No Man’s Sky has been a game people have excitedly been waiting for, for years. After many delays, no beta access, and little information, players became anxious about what this game we’ve been preparing for- and paying for- might actually be like. We finally got it, though, and opinions on what this game is are already everywhere. After spending a few hours with the game myself (which you can see on my channel here), I’d love to share my opinion of it with you.
Just like many of the players out there, I pre-ordered the game in June, preparing for its July release- that was, until release was delayed until August. I waited my time, again, when once more they had another last minute delay to appease Sony by offering an “early release” for Playstation players. This has been quite frustrating, and nearly had me requesting a refund before release at all. This has easily effected many players’ opinions of the game and the company itself, but the game is the true story.
It doesn’t take long to really understand what is so appealing about No Man’s Sky. Traveling from world to world, discovering new and undiscovered planets, animals, and plants, then renaming and uploading those new species is an experience that is surprisingly fun. Exploring each planet and finding settlements, ruins, crashed ships, and every other thing you could possibly find is something that can quickly become overwhelming, and would take many hours to discover everything that could be found on a single planet. To see all the different procedurally generated creations is fascinating, and can be quite hilarious depending on how oddly they generate. All of this on top of the grinding for money that needs to be done in order to upgrade your ship and weapon, this game will definitely keep you busy for many, many hours. Not to mention the struggle of learning the languages word by word.
However, pretending as though this game is perfect, or even everything it promised, would be dishonest. Through trailers you see worlds with countless animals towering above you and crawling around you, ships flying through the sky implying you aren’t alone, and a race against others to the center of the universe. With a story that focuses more on vague lore and less on true story, your experience is focused more on the past. With little to no information from developers and gamers still being fairly early game – and yes, with endless galaxies with endless planets, 140 hours is still early game- we have no idea what this alleged center of the universe adventure could be. I have only personally experienced one planet that had a variety of animals, though most were small. And despite the implication of spaceships shooting through the sky, its confirmed that you could be on the same exact planet as another player and have no idea nor will ever meet them.
There are a few little things that, while not problems with the game itself, can be quite vexing for some players. It could take quite a few minutes to get from point A to point B, which is realistic, but considering the normalcy of instant gratification in this day and age, this may be a turn off to some people. My first session, I walked for 10 minutes because my scanners told me the closest of a certain element was 10 minutes away. Or that’s what I thought, as that wasn’t the closest, it was just the first one my scanners picked up. There was one literally a stone’s throw from my crashed space ship. This can be irritating for players who don’t realize that its all about exploration and not always about getting to that point B.
This also is a game that does not hold your hand. While hints that show in the bottom right corner of your screen are quite helpful, it still doesn’t tell you how to do things like upgrade your exo-suit inventory, that you have to purchase another ship and weapon to upgrade space on those, or a few of the other countless things that come with this game. For many players, this is a welcome change to the usual over-guidance we get from most games these days, but don’t expect to figure everything out without some research. Also, expect some hilariously goofy moments when trying and often failing at maneuvering your spaceship or managing warp speed for the first time.
The lack of information leaves players wondering what more there could be. While battles with carnivorous creatures are regular and quite normal, is there any sort of boss battle that can be expected? Is there any sort of end-game, other than buying the largest ship and upgrading our exo-suit to its fullest? Or will we simply be exploring and discovering planets infinitely? With what seems to be endless open-gameplay, players may be left feeling unsatisfied, as the discoveries waiting for you and the settlements, ruins, and other random buildings that can be found on worlds will be, as mentioned, infinite. The unanswered questions will, hopefully, be answered with time, though supposedly even developers don’t know some of what is hiding in this game.
So, final thoughts? The game is fun. You can feel the Minecraft-esque procedural generation, but the discovering, naming, and uploading of new and wonderful creatures, planets, and places is something quite different and surprisingly fun. The game isn’t perfect, by any stretch, and countless people are disappointed by what the game is. However, if resource collecting and adventuring with little to no guidance is your thing, this game will be quite an enjoyable experience. If we’re lucky, patches with increased and varying generation will be released, or possibly the addition of some sort of story. I wouldn’t even mind the ability to build some sort of settlement and make a home for ourselves- which would help with the no inventory space thing. For now, though, some will love the game for what it is, some will hate it, and it will remain one of the most over-hyped games for a long time.