams playing, etc. this is your terrain if you will, it could be mountainous, have large oceans, it could be craggy, flat, have large open plains, etc. they could be all different shapes, sizes, colours, have different resources, etc. just likes fans will be wearing different kits for different seasons.

The grass the players are playing on is the next layer, the biome of the planet, just like a pitch is dry when its sunny, wet when it’s rainy, etc. a planet can be of varying temperatures or conditions, and this influences the biome of the planet, is it lush, is it damp and swampy, are there rain forests, deserts, etc.

The players are your animals, each player has different skills, but they’ve been brought in because they work well with the team. Animals have an ecosystem, just like players operate as a team, animals correlate with each other, a prey animal on a swamp planet will perhaps have evolved webbed feet for swiftly swimming away from a predator, but to compliment that, the predator will have dappled fur to sneak up on its prey through the shrubbery. They won’t have features that don’t make sense – seeing a bright red animal in a dull green environment is like turning up to a football game wearing the hand-knit sweater your grandma made you for Christmas – it doesn’t make sense, and it’s against the rules.

The rules of the game dictate how the world works, things make sense, ecosystems are cohesive, and environments are structured as if hand designed, because they make sense within the rules crafted. These rule-sets can be as finely tuned as you please, meaning you can make it so there’s no random scattering of trees for instance, you can have trees grouped together in a forest, you can have plants grouped around the base of the trees, you can have rocks edged with taller grass, bare ground where there’s too much shade, less plants where there is less water, etc. and as you add in these rules you create environments that look more and more handcrafted.

That sounds nice, at least I know I won’t be walking around seeing odd things, but isn’t that a bit limiting, and also, that doesn’t really allay my doubts that everything isn’t just a few variations on a few biomes, or something like that, care to tell me more?

Think of it like this, we’ve got football pitches all over the world, and some are stadiums, some are just lines drawn on the ground, some are on concrete, there’s one at your local school in the playground, there’s football pitches everywhere from Amsterdam to Zimbabwe and whilst you’re playing the same game at each one, the fans are different, the pitch is different, the environment are different, the language is different, etc. No Man’s Sky can be just as varied in environments through procedural generation, there’s not “three planet types, and our system moves the trees around, etc.”, it’s not like a roguelike where the dungeons are all the same, but the order of the rooms is different. Everything is mold-able.

The same applies to the creatures, ships, plants, etc. the base models are just vague slates blobs with legs, or just a stem, but they can be fed into this system, interacting with each rule before they end up as an animal or plant in an environment that suits them.

To use creatures as an example, let’s say we’ve got a 4-legged blob and we’re looking to make him a large herbivore which will graze on trees in a hot environment.

This blob could be anything from a foot long, to hundreds of feet long, it doesn’t just have to have four legs, and it doesn’t even need to have the same proportions. As height changes, weight can change, the proportions the animal has can change, as this changes the animations can change, the bones can get bigger, thicker, and the voice can get deeper, etc. What is the environment like? What kind of creature is it? Where is it in the food chain? What will it prey on, what will prey on it? How will it interact with other creatures? As this blob is fed through the system you’re creating an animal that will make sense in the end, which even has behaviours, a male and female of the species, and variation among the species, for instance one might be a bit taller, have longer horns, etc.

Suddenly, you’ve gone from this little 4-legged blob to a huge towering dinosaur, grazing on the tops of trees, it’s huge, it walks slowly, crushing trees as it walks, it lets out a dull roar, in its mouth are teeth designed to chew leaves, small animals run in fear as the creature pays them no heed, it sees another member of its species ahead and it lets out a territorial call, while you the player cautiously approach. The same 4-legged blob however could be a little gazelle, grazing on the grass, springing along on hooves, it sees this huge dinosaur and it scampers off over a hill alongside its herd.

You know what they say about rules though – rules are made to be broken. By breaking certain rules, No Man’s Sky will make things more alien, or create unusual occurrences. As you journey closer to the centre of the galaxy, the game gets more unfamiliar and more difficult.

It won’t be uncommon to be left wondering just what the hell you’re looking at – there’s a lot of things that No Man’s Sky can produce that even the developers can’t conceive of, they’ve stated that they’re surprised every day by unusual occurrences.

They’ve also stated that things have been both toned down, and limited for the trailers and demos, in order to provide a cohesive and sensible trailer and demo with no interrupting factors. For instance, in some trailers predators don’t attack the player, this was made so that nice shots could be got of all creatures – without it, the original trailer would just be the shark you see in the beginning eating the player’s face off.

This should give some hope as to the variety we can experience.

Alright, that sounds neat, I’m not so worried any more about bumping into variations on the same thing. Sorry for interrupting earlier, can you tell me about exploring?

An explorer will be the kind of player who makes discoveries, they’ll be looking to catalogue star systems, planets, creatures, plants, landmarks, and plaster their name throughout the universe as the first to discover something.

Alright, so how does that differ from just scanning creatures as I go on a mining expedition, or just naming planets as I go, what makes an explorer any better than me?

It all comes back to how you upgrade your ship and tools, as well as what class of ship you choose to fly. Explorers seek to have powerful scanners and ludicrous warp-drives.

Everything is a trade-off, specialising in one thing means you’re not focusing on another, and a trader with a powerful mining tool, or a fighter with a fearsome laser won’t have the latest in high-tech scanning equipment.

What makes a scanner so important? A more powerful scanner can give you the ability to scan better things, find that you can’t scan a creature? Perhaps it’s too big for your scanner to recognise, perhaps your scanner won’t work in the dark, or underwater, etc.

Upgrading your scanning capabilities also provides you with a greater range, and greater scope of your environment, you’ll pick up on resources that a weaker scanner, or the untrained eye cannot see, and also at a greater distance. This will speed up your personal treasuring hunting.

Scanners also reveal “Points of Interest” on a planet, these could be resources, buildings, landmarks, etc. and traveling towards points of interest instead of traveling aimlessly can net you nice rewards and be a better use of your time. Want to mark your own points of interest? You can do so with your binoculars, point and mark.

Your ship also has a scanner, a powerful scanner on your ship can reveal points of interest across a whole planet, or out in space.

Explorer ships will have a powerful warp driving, allowing you to jump from system to system faster than any other, and further too. This will allow you to find planets with life on them faster for instance, for not every planet has life – it’s relatively rare at a ratio of 1:10, and some of the more off-the-hook planets teeming with life could be 1:100.

Scanning creatures and uploading them to the Atlas at beacons found in space stations and on planets however will net you money, and rare animals will net you even more – but try not to get too side-tracked, dying also means you’ll lose information you’ve not uploaded. This means you’ll have to go out and find those animals again.

Explorers will likely spend a whole lot of time getting lost, losing track of time, and what-not. You have a compass, but no map – after all, you’re exploring worlds unfamiliar to you. Points of interest, and points you’ve marked will show up on your compass, and you can use this to navigate. Remember the paths you take, otherwise you could be in trouble.

What makes being lost so dangerous?

Being caught out in a forest as the day turns to night, with no idea where your ship is and no idea which way you’ve came makes you a prime target to run into the jaws of a nocturnal predator – everything is more dangerous at night. Temperatures drop, you lose your ability to find your way, and you’re reliant on the light of your torch. Maybe it’s best to find a cave and settle in, wait out the night.

Then you realise, the planet is really hurtling through space, the space station, or other planets you saw in the sky are no longer visible from your side of the planet, you’ve lost your spatial bearings and you’re going to need to collect your things and plot a new course.

So, you’ve mentioned upgrades and what-not, is there a way to make things any easier for me, or will I always be out of my depth?

Crafting upgrades for your weapon is just the tip of the iceberg, your suit will have to be upgraded too. Searing heat, bitter cold, radioactive hellholes, all are survivable for a while, but you’ll need to upgrade your suit to protect yourself from not only enemies, but the elements.

You can sprint, jump, swim and fly about with your jetpack, but you’ll need to upgrade your suit to run faster, jump higher, dive deeper, fly further, etc. maybe these upgrades will make escaping enemies easier, or fighting enemies easier, give you access to new areas, or help you speed up your travels.

Crafting isn’t limited to upgrades however, there are tools you can create, we know of things like flashlights and hacking devices, but so far these tools have been unexplored. You can also combine resources, for use in crafting recipes or to sell them for greater amounts of money. Crafting the latest upgrades and tools you’ve found the blueprints for is how you stay ahead of the curve.

So how do I go about exploring space?

In space you’ve got three modes of transport, your normal drive, your jump-drive and your warp-drive. Your normal drive requires no fuel, and you and your ship will fly along at controllable speeds – fast, but not too fast.

Your jump drive is what you’ll use to cross large distances quickly, this requires fuel, but can take you from planet to planet within minutes if not seconds. You could always make these trips manually, but some distances within star systems could be dozens of minutes, if not hours potentially.

Finally, you’ve got warp-drive, this is what allows you to travel from solar system to solar system on the galactic map. Using your warp fuel you’ll warp to systems almost instantaneously, though, if you’re up for the challenge or want to be overly-frugal, you can point your ship in the direction of a star and engage your normal or jump drive – just be prepared to be slightly off course, and of course, take a ludicrously long time to reach the star.

Space is completely open, and you can fly between systems without warp-drive, this will allow you to come across things floating in the void of space, out with any star systems. We’ve not been told what is out there, only that there’s things there.

So all planets exist at the same time then? That must be an impossible to maintain server.

Not really, as it’s procedural, a planet or system only exists when you’re there, and the furthest things you can view are there only at the lowest level of detail. The stars you see are real stars, and the planets real planets, but they’re not taking up much space. If you can’t see anything at all, it’s not even generated.

Think of it like generating the world in Minecraft, as you walk, you generate more of the world – and things get pretty taxing after a while, because Minecraft is saving a lot of this information.

No Man’s Sky however throws this information in the trash when it’s not needed – the planet is simply regenerated from the same seed, if you will, when you return.

How does it handle your information? Anything you do is saved forever to your machine, that bird you killed, that terrain you destroyed, that blueprint you found, etc. but for everyone else, that planet is as untouched as the day you found it.

So how does the game handle two players being in the same area?

When you and another player are in the same area, unlikely as it is given the scale of a universe, with planets that can be the size of Earth or bigger, you’ll be placed in the same lobby – in this lobby data is shared. The terrain one player blows up is visible on the other players machine, and so on and so forth.

Sounds sweet, so my friend can see all the lewd things I’ve drawn in the sand? Nice.

Yes, but don’t expect much more than that. No Man’s Sky at its heart is a single player experience, it’s just set in a multiplayer universe. You can find your friends, but there’s no interaction to be had, no trading, no messaging system, etc. you can kill them if you’d like – but that wouldn’t accomplish much if you’re after a co-operative experience.

However, don’t give up hope – the developers at Hello Games have expressed interest in some basic multiplayer features, if enough people want it, and the game sells well enough to warrant continued development, we may see a co-operative multiplayer with a bit more depth. Another one of these wishes is ground vehicles, but currently, you’ll be scampering around on your own two legs.

You can be sure that if this is a hit, the developers will be continuing to support it, they’ve expressed this several times in interviews.

What is my overarching goal? Does the game have a narrative?

There’s no real narrative to No Man’s Sky, there’s a lore behind the universe, but otherwise you’re creating your own story. Fixed factors such as the Atlas, the Sentinels, etc. are all woven into a cohesive lore – but it’s up to you to connect the dots.

As for a goal, aside from setting personal goals your main objective is to reach the centre of the galaxy. Each player starts on the edge of the same galaxy, and makes their way towards the centre, should they please – as you reach the centre, the game gets more difficult, and things get more alien, this should create a natural tendency for players to move toward the centre as it gets more rewarding. Better resources, items, more challenge, etc.

We don’t know what is at the centre, and all we know is that it will give you some closure to the game, so you can say – “I’ve beat No Man’s Sky”, but there’s even more for you to do, and a whole universe to explore once we’re free of that first galaxy.

So, what is this game coming to?

This game is coming to PS4 & PC June 21st (US), and later in other regions, with the UK receiving the game last on June 24th. The PC minimum specifications are listed on the Steam store page, where you can also place pre-orders for the game.

There will be both digital and physical releases, and also collector’s editions, featuring things such as an art-book, a replica ship, and much more, depending on the version.

The hope is that the game will run at 60FPS on PS4, providing a smooth experience. There’s also some confirmation that come the release of the Playstation VR, this game will be compatible – Hello Games have never confirmed nor denied, but stores which have run pre-orders for Playstation VR have given a list of compatible games – with No Man’s Sky appearing on that list.

Take this with a grain of salt however, nothing about the PS4 version technical specifications or VR has been confirmed.

Where can I keep up to date with all the latest news?

The No Man’s Sky sub-reddit (r/NoMansSkyTheGame) is a good place to start, we’re all posting the latest articles, interviews and videos. We’ve also got a handy information repository in the side-bar.

Following gaming outlets such as Game Informer, or IGN is also a good way to keep up to date on No Man’s Sky, the big outlets always have a place for No Man’s Sky.

Following the official No Man’s Sky twitter, maintained by Sean Murray is a way to keep up with some of the big news, interviews he’s done, or new demos, or just for his No Man’s Sky related tweets such as, “I’ve just been told from our artists that blue skies are now bluer”.

The official website is infrequently updated, however, provides news regarding all the biggest events, and even some things which don’t make it into articles, such as the inspiration behind No Man’s Sky.

That’s all I have to say on “What you need to know”, but there’s more information that doesn’t really fit anywhere in this body of work. Which is why I’ve created “The No Man’s Sky B-Side”, for all the information, or questions, I can’t really tie into the above work.


That brings me to the end of my No Man’s Sky memoirs, 7’000 words or so later (including the B-Side), I hope you enjoyed the read, and that it gave you a real understanding of the game.

If someone has any suggested additions let me know. After all, I’m only human and there’s probably some No Man’s Sky information I’m missing floating about somewhere. However, keep in mind that this post is huge – I have no space. It would just be put in the B-Side comment that people could refer to.

I’m currently at work on a highly condensed version of this with images, but I have to focus on my university coursework first – this image-based version of “What do you do in No Man’s Sky?” will likely not be done until next month, though, it won’t have any different information than this – it’s purely for the sake of convenience.

Until the next time, safe travels explorers.

 

The No Man’s Sky B-Side – for all the questions that didn’t make the cut

So, those portals in the “Portals” trailer, what are they about?

The portals, which look like giant alien slabs of metal, with a swirling mist in the middle, take you on a journey across the galaxy. Stepping through a portal will take you, and only you, to a planet much closer to the centre of the galaxy.

How does this all work? Well, first off you need to unlock the portal – you do this by obtaining different weapon combinations, not much has been said on this topic, but if you have the correct weapons to unlock the portal, you’ll be able to travel through.

As you travel through you’ll be left without your ship, this means you can’t leave that planet, and therefore, this becomes a quest for rare resources found closer to the centre, rarer creatures worth more units, and so on.

As you know from earlier however, the game gets harder as you go towards the centre of the galaxy, and as such, you’re being thrust into a harsh environment whilst under-equipped to deal with what’s on the other side. This means you’ll likely want to get some rare resources, blueprints, etc. and then get out once you have them. These would provide a huge boon for you back in the region you were last in.

Why have I only seen Earth-like creatures and environments mostly?

That’s what Hello Games want to show, they’d like to keep more alien environments and suchlike a secret. The universe however isn’t populated with a load of Earth-like animals, as you near the centre of the galaxy, everything will become more alien, environments, creatures, and so on.

What’s with all of the colour in space, that’s unrealistic, what gives?

It’s a design choice made by Hello Games, to reflect the vision of space in classic science fiction, however, there are dark parts of space, more realistic parts, more modern science fiction – however, modern science fiction and realism isn’t their basis, it’s all about the classics, and what is fun and colourful.

Keeping track of where I’ve been though, that’s going to be tough, surely?

You can set waypoints, so you can’t really lose where you’ve been. Furthermore, your galactic map will hold all of the planets you’ve visited.

What about naming things?

If you’re the first to discover something, a planet, an animal, etc. you can name it at a beacon. To name a planet, you need to have made a couple of discoveries.

As for ships, the process is a little bit different. You don’t name your individual ship – rather the ship type. We don’t know what this entails, however, it can be assumed that you’re naming some arrangement of ship parts. For instance, if you name your ship “The Falcon” and it has a pointed nose, red paintjob, slim wings with wingtips, a big hyper-drive, and lasers, then other ships with a similar appearance, or the same components, may also have that name.

We’re going to have to see when we get our hands on the game however, all other naming is quite simple.

What about blueprints, are they one-time use?

Nope, once you’ve discovered something such as a piece of technology, or an upgrade you’ll be able to create it over and over again.

However, crafting resources together to create alloys and such to sell will require you to remember the combination you used – this isn’t as difficult as it sounds, supposedly.

How do I look at all of the stuff I’ve named?

You have an encyclopaedia of sorts which contains details of everything you’ve discovered. It’s your very own personal space-Pokedex. You’ll be able to see little animated models of all of the creatures you’ve discovered for instance.

What about fighting off those giant freight ships, with their bodyguards, it seems impossible, is it impossible?

It’s not impossible, but it’s ridiculously difficult. Sean has said, “You’ll never be large enough to take on a whole fleet by yourself”, however, I would assume myself that some skilled players would be able to take out a fleet by themselves – but the level of difficulty would be ludicrous.

So you’ve mentioned that planets are all one biome, can you expand on that?

Planets aren’t just blanketed with one environment, there will be small variation. For instance, a desert might have more shrubby areas, oases, bare rock, etc.

However, there will also be planets that are completely one biome, such as water-worlds, which are entirely covered in water.

Things seem pretty small, I’ve not seen big mountains, and from space, the planets look rather small, what’s the official word?

There are big terrain features, mountains, hills, deep oceans, etc. but we’ve not seen an awful lot of that in trailers. We’ve been told however that there are Earth-like sized mountains, canyons, oceans, etc.

As for planet sizes, fans have tried to estimate planet sizes, and have all returned wildly different results. From, “eh, could be planet sized” to, “this planet is shorter than my trip to the post office!”. Official word however is that “some planets are planet sized”, and “depending on the size of the planet you can walk for weeks and weeks”.

One reason for the discrepancy is that the level of detail shifts too dramatically to accurately reflect distance. Once the game releases, someone is going to touch down on a planet, set down a way point and walk the whole way round and tell us how long the trip was – and it’ll be a fascinating insight. The developers are also looking forward to this.

So, these developers, Hello Games, I’ve never heard of them, who are they? What have they done?

Hello Games are a small indie studio of less than 20 people, so far, they’ve made several games – all from the same series – Joe Danger. Joe Danger is a stunt motorcycle game, inspired by Evel Knievel. These games were a small success, and are available on multiple platforms.

Going from Joe Danger to No Man’s Sky though, what’s that all about? After making several installments of Joe Danger Sean essentially said to himself that he doesn’t want to keep making the same series forever, and that he was going to make his dream game – and that game, was No Man’s Sky – so he sat down, and started working on No Man’s Sky himself, eventually, the other three founding members got on board and they got down to business, everything you see in the first trailer was the result of four minds. Since then, the whole team has been working on it.

An indie studio making such a big game though, where do they get the technical-know-how and all the rest? Well, a majority of them have been in the industry for years, Sean worked at Criterion and worked on Burnout, just to give one example.

You’ve not told me anything about sound design or music, what are they doing for the soundtrack?

The soundtrack, believe it or not, is also procedural. It is being made by 65 Days of Static and Paul Weir, the audio director at Hello Games.

Their procedural music system will recombine different musical elements to create different tracks depending on your situation – working in tandem with the game’s procedural engine. Combat music will sound like combat music, a peaceful stroll through a field will sound like a peaceful stroll through a field, etc.

The sounds of creatures are procedurally generated, vocal chords are modelled for each creature and this creates a different “voice” for each, depending on their size, shape, etc.

That concludes the “No Man’s Sky B-Side”, if there’s more unconnected information to be added, I’ll add it to this topic.

 

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2 hours ago, belljr said:

I hope so.  That's the onlu thing I'm missing and almost wanting to get an XBOX

Totally agree.  I am debating between PS4 and XBox and it's basically coming down to baseball or Forza.  I mainly play sports game and RFG games so for the games I would buy the difference between the 2 systems right now is Forza for XBox and baseball for PS4.  For some reason XBox has never had EA Sport's baseball game, which is the only baseball game worth playing IMO.  PS4 should hopefully get Gran Turismo, but if it's going to be several years until that is released then for me it's baseball vs. Forza and it's a really tough decision for me.  Still leaning towards PS4 since they should eventually get a good racing game while XBox will probably never have a good baseball game.

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1 hour ago, RC94 said:

Totally agree.  I am debating between PS4 and XBox and it's basically coming down to baseball or Forza.  I mainly play sports game and RFG games so for the games I would buy the difference between the 2 systems right now is Forza for XBox and baseball for PS4.  For some reason XBox has never had EA Sport's baseball game, which is the only baseball game worth playing IMO.  PS4 should hopefully get Gran Turismo, but if it's going to be several years until that is released then for me it's baseball vs. Forza and it's a really tough decision for me.  Still leaning towards PS4 since they should eventually get a good racing game while XBox will probably never have a good baseball game.

um EA hasn't made a baseball game in like 10 years

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Is Saints Row 4 worth picking up (I've never played 1,2 or 3)? 

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2 hours ago, belljr said:

um EA hasn't made a baseball game in like 10 years

I am talking about MLB The Show.  I assumed it was EA, but I am not sure who makes it and it doesn't really matter.  The point is that it's the only baseball game worth playing and it's only available on Playstation.

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1 minute ago, RC94 said:

I am talking about MLB The Show.  I assumed it was EA, but I am not sure who makes it and it doesn't really matter.  The point is that it's the only baseball game worth playing and it's only available on Playstation.

Sony makes it which is why it's only on Sony's platform.

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1 minute ago, RC94 said:

I am talking about MLB The Show.  I assumed it was EA, but I am not sure who makes it and it doesn't really matter.  The point is that it's the only baseball game worth playing and it's only available on Playstation.

MLB the Show is made by Sony. Never will be made available for XBOX. 

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Anyway, does anyone know anything about Gran Turismo or some other high-quality racing game becoming available on PS4 anytime soon?

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44 minutes ago, Insein said:

Thanks!  Definitely good news. I have never heard of Assetto Corsa but that could be good too and it comes out in 3 weeks.  It looks like PS4 will have some good racing games.

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14 hours ago, Todem said:

No I would say more like the original Doom. It is fantastic IMO as well. The soundtrack really rev's you up as well. The gore is amazing. Weapons are great....huge maps. Great game.

I'm also being told you can beat single player campaign in 2 hours.  Please tell me that's not true.

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23 hours ago, Arizona Ron said:

Is Saints Row 4 worth picking up (I've never played 1,2 or 3)? 

Saints Row 4 is essentially the same as III (exact same maps; very similar format).  Saints Row III was better IMO.  Good mindless fun. You'll like it.

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20 hours ago, RC94 said:

Anyway, does anyone know anything about Gran Turismo or some other high-quality racing game becoming available on PS4 anytime soon?

Project CARS is available on PS4. I have it on PC since neither of the Xbox1 or PS4 recognizes my G25 wheel. It doesn't have the car library that either Forza or GT has, but the racing is much better than both of them.  

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