I was expecting to really like No Man’s Sky, but I came away feeling like the planets I visited were way to empty and the galaxy far too vast. The Long Journey Home, like No Man’s Sky, features a procedurally generated galaxy, but adds in much beefier gameplay including character interactions, a tighter galaxy with fewer planets and a focused mission to connect the dots.
During PAX West, I got to see a chunk of gameplay for The Long Journey Home, and I was pretty impressed with what I saw. You start the game by choosing your crew mates. This ends up being a pretty important choice as you have to work with these people once you get stranded in space and have to work together to make it back home.
In order to repair your damaged ship so it can make the jump back home, you need to explore worlds around you, looking for resources, and dealing with alien races that may or may not be hostile toward you. You need to harness the strengths of your crew mates to survive in the galaxy long enough to get home.
You use a small ship to land on planets in order to explore them. Landing in itself is a bit of game as you need to use each planet’s individual gravity to make a safe landing, and likewise break out of the gravitational pull. Anything you gather can be studied in the lab on your ship and then used as needed.
By the looks of it, The Long Journey Home may give me the experience I was hoping to get in No Man’s Sky. The game is slated for release next year.