It's going to take a long time to explore those 18 quintillion planets. Let's hope there are some answers along the way
No Man's Sky is one of those rare games that inspires gamers to scrutinize every minute detail for some kind of greater meaning. Thanks to trailers, livestreams, and updates from the studio, there are plenty of questions about the game's mysterious lore that demand answers. Here are the bigger ones we feel they really need to address.
What's the deal with the Atlas?
That big diamond-shaped thing that's in all of the artwork for the game is called the Atlas, and according to Hello Games, it's far more than just a cool symbol. Frequently described by the team as the "most important thing in the universe," its primary purpose is as the database of everything that we all discover as we explore the procedurally generated universe.
Could it be more than just a big universal catalog of stuff, though? A popular theory is that the Atlas is what actually lies at the center of the universe, and that's ultimately where we're all going. If that's truly the case, and along our journey we are cataloging knowledge that is uploaded to make it "smarter," are we ultimately just its slaves? If so, to what end? Will we learn that it's actually responsible for the creation of the universe? Is the Atlas basically God?
Is this the plot to Star Trek V?
What's the deal with the Sentinels, and who made them?
If we're essentially just doing the Atlas' bidding and trudging around the universe taking inventory for it, that begs the question: what's the deal with all the Sentinels? So far we know they are basically the rent-a-cops of No Man's Sky, and that they get increasingly pissed off the more wantonly destructive we are. If we stick with the "Atlas = God" theory, we can probably safely assume that the Sentinels are robotic agents created by and serving the Atlas, protecting all of its creations. It would certainly explain why they get so bent out of shape every time you kill anything.
What happens at the center of the universe, and why?
This is the big one. While Hello Games have said that the ultimate goal of the game is to reach the center of the universe, they've never actually said why. If the Atlas is really what's there, and it really is some kind of omnipotent robo-deity – what does it mean when we find it? Is the reward for finding it to take on its mantle? There are already theories that the endgame is that the whole universe is reset and procedurally generated anew. Could it be that in our first play through, we are playing in Hello Games boss Shaun Murray's' universe, but upon finding the Atlas, we are then rewarded with our own?
Or will it just be Matthew McConaughey trapped behind a bookshelf?