Ever since its initial reveal in late 2013 during the VGX Awards, Hello Games' No Man's Sky has done more than turn heads – it's redefined space travel as we know it, promising a massive universe to explore. In fact, the developer says the final game will include more than 18 quintillion planets.

Previews for the game are positive, especially from last month's PlayStation Experience, where a special presentation of No Man's Sky dazzled attendees. However, some players aren't convinced of the magic that Hello Games poured into the product. That's where we come in, with five ways No Man's Sky will be a game changer for the PlayStation 4 and Windows PC this year.

Exploration is (Nearly) Unlimited

With so many planets to choose from (many of which you’ll find by chance), No Man's Sky will have plenty of value. Each game will be different from the last, with entirely new planets to check out and resources to collect. Better still, you can use these resources to make your ship better overall, or purchase new models that you'll be able to utilize when it comes to cruising through the galaxy.

Online Interaction Redefined

With No Man's Sky, Hello Games has some different ideas in mind. Players will be able to interact with one another as part of teams, while also sharing details of planets with other players, giving them the opportunity to visit them when they see fit.

This feature could also open up Hello Games' community, both online in the game and through the company's forums and social channels. Players can share their experiences by comparing notes or game sessions recorded through the PlayStation 4's Share function.

It's Your Galaxy, be Ready to Defend it

Along with an exploratory theme that will provide hours of play time, No Man's Sky will also provide the opportunity to engage in combat against hostile forces that invade planets. While Hello Games hasn't elaborated on just how this will work, there's no question that the inclusion of combat will remind players of older aerial action games, such as the Star Wars Starfighter series or the classic Xbox game Crimson Skies. We'll hopefully see more of this in the months ahead, perhaps even at E3 (or maybe sooner).

No Two Planets are the Same

No matter which way you decide to venture into deep space, you'll find something new at every turn. That's because Hello Games injected each planet with some form of life. For instance, a desert planet could harbor large, carnivorous worms that could wreak havoc if you fly too close, while a much greener planet could offer its own type of life, namely plant-eating dinosaurs.

You Don't Have to be Online to Goof Around

Finally, some players may feel irked by certain games requiring a consistent online connection (for example, Destiny), but No Man's Sky won't have this limitation. Hello Games already confirmed that the game will be fully playable both offline and online, so you can goof around the galaxy without needing to connect to PlayStation Network.

Single-player may also be crucial for some people’s experiences with the game, as they'll learn better flight and combat skills, and perhaps even discover planets they can tell their friends about later. It's nice to have the option available, even though some may prefer having a group of pilots along for the ride.

No Man's Sky will release this year for PlayStation 4 and Windows PC.