If Only No Man’s Sky Could Go Unreleased Forever

I’m a little sad that No Man’s Sky is being released.

This is surely not an uncommon feeling: sometimes the long weeks of anticipation leading up to Christmas are more fun than the day itself, which has the weight of expectation placed upon it and is, in any case, quickly devoured. With enough experience, you learn to savour the anticipation for its own sake.

No Man’s Sky’s procedural universe will not be as easily chewed through as a Christmas turkey Quorn log, but its release still marks the end of No Man’s Sky as a horizon-dwelling object of pure imagination and the beginning of its life as something more real and undoubtedly more finite.

I have experienced this before, of course. Once upon a time, the game I was looking forward to most was Black & White. “Looking forward to” is probably an understatement. I ached for that game. It’s embarrassing now to think how much frustrated longing I felt for a product, but I was young and of course blissfully naive. I searched out every morsel about the game I could find in magazines and on the internet and swallowed it all. The colourful world, the giant animals, the promise of funny little stories playing out between the two, these things captured my imagination.

I was just beginning to become interested in games beyond playing them, too. Black & White’s developers wrote a lot about the making of the game, and therefore long before release I had not only heard about the advances it was making in mouse controls and AI, but had seen the toil and trouble it was taking to make those systems work. I remember one particular story of a giant monkey who picked up a pig to eat, only for the monkey to disappear suddenly and the pig to fall back to earth. It turned out, apparently, that the pig had been about to take a bite at the moment the monkey had hoisted him into the air, and without restrictions making it impossible, the pig had eaten the much larger monkey whole. I was convinced – by this story of a bug, of all things – that Black & White was going to be wondrous.

I didn’t do the mental arithmetic required to imagine what Black & White would be like to play. It never clicked that I’d never read a story about a challenge or mission in the game that sounded fun. I just saw technical breakthroughs, daring design, funny giant animals and thought: “Yes, this is the future of games.”

When Black & White came out, I was naturally crushed. I liked the game – making apologies for its missions, even – but it was not what I had hoped it to be. It wasn’t just the things that were actually wrong with it, of which there were many. It was simply that it was a real, solid thing, with all the roughness and jaggedness and unpleasantness of real things when compared to their ephemeral, perfect, conceptual selves.

I’ve never fallen for a game the same way since. The next that came closest was probably Spore, Will Wright’s attempt to put players in charge of the evolution of a species across multiple games-in-one. It sounded like a miracle: a game in which you could take a species from a single cell organism to a space-faring race, in which your decisions in each stage would be reflected in the appearance and culture of the society that followed. It was also a similarly talked about game to Black & White, with the marketing campaign not only showing trailers and action but offering some glimpse of how the game was being made. I knew enough to be impressed by the ability to share creatures via image files over a global network, and for each player’s worlds to be filled by the creativity of other players automatically.

I also knew enough by then to ask the right questions, though. “What do you actually do in Spore?” I’d watch videos and think: “That cellular-level game looks a bit shat-o, doesn’t it?” and “This RTS bit seems woefully dull.”

Like Black & White, I enjoyed Spore despite all its flaws. I probably enjoyed it more for not having such high expectations.

I probably enjoyed its pre-release period a lot less for not having such high expectations.

Since then, I’ve come to think of a game’s development as an extension of the pleasures of playing the game post-release. I like reading stories about how games are made, and watching trailers to imagine what they might be like to play. I sometimes like these things more than I like the eventual games themselves. The two halves of the experience are connected but hold little bearing over one another.

No Man’s Sky has, during its development, followed a similar path to those games. I know an awful lot about its technical wizardry, about the procedural generation of galaxies and the animation of creatures and about the feeling of mystery it’s aiming to inspire. I’ve enjoyed every minute of watching its trailers and imagining the excitement of visiting its worlds.

But then, I have those questions. “What do you actually do in No Man’s Sky?” I watch the videos and think: “That shooting looks a bit shat-o, doesn’t it?” and “You have to gather resources to fuel space-jumps; am I just going to be punching differently coloured trees like in all those other games?”

Whatever the answers, No Man’s Sky seems certain to burn out in my affections more quickly when it’s finally here than when it was all just a distant dream in the mind’s of its developers. If only it could have stayed as a shared dream for longer.


  1. Premium User Badge

    Grizzly says:

    You can play it and then dream on how the sequel can improve!

    • MOONRGR says:


    • Kakkoii says:

      They plan to expand on the game itself more after release, not sequels.

    • Madzack says:

      I hope someone take NMS, mash it with the awesome hijacking hijinks of Just Cause and humour of Saints Row and turn it into a sort of Han Solo/Firefly simulator.

      Imagine, you, a rogue, dashing, badass space smuggler/pirate hijacking other spaceships, and base-jump/wingsuit into various planets.

      Or why not mash NMS with Crackdown? You get to be a superpowered cosmic spreading law & order across the universe by punching spaceships and ruining alien planets.

      Or mash NMS with Monster Hunter/Shadow of the Colossus and hunt giant alien monsters in different planets with your sword forged from the heart of Suns.

      Or just mash NMS with Elder Scrolls and you get an OPEN UNIVERSE RPG fighting monsters with your sword forged from the heart of Suns.

      The possibilities for ripping off NMS are endless…

  2. Premium User Badge

    Nauallis says:

    Hurrah, you’ve learned how to approach hype as an adult! Takes a lot of the fun out of it though. There really is nothing quite as misleading as expectations, and very little that’s as disappointing as self-hype not being met.

    • KingFunk says:

      To be fair, there are some things that meet or even exceed hype and expectations. From personal experience, I’d dreamed of visiting Easter Island for years and beholding the mysterious Moai and contemplating the island’s remoteness.

      When I finally got there earlier this year and spent 2 weeks, I had an even more fantastic time than I had hoped for in pretty much every way.

      Also, in terms of games, The Witcher 3 has yet to disappoint me since I finally got around to purchasing it a few weeks back… I think it’s fair to say that the general enthusiasm both pre- and post-release for it count as substantial hype if you’ve been interested but not yet played it.

      • Detocroix says:

        True, but Witcher 3 was also the third game in a serie that has received a lot of praise in the past and from a company that has proven to do a good job at supporting the game and respecting their customers. That wasn’t raw hype like with No Man’s Sky, it was a proven serie and proven developer making a game.

      • anHorse says:

        Witcher 3 has ruined me

        It was a game I was endlessly hyped for and it actually surpassed those expectations. Now I can’t help but compare other similar games to it and they never come out well

      • Premium User Badge

        Nauallis says:

        That’s great to hear, and I’m envious of you making that trip!

        I was addressing when reality vs hype goes sour, but I heartily agree about how groovy it is when expectations are exceeded.

        The Witcher 3 disappointed me only when it tried to reach past the hardware limitations of the xbox one that I played it on… but long story short that was a failure of the game engine, not hype. And after 40 hours I was about done anyway.

      • Lamb Chop says:

        The thing about real life is that it can often exceed your imagination. Sadly, video games aren’t there yet.

    • thedosbox says:

      I see from the comments that we have plenty of company in buying into the B&W hype, then being crushed when the game came out.

      However, aspects of the “community” around NMS have managed to put me right off the game. It’s going to have to be spectacular (and on sale) before I’ll take a closer look.

      • Premium User Badge

        Nauallis says:

        I’ve never played B&W – wasn’t responding to that. Didn’t know it existed until a few years after it came out, when some friends mentioned it in passing. IIRC we were more interested in Diablo 2, which released a few months after.

  3. Premium User Badge

    Harlander says:

    I thought you’d be punching rocks in NMS, not trees.

    Well, there goes my hype.

    • GenialityOfEvil says:

      You can punch trees too, though some of them punch back.

      • Premium User Badge

        john_silence says:

        So it will be like wandering through certain parks at night.

        Also: I find the premise of this article quite poetic and enjoy its tinge of melancholy. It is very true that exquisite anticipation often creates the conditions for the best relationship one can enjoy with a thing or a person, and this experiential stage should be treasured.
        I’m afraid the actual No Man’s Sky will feel terribly hollow and aimless in comparison with its wondrous Platonic ideal.

        • Uncompetative says:

          I feel that I must commend you for your scintillating vocabulary. I’ve been advising everyone unsure about No Man’s Sky to watch extended livestreams of it on twitch as I feel that this is the only way that its slow burn gameplay will fairly judged on its own merits. Even so, the hype that I had for the title last year which almost became unbearable and led me to preorder it from Amazon so that I could stop checking for news of an official release date and just wait for the postman to pleasantly surprise me by dropping it through my letterbox one unspecified day in the future, has long since burnt out, even before the game slipped its official release date so close from it being in my hands that I could taste it.

          The jerks running its unofficial subreddit shut down all the speculative threads that had made for a vibrant community and there was no reason for me to frequent it. A bunch of concepts once discussed as potential discoveries awaiting all us intrepid explorers was eradicated as irrelevant as the game was so far along in development that Hello Games (who had been confirmed to be readers of this poncy subreddit) would be unable to incorporate any of these imaginative fan requests.

          I had never expected Hello Games to listen indirectly to fans and most of the others on there were the same. Ultimately, they were making their own game and everyone knew that their imagination would likely be exceeded by Sean Murray’s and the rest of his team. Indeed, it was essential to have No Man’s Sky reward risky exploration with extraordinary discoveries that were beyond your imagination, rather than just be a rote checklist of tsunamis and space whales like the subreddit obsessed over.

          I did once email Hello Games about my concerns about how death in space left you stranded on a nearby planet unable to revert to a previous save point and continue with all the upgrades you had made to your shiny spaceship. I worried that my pre-order bonus spaceship would soon get blown up by pirates and leave me without a means to explore the Galaxy – something that I remembered proved essential to my continued tolerance of the really quite challenging space exploration and trading game Elite way back in 1984. I couldn’t really believe that they would screw up this particular respawn context and felt compelled to warn them of the consequences, or at least plead for this not to be a feature of the offline mode.

          My patience exhausted by premature announcement, years of waiting, and delay, doubts crept in to fill the void once filled by hype and its stimulation of its active friendly subreddit community, now stifled by power drunk moderators unaware that they would alienate everyone who came there for a fun imagining of the “ultimate do absolutely anything game” which is what they were inevitably making it into as they had been given no clear expectations of the game having any constraints from a studio who was trying to sell an enigmatic journey of discovery, for which a set of bullet pointed features would undermine your unique feeling of being an explorer.

          Hello Games then started to ruin the surprise long before these Daymeeuhm videos cropped up on YouTube. Call me weird, but I would have found No Man’s Sky to be far more dramatic if I had gone into it expecting to maybe see a few plants, animals and NPC spaceships flying around, but not to actually walk over the crest of a hill, see a building (what, the Sentinels allow that in their xenozoological preserve?) and enter it only to have the shock confrontation with a sentient alien humanoid who is attempting to speak to me in a language I know neither the syntax or vocabulary of.

          Having ruined the buzz of this unexpected First Contact – which could have been made to trigger a fortnight after the game’s release by weighting the procedural generator so that the rim of the initial Galaxy everyone starts out spread around would have no alien colonists and that the statistical likelihood of these sentient encounters would only occur within trading posts slightly further in by a distance that could be ensured that even the luckiest player couldn’t have reached early on.

          Yet, rather than give their game a second post launch buzz and have the internet ruminate on the significance of these ancient Monoliths inscribed with symbols of unknown origin and purpose, they blurted out the secret to yet another enigma and left the game more known at the cost of its precious sense of mystery.

          I don’t blame Daymeeuhm for paying $1302.95 for an advanced copy from a retailer who had broken its official release date, and taking the huge risk of not only finding that the parcel from eBay didn’t contain the right disc, but that Hello Games would ban him for his premature usage of their servers.

          He wanted to experience the game without spoilers, so for all those who have yet to check out his fuzzy videos the last unspoilery thing I can say about No Man’s Sky having disappointed me before I get to the content of his video is that Hello Games are in a total confusion with their marketing whether their game is a Galaxy amongst many others within a Universe, or a Universe. They have switched around a lot over the time I have followed the game, and my constructive suggestion within its reddit community which gained traction was that everyone started in the same inital Galaxy and had the option to race to the centre of it (where I postulated that they might find not only other players for perhaps the first time, but an opportunity to travel in small groups through a semi-stable wormhole to another unique Galaxy without Sentinels). Obviously, 2^64 planets is more than you would find in just one Galaxy, but it is also nonsense to talk about a cosmological centre to the Universe.

          Yet, they are saying that you will journey to the centre of the Universe in the latest trailers, and having seen their starfield being briskly explored in Sean Murray’s God mode it seems all too apparent that this game lacks the spiral structure of the Milky Way Galaxy so well modeled in Elite: Dangerous and is closer to a Globular Cluster, only with vastly more star systems. Could it be explained as a Universe nearing the Big Crunch? Why else would there be no discernable gaps between Galaxies, but this mash-up of unorganised stars? Even if there is a science-fictiony justification for this oversimplified Universe, I am disappointed as this removes the opportunity for the interesting endgame I had imagined months before even starting play…

          Spoiler follows

          I was also very disappointed by the opening of the game as demonstrated within the videos posted by Daymeeuhm. Although it wouldn’t affect me as I had the preorder bonus Alpha Vector ship to immediately start space exploration, everyone coming to the game who had waited for positive reviews before purchase would find that they were stranded on a planet, wander about for a bit trying to survive and then discover their crashed ship, and then set about mining the resources to craft the alloys that were required to fix various technical aspects of it so that it was spaceworthy. A bit like Minecraft in Space with a UI embarrassingly ripped straight out of Destiny, with the worrying sense that this could prove to be excessively grindy and not especially interesting considering the statistical likelihood that you would spend most of your early experiences with the game on an ugly lifeless rock probably struggling against blistering heat or frostbite.

          Maybe I’m not cut out to be an explorer, but as a critic I can tell you that the opening would have more impact were it to start you in space with your non preorder bonus craft inexplicably damaged and out of control. That way you get a sense of the huge immensity of game before the gravitational field of the nearby planet drags you into a crashed landing and in passing through its cloud layer, reveals for the first time what you have hoped to see in a videogame since Elite tempted you with the imaginative possibility of landing on planets in 1984, which was only later fulfilled by Mercenary the following year.

          All you get is a wizzy dolly shot through a multicoloured starfield with there being a direct collision with one of the stars at one point! Not only was this done far better in the opening of Black & White with the “arrival of the God” cutscene, but it then has the screen go white and have it say Initialize… before unceremoniously crossfading directly to your character’s point of view as they find themselves to be stuck on the surface of some wasteland, without any kind of dramatic build up, comprehension that they are an astronaut, or that the universe is a dangerous place. Total failure as an artwork in terms of its beginning, inciting incident (meeting your first alien NPC and attempting to build a relationship with them despite the almost insurmountable language barrier, undermined by the lack of surprise that the other ships you have seen have not merely been under the control of sentinels or other players who you can’t physically dock with and meet face to face), and its squandered potential for a collaborative endgame.

          Just because the game doesn’t have a story doesn’t mean it can’t structure what it provides to the player with strong narrative framing: your ship goes out of control and plunges through the atmosphere of an alien world giving you a brief glimpse of its unfamiliar horizon before crashing into the ground and leaving you with a clear objective to get back up there, your ship repaired and many moons later you find a strange building somewhere and with great trepidation and weaponized multitool at the ready head inside the airlock only to be confronted with something you didn’t at all expect to encounter within the game, after this First Contact has blown your mind you reappraise the game as possibly having more such huge secrets to be revealed through your intrepid exploration, as time goes on a pattern develops where you find that you are rewarded with the discovery of rarer minerals and the developer’s secret Easter Eggs more often when you accept a greater level of risk, but that more grind will ease this difficulty curve by equipping your character so they are better prepared for any situation they may encounter, your time alone exploring will come to an end on reaching the central hub of the initial Galaxy most players will have been racing towards for months, meeting others may be enough of a narrative closure for you, but were there to be a way to get to the other Galaxies through some wormhole and if you were to find yourself free to colonize planets and conquer each other’s cities free from the interference of the ‘fun police’ Sentinels, then that would be the icing on the cake… but alas it seems not especially as Sean confirmed to me that there were no cities in No Man’s Sky.

  4. Premium User Badge

    phuzz says:

    Black and White was also the game that taught me not to buy into hype. Embarrassingly this wasn’t a lesson I learned until my early twenties.

    This is why I’ve not bothered watching any of the recent trailers for No Mans Sky, because I think I’ll enjoy the game more, in a year or so when I finally get round to picking it up. Bugs will have been fixed, mods and/or DLC will have had time to arrive, and the price will have dropped a bit.
    The thing is, I’m avoiding the trailers and hype, because I know that I’m still capable of being sucked in.

    • Mokinokaro says:

      There won’t be any dlc according to the head designer. Plugging new content into the procedural universe apparently breaks things pretty easily.

      They do plan to improve and add to gameplay in patches though

  5. Mungrul says:

    I absolutely adored Black & White, but it was at its absolute best when treated as a sandbox. In fact, I think Creature Isle is probably the best example of what Black & White had the potential to be.

    The main game’s campaign and the gameplay to advance through said campaign was atrocious however. That third map in particular, the one where the enemy god kidnaps your creature? Yeah, that was appalling.

    Black & White 2 though, I have no love for whatsoever. All mystery about how the creature brain worked was removed and reduced to a series of bars exposing the gears behind the magic curtain, and the creature seemed a lot less independent as a result.
    In fact, do I remember correctly that it didn’t use the same AI as the first game?

  6. CartonofMilk says:

    its kinda how i’m still playing Elite Dangerous. Imagining how this game would feel like to play if it was all it could be. My mind is filling in huge gaps playing this game. Like i’m convincing myself this is more immersive than it actually is.

    • Krazen says:

      That seems to be a common opinion. The core fundamentals are great and it has soon much potential but even after all the updates and expansions it still seems to lack any meaningful content.

      • BobbyDylan says:

        Agreed. I’ve gotten hundreds of hours of enjoyment out of ED, but I can’t be asked to go through the kerfuffle of playing it these days. It just doesn’t feel rewarding enough. I’ll probably not boot it up again for the rest of the year, but I’m still hyped for it’s continued development.

    • Hobbes says:

      The sad part being in E:D’s case, a fully offline and moddable client would have allowed people with the time and wherewithal to actually convert what is a fundamentally solid base into something that had real potential and sustainability.

      Instead we get barren planets and ship skins hawked to us because Frontier can’t be arsed to put together -actual- content.

      • LewdPenguin says:

        Agreed, when they went with the mmo-but-not decision to make it an online only thing with no proper single player or campaign type mode I pretty much just groaned and wrote off my investment in the game. It remains a stunning tech demo, but until the day (never) that Frontier admit their game is by design unable to provide the sort of player content that EVE does (yes I will make the comparision, because they so obvious wanted to be EVE 2.0 but lacked a fraction of the talent to pull it off technically) and add some actual content it will remain just that for the majority of people.

      • Neutrino says:

        Absolutely. I was am early backer of the ED kickstarter. Having seen what they’ve made I haven’t even bothered to download it even though I’ve already paid for it. It still has far less content than Frontier FFE, a fact which is frankly disgraceful.

    • farrier says:

      That’s what happens when I boot up E:D now and then too (besides getting slaughtered by the new AI because I took a couple months off). I think one of the common retorts to critics of the game is that, if they don’t think there’s a lot to do, they’re lacking in imagination. My problem is that when I play it, I *am* imagining many things, basic things, that I cannot actually experience in the game.

      I’m taking a much more critical eye to NMS, though I’ve found that I’m actually getting more intrigued by it as a result. I will definitely wait for the reviews, but in this case a more measured approach is definitely helping.

      Not that I was very hyped by E:D, mind you. Two different points I’m making here.

    • A Gentleman and a Taffer says:

      Completely. The fact it’s not really finished yet means there’s still a level of hype there – “this is fine and all but imagine what it’ll be like when I can fly into the atmospheres of livable planets with cities and stuff!”. I’m still excited by the game it could become, even though I haven’t picked up the game it is for months now

  7. Turkey says:

    I figured it would end up being a crafting/sandbox type game, so my hype has been checked for a while now.

    They haven’t really been upfront about what kind of a game it’s going to be until recently, though. I imagine the backlash will hit them pretty hard because of that.

    • derbefrier says:

      Actually they have been pretty upfront about the gameplay. They have never described or promised anything other than what we are getting and the info has been available for quite some time. I don’t know what it is about this game that people have such a hard time figuring if out. It’s wierd. I mean a simple Google search is all it takes. I mean they have said from the start it’s about exploring, some fighting, a bit of crafting and the goal to get to the center of the universe. All of that has been known for a long time. Did people just assume there would be more to it and because of that assumption, think nothings really been explained yet? I mean I know they haven’t really gone into depth on specific mechanics untill recently but they have never hid the main theme behind the game. Are people just not paying attention and just parroting what they see other people say?

      • Turkey says:

        I don’t know, but it seems like every time NMS’ come up here in the past there’s been a string of comments asking what you do in the game.

      • LennyLeonardo says:

        I have a theory that it’s because we don’t have as much of a frame of reference as we usually do. People are now used to having a string idea of the way the game will feel (whether or not it’s borne out by the actual game), but with NMS that implicit understanding isn’t there, so people are blaming Hello Games for not filling in the gap. The irony is, that gap is what the game appears to be all about.

        • LennyLeonardo says:

          Having said that, it’s true that there’s a lot more actual information about the game floating around than many make out. Though I guess the game itself skirts around the edges of a bunch of genres, which still makes it hard to pin down.

      • papusman says:

        Exactly! I don’t understand everyone’s confusion. I feel like I know EXACTLY what this game is. What’s the great mystery? I honestly think you’re right that it’s kind of just become a meme at this point, and people parrot the “but what do you DO?” phrase without bothering to look for the wealth of readily available information.

      • LexW1 says:

        So, I’m calling you on this I’m afraid.

        I’ve googled NMS extensively. I’ve read the wiki.

        I still know less about what actually goes on in the game than any other game with remotely as much attention and press coverage. The people writing the wiki articles know jack-all either. And I’m suggesting you, also, know jack-all about it. Vague stuff like “some fighting, some crafting, some flying” or whatever, is meaningless. Yes, obviously those things will happen, but the experience, the proportions, the time spent on things, what the game’s actual game experience is, is still up in the air. And the intentionally disjointed videos and the like released by the company do not help.

        If you can find a great, solid, accurate explanation of what happens in the game, please link. If it’s more vague handwaving, please don’t.

        I mean, this is a game, where we know you have lasers, projectile weapons, and grenades as your main ground weaponry, and literally no-one has even ever seen a projectile weapon or grenade, and only like two or three different lasers…

        I guess the key questions, for me, are,

        1) Is it going to be some tedious resource grind where I am constantly having to do tedious stuff fuel up my ship.

        2) Is the exploration actually going to be fun and surprise and intrigue me, or is it going to repetitive and same-y?

        3) Is the combat going to be boring hit-point grind-downs, or is it going to be somewhat dynamic and exciting?

        As far as I know, you can’t answer these questions.

        • The Great Wayne says:

          Inb4 the :

          “Well the game is about the mystery you dummy and “Sean” don’t want to spoil us the good parts ! Good lord these guys nowadays just want to know 100% of what the game is about even before it’s out what a bunch of losers duh…”

          You know who you are.

          • renzollama says:

            You just can’t fathom the genius marketing that Sean has done for this game. Sean and his developers have made the game I’ve been waiting for my entire life and they will soon be given the credit they deserve as legendary developers. Sean will take us into our space future.

            I shit you not, there are some people who are going to be near suicidal in a couple weeks based on the posts I’ve seen on reddit/neogaf recently.

        • fish99 says:

          Yeah I mean we don’t know if the gameplay will be fun, and we don’t know how much depth any of the games system will have. Those two things will be the difference between a memorable experience and one soon forgotten.

          • Someoldguy says:

            Absolutely. For example, Runescape launched their latest big update on monday, opening up a way of travelling to the Arc, a new part of the world. The game offers some hub islands, which are well done, but then held out the big promise that you could sail off to explore, discover and claim title on your own personal island. It boasted that there were billion of unique ones to find. Unfortunately people rapidly worked out that while technically they were unique it really boiled down to 0-2 spawns of each of 5 new resources, it’s random size, shape and distribution of palm trees. Once you’d seen half a dozen there was no mystery left to explore whatsoever, just the opportunity to randomly roll another voyage looking for a better configuration of these rare resources. The delivery was so much less than the hype.

        • malkav11 says:

          “Is the exploration actually going to be fun and surprise and intrigue me, or is it going to repetitive and same-y?”

          The content is procedurally generated, so, the latter. Unless you’re one of those people who gets surprised and intrigued by a differently shaped mountain range or a particularly robust stand of trees. (They do exist, even if I’m not one of them.)

        • jonahcutter says:

          You’re not asking what goes on in the game. You’re asking if it will be compelling.

          You do know what goes on in the game. You just don’t know if it will be done in a way you find interesting to play.

        • zbeeblebrox says:

          Well, those are review questions you’re asking. None of them, if answered, will tell you anything about what you do in the game either.

          Gameplay is pretty straightforward: you start at the edge of the galaxy, find your starter ship, fly to another planet, try not to die, collect whatever resources it has and maybe also name its creatures, whatever, then do some jumps in the vague direction of the center until you need to refuel and/or decide to fly to a space station to buy a new procedurally generated ship. Trade with aliens for better stuff once you learn their language via even more exploring. Rinse, repeat while trying to keep your reputation high with the procedural factions you’re passing through, so you don’t have to take as many detours to avoid being attacked by jerks. And..I mean there you go. What more would you even need to know, besides whether or not it sucks? If you want to know that, you’ll need a crystal ball.

      • Raoul Duke says:

        “I mean they have said from the start it’s about exploring, some fighting, a bit of crafting and the goal to get to the center of the universe.”

        See, the problem with this is that it can describe about 90% of games.


        “…it’s about exploring, some fighting, a bit of crafting and the goal is to get to…” the location of an Elder Scroll (or something? never actually got that far)

        Bioshock Infinite:

        “…it’s about exploring, some fighting, a bit of crafting and the goal is to get to…” Elizabeth(s)

        Deus Ex:

        “…it’s about exploring, some fighting, a bit of crafting and the goal is to get to…” Daedelus

        Far Cry:

        “…it’s about exploring, some fighting, a bit of crafting and the goal is to get to…” your kidnapped friends or some bullshit


        • ThePuzzler says:

          The goal of Skyrim is to kill the dragon who rescues you in the opening sequence. I forget what the dragon did to deserve it.

          • Spacewalk says:

            Macho Men don’t get along with Hulkamaniacs.

          • Coming Second says:

            Dirty dumb dragon scum.

          • Lanessar says:

            As I recall, Alduin was getting the band back together. For some reason, this upset some old people on a mountain, probably due to record deals or no DRM or something.

            TLDR; Record companies send you out to murder the last hope for free music.

  8. TheAngriestHobo says:

    Stellaris was this for a lot of us, and that was a release from an established studio making a game thematically and stylistically similar to its past successes. I’ve been cautiously hopeful about NMS, but given that such an ambitious project is being developed by a new studio whose only releases so far have been platform games, it’s very hard to imagine how it could meet expectations.

    That said, I don’t think it will be bad. There isn’t a ton of competition in the “system-driven first-person space exploration with seamless ground/space transition” genre (Starmade is a notable exception), so if nothing else, I expect it to develop a cult following.

    • Detocroix says:

      I was extremely satisfied with Stellaris, but I can very well see why some Paradox fans were disappointed. I personally never liked HOI and EU, but was a fan of CK (count starts) and I felt like Stellaris was more or less CK in space with stellar empires instead of angry (sub-)nations

      • Cinek says:

        Stellaris was more of a homage to sci-fi than a game as such. For a game it failed miserably as an RTS, 4X and Grand Strategy Game. If it wouldn’t be released by Paradox it would be flamed to ground as some awful copycat of what Paradox games are.

    • AngoraFish says:

      Stellaris was certainly what came to my mind here. So much hype for what was ultimately a competent but thoroughly pedestrian game. Stellaris might be my last preorder fail, at least for the immediate future.

    • Baranor says:

      Well… I do recall a game called Elemental:War of Magic from the same people that did Galciv and Galciv2… yeah.. that sure killed my pre-order tendencies. It was horrendously bad. Luckily the publisher did its serious best to make amends and restore their good name.

    • klops says:

      But Stellaris devs did show how the game plays unlike NMS. They had many hours of “let’s play” in Youtube before they published Stellaris. The few hours I watched, the game looked boring and my enthousiasm for the game vanished quite a lot before the game came out.

  9. klops says:

    Excellent article!

  10. Dacian says:

    Dude – recommend you not get married.

    • The Great Wayne says:

      I do think there’s something akin to relationships right here.

      I’ll even go so far as wonder if the oldest hype isn’t the one about what’s under the clothes.

      • LexW1 says:

        Well, no, because we only had clothes quite a long time after we had hype. The oldest hype is probably “What’s over that hill?”. Or perhaps “WHOA WHAT DOES THAT ONE TASTE LIKE! IT’S ALL STRIPEY! I BET IT TASTES AMAZING! CHASE IT THRONKAR!”.

    • Raoul Duke says:

      Yes – this reminds me of a discussion with a friend about people reaching a point where they would rather read about games than actually play them. At that point, your ‘hobby’ is imagining doing a hobby you don’t actually do. And presumably your enjoyment comes from what you imagine about something rather than the thing itself.

      This works both ways – people seem to enjoy believing in ridiculous possibilities, but also believing that games they have never played are the Worst Thing Evar too.

      Interesting analogy to relationships… there is a certain type who is head over heels over and over again, but then immediately finds that the beloved doesn’t meet up with the entirely invented idea of the perfect partner that has been imposed on them.

      FWIW I still think Black & White is an amazing game, and in a strange way its flaws make it more charming to me.

      • DrDraxium says:

        Man, I haven’t visited RPS for around a month, exchanging it for Reddit’s /r/Games and immediately within a couple of supremeley interesting articles of and comment upon comment of well thought out responses, I’m just blown away. Thanks everyone!

  11. G says:

    No Man’s Sky might let us down but at least we’ll have Star Citizen.

    • Static says:

      We’ll always have star citizen. I have since flipped my ships and actually turned a profit from the hype, now I just sit back with a basic package and watch the insanity unfold in all it’s glory. No matter what it turns out to be, whether vaporware, a piece of crap or actually one of the greatest games of all time, the pre release ride is entertaining enough.

      • Jekadu says:

        Do you think Star Citizen might be Frog Fractions 2?

        • caff says:

          This made me laugh so hard I nearly spat out the jelly beans I am munching on.

    • TheAngriestHobo says:

      Countdown’s over, Graham.

  12. Knightley4 says:

    Oh, the first Black & White is one of my all time favourite games. But – probably, because i had no idea what the game will be when i got the CD from a friend.

    I’m still longing for something with a similar feel (now, for VR).

  13. Ben King says:

    Is this one of those “not a review” things where RPS have their hands on NMS for review but have a press review block in place until x-hr of x-day? Where after a few hrs of tooling around they can’t ACTUALLY publish a review, but can beat around the bush with vague yet meaningful coded first impressions?

    • HothMonster says:

      I doubt it. If Garham is writing this I’d imagine someone else is playing the review copy or they have not received it yet.

      • Ben King says:

        I do enjoy the sneaky bits of RPS when I catch them. Still excited to read the forthcoming tree-punching review though.

    • Jeremy says:

      This is a very specific question.

      My hope is that this game will make it fun to simply pootle about the universe, in the same way as MineCraft. I don’t have much expectation outside of that, since most of the videos have only shown pootlin’ and cataloging creatures.

      I’m content to wait for a couple of weeks until we find out for sure, and have some reviews with the full code.

      • Catterbatter says:

        Why aren’t there more first person pootlers? I love them.

        • Premium User Badge

          phuzz says:

          Approximately a third of the fun I’m having in the Witcher 3 right now is just pootling around the countryside, seeing what’s there (often monsters that want to eat me it turns out).
          Another third of my enjoyment is the actual game and plot, and the rest is all Gwent.

      • LexW1 says:

        Minecraft is kind of shit for pootling because of food, though, and that’s precisely the sort of worry I have with NMS.

        Specifically I worry that we’ll constantly be having to tediously refuel the spaceship/jetpack/our bodies/whatever, and actual exploring will constantly be interrupted/limited by this.

        That and/or we will have to get in tedious, nigh-identical fights with the same four angry robots over and over again over resources we need to get to actually explore.

        • Premium User Badge

          Nauallis says:

          The gist that I’ve gathered is that the spaceship will always be fueled for flying around the planet, but you’ll have to first build an engine to get you into space from wherever you start, and then eventually you’ll be able to build a jump drive to go between connected systems on the star map (atlas). Apparently that will take some fuel. Warping, which will take you directly to an unlinked system on the atlas, requires either a special engine or a special fuel, or both, and you’ll have to gather, manufacture, or trade for the fuel for every jump.

          This is all impressions, mind, from the developer interviews. I can’t back it all up.

        • Neoprofin says:

          On Peaceful difficulty your hunger never depletes and you can only ever actually starve to death on difficult. I mostly ignore the mechanic unless I’m heading into hostile territory.

  14. fco says:

    i was halfway throug writing my coment with predictions for the game, comentary on hype, expectations, price points, etc., and then i thought, you know what? i’ll just wait for the reviews and/or playing the damn thing. everything else is just useless bs.

  15. causticnl says:

    I see you already made up your mind about the game before playing it.

    • thebigJ_A says:

      You sure you see that?

      Because that is emphatically *not* in the text above. Not knowing how good or bad it will be is half the damn point, friend.

  16. tslog says:

    I think the only worst examples are what some think half life 3 will in some peoples wild and impossible to reach imaginations, and not wanting to voice link from Zelda.

    Both of which I think I childish and naive. Looking forward to half life three without unreasonable expectations and would very much enjoy a voice link done well.

    • Nosada says:

      I remember my friends speaking horribly about the idea that Guybrush Threepwood would be voiced in the (then) upcoming Monkey Island games. It would ruin immersion and they’d never find a perfect fit for the character.

      We all know how that turned out …

  17. GenBanks says:

    I wish I could get that childhood hype back. It’s a mentality that gives you a huge sense of excitement and motivation when playing a new game that drives you to really explore and experiment as you play. These days when I play a new game I’m looking for the limits and flaws in the gameplay mechanics as I play and don’t have that same level of absorption that comes from hope that the game is everything you dreamed of, ie your personal fantasies realised so well it could be real life.

  18. KastaRules says:

    We are so close let’s just wait a little more and see for ourselves.

  19. JackMultiple says:

    I still remember, like it was yesterday, driving home with Spectrum Holobyte’s Falcon 3.0 on the front seat of my car. As I pondered the greatness that surely must lie within, feeling the HEFT of the 800lb silver shiny shrinkwrapped box, I can still remember thinking to myself…

    “As long as I don’t ever open this box, this game will forever be The Greatest Game I’ve (N)Ever Played! It could be awesome! I could play it forever and never need another game! I am so excited by the potential of this box I now hold in my hand!”

    Of course, it WAS the greatest (flightsim) game ever (at the time), but I still find myself thinking, every time I purchase a new game, that as long as I don’t actually play the game it might just be the greatest game ever, and I’ll always wish I HAD played it!

    Then I usually DO play it, and it sucks. Here’s hoping that NMS falls in between these two extremes.

    • Cederic says:

      For the benefit of younger readers, the game didn’t actually weigh 800lb.

      Most of that was actually the manual.

  20. Unsheep says:

    The problem is that people’s expectations are far too high, what they imagine the game to be, as opposed to what the game is actually like given all the available information. People only see what they want to see.

    The wordings that surround a popular game these days are quite extreme as well: ‘best game ever, amazing, incredible, fantastic’ etc. It’s just one superlative after the other. It’s no surprise people have unrealistic expectations.

    In my experience; games that our media tend to praise to the skies are never as good as they claim, likewise the games they dislike are never as bad as they claim.

    No game is perfect. You should focus on the positives and learn to live with the negatives … if you are genuinely interested in a game that is. We all do this, whether we care to admit to it or not.

    • Cinek says:

      Yes and no. What people expect is clearly the vision NMS built themselves through their marketing and communication with public. Sorry, but I have a very, very strong doubts if they can deliver even half of their promises.

      • lglethal says:

        This is not always the case Cinek. Take the new Thief that Eidos released. They went out of their way to try and dial back the hype that was being generated by people too excited by the fact that a new thief game was being created to actually listen to what the developers said the game would be like. So once it came out it got panned because it wasn’t what all those people had built up in their heads. It was pretty much exactly how the devs had said it would be from the start, but we cant let that get in the way of people’s imaginations.

        I’m still annoyed by this, as I had a great time with the game, really enjoyed the dark storyline, but because of all of the negative reviews from people who couldn’t get past comparing it with rose tinted spectacles to the old games, none of the planned DLC actually got made…

        *end grumpy old man rant* ;)

  21. Babymech says:

    I guess by this point a lot of people forget what No Man’s Sky actually looked like when it was first revealed: link to youtube.com

  22. C0llic says:

    This article perfectly sums up how I feel about No Man’s Sky. I also remember the disappointments of Black & White and Spore.

    Hype does get much less effective as you age. However, I agree with some others here that The Witcher 3 was one of those rarest of games, that delivered exactly what fans like me hoped for. It can happen.

  23. The Great Wayne says:

    Myself I cannot wait for it to be released, so the hype dies and people can just move along with their life taking or leaving the game for what it is.

    Hype nowaday is cancerous though. With dedicated subreddits enabling some weird loops of mutual approval from delusional players, it tends to polarize the gaming community between the “pros” and the “antis” as a rule, with zealous fans pushing anybody else to position as being with them or against them. It’s killing all nuance, any form of consumer critical spirit and is overall an insult to intelligence.

    A resilient little pest, The Hype, I’m telling you. Definitely can’t die soon enough if you believe me, for I’ve seen enough death threats to the devs/journalists when they fart against its wind.

    • Cinek says:

      Reddit is a special place, basically a factory of circlejerks in gaming. I wouldn’t shred a tear if it’d go down in flames tomorrow.

  24. causticnl says:

    you can still be excited for a release, sadly there is the internet, who doesnt like any things. who thinks everything is done before, and who judge a game by a marketing campaign.

  25. Greg says:

    I pre-ordered the game. I haven’t had the best of luck when it comes to pre-ordering games (pre-ordered Watch Dogs, X-Com Declassified…). Honestly, I’m worried. I’m getting the “all you do is shoot stuff vibe (combat AND resources gathering)” from all the pre-release videos which wouldn’t make the game that much fun after a while. The “procedurally generated” aspect based on the shear number of planets makes it a certainty that there could be a lot of buggy planets (there’s no way the developer could check all those planets in the 3 year development phase). There’s just so much that could go wrong with this title. I guess the best you can do is hope for the best. For all I know there could be an undetected bug which puts everyone on the same starting planet. With all the confusion about the multiplayer aspect of the game this is the kind of irony that fate loves.

    • The Great Wayne says:

      Just sayin’, as a fellow Greg : it’s still time to cancel that pre-order mate, and make the sound choice by waiting for the trusted reviews to come in before buying.

      C’mon, you know I’m right. Help me help you.

      • April March says:

        The Great Wayne is correct. Preordering, not even once!

        • klops says:

          Perhaps sometimes. I remember preordering Left 4 Dead 2, because it was similar to L4D1 and it had a demo. I already knew what I’d get and I liked it when preordering.

      • stevo says:

        Hold on and use the steam refund facility if things go tits-up post launch. Just keep an eye on the refund eligibility criteria

        This way you get the pre-order bonus but still have a way out if it turns into another Batman: AK on launch day

  26. Spinkick says:

    Get ready for them spore feels, y’all.

  27. caff says:

    The Steam reviews are going to be interesting on day 1 given the level of pre-ordering.

    Oi you numpties, why don’t you buy something that’s available now and of good quality i.e. Rimworld & Quadrilateral Cowboy?

    • The Great Wayne says:

      That, and for the price of one NMS, you can have *two* Rimworlds, and enlighten one of your close ones with this gem of a game.

    • April March says:

      Wot, Quadrilateral Cowboy is out???

    • PancakeWizard says:

      NMS will be a good game, of that I have no doubt. The most you could level at it is that it won’t be everything that’s expected of it.

      It’s a survival game with resource management and an upgrade ladder in an expansive and visually stunning universe. What it WON’T have is a crafting tree a la Minecraft or Starbound. You don’t build structures. Everything is focused on upgrading your ship, your suit and your ‘gun’, and everything uses resources: Fuel, shields and ammo are finite and you need to constantly replenish all of them and resource gathering is limited by what kind of planet/system you’re on and how much you can get before hostiles show up. It stops short of hunger/thirst mechanics, however.

      It’s going to very at the casual end of the survival genre, very pick up and play and very explorey(?)

  28. xyzzy frobozz says:

    I’m fairly sure that Chris Roberts worked out some time ago that the anticipation of a game is always better than the game itself.

    A lot more lucrative too.

  29. batraz says:

    ” It was simply that it was a real, solid thing, with all the roughness and jaggedness and unpleasantness of real things when compared to their ephemeral, perfect, conceptual selves.”

    I love Platon’s theory of Ideas so much, too… May Socrates’ daemon bless this site for ever for such simple joys !

    • batraz says:

      Even though you call the man Plato, behind the seas… Sorry about that.

  30. April March says:

    We’ll always have Half Life 3.

  31. batraz says:

    Anyway, maybe you should have said “when compared to their eternal, perfect, conceptual selves”
    But maybe I’m overthinking here.. Ok, back to bed.

    • Otterley says:

      You sound like you might appreciate a Plato 13. Admittedly more ephemeral than eternal, but schmeckt schneller

  32. geldonyetich says:

    I sympathize with where you’re coming from here, Mr. Smith, but methinks the real problem is letting hype raise your expectation beyond reality, not the reality manifesting in a release state at all.

  33. NephilimNexus says:

    I wouldn’t really call Spore “a let down.” The phrase I would use is “An Unforgivable Betrayal to all Mankind.”

  34. Peppergomez says:

    The more one defines ones identity through being a consumer of products, the more this significant these sorts of concerns become. Try putting your focus on things you create, whether it be games you create, music, art, food, interior design, woodworking, etc etc.

    The more you define yourself through what you create not what you consume, and the significance of products in the marketplace begins to diminish.

    The author of this article would benefit from this shift.

    • TheAngriestHobo says:

      “The author” creates articles pretty much every day. Articles on issues that concern gamers. This is one of them.

    • xyzzy frobozz says:

      I hate it when people wank all over my favourite websites.

  35. KodaVortex says:

    I really believe that is very false way to see the future of gaming, compared to previous hyped up games in the past like the one’s you mention already sucked before release but not NMS! No Man’s Sky will blow everyone’s mind and will be way more than anyone could ever dream of or expect or ever have wished for,no one can understand how huge the universe is, so it be unable to expect that all in a expectation thought, it would take billions of years to imagine what do i do?Well it’s full of self driven story line created by the player and choices one makes, I see so much creativity and the exploring is unlimited beyond anyone’s thoughts, to big to even think or get hopes up this will blow your hopes away and never play another game again unless this paves the way and more games like NMS will be coming out in the future, you know what it is only by sight and past games or what to do our brains can’t fit that in a perceptive assumption to be let down, see there will never be a dull moment, never.

    • LennyLeonardo says:

      Oh, OK. Cool.

    • mukuste says:

      This is quite a clever bit of satire.


    • Thurgret says:

      Splendid. It would have been weeks from now before I could make my own decisions.

    • lglethal says:

      The Chatbots on the internet are getting better and better these days. That almost made sense. It’s still a shame no one has taught them about punctuation and grammar. But then again, quantity is better than quality, right??

    • RegisteredUser says:

      This also accurately represents the state of AMD fanboys before the RX480 benchmarks leaked and PCIE frying started.

  36. smokeheads says:

    oi oi 2 moar weeks to go then well see what happens untill then everyone shhhhhhhhhh quite time >_<

  37. MisterX says:

    Very good and thought provoking article.
    Sums up many of our feelings I think.

  38. BooleanBob says:

    While I think this is pretty good analysis from a consumer’s perspective, I would have hoped from a bit more introspection from Graeme regarding his own role in the perpetuation of this (or any) game’s hype.

    Does RPS not benefit, has it not benefited from exactly this kind of hype cycle surrounding a popular game? From reading this article you might conclude that hype emerges from a vacuum, or that it’s an accidental phenomenon arising from the inability of gamers to hold their collective enthusiasm in check. But that’s not the whole truth: hype is intentionally manufactured and perpetuated by a multi-billion dollar industry of which developers, publishers, marketers and the enthusiast press are all to some extent co-beneficiaries.

    Honestly, I’m not bringing this up as some ‘gotha!’ accusation that I want to lay at Graeme’s door. What I’m trying to get at, I think, is to suggest that if we’re a a point where we’ve gone through this so many times that the undesirable by-products of the hype cycle are becoming more recognisable, isn’t there an argument for reforming the behaviours of the actors perpetuating said cycle in hopes of better outcomes? Mightn’t we that way maximise or at least mitigate the enjoyable experience of *playing* a game, as opposed to that of anticipating it? And similarly, reduce the anxieties associated with overly-hype-fuelled anticipation that occasionally provoke undesirable behaviour online?

    • The Great Wayne says:

      Well, I haven’t seen any writers here raving about NMS, but I think we could safely consider that we’re still all gaming enthusiasts, and that – while reporting about hyped games is certainly enabling the hype – not talking about hyped games would be a fault for a news site about PC gaming.

      Having said that, it’s all a question of tone and analysis, and I think this piece does a good job at it. It might be coming a bit late, considering the hype has been going strong for a long time, and it could have been useful to try and debunk it earlier, but I don’t know if it wouldn’t have been lost letter anyway at that time.

    • LennyLeonardo says:

      Press coverage = hype? Does this article feed the hype? Also, it’s worth noting that Graham never once uses the word “hype” in this article. He’s taking a look at his own anticipation of this and other games, that’s all.

      • BooleanBob says:

        Just a friendly reminder that RPS’ very first words on No Man’s Sky were

        ‘Whatever You Do, Watch This: Hello Games’ No Man’s Sky’

        From that post:

        ‘No words to describe it. Poetry. And from a four-person indie studio too. This has rocketmanned straight to the very top of my Most Wanted list…

        this incredible-looking and sounding science fictional endeavour…

        We shall have more, and first-hand, thoughts on No Man’s Sky very soon indeed.’

        • Premium User Badge

          Nauallis says:

          Er… yeah. That was two and a half years ago though.

          Holy crap.

  39. tonicer says:

    It’s going to flop like most procedural generated open world multiplatform games.

  40. Deadcow says:

    Why do people keep asking this same stupid question over and over and over again? “What do I do?” “What do I DO?” “WHAT do I do?” – there’s literally been dozens of videos explaining almost exactly what you do. Certainly the meat of it. If you don’t know what you do in NMS by now, you clearly aren’t following the game very closely. Nobody asks this question about Elite.

    • The Great Wayne says:

      You might want to consider that, given a lot of people are asking :

      – Devs and PR have done a terrible job explaining it

      – People don’t consider the answers satisfying, either in term of content, or they just don’t believe that the shallow gameplay we’ve been shown is the core of it.

      In any case, fans shouldn’t be so emotional about it, it’s far healthier to have sceptics interested by the game, than people convinced it’s a turd, and vocally so.

      • Deadcow says:

        Well, that’s true enough. I’m still not convinced by the “what do you do” argument though. People are wielding it like a weapon against the game. I’m pretty sure I’ve had less access to NMS than most of the gaming press, but I’ve got a pretty decent handle on the gameplay loop:

        Mine/Trade/Steal/Explore -> Profit -> Upgrade -> Travel: Repeat

  41. Cimeries says:

    I guess I was too young to see the flaws in Black and White when I played it, because I thought it was brilliant. Smacking your creature around was fun, as was training him to eat people if you threw them at him. I also enjoyed finding creative ways of bending the rules of the game. One of my faves was to do with destroying enemy towns. You could only go into enemy areas briefly before losing all powers, so you sometimes needed to throw shit at the enemy village to destroy it. Rocks were fine and fireballs were good too, but used a lot of mana, so I would get a pile of rocks and drop a single fireball on them. Tada, flaming rocks! Get one of those suckers into the wood and grain store and you could right royally fuck over the enemy.

    I also remember trying to play this game via dial-up on a craptop with a friend and failing horribly.

    In terms of NMS, I’ve waited long enough. I would love this game even if it was just an endless colourful walking/flying simulator to explore. Everything else is just a bonus.

    • The Great Wayne says:

      And that’s the core of it, after all, you simply gotta enjoy yourself. Although, if it proves to be crap in the end, self-induced hypnosis can only so far I’m afraid.

  42. kromeboy says:

    I have recently rewatched the first unveil of Spore by Will Wright at GDC and I think that the final game delivered on the original concept of user generated content, and user generated narrative.

    Will Wright himself described the simple games mechanic as an editor of content, and the final space stage as a browser of content.

    It was the hype that built up un this idea that Spore is a “universe simulator” with deep mechanic, when the original idea was to be a universe editor with very few gameplay limitations to pure creativity.

    I think that No Man’s Sky is following the same path: the creator wanted to build a procedural generated universe and they delivered on them, while most of the hyped player expects a limitless universe of interaction, in a game where the main interaction is the exploration itself

    • Cinek says:

      Personally I wouldn’t be surprised if Spore would be more content-rich game than NMS (that is in an actual content not RNG/player-generated stuff).

  43. PancakeWizard says:

    Black and White taught me a lesson. In the decades that followed I learned to spot when a game has a big question mark over it, and react accordingly.

    NMS, btw, has never set off these alarm bells despite everyone in the games media and hobby seemingly trying to assure me it’s going to rip my heart out.

    I’ll be glad when the game is released, not just because I’m keen to play it, but because the ‘it’s house of cards!’ meme surrounding the game has been perplexing and infuriating to behold and I’ll be glad to see an end to it.

    Trust me, the nega-hype for NMS far outweights anything resembling positive hype I’ve seen.

  44. K_Sezegedin says:

    Incessant nitpicker in me urges you to post screenshots of black and white instead of black and white 2.

    • Cinek says:

      To be fair – that picture is a perfect illustration of how I felt after playing first half an hour in B&W2. And it was one of the official promo pics for the game. Amazing foresight.

  45. rb207 says:

    great article. I havent ever got too excited about unreleased games but I have found myself excited reading the manual and leaflets that come with the game imagining how it will be. In the days of actual CDs I found myself reading the leaflets and manuals of games like Messiah, Red hot racing, neither of which worked until i Upgraded my pc. Also Starcraft brood war before I got a chance to even play the game. The manuals of Grand Prix 2, MS combat flight sim 1-2 were also brilliant.

  46. Schnallinsky says:

    i, too, remember the pig story. it taught me a valuable lesson.

  47. MisterGee says:

    I just wish the Devs would be honest about the game being multiplayer or single player rather than constantly answering with the sort of marketing rubbish normally reserved for hair commercials.

    They say “people should stop thinking about it as an mmo” and that the galaxy is so big that its unlikely you will ever see anyone, but you might. If it’s true, and I honestly don’t think it is, then great.


    If it’s a lie, or misdirection of truth, then they are going to leave a nasty nasty taste in peoples mouths for absolutely no benefit.

    Seeing “traces of people”, or the “galaxy being so big you will probably never run into people” is garbage.

    This game is either multiplayer, or it isn’t. The games they reference as being similar to Terraria and DarkSouls are both real multiplayer games. You can see other real people and interact with them.

    Seeing “traces of people” isn’t multiplayer, it’s just a way of getting humans to name planets and things for you. It’s a trick, it’s like racing a ghost image of a friend who drove the same race track. That is not multiplayer

    With Steam calling it “single player”, my money is on there being no way you can interact with another player in real time. which is why the Dev’s should stop using weasel speak.

    Otherwise it’s like hair commercials which make your hair “LOOK” healthy – a scam.

    I hope it isn’t, but it’s clear from all the posts that no-one knows for sure, because the devs are not being straight with us.

    I hope for their sake its a gamble that will pay off for them, because these days buying games is about trust and being know as a studio that misleads people NO MATTER HOW GOOD YOUR GAME IS makes you untrustworthy.

    So please Devs, if you even care….. just be honest the next time you are asked “is it multiplayer”

    • Deadcow says:

      From “The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy”:

      “Space is big. Really big. You just won’t believe how vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it’s a long way down the road to the chemist, but that’s just peanuts to space.”

      Everyone shares a galaxy. You’ll never meet them because it’s too big. It’s a not multiplayer, multiplayer game.

  48. Carra says:

    Reminds me of when I first got my PC in 1997. Bought a PC game magazine that contained a preview of Ultima Online. It looked so amazing: a game where you can be whatever character you want! You could ride horses! You could build houses! You could just wander around. To my 12 year old brain it looked amazing.

    Never got around to playing it though, needed a credit card :)

  49. RegisteredUser says:

    This article also fairly accurately describes the process of writing each other too much without talking or meeting when online dating.