“No Man’s Sky” — Review
Console: PlayStation 4 & PC
Released: August 9, 2016
Price: $59.99, new
No Man’s Sky is a new action-adventure game released by the small, indie gaming company, Hello Games. This UK-based company has managed to create a massive universe comprised of over 18 quintillion planets, each with their own flora, fauna, and weather patterns. Each player starts off in a different section of the universe, and there is little to no possibility of running into another player. So, the entire universe is essentially at your disposal. Nearly all the planets that you’ll initially explore will be unidentified, but they do have names. But don’t let that mislead you, pull up your start menu and the option to rename the planet will be displayed. This same concept applies to the animals and plants as well.
You are given a multi-tool that functions as a mining gun at first, but as you collect different resources and find different blueprints, you can build on more attachments, including a variety of laser attachments. No Man’s Sky also maintains a sense of realism by creating a language barrier between your character and the alien lifeforms that can only be broken down by learning more about the culture of that alien race.
Visually speaking, No Man’s Sky instantly satisfies, with vivid horizons and incredibly intricate graphics; however, many popular gaming sites, including IGN Entertainment (x) and Steam (x), are giving it very…average reviews.
A lot of hype has followed the game’s development since the announcement trailer debuted in October of 2015, and various teasers throughout the development have kept gamers interested as well as skyrocketing the game to the rop of pre-order lists, selling over 260,000 copies (x). So, why has playership dropped by nearly 90% since its release?
The answer is simple: it gets boring. No Man’s Sky is a very self-propelled game, in that it requires the gamer to create his or her own goals. The game provides some initial objectives at the beginning of the game, like which items you need to find to repair your ship and which ions power different devices, but other than that, the player is really on their own. Similarly, the incredibly buggy PC release has lended the game to being ill-received on that format, garnering mixed reviews on Steam.
With no real tutorial, No Man’s Sky can be a little difficult to figure out. As mentioned above, your multi-tool functions as a weapon as well; however, it took an accidental discovery of a base after nearly an hour of traveling to find the blueprints to build the laser attachment. Until you build it, you’re nearly defenseless against any aggressive fauna and the sentinel bots that attack if you’re mining too much of the land or killing too many animals.
Similarly, all the travel is real-time based, meaning that walking and space travel can take anywhere from two minutes to two hours, and there’s just about nothing to do in the meantime. Keeping your thrusters charged and prioritizing the building of your ship’s hyperdrive can fend off too much waiting time. You can also buy different ships off other people depending on your relationship with the lifeforms that exist in the part of the galaxy that could lower the amount of travel time.
In sum, screenshots sold this game. This is not to say that No Man’s Sky didn’t deliver, but it took a very hands-off approach to gameplay. With virtually no quests or goals and the real-time travel system, it can be hard to pick the controller back up after a few hours of gameplay. However, with enough determination and curiosity, this game can fuel hours and hours of vividly rendered intergalactic adventuring.
Millennial Rating: 6.5/10