10 Planet Landing Games Like No Man’s Sky | Page 2

Seamless space-to-planet landings to whet your galactical adventuring appetite!

Games Like No Man's Sky Games Similar to No Man's Sky Featured Image

6. Space Engineers

Planet Landing Games Like No Man's Sky Space Engineers

Unlike No Man’s Sky, Space Engineers places an exceptional emphasis on DIY creative space engineering. Think Minecraft in space. The game’s crafting system is incredibly flexible, letting players build almost any conceivable kind of craft or station they can dream up (both interiors and exteriors!). The game boosts two main modes. Creative Mode turns players invincible, letting them create stuff practically on the fly. There’s also Survival Mode. This mode puts Space Engineers a little closer to No Man’s Sky gameplay, requiring players to manually search for resources as they contend against hostiles. Death is also possible.

Although not available on initial release, Space Engineers now boosts seamless space-to-planet transitions similar to other planet landing games like No Man’s Sky. Akin to Kerbal Space Program, successful landings are highly dependent on the kind of spacecraft players have built (though crashing and surveying the damage is really half the fun!). Once landed, they’ll be able to explore the planet’s surface, carrying out the usual mining / crafting activities. Like No Man’s Sky, players will have to keep an eye out for hostile inhabitants that will attack them. Planetary terrains look decent – nothing ‘wow-worthy’ like in No Man’s Sky, but more than sufficient for Space Engineers’ sandbox intentions. Overall, a lack of optimization and occasional frame rate dips do hamper the overall experience a little. However, there’s no denying the immense addictive potential of this Steam Early Access game.

Read more honest player reviews of Space Engineers.

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7. Empyrion: Galactic Survival

Planet Landing Games Like No Man's Sky Empyrion Galactic Survival

Empyrion: Galactic Survival is one of a number of games like No Man’s Sky in some respects. The game is set in an open universe with plenty of resource gathering, exploration, upgrades, and interactions with both friendly and hostile creatures (and, yes, there are dinosaurs!). That being said, Empyrion finds a closer sandbox affinity to Minecraft than No Man’s Sky. Like Minecraft, players are required to mine ‘blocks’ to construct their own spacecrafts, rovers, and space stations.

Planet landings in Empyrion are once again seamless. Players will find themselves pushing their spacecrafts through atmospheres on a fairly regular basis. Unlike Elite: Dangerous or Evochron Legacy, landings are much more straightforward, only requiring minor pivoting adjustments (crashing is still possible though!). Like No Man’s Sky, players will be able to disembark from their crafts and walk the lands, mining supplies and gunning down hostiles they may come across. The game is less graphically polished than No Man’s Sky, though is far richer in detail than Elite: Dangerous’ current planetary surface offering. Empyrion currently enjoys a Very Positive rating on Steam, with good reason.

Read more honest player reviews of Empyrion: Galactic Survival.

 

8. The Tomorrow War

Planet Landing Games Like No Man's Sky The Tomorrow War

Based off a trilogy of novels by Alexander Zorich, The Tomorrow War actually has a far more fleshed out backstory than most space adventure games. Unfortunately, voice-acting and character animations are… very atrocious, to say the least. The game was also released in in 2009, so graphics do show quite a bit of age. However, The Tomorrow War has been marginally praised for its half-way decent space battles reminiscent of Wing Commander.

For all its flaws, The Tomorrow War does do a commendable job with its planet landings. Granted, the framerate is a bit clunky. Craft controls are also a little finicky. However, transitions from space to ground are indeed seamless (save for an odd fading overlay of cloud cover). A few little aesthetic touches add to the overall thrill of breaking through planetary atmospheres (e.g. engine streams shooting from crafts, etc.). This is quite remarkable, considering The Tomorrow War was released years before most other planet landing games like No Man’s Sky on this list. The game only costs a couple of bucks too, so there’s not much to lose in giving it a try.

Read more honest player reviews of The Tomorrow War. 

 

9. Ascent: The Space Game

Planet Landing Games Like No Man's Sky Ascent The Space Game

No Man’s Sky is mostly about one (wo)man’s solo survival in vast space (with multiplayer elements thrown in). By contrast, Ascent: The Space Game focuses much more on building huge base colonies and planetary civilizations. It’s a pretty unique space-themed hybrid of Minecraft (i.e. mining, custom designs, etc.) and SimCity (i.e. keeping citizens happy, constructing buildings with different functions, etc.) The game also has a very friendly and supportive community of dedicated players who often band together to achieve collective objectives, such as the construction of star gates.

Planet landings are pretty simplistic compared to other seamless surface visitation games like No Man’s Sky. The graphics are basic and terrains are quite barren-looking, with the exception of some interesting details (i.e. craters, rivers, etc.). However, Ascent does add some really nice atmospheric touches (e.g. thick atmospheres will slow down a ship’s approach) that enhance the overall immersion. Players are also able to get out of their ship to walk around and collect soil samples. What ultimately makes Ascent unique is the ability to construct physical colonies on planets with a thriving population ripe for expansion. This is an exceedingly addictive feature of the game, helping it stand out from most other planet landing games like No Man’s Sky, developmental bugs notwithstanding.

Read more honest player reviews of Ascent: The Space Game.

 

10. Infinity: Battlescape

Planet Landing Games Like No Man's Sky Infinity Battlescape

Infinity: Battlescape is a very-long-in-development game without a set release date. The game’s main features have changed considerably over the years. At the moment, it hypes itself as “an epic space sim where 100’s of players wage war across a seamless, procedurally generated, true to scale solar system”. Partially akin to other games like No Man’s Sky, Infinity: Battlescape will allow players to upgrade their ships using acquired credits. They’ll also be able to visit various space stations, bases, and factories. High-speed space dogfights similar to those in Hollywood movies also seem to be a main selling point.

One of Infinity: Battlescape’s most exciting features is its immensely gorgeous and truly seamless planet landings. Even at this early stage, textures and terrains look more defined and varied than those in Elite: Dangerous. Admittedly, No Man’s Sky seems to use far more vivid colors with crisper renderings, at least at this point. Overall, Infinity: Battlescape is definitely a game worth keeping tabs on in the months (years?) to come!

Read more development news of Infinity: Battlescape.

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Honorable Mentions:

Xeno Galaxies – Not yet fully released. Basic planet-to-surface landing, able to explore lands, terrains are nicely varied though textures are slightly on the washed out side (for now). Plenty of run-and-gun action. Overall, Xeno Galaxies looks to be a very promising space adventuring title!

 

Did I forget any more seamless planet landing games like No Man’s Sky? Leave your suggestions in the comments section below and I will add them to this list!

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Alfie is Editor-in-Chief of Games Like Zone and has been an avid gamer since the age of 6. His also enjoys reading comics, B-grade horror movies, and travelling to obscure places in the world.

31 Comments

  1. ramspite@yahoo.com'

    Star Citizen is NOT currently focused on VR support.

    Reply
  2. tflpoliceblade@hotmail.com'

    Old school but Star Fighter 3000 I think was the first ever game to have space to planet and back again flight back in the 90’s. Played it on Risc OS Acorn A3000 and other Acorn PC’s..

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ueae6bfPYaM

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fPUQkfcZ-Hw

    Reply
    • Thank you for the awesome suggestions! Will check them out and add them to the list! 🙂

      Reply
  3. forthevoyeur@gmx.com'

    So here’s a thing.

    Elite dangerous does not let you land on a planet seemlessly. There is an instance change when going into the Glide phase. It would appear that whoever wrote this article hasn’t played horizons… at all.

    Reply
    • Yes, there are three phases: orbital cruise, glide and surface flight.
      But, yes, it is seamless in the sense of not having an interrupting loading screen or a major scene cut (e.g. Mass Effect 1). I mentioned this in the selection criteria. 🙂

      Reply
    • warren.edwards97@gmail.com'

      Thats due to your internet connection though. It doesn’t actually load anything

      Reply
  4. pfilipchyk@gnail.com'

    Limit Theory

    Reply
    • Thank you! Appreciate the suggestion! We will look into this and add it to the list ASAP!

      Reply
  5. slott.hansen@gmail.com'

    What about some of the classic ones like FOFT, Starglider 2 and Damocles 🙂

    Reply
    • Starglide 2 was amazing! Thanks for the suggestions! We will just double check that all the games meet the ‘seamless’ criteria we mentioned and will put them in the list. Appreciate your ideas! 🙂 Always trying to improve the lists!

      Reply
  6. azrael_dawn@hotmail.com'

    You forget Empyrion: Galactic Survial. Planets, Planetlanding, FPS, Dogfights, NPCs, Basebuilding, Exploration, and more…
    https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLUvQ-4JhWXGQqezlYhN0fiNjLhB3Llu09

    Reply
    • Hey there! Thanks for your suggestion! We didn’t forget Empyrion Galactic Survival though. It’s No. 7 (ranked in no particular order).
      It’s actually one of our favorites for being able to implement most of the promised features in a really integrated way! Overall, perhaps the top 3 best space adventuring experiences we had from the ones on the list.

      Reply
  7. Curtneedsaride@yahoo.com'

    If you’re on an iOS device, I’d recommend the very well-supported lo-fi space exploration/trading app Stellar Horizon. Such a huge game in a small package.

    Reply
    • Thank you for your recommendations! Are you able to land on planets in the game too? We’ll definitely check it out and include it in the list!

      Reply
  8. cybersleuth58@yahoo.com'

    I must be the only person not interested in VR technology. Let me clarify – if you want to play VR supported games on PS4 or XBox One, be prepared to drop a hell of a lot of money bc the compatible VR equipment is almost $1000. I don’t have that kind of cash. The same goes for VR equipment compatible with Steam. I’m focused on putting food on my table. I just don’t have the kind of liquidity to drop huge amounts of cash on gaming equipment. And I never see this mentioned. Am I the only person afflicted with cash flow issues???

    Reply
    • Hmm… you’re right. Everything is pretty expensive, or going to be. For example, the PS4 VR will cost quite a bomb — and this doesn’t include the price of the PS cameras and the move controllers. That being said, VR tech is truly rather immersive, and will probably work excellent with upcoming games like the new Resident Evil. Whether or not it proves financially sustainable is another issue. We personally hope it does — but it’ll only work if they can lower the entry price a little more to expand the market base. If not, the whole tech will collapse on itself. At least there are multiple companies chiming in for this push though (Facebook, Amazon, Sony, HTC, etc.) so they can collectively broaden the base.

      Reply
  9. erikhzzz@hotmail.com'

    What – no mention of Solar Jetman?

    Reply
    • Thanks for the suggestion! We’ll have a look at the planetary landing mechanism and then add it in if it fits the criteria!

      Reply
  10. warren.edwards97@gmail.com'

    You might want to check out Planet Nomads, it’s sort of like Space Engineers and No Man’s Sky had a baby. They’re also in development like Xeno, but the closed alpha comes out in under a week. There’s quite a bit of footage on their youtube channel.
    Here’s an old blog post on planets. It talks about how biome generation works and how it takes into account precipitation and temperature. https://www.planet-nomads.com/2016/08/hows-the-alpha-planet-going-to-look-like-procedural-generation-revisited/ There’s also a recent dev vlog that got uploaded

    Reply
    • Definitely one to look out for! We’ll keep an eye out for this one and see if it fits the criteria to be added into this list. Thanks so much for your wonderful suggestion!

      Reply
  11. rogerwilco@sharklasers.com'

    For those looking for a more relaxed space trading/exploration experience, check out JumpDrive.

    JumpDrive (previously called ‘Paragon’ but changed after a large game company claimed the name for its AAA game) is a sandbox space sim set in an alternative future heavily inspired by classic 80s sci-fi, Fight. Trade and explore in a massive procedurally generated galaxy of millions of planets and stars. Amass money and power, upgrade and purchase new ships, and one day create your own small fleet with a base to call home. Has seamless exploration and planet landings.

    I just bought this and must say, it’s pretty sweet! I like the simplicity of the interface and gameplay, and how it has a much more relaxed feel than many of the more complex MMOs out there. There’s still much work to be done on it (it’s pre-release) but what’s currently there is pretty good.

    Website: http://www.jumpdrivegame.com/
    Available on Steam: http://store.steampowered.com/app/291250/

    Reply
    • Hello! Thanks for your suggestion! We just checked it out on Steam. 🙂
      Does the game feature seamless planetary landings, without a loading screen?
      We tried watching the video but couldn’t see the transition sequence.
      It looks sweet though!! Definitely a lot of potential.

      Reply
      • erikhzzz@hotmail.com'

        Yes – it does have seamless liftoff and landing to planets / space stations / ships, although the landing mechanics are a bit bugged at the moment (you need auto-pilot instead). The scale is done very well – you actually feel like you’re engaged in liftoffs and landings, especially when you change camera views to see the ship itself and the surroundings.

        There’s no walking exploration. I’d rather the devs polish up the existing game before adding it.

        Reply
  12. warjah@gmail.com'

    A) Star Citizen isn’t out yet.
    B) Star Citizen doesn’t have planetary landing yet.
    C) Star Citizen isn’t out yet.

    Really misleading journalism!

    Reply
    • A) We mentioned this repeatedly in the actual paragraph, and also specified it in the criteria
      B) As we also mentioned in the criteria, the developers have shown actual footage from the game and ARE planning on implementing this. That’s why we also mentioned to keep a look out for it.
      C) Just as you mentioned it twice, so too did we mention (that it isn’t out yet – but to keep a lookout for it)

      It’s only misleading if we didn’t emphasize those points many times. 🙂

      Reply
  13. nenadalien@yahoo.com'

    Where PULSAR lost colony?

    Reply
  14. gheorghemosneaga@gmail.com'

    ok, and how many of these are NOT mp-exclusive? >.>

    Reply

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