I remember the first time I played the original BioShock. Games coverage online was really starting to take off in a big way, and BioShock was one of the first games I personally remember catching an early glimpse of through a site like Gamespot or IGN. I saw the game, heard a bit of its soundtrack and learned about the concept of this sunken Utopia gone horribly wrong, and that was enough.

I turned the clip off and started a sort of radio silence on the title. I’d glance at screenshots, read about whatever release date news I could find, but when bits and pieces of preview footage and hands-on written articles trickled out, I ignored them.

I wanted to experience BioShock for myself.

That’s what I did with No Man’s Sky. I’ve skipped the game at preview events, I try not to watch any footage, I’ve avoided the finer points of all the recent leaks. I’ve seen quick trailers and screenshots for this game, and that’s it. Even as I’ve covered it for you folks here on TechnoBuffalo, I’ve done so in sort of a third party sort of way.

So much of No Man’s Sky‘s promise lies in the discovery of the universe around you. I’ve had the game since earlier this morning on the PlayStation 4. Sony sent out review copies officially today, despite the fact that other outlets got their hands on street date breaking copies. This was the starting line for me.

This isn’t a review. I’m not there yet. I also won’t be talking specifics regarding mechanics or story, if that’s what we’re going to call it for this game. I will say, however, that No Man’s Sky feels bigger and more layered than I thought it would.

Look, when a developer sits down and tells you about the quintillions of planets their game contains, you sort of roll your eyes a bit. We’ve all heard this manufactured hype before. “Our game is the biggest we’ve ever made,” you know? Or, this is my favorite, “the world in our game feels genuinely alive.” Hello Games has been saying those things, too; but, were they legitimate?

In a day with the game, I’ve seen only three planets and a single space station. I’ve taken my sweet time. I’ve named creatures, followed specific objectives, upgraded my equipment and engaged in trade. You know what? I feel absolutely, completely, entirely overwhelmed.

For the first time in a long time, I love it.

This isn’t the same type of overwhelming you might feel with something like, say, Far Cry 4. Listen, I loved that game. However, zooming out on the world map and being met with hundreds of objectives, objects, waypoints and locales was daunting. No Man’s Sky has more to discover, but it does it in a rather obscure way.

Yes, the universe is as gargantuan as advertised, so far. The planets feel absolutely ridiculous in scale. Your moment to moment action, though, feels immediate and personal. You feel like you’re leaving a mark and affecting the space around you.

There’s something about discovering that alien creature and watching it skitter away in fear or aggressively push back as you, this outsider traveler, encroach upon their native space. The game feels enormous and alive despite your existence in these moments, and that’s so gratifyingly overwhelming. It makes me feel so completely small.

I’ve been in this universe for one day. That’s it. I can’t wait to go back.

Our review won’t be here for a while, but I’ll be covering No Man’s Sky as I explore it here on TechnoBuffalo. Stay tuned.