Enough Hype to Fuel A Ship
It’s a lot more than an understatement to say the hype for No Man’s Sky has been minimal since its announcement at the end of 2013. Everyone was amazed at Hello Game’s procedurally generated science fiction exploration game by the time E3 2014 rolled around, and i’d be lying to you if I said I wasn’t hyped too. As amazed and interested as I was in the concept of No Man’s Sky, I was incredibly sceptical and cautious when release was approaching. After numerous delays and years of waiting, is No Man’s Sky worth it?
If i’m being quite honest, I don’t really know how to start with No Man’s Sky, it doesn’t feature any real story mode or campaign, so i’m just going to share my opinions on my experience with the game so far. No Man’s Sky is best described as a space exploration game, with procedurally generated worlds, NPCs, and environments. You’re put on a random planet with nothing but a multi-tool and a broken spaceship that needs fixing up. You mine materials and resources in order to fix your ship, supply it with fuel, and to fuel your own needs such as your environmental protection if the planet you happen to be visiting is radioactive, blisteringly hot or freezing cold. The initial 2-3 hours of No Man’s Sky were magical, and I enjoyed myself a lot experiencing it for the first time. Exploring planets, flying in and out of space, it’s all amazing, it looks amazing, and to say No Man’s Sky is a technical marvel is no lie at all. The sheer sense of scale you get when flying from planet to planet is incredible, and it really does immerse you into No Man’s Sky’s universe. Planet’s are home to various plants and procedurally generated animals, and they’re littered with various elements you can mine and collect to further improve your ship and multi-tool. You can discover alien monoliths, NPC trading stations and landing docks scattered throughout each Galaxy. You really only have one goal in No Man’s Sky and that is to simply get to the centre of the universe by any means necessary. As good as it sounds and as much as it sounds like I adore No Man’s Sky, I find myself drifting further away from it everyday. Once the initial wonder and woe wears off, it became apparent that No Man’s Sky is incredibly repetitive, bear and sometimes straight up boring. While each planet is unique, you do the same things on every single one of them, and the differences between planets are only minor. I grew bored of mining the same minerals for the same item in order to get to the next galaxy, and the only thing driving me to keep going was to find out what was in the centre of the universe. Shooting feels stiff when it becomes compulsory, mining just becomes a boring grind used to simply craft a means to progress further, and space fights felt the same every single time they occurred. It’s such a shame because No Man’s Sky had so much potential, and while it’s definitely not horrible, it’s not good either.
Crash and Burn
Unfortunately No Man’s Sky’s technical issues didn’t make my experience that much better. For a game as big as this, the visuals are very passable and some of the main textures look pretty nice (regardless of how strange these animals can get). I didn’t experience any frame drops at all during my experience, but glitches, well that’s another story. I had the game crash twice on me before I even started playing properly, and there were multiple occasions where my ship was sent back to space prematurely, I also had the game freeze on me at one stage too.
No Man’s Sky will unfortunately be the prime example in the future for hype trains that derailed. It’s a promising idea, and the sheer sense of scale is amazing, and what Hello Games have achieved from a technical standpoint is incredible (minus the bugs). However, that doesn’t change the fact that No Man’s Sky eventually becomes a boring grind, no matter how hard you try to enjoy it.
-Amazing sense of scale
-Procedurally generated world is amazing
-Incredible technical feat
-Gets really boring, really fast
-Game breaking bugs
-Planets aren’t fundamentally different
Thanks for reading guys, up next is Deus Ex: Mankind Divided. I’m really looking forward to this one so hopefully it’s as good as its predecessor!