No Man’s Sky is currently vying for the “most hated game of the year” crown from fans and members of the press alike. Yes the game has disappointed us, but inspite of all that it did wrong, the amount of hate it is getting is not deserved. Not at all. Lets us discuss the high notes that this game achieved
An open solar system as a playground with limitless freedom. Nearly an infinite number of planets to explore and your very own spaceship at your disposal? A recipe for an amazing game, and yes, it delivers at certain points.
Playing for the first time the experience is unlike anything in any open-world-game yet.
Procedurelly generated planets and lifeforms, traveling at high speed’s in space, passing through black hole’s, discovering underwater and frozen planers, building and creating stuff, loot, collecting resources, fighting off space pirates, landing on a scary looking planet and the list just goes on and on. Minecraft on steroids could be an apt description. The variety of different things happening could easily give this game a 9/10, but things take a sour turn soon and that’s where the hatred comes in….
Everything becomes dull after a point of time. Yes, you experience many new things the first time and the entire universe being your playground sounds exciting. However, procedural generating everything cuts off the immersion completely. One planet was unique, the second one was a little different, the 10th one will be the same as the first, just with a different colour palette.
That is the main problem, all galaxies are exactly the same as all the others. Same landscapes, same wildlife, same ships, same alien races. If somehow the galaxies themselves could procedurally evolve over time, it would be motivation to keep pressing deeper and deeper into the game to see what could be found. Huge monsters. Undiscovered races. Water worlds. Sand planets. Coruscant. Etc. The problem is right now is that everyone knows that after the first 20 planets or so, the next quintillion are going to be 98% the same, so warping to a new galaxy doesn’t offer any sort of new exploration challenge whatsoever. It becomes so dull after a point of time that you just smash the controller after a breaking point.
Backtracking to previously explored planets isn’t included and it is frustrating, discover one planet you like, love it to the core, go out and explore some other planet, now get in the mood to go to your favourite planet. Sorry, not an option
The plot is as minimal as it can get. Get to the center of the galaxy, that’s just about it.
That intrigue to get to the center of the galaxy can capture your attention, but the horrific and utter disgusting ending will just destroy your whole experience. Yes, there are different races of aliens present, but most of them act as merchants and only at some points when we get to find out about lost civilizations at some random planet, that’s good. Wish the game had more of these things, but most of it is just a barren, empty planet, not even worth exploring after 15 minutes or so.
An engaging story would have done the game some good, too sad it isn’t there at all. The developer had promised a variety of features that didn’t even make it to the final game. The fans were hugely disappointed by that fact. The multiplayer feature which was so hyped upon wasn’t there in the final game. Imagine exploring different planets and finding your friends already there and then exploring together, building together. It’s all a dream though, nothing stated here can be done in the actual game.
Not that the developer’s are at fault completely, the studio is small and the funds are less. The work they have done is applause worthy. However, do not over-hype the game and then disappoint the fans? You are bound to get the backlash afterwards.
No Man’s Sky had a lot of positives and a hell lot of potential behind it. It was bogged down by the horrendous story and overuse of the same resources which dulled the experience. Space can be lonely and this is exactly what we feel in No Man’s Sky. Not to say the hate isn’t justified, but the studio deserves an ovation for coming up with such a game after all. No hate, no praise. This is all a lesson for them, no matter how big the world you explore. If the content isn’t enough and varied, people stop loving it.
Next time if there is a No Man’s Sky 2, the developers can learn from their mistakes. Hopefully, they’ll execute this game at a much better scale. It might very well be one of the best open world games of all time.