So the hype around No Man’s Skye reached a level I have never seen before as a gamer and I have been playing my entire life practically.
The fervor for this game was off the charts, and what everyone perception was fell into a very different place than what the reality is.
2 years ago Hello Games took the stage at E3 and brought the house down, with the promise of a seemingly infinite universe for us to explore, 18 quadrillion (that is 18 with 18 zeros) planets to explore, it would take a single person over 5 billion years to see them all.
If that is not a promise of greatness I don’t know what is.
This captured peoples interest, oh my God, all the things we could do, all the places we could go! But not a one of you adoring fans asked what we would do when we got there.
Peoples perception of No Man’s Sky was unexplainable. I have asked dozens of people what they think of it, and it always comes up with, it was not as good as I expected. When pressed about what they expected it to be, no one really has a solid answer short of, “I don’t know, just better that this”
And there in lies the problem. People as a whole built up No Man’s Sky to be something it was never intended to be. Not once did the developer come out and say it would have a rich story, diverse NPCs to weave a tale of a galactic hero.
It’s promise was simple, we will give you more planets than you can count, and you can go check them out.
End of story.
End of description.
This summer we were shown a series of trailers that totally encapsulated the game, Survive, Trade, Fight, Explore.
This is EXACTLY what No Man’s Sky is. And STILL people were shocked when it didn’t turn out as THEY expected.
That folks is on YOU, not Hello Games, who gave you exactly what they told you they would.
So about this review, where does one begin to review a game that in all fairness, I have seen less than .000000000000000000000000000001 of?
Well my experience was almost exactly what I thought it would be (short of the ending, but more on that later) It was a fun run around the galaxy. The end.
Did it become repetitious? Yes. Was it boring? At times yes. Were planets all the same? Hardly. Were animals all the same? Almost never.
And last but not least, was it fun? Mostly.
In the 40+ hours I put into the game I would say I enjoyed about 30 hours worth. When I finally decided I had enough of going to random generated planet Q8172X12 and decided I was going to make a run for the center of the galaxy, things got tedious.
It became a rinse repeat formula until I reached the core. Make a pile of warp cells, jump to a black hole, go into black hole, repair ship, jump to black hole, run out of cells, then go get resources to make more, and start over. Rinse, repeat.
That is the last 10 hours to go from wherever you’re at, to the galaxy center.
Once you have lost the wonder of exploring new planets and solar systems, the game loses a lot of its shine.
This is a game that is far more about the journey than the destination. I will not spoil the ending, but I will say that a lot of people will be disappointed, but you should really have seen it coming.
For someone like me who has a completionist attitude and a smidge of OCD, No Man’s Sky can become a total nightmare at times.
When planet side there is always one more point of interest, one more set of ruins, one more outpost. It is honestly endless. I spent close to 8 hours on my first planet before I realized there is no way I will ever see it all and left.
This also plays into one of the games biggest short comings. There is no means of tracking where you have been or what you have discovered on a planet.
Sure you can get a tracker for life forms discovered, but there is no way to get back to a outpost or base you have been before as the game has no mapping system when planet side.
This is insanely frustrating when you are in the midst of harvesting resources and trying to sell them.
You found a new trading outpost, fly off into the sunset, harvest a pile of resources, then have no where to sell them as you scour the planet for another installation.
It is little things like this that stop No Man’s Sky from being great. The concept is solid if you are into a world / walking simulator. But it is the technical details that leave things coming up shy.
The game is also hampered by a lot of technical glitches. From constant game crashes and lock ups, to weird behavior like getting into your ship and being catapulted into the sky, or sometimes ejected from you ship and thrown hundreds of miles away.
It is goofy things like that that really mar what could have been a much better game.
I for instance got locked out of my platinum trophy due to a glitch. One particular trophy requires you survive on a “Extreme” planet for a grand total of 8 hours. What you don’t get to know is it needs to be 8 hours on the same planet, and if you leave, you have to start over 100%
Now this would not be such a big deal if the aforementioned glitch that tosses you back into orbit didn’t take place. Get tossed like that and the timer resets completely. You could lose 7 hours of progress in one glitch.
For myself I am locked out simply because my game crashed and I was punted back to the PS4 menu. I came back in and now my time is stuck at 5.7 Sols (57 mins) and will not increase again ever.
All in all No Man’s Sky is what it set out to be, a game about exploring the cosmos, and on that it delivers 100%. Is it that game you want it to be? Highly unlikely.
A solid 7/10. I can’t say I would recommend it per se, as it is not for everyone, but read the reviews and impressions, and if you are realistic in your expectations, you will walk away satisfied.