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spawn622

[One Man's Opinion] No Man's Sky

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No Man's Sky has become one of the most divisive games in recent memory.  There are 3 camps surrounding this game, with a few exceptions here and there.  First up, like me, there are those that enjoy the game immensely (I'll discuss why in a bit).  Secondly, you have the people on the fence.  These are people that will eventually play a little more and fall on one side or the other.  Last, but not least, there are those disappointed and/or hate the game completely.  Now, I'm not looking to change anyone's mind about their thoughts or even help someone in that second group make a decision.  The opinions below are mine and mine alone.  I hope we can start a dialogue about why the game does or does not live up to the hype, whether it's a good game overall, and does it have potential to grow in to something more.

So, I'll start with the obvious question first.  Does one of the most hyped up games in recent memory live up to the hype?  Well, he answer to that one would probably be a resounding, "NO!".  Keep in mind folks, I really do like No Man's Sky a lot.  However, much like a new movie in a beloved franchise, a new album from your favorite band, or the ending to a great book series...The hype train can go so far off he rails that it screws over any chance of an objective reception.  I 100% feel like that's what happened here.  Since Sony showed the game at E3 2014, the fever pitched excitement for the game started growing.  In the months leading to the release a lot of people, Hello Games' Sean Murray included, tried to quell the excitement a bit and have people pull back on their reigns a bit with their expectations.  This was an indie game from a studio with 15 people working on it.  There was absolutely no way every expectation people got in their minds about this one over the 2+ years was going to be reached.  It was an impossible feat for this one to become the 2nd coming, but the game was delivered (albeit later than expected) and it became a phenomenon for good and bad reasons.

Now that leads us to our second question, is it a good game overall?  The answer here is not so simple.  In my opinion, it's yes and no.  I say "yes: because it's the game I was expecting.  Prior to buying it I went and read all I could about it.  Interviews with the devs, quick looks/early play opinions, etc.  I literally devoured everything I could about the game and I came to the conclusion that it was a "single player survival game in an infinite world".  So, with that in my mind, I knew what I was getting in to when it started and like it or not, Hello Games delivered on that front.  So, now you're saying to yourself, "But Spawn, you also said it isn't a good game....What the hell?!"  Okay, let me explain that part.  I say it's not a good game because it's missing features that were supposed to be there day one.  Features that were touted in that E3 reveal that slowly seemed to be forgotten.  Look, i get that a tiny dev team can't get all their wish list implemented.  It's the nature of the business they are in.  Hell, even other huge developers can't get all their features in, but things like base building, owning freighters, etc are tantamount to an exploration game like this.  Those are just a couple of examples of things that HAVE to be added to the game quickly to make it feel complete.  Multiplayer isn't something I necessarily care about, right now.  I love the feeling of loneliness in this HUGE galaxy, but admit it would be neat to get others in the world with you that you could run across as you explore.  Maybe trade with, dog fight for rare items, and even team up to explore much faster.

That leads us to the final question here, is there potential to grow in to a great game?  Simply put, HELL YES!  Look, the way almost every game works today is this:  Release, Patch, Add New Stuff, Patch Again, Repeat  Is it ideal? Nope.  Is it good?  Sometimes it can be.  No Man's Sky is an ambitious game that a handful of people decided would be cool to make.  They didn't get everything in there they wanted and probably should've delayed it more to get finalized features that were mentioned previously that people were clamoring to have in the game.  Hello Games have already mentioned base building, freighter ownership, and a few other things are coming soon.  They just have to get the game solid first.  Mitigate the crashing issues on PC and PS4, before tackling bigger additions.  Multiplayer isn't a necessity for guys like me but people want it, so I can only assume we'll get some form of it soon.  All you can say for the game is, it's big enough to have almost any addition Hello Games can dream up and are capable of adding in through patches.

At the end of the day, there's no argument that No Man's Sky is one of the biggest releases of the last 5 years.  Is it a good game?  To quote a wise Jedi, "...from a certain point of view."  Did it live up to the hype surrounding it?  Hell now it didn't and furthermore how could it?  The fever pitch was too much for any game to live up to.  Is there potential in the game?  Sure there is.  If it can be dreamed up and patched it, almost anything is possible.  So, what do you guys think?  Have you played it?  Do you like it?  Tell me what you think and I'll see you out in the galaxy...Well, if they ever patch in that multiplayer I will.

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Enjoyed this a lot. You touched on many of the things people found wrong with the game at release. I also believe people could learn from how you handled it. We, as gamers, have it really good right now. Too good, maybe.  I think more gamers should be like you, and research games before they purchase them. Especially now that platforms like Steam allow you to refund a digital game. Some immediately hate on the game and then refund it before even giving it a chance to be liked, or see if the developers will fix the problem they have with it.

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It's honestly tough to write about games any more.  The nature of gaming has changed so much, yet review criteria has stayed stagnant and stuck in the NES Era.  Nintendo Power or GamePro reviews were amazing for the time, but gone are the days of a review score being the end-all-be-all for a game.  It can release as one thing and then be patched, changed, etc.  to become something, almost, completely different.  By that time, your review "score" is no longer valid (See Assassin's Creed Unity for a great example).  Gone are the days of a cartridge or CD/DVD shipping and that being it. 

Going forward, any game I write about will be done in a style very similar to this one.  An opinion piece about the game.  Did it deliver based on overall expectations and is it possible to become what was expected through patches/updates.

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Yeah, I think rating a game does it a big injustice. Many will scan or even skip the opinions written in the review and head directly to the rating. What's contained between the title of the review and the 'score' ... is what you should be reading to gain insight to the game you are interested in. Why would anyone skip that? lol

Gaming is a hobby for most and I do not think we would jump into any other hobby based on a ratings score. TV series, movies etc, you can get away with ratings since you're not paying that much for either. They also require less time of you. $60 is a lot to leave to chance -- yet so many do just that.

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I certainly am in the 'on the fence' crowd. I've enjoyed playing a game that is beautiful and full of potential, but it hasn't pulled me in as I had hoped. 

 

The part I was hoping for, an exploration game, is there in major quantities. This is the part that makes me want to keep playing. The part I didn't want is the survival. I don't mind another survival, inventory management game. It's just not what I want. I wish I had the option to turn off survival. At least give me infinite amount of the basics so I can hop from world to world looking for the best scenery.

 

The interesting things I've found have kept me playing, but the constant resource gathering feels out of place. I really can't shake the feeling that they made this awesome procedurally generated space exploration game, then thought 'oh shit, we really need to add something to this to keep people playing'

 

Anyhoo, for now, it's in the back queue. I hope they add enough to bring me back in.

 

 

 

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I own it for PS4 and honestly I wish I would have bought it for PC.

I haven't put many hours into it, and while I'm having fun I find the PS4 controllers to be really clunky

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