No Man’s Sky’s Survive Trailer Is Full Of Poison

Don’t take my slight sadness at No Man’s Sky being released as a sign I’ve made up my mind about it. I haven’t played the procedural space-’em-up and so my mind is still wide open. I keep watching these trailers for a hint at whether it could be great and the latest and last, titled “Survive”, is below.

It’s not hard to throw a bunch of perlin noise at a terrain and generate something resembling a planet. What’s hard is to give that terrain meaning and shape, so that there’s some value in progressing across it once the novelty wears off. No Man’s Sky’s world is being populated with poisonous plants, dangerous radiation and freezing cold, alongside the collectible resources seen in previous trailers. It looks a little more like Minecraft with each of these trailers.

Minecraft with spaceships isn’t a bad pitch, though. You can watch those trailers for explore, fight, and trade, to see the other cornerstones of the No Man’s Sky experience.

It’s not entirely clear when No Man’s Sky is coming out on PC, but our best bet says they’re at least aiming for August 12th.

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  1. MrLoque says:

    This game will be either a huge, amazing, incredible success… or a huge, amazing, incredible disappointment. There is no way for it to be just “a nice/bad game”.

    • Antongranis says:

      Depends on you. How hyped are you? Hype really warps your judgement.

      • LexW1 says:

        I’m not hyped and haven’t pre-ordered, but I think it’ll still be a massive disappointment if it’s not genuinely amazing game, as what it’s doing is very daring, and it doesn’t do it well, it could doom or delay future efforts with a similar concept. I’d rather it was awesome so more developers were inspired by it, and publishers thought such games might be worth backing.

      • DThor says:

        Investment, too. When people pour so much love (and preorder money) into something, they might well balk when it ends up sucking and many are just defensive about their purchase. It’s understandable. I honestly think this will be a pointless, tedious experience. It’s all about the tech, which is something that basically throws out a crazy number of options, like in the gameplay trailer where the dev says “you could join those traders, or attack them, or…”. Sure, the game engine allows choice, great, but what is the act of joining them and trading – is it fun? A grind? Attacking – how is the combat? Visceral? Intuitive? Fun? Awkward?
        The actual gameplay – the acts of mining, collecting, buying, selling, fighting, running – these are the meat and potatoes of a game and it seems to be the only thing barely being shown.
        I’m not dissing the devs for doing the game (while not my cup of tea I treated Minecraft with the same disdain so what do I know?), but I am mystified by all the excitement over a solid random number generator.

        • Antongranis says:

          My defualt stance on new games is always optimistic with a bit of caution, if i can help it. Hype is always to be avoided.

          It helps me be as fair as possible when i play it my self.

          As for no mans sky, i like to think of it as a walking simulator in space, which is fine by me.

          • The Great Wayne says:

            It’d be a bit on the expensive side if that’s it, especially considering Subnautica is doing a very good job at creating an “alien” feeling to an otherwise pretty crowded genre nowadays.

        • The Great Wayne says:

          While regularly repeated, I think the analogy to Minecraft isn’t valid. At its core, Minecraft is about building (ergo the success of the free mode before the survival).

          It’s the same incentive behind the Legos, and it can take you pretty far, for imagination and the capacity to materialize it is a very strong drive. There is a walking/mining simulator somewhere in Minecraft, but it’s also much more than that, and that’s what made it a success.

          That’s not the case with NMS. You can’t build marvelous stuff to occupy a rainy sunday. You won’t collaborate with buddies to build scaled up Enterprise spaceships on private servers.

          The only content you’ll ever encounter here is the one the procedural generator put in front of you, and that will get boring fast, by nature, for humans are very good at discerning repeating patterns.

          • Artist says:

            The only content you’ll ever encounter here is the one the procedural generator put in front of you, and that will get boring fast, by nature, for humans are very good at discerning repeating patterns.
            You mean like the guys that play on the same Counterstrike maps for 15+ years? Or grind the same dungeons in WoW for years? I think you missed out something about “human nature”…

          • Razumen says:

            That really depends on the algorithm they use, and how many of them are at work. Exploring the same seed in Minecraft often gets a bit old, but in a game like this where each world uses it’s own seed (or maybe even multiples) combined with unique fauna and flora, I think it might be able to hold up visual interest for much longer.

            What I think will be the REAL killer is gameplay, if the systems in place are too simple to keep the player engaged for long periods of time, then a universe of variety won’t keep the game afloat.

          • The Great Wayne says:

            Hmmm, but this is completely and utterly wrong. The point in Counter Strike isn’t exploration, it’s trying to overcome the other players. The maps are merely a medium, and they’re specifically tailored to allow tactical thinking. In this respect it’s always different, because the players are different and they’re adapting to each others.

            As for WoW, nobody grinds the same dungeons for years. The sheer amount of content injected in WoW just to keep people interested is staggering – not even mentioning that, once again, all dungeons are specifically tailored to challenge players and push toward strategizing.

            In both these cases, the focus lies completely elsewhere than in an exploration focused title, and each in its own respect got tremendous playtime expectancy in its respective gameplay loop.

            You’re delusional if you think you can do the same with procedural generation and no multiplayer, especially when the emphasis is set on the exploration.

            Would you have checked for a better parallel, you could have thought about Diablo 2, without the fun action, randomized loot and character building.

    • klops says:

      I don’t see any reason why NMS couldn’t be just nice/bad. Compare it to the already compared to Black and White. It wasn’t great but it wasn’t shit either. It was pretty “meh”.

      Although comparing NMS to B&W is a bit unfair since Hello Games haven’t lied their ears off what wonderful stuff can you do there (as far as I know).

      • noodlecake says:

        I don’t think B&W was meh at all. It was a bit rickety but there were lots of cool things in there that hadn’t been done before and haven’t been attempted properly since. I had a lot of fun playing with it. It wasn’t a tight gaming experience but it was an interesting experiment, definitely.

        • klops says:

          Some enjoyed it more, some less but still: It wasn’t great and it wasn’t shit, despite the hype and bullshit promotion around the game.

          • Distec says:

            I’d say that even if B&W can be considered a failure, it still had a number of interesting toys to interact and screw around with. Its overarching goals may have fallen apart, but there’s something fun and interesting about teaching your giant ape to go around watering your fields, and then occasionally throwing poop at villagers.

            NMS’ novel feature is the proc-gen universe. But while that’s cool, I’m not feeling any pull towards it given how light everything else about the game seems.

    • Turkey says:

      I think it will do alright. Sure, it’s going to piss off traditionalist gamers who want more depth or structure to their games, but the audience for survival games is pretty huge. Hell, Ark is on Steam’s top 10 list almost every week.

      A huge draw for Ark and Subnautica is the co-op multiplayer, though, so I don’t know if it will have the longevity of those games.

      • The Great Wayne says:

        Subnautica doesn’t offer multiplayer as of yet, and both games got pretty deep building/crafting and other mechanics besides the walking/survival simulation.

        The same depth that many fear NMS will be lacking.

      • PancakeWizard says:

        Yep, this is a pretty casual Survival game and there’s definitely room for a good one in the genre. What it isn’t, is a Minecraft build ’em up.

    • Zenicetus says:

      There can be something between those two extremes though, and that’s a game that’s fascinating for the first 10 hours or so as you learn the systems and experience most of what you’ll be seeing. And then your interest fades quickly after that point and you move on. That would describe some players’ experience with Elite Dangerous, for example.

      Is a game like that worth $60? I’d argue that if the experience is unique enough, then it might be. Elite:D gave me the absolute best take on the “get in a spaceship cockpit and fly around” experience that I’ve had in years, even though it ultimately failed to satisfy the things I wanted as singleplayer content. I don’t regret the money I spent on it.

      That’s why I want to read a bunch of initial reviews for NMS from players. I need to see what happens after the first hour or two of gee-whiz wears off, because I won’t pay $60 for a two hour game, but I’ll do it for 10+ hours.

      • Iamblichos says:

        This was *exactly* the issue with E:D for me… the whole game part of it was learning to use the systems. Once you learn to play, it’s a nigh-infinite expanse of more of the same.

  2. LennyLeonardo says:

    I like the opebing even-handed reaponse to that one mad fellow who thought that a slight hint of possible negativity in the previous post was some sort of attempt at a subliminal pre-embargo review. Or am i reading too much into it?

    • The Great Wayne says:

      I got a hint of that, too.

    • LennyLeonardo says:

      Whoah, typos.

    • Premium User Badge

      Ben King says:

      Sorry, I get carried away sometimes with the subliminal stuff,… the Eiffel Tower looks like a phallus and whatnot. I think I was reflecting on John Walker’s Pre-Pillars of Eternity not-a-review bit last year and was wondering if there was something similar going on yesterday. link to Different person, different game, and clearly not at all what was going on by reflecting on feelings of hype, hope, and disappointment. It didn’t actually occur to me that the baseless speculation on my part could get RPS in trouble as an accusation of skirting review embargo rules until AFTER I hit the post button. Graham I’m sorry that was thoughtless of me. What would have been a more valuable contribution to the discussion was recalling an interview with the creator of Ico and Shadow of the Collossus where he describes the thrill of watching 2 minute movie trailers letting him spin out possible stories in his head. That guy probably also knows a thing or two about hype generated by Sony’s marketing dept.

  3. Premium User Badge

    Harlander says:

    Minecraft with spaceships, or Noctis with gamey bits?

    • LennyLeonardo says:

      Skyrim with guns without guns with guns with spaceships without mammoths with sort-of-mammoths meets Gran Tourism without cars.

    • Spacewalk says:

      Noctis with actual graphics.

      • Urthman says:

        Noctis with an interface designed for humans rather than cat-aliens.

    • fish99 says:

      There’s no building so it’s not Minecraft with spaceships.

    • Bahumat says:

      It makes me impossibly happy that RPS is a place I can go to see multiple people talking about Noctis.

      I must have put five hundred hours into that exploration sim, ages ago. ♥

    • geldonyetich says:

      Universe Sandbox with a game attached.

      It would have to be a pretty bad game to fail in this formula.

  4. The Great Wayne says:

    Hey Graham, talking about the devil : any update about a possible review date ?

  5. mukuste says:

    For some reason the environments in this trailer look a bit more interesting than the ever-same rolling hills we mostly saw in the previous ones. Also I wasn’t aware they simulate environmental hazards like temperature and radiation, that could definitely add some urgency to the exploration.

    Still cautiously optimistic about this game.

  6. C0llic says:

    I’m by no means means writing the game off, but I have the distinct feeling it will end up feeling like a slightly life-less sandbox once the initial shine wears off. It’s just the most likely outcome in my mind.

    • The Great Wayne says:

      What’s weird is that they’ve shown lifeforms in all trailers, while it is supposed to be pretty rare. Why would you give the impression that there’s life everywhere if it’s not the case, beside trying to fill the landscape of an otherwise pretty empty game.

      • LennyLeonardo says:

        I think he meant figuratively lifeless. Although obviously it is also literally lifeless, being a computer program and whatnot.

      • fish99 says:

        Where did you read life in the game is supposed to be rare?

          • fish99 says:

            Thanks. That is so weird to read after everything they’ve shown has been completely covered in life. If they’ve gone too far with it, it might actually make it super boring.

          • Niko says:

            Could be interesting, if there will be planets totally different from Earth in a lot of parameters. Like a planet with constant lightning storms and tornadoes.

          • fish99 says:

            I dunno, if they’re saying 90% of planets have no life, and of the remaining 10%, only 10% of those have animals, and only 10% of those have large mammals, that’s a lot of empty planets. It’s a very different picture than painted by the trailers.

            We’ll see though. Lightning storms and tornados would be cool though :)

  7. TheMightyEthan says:

    I will never cease to be confused as to how atmospheric toxins are supposed to be a threat to someone in a space suit. A suit that lets them survive in space. Where there’s no air at all. Meaning it’s air tight.

    Mass Effect did the same thing on that one monkey planet.

  8. Premium User Badge

    Captain Narol says:

    That will certainly not be the game for everyone, but for me (Exploration + Trade) * Huge Universe = Game of my dreams !

    It may end up as a big disappointment is if it is as bland and dull as Elite : Dangerous, but all we have seen so far show a living colorful landscape that I just want to dive in…

    I’m more worried of the risk of silly misconcepted systems getting in the way of my enjoyement ( Out-of-place Permadeath ? Unpleasant Flying Model ? Recurrent graphic bugs ? Survival Mechanisms requiring constant grinding ?) so anyway I will wait the first reviews of the final product before preordering but so far I have a very good feeling and I’m counting the days…

    Just give me Noctis with those beautiful graphics and exotic fauna/flora that we were shown in the trailers and that will be enough to make me happy for a long time !

  9. noodlecake says:

    I don’t understand the Minecraft comparison. There’s no building o emphasis on creativity. Minecraft with spaceships has already been done multiple times, the best example being Space Engineers which I would love to play and have installed but am frightened by the overwhelming amount of options and number of key bindings… (and lack of PC gaming friends :( )

  10. bandertroll says:

    I want NMS with Kerbal Space Programm mechanics of flight. In trailers ship going too easy everywhere.

  11. Moonracer says:

    These trailers have shown very little. Doom 1 had toxic waste floors, but it isn’t usually called a survival game.

    The one good thing I pulled from that was the weather effects. They looked nice.

    My guess is that you will need to upgrade your suit to counter cold in order to mine ores needed to upgrade your suit to visit planets with radiation in order to mine ores to upgrade your suit to visit planets with…

  12. TheAngriestHobo says:

    I gotta disagree with you there. The best example is Starmade, since it has the visual style to match and the (more or less) infinite universe.

    • TheAngriestHobo says:

      Reply fail to Noodlecake because this comment system is made out of evil.

  13. CartonofMilk says:

    quite frankly IF you could build stuff i’d be so much more excited for this game. Why can’t anyone do it right? Space Engineers has awesome building but next to zero gameplay outside of this. Empyrion has survival that’s shaping up to be pretty cool, but the building aspect is lacking, and the planets are small and way too close to one another (yes i’m aware like SE it’s still in alpha and that this is supposed to change). Planet Nomads looks like it will be great…but they’re also still only working on that one planet and while the goal is to have huge procedural universe eventually, i’m not sure the game will get to that level.

    Meanwhile i’m still waiting for the game that will have it all, and NMS is already not going to be that game.

    NMS: No building

    Space Engineers: no real survival, no PVE (none that counts anyway)

    Empyrion: Technically has everything but is nowhere nead there yet in its execution. IF universe get endless procedural and IF the planets become at least 3 times as big, it’s got potential. But building is not up to SE’s standard. Also, doesn’t have a great looking engine.

    Planet Nomads: Wants to have it all (building looks even MORE complex than SE, PVE and survival looks like they want it to be really good, the engine looks prettier than SE and Empyrion by a lot) but is so far from release it might never get there. On paper the best. In reality it might be in alpha for the next 5 years.

    • AdamDenton says:

      There always Dual Universe to also add to the possiblw contenders :)

    • Urthman says:

      There’s no way that a game wanting to be this big can let you build and change the environment. It’s got to generate the world fresh (from a constant seed) at every location you visit, or you’d run out of disk space very quickly (especially on a console).

      • Razumen says:

        I’m pretty sure that any planetary data is stored on the server after it’s generated or modified by a player. That’s how you’ll be able to find planets and species that were named by other players before you.

        I don’t really think it’s a matter of technical limitation, rather that building somewhere and settling goes against the game’s design to drive the player towards the center of the galaxy.

  14. zarthrag says:

    I’m curious to see where it falls in, VR-wise. Talk of PSVR, Oculus, but no mention of the Vive, though it’s sold on steam.

    …yeah – real potential to get burned. Anyone who preorders and is disappointed knew better. So I’ll just wait and see.

  15. mwoody says:

    In graphics, gameplay, and scope – indeed, in every way I can think to name – this game looks identical to the space section of Spore. I say that not to be rude or critical, but rather to invite someone to correct me: I’ve not followed development very closely, but a randomly generated, colorful environment with thousands of planets to explore; isn’t that Spore to a T?

  16. Universal Quitter says:

    Am I the only one worried that all of this obnoxious, un-engaging “survival” is going to get in the way of the actual exploration? I’m tired of fighting environments via superior crafting recipes. God help me if there’s a stupid hunger/water mechanic.

    That’s not difficulty, that’s lazy gatekeeping of content. Maybe I’m just too much of a potterer.

  17. noxohimoy says:

    I’m worried about the gameplay, because I care about this game.

    Procedural generated worlds with creatures. Is a great technical achievement.

    But technic and art are different things. What if it doesn’t works as game?

    I hope that they sell the engine, so other creative gamemakers can take advantage of it. Games like Fallout or Skyrim could gain a lot of replayability with original worlds for each game. Imagine Dead Space where on each game creatures are original, with original behaviors emerging from their basic random properties.