Has No Man's Sky lived up to its promise?

No Man’s Sky is big. It was hyped big, where developers claimed that they were getting death threats from random people for delaying its release. Catch phrases like 18.4 quintillion planets, all the players won’t be able to explore 99.9% of the planets, and “every planet is unique” really made the game kick off on its sales. The game was released on August 9, 2016. So how’s it really doing half way through its launching month?

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Has No Man’s Sky lived up to the promise? Yes and No. Yes, because there are in fact 18.4 quintillion planets, a courtesy of procedural game object generation; the game has amazing music and nice graphics. No, because even though the NMS is really vast, the planets are not really unique at all. Hello Games had also promised some features that it didn’t integrate, which makes them liar too.

Engagement and Interest Level

No Man's Sky graphics

You will never get to explore the entire universe, not because the procedural universe of No Man’s Sky is very big, but also because you could get bored and stop bothering to look further. The main mission of the game is to find the center of the universe and along the journey you explore new planets, take photos of new species, dig out things (like Minecraft), there’s a bit of fighting involved, and that’s it.

After 2-3 days, a sharp-eyed player will begin to find a pattern in everything and things will begin to feel repetitive as you go to more planets. Over time, this repetition becomes so frustrating that you feel there’s nothing new anymore. We don’t know whether NMS developer Sean Murray really got death threats for delaying the game or he just made it up, but after playing the game, you feel like the developers should have delayed it a couple of years to make it better.

No Man’s Sky Game Play

No Man's Sky scene

I can only say that it takes a lot of patience. The game character’s speed is really slow unless you are in your ship and warping off to the other worlds. This is one of the laziest first-player shooter we have ever seen.  10% of the gameplay you are going to be collecting elements like carbon, iron, and others with the help of your laser gun. The other 90% you are going to spend collecting rocks and upgrading your ship and stuff.

There are also a few things that Hello Games couldn’t get right No Man’s Sky couldn’t get right. On many occasions, the developers had mentioned that the game is going to be multiplayer and people will be able to bump into each other. Perhaps, the plan changed, but fans did deserve an explanation on the part of the developers.

A Big Hit to Complete Flop?

No Man's Sky scene

Not exactly. That’s because No Man’s Sky is something completely out of the blue. There are parts that people don’t like but it also has ‘moments’ that you can’t experience in any other game. Visual appeal is the strongest suit of the game, speaking of which let’s not consider the terrains, species, and plantation because these game-objects lack details and clarity.

The best part for me is that when you are flying through different atmospheres and getting into the atmosphere of a new planet. That’s when the true spirit of the game really comes alive. If you were really inspired by The Journey, No Man’s Sky could be your jam. While the journey is breath-taking on a completely new level, NMS contains similar visuals that might not be evident on the ground, but as you look up in the sky, you get the clue.

So, not all is lost for No Man’s Sky. There are things that the developers got right. For example, when you play the game get deeply absorbed observing your virtual environment, it does force you to think what is the purpose of life? You feel so tiny in the huge game universe that you begin to think about the real one. So there’s definitely an emotional factor to it.

Summing Up

No Man’s Sky is a good game. We haven’t seen anything like it. However, Hello Games should have straddled their horses while exaggerating gamers’ expectations more than the game offered. The good news is that it will improve over the years and although it has been a subject of criticism for many things, considering a not very strong background of Hello Games, it is worth appreciating that they came this far. Not to mention, there will be future patches and updates, who knows the unfounded features are eventually introduced as well.

At $59.99, No Man’s Sky isn’t something you will regret buying. We only ask that do not get your expectations too high.

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