RPS Verdict: No Man’s Sky

A month after release, four crew members of the good ship RPS have gathered to discuss their experiences in the vast reaches of No Man’s Sky [official site]. Do those procedural planets and creatures keep the game feeling fresh after hours of play? Do we enjoy collecting minerals to upgrade the laser that helps us to collect more minerals? And are we still going to be playing a hundred years from now, determined to uncover all of this universe’s secrets?

Here’s wot we think.

Adam: No Man’s Sky has been out for almost an entire month now, which is enough time for the four of us to have seen every single planet in its universe, given our dedication to space exploration. Sadly, I’ve only actually seen three star systems because I spend hours and hours on every single planet and moon that I encounter.

I’ve played for around forty hours, all crammed into my first week with the game, and I don’t know if I’ll ever go back. But I really enjoyed those forty hours. How about the rest of you…?

John: Look, this had better be important, you’re interrupting my playing No Man’s Sky when I should be working.

Adam: Aha! I’m going to ask a blunt question. Two, actually.

1) Why are you still playing No Man’s Sky?
2)Do you play it during your lunchbreaks as well as actual working hours?

John: 1) I really wish I could answer this question, but I’ve given it a great deal of thought. 2) Yes. And evenings. And early mornings. And during Toby’s naps at the weekends. Help me.

Adam: We’ll come back to John. Graham and Pip; are you still exploring and gathering resources and learning alien languages, one word at a time?

Pip: No. I mean, that’s not a hard no as I guess it could come back onto my play rotation if I was in the exact right mood or something changed in one of the patches which caught my interest, but with 40 hours on my Steam account for it I do feel done.

Graham: I am not. That’s in part because it doesn’t work on my main PC; it crashes as soon as I try to run it. I can play it on my media PC downstairs but that’s garbage and also downstairs, which is too far away.

It’s also in part because the grind got to me. Or rather, the thought of what I’d have to do to mitigate the grind: all the dumb little tricks to making quick money that I either had to willfully ignore, knowing that the game was therefore longer and more boring, or look up and perform, knowing that they were making the game shorter and more boring.

I like the planets though, and I do think I’ll return to the game to see more.

Adam: We should talk about grind. John, you seem to have actually enjoyed trying to earn a better ship or suit? Or at least, much more than I did. I just felt all of that stuff needed more flavour – in principle, I don’t mind finding new incremental techs, but there was no joy to them. They felt like numbers increasing, new slots and faster mineral zapping, but with no sense of discovery about them.

John: friend! Gek trading federation uhteid kuje eftir huvu omvar!

Adam: I didn’t play enough of the game to understand ANY of that. Except friend. Friend is good!

John: Oh, sorry, let me translate. Yeah, no, you’re right. The game’s terrible. Seriously, it’s such a giant mess. There is absolutely no reason to keep going, and the more I play, the more it becomes clear to me just how poorly thought through and deeply uninspired it really is. But then I could get a ship with more inventory slots you see, and then when I have that, it won’t be so inconvenient to get another ship with more inventory slots. And I like it when the plutonium crystals explode.

Pip: Is this your version of AdVenture Capitalist, then?

John: It… might be. It definitely sits in a gaming sweet spot for me, which is something absorbing and brainless that lets me listen to audiobooks at the same time. I can mill about looking for ores and selling them for maximum profits and trying to find a crashed ship and then when I’m bored of that planet leap into another solar system and potter around for an interesting planet and blah and blah and so on. And right now, in a time when I’m super-stressed and emotionally exhausted, it’s a really lovely safe cave to sit inside. But really, a very poor game. (I’m literally switching to play some more while you lot write.)

Pip: I had a similar thing very briefly with The Elder Scrolls Online as it gave me a quiet space to do small things away from the world and it didn’t matter that it wasn’t a good game. For my own NMS experience, though, I stopped being entranced by the planets and it felt like that was the end of my interest. The collection of systems, such as they are, just don’t sustain my interest.

I mean, let’s talk about my inventory/loadout/upgrades. Actually, I say “let’s talk about it” but it would be impossible because I don’t remember anything about it. None of the upgrades seemed to be particularly interesting or made for a vastly different experience so I stopped paying attention. Contrast that with Destiny. I can tell you about why I’ve made the decisions I have with loadouts and perks and particular armour and so on because it feels like they actually matter.

Towards the end of my time with the game I noticed I was swapping weapons or ships based on how many inventory slots they had, but even then it didn’t feel particularly meaningful. I wasn’t bothered about upgrading things so I wasn’t really using those extra slots and I found a rhythm in terms of the amount of Plutonium and Thamium and Zinc and whatever which was enough to keep me alive and skipping between planets/systems and then just ignored the rest.

I think the only thing I was interested in by the end of it was the lucky dip of landing on a planet and stepping out for a first look (and that was really waning) and collecting words from the languages.

John: (I have to defend the upgrades a bit. But only a tiny bit. Run speed is essential, and you can turn your mining beam into a real force. And most of all, improve the warp drives or whatever they are to leap multiple stars in one go.)

Pip: I’ll modify what I said slightly to be clearer – there was a stamina upgrade and a mining laser upgrade – a few housekeeping-ish things like that which I wouldn’t be without, but they just felt like basic quality of life things rather than anything that gave my character or that playthrough any real meaning.

Graham: I think that’s the difference. In Destiny you’re defining how you want to play the game, in No Man’s Sky you’re grabbing at things that feel essential because they’re needed to make the game less annoying.

Like all of you, I don’t mind a bit of grind in games, or the satisfaction of upgrading and levelling, but it didn’t help that the core verbs (beyond maybe “explore”) of No Man’s Sky didn’t entertain me after the first ten hours. I don’t like the feel of the mining. I don’t like the feel of the combat. Honestly, it made me want to go back to playing The Division, where there was at least satisfaction in headshots, in unlocking plot, and in finishing each small quest.

Adam: The only one of those core verbs that had meaning to me was “explore”. The rest of the game, whether it’s combat, upgrading, mining, gathering or whatever else, feels like a bit of scaffolding around the central concept. You search for things so that you can travel quicker or further, and you fight things because they’re stopping you from having the things that you need to explore, or actually standing between you and the thing you want to get to.

John: I guess what makes the difference for me, then, is that I love the feel of the mining, and the exploring, although the combat is the shittiest shit of all shitland. But what makes me so bloody angry about this game I spend every spare second playing is what it COULD have been. In fact, what it SHOULD have been. The fact that if you gave me six months and a budget, I’d give you a sprawling, universe-wide mystery adventure, where clues would lead me to particular places (randomly spawned in star systems players visit) where parts of the mystery could be put together, clues found, intrigue developed, plots unfolded. Not some utter fucking bullshit about Atlas, which drags you down the dreariest and most repetitive path imaginable and ends in such a bloody insult to anyone who bothered with it that Hello Games owe me a written apology and flowers.

Pip: Is this a good moment for my Ayn Rand joke? What’s the difference between No Man’s Sky and an Ayn Rand novel? In No Man’s Sky the player shrugs at Atlas.

Graham: *claps*

John: *bows head in reverence*

Adam: Oh my. I can’t really follow that. BUT HERE GOES

I cared so little about following any of the paths that I didn’t even work out how to switch between them on the galactic map, or whatever it’s called. I just went wherever I hadn’t been.

The thing is, for all this negativity, I absolutely loved arriving at a new system or planet. Every single time. I loved seeing huge planets filling the screen and then landing on them and seeing how the light spilled from the sun to the surface, and I loved getting lost in caves, and finding a sea of Tizer, and watching a big herd of scuttling cow-insects arriving over a hill. Some of my favourite moments of the year are definitely in No Man’s Sky and I don’t resent spending forty hours with it. They were very good hours.

But if the whole thing had been packaged as a slot machine that just spat out a new star system for me every time I pulled the lever, I’d probably have enjoyed it just as much if not more. At first, I quite liked having to deal with the scarcity of resources or toxicity of a planet, but it quickly just became a drag.

Graham: I think if it had been a slot machine, I’d have lost interest instantly. I need the structure.

But I also loved the planets, and they’re why I still plan to return to the game. I think I’ve played for around 10-15 hours, so less than all of you, which means I’m not yet sick of hopping down to a new planet surface to find out what colour the trees are and which lizard tail is stuck on which duck head. I am not sold by the notion of No Man’s Sky as a “chill” game – at least as far as that’s meant as a response to a lot of bad design choices – but the procedural generation definitely works in as much as I, overall, enjoyed my time with it and want to spend more time with it.

Also, it’s so easy to overlook the wonder of being able to fly from space all the way down to a planet, or the scale of the space stations found in each system. I know other games have done the same thing recently, and that experience eventually wears thin here, but it is magic for a spell.

Adam: The actual size of the planets is one of my favourite things. They’re not just little tiny patches of land, they’re enormous! You can walk for days!

Just going back to what you said about structure though, Graham, I generally need structure as well; it’s why I find what’s there so frustrating and it’s why I’ve moved on so quickly (relatively speaking), I think. And it’s why I wish the tech and the ships had some character. It’s surprising how little effort there is to hide the cogs and gears, particularly with the upgrades. They’re very functional and, like Pip says, that made it all unmemorable. Just adding to a thing rather than choosing from several things.

Graham: Give me six months and a budget and I’d add the ability for players to design and construct their own spaceships from a hundred craftable pieces. I think that’s what would give meaning to the resource collection for me, as building a home does in Minecraft even when that home is only used to mine and store more resources.

John: I think, Graham, as you carry on you’ll discover that the procedural generation is the one of the weakest aspects of the game. In that you see through the formula pretty soon, and realise it’s a lot more like one of those kids books divided into three, where you mix and match the flaps to make new HILARIOUS designs. In everything from animals to plants to ships.

Pip: !!! I made the exact same comparison to Graham on a Skype call the other day! I’d agree that you start seeing the ingredients that go into the creatures after maybe a dozen or so hours. I had a lot of variations of a kind of gazelle or deer but with a neck that seemed to be made out of squeezed toothpaste and terminated in either a tiny head or just a sphincter. I’m not sure if that might be because generation is linked to particular systems and perhaps I’m seeing similarity because the game is trying to represent a kind of geographical proximity or a genetic link, but I think that’s unlikely given a fair few people have been in touch to say “I saw something like that” when I’ve posted screenshots or videos.

You also get it with the planets. Foliage is more varied in my playthrough but there are so many similar-looking caves and the resource plants seem to switch between maybe two or three models. I get that you want players to know where they are easily, but they got so samey so fast. Oh, and the buildings. Everything looks the same there. At first it’s properly amazing, but after a couple of dozen hours (which I’d stress is a big chunk of time with a game that’s not a MOBA for me) I found myself ping ponging between planets, landing, seeing if it caught my interest in those initial moments and, if not, or if it was barren or whatever, I’d just head back into space. I’ve probably missed a bunch of cool creatures and views, but the amount of time I was willing to invest in planets that didn’t grab me shrank as I played. I mean, the more you play the more the novelty decreases, as you’d expect.

John: Saying that, after dozens and dozens of hours, I have just stumbled on a creature that’s a bit like an eyeballed jumping mushroom, but with a vagina with giant teeth for a head.

Adam: I’d played for at least twenty hours before I saw proper mountains. The scale of them was so impressive I spent an hour just walking around taking pictures, and there was a big red moon hanging behind them. It was great.

In fact, thinking of that makes me want to go and play some more because I want to see a vagina with giant teeth more mountains

John: I just put up a supporter post in which I listed my fantasy patch notes, and I think it’s worth pasting a couple of key ones in here:

– Sometimes there’s a star system not previously occupied by one of three alien races
– You can bloody well sell your previous starship because what the hell were we thinking?
– Updated procedural generation systems for following:
> Flying creatures now sometimes don’t have otter heads
> Not every single planet has the exact same giant shell plant thing, nor those green glowy light plants
> Added more than four possible ship designs to land in any one space station
> Buildings on planets now procedurally generated, rather than mystifyingly all built to one precise design

Pip: Something I realised I missed was the ability to save up for something I wanted. Once, during my playtime, I found a ship that I craved. It was a weird colour combination and I coveted it, but hadn’t saved up anywhere near enough to get it. In any other game it might have become a personal goal, like in GTA V when I waited for hours, trying to find the exact car I wanted and then had to get it resprayed just right and all that faff. In Gran Turismo 3 the Subaru Impreza was something of an obsession. This one… I wanted it enough to start playing the game in the grindy, savey-uppy way but… there was no point. It would leave before I could do anything useful financially and then… what? Wait for the game to generate one and keep a few squillion in the bank just in case?

Graham: I loved that Subaru Impreza! I don’t care at all about cars but I spent weeks or months getting that in Gran Turismo 1.

John: That is, I guess, what I’ve been doing. And it’s frustrating, but then when a 37 slot beauty landed in a space station, and I’d saved up over 20m, it was a brilliant moment. And a “moment”, as it was incredibly fleeting and I had to see a 45 slot ship land before I found that stupid-headed motivation inside me once again.

Adam: The whole process of discovery when the game was actually on my hard drive and I started playing it – the process of discovering what the game actually did and didn’t do rather than discovery WITHIN the game, I mean – was really interesting. The biggest surprise for me was something your dream patch notes touch on, John. I’d thought it was going to be a game about exploring a mostly empty universe, being a pioneer, or being lost and alone.

It’s so busy though! There’s always traffic overhead, there are buildings everywhere. You’re not boldly going where no one has gone before, you’re travelling well-used routes and stopping by service stations to top up your supplies. I didn’t expect that AT ALL.

John: And hilariously showing up like you’re in charge, naming everything, grabbing all the resources and then sodding off, like a true Brit.

Pip: To be fair Murray said in an interview (possibly with me but I can’t remember) that it would be in the vein of Star Trek, as in you go to these places that alien civilisations have already been but there’s still that technicality of “where no human has gone before” – or words to that effect. I will say that in reality it lacks the actual sense of civilisation or lived-in-ness that Star Trek worlds had, though.

Adam: I didn’t necessarily mean it as a criticism of the game, more a way that it went against my expectations. The Star Trek analogy is interesting – as the game stands, I can’t quite tell what my relationship to the universe is supposed to be. I’m not saying that I necessarily should understand that given my limited progress through the actual plot or even that it needs to be defined at all, but it didn’t work for me.

The aliens don’t seem to particularly care about any of these planets, they’re outposts or forgotten places, and there’s a sense that their civilizations have been around for so long that they’re almost falling into decline. But none of that is communicated, I’m imposing story and situational stuff where the game isn’t filling in the gaps. It’d be great if some systems had stronger infrastructure or cities or anything like that, but it just feels like a universe that has planets with outposts because I need those outposts to swap resources. They exist to enable the grindy part of the game rather than to make a credible world (or worlds). Or at least that’s how it looks to me and that disappointed me.

John: I’m not stopping playing, it seems. Until the next thing comes along. But it’s not come along yet. DXMD got trampled by this for me. And its broad and significant failings make it a game I can play while doing other things, and just switching my brain off. But it doesn’t stop me yearning for the game it should have been, where I’d need to be paying attention and have my brain switched on. Funny thing is, I think it could still be that game, although if I were Hello I’d want to fire it into a volcano and make something else at this point.

Adam: Even though I’ve stopped playing, probably for good, I wouldn’t give up the time I spent with No Man’s Sky. The first few hours were amazing and I told just about everyone who’d listen to me that it might be one of my favourite games of the year. In the end, it isn’t. For such a potentially vast experience, my love for it turned out to be very short-lived.

I still think it’s worth recommending though, especially now that people have a better chance of understanding what it is and what it isn’t. It might not last thousands of hours and it might not be the everlasting gobstopper of a game that some people expected and some people would argue was promised, but I found enough wonder and mystery in it to make me very happy to have spent all those hours with it.

What say you? Would you say people should give it a chance, even if it is a disappointment in some ways?

Pip: If it was a friend who lived nearby I’d suggest they come over and play it for a bit. I think it’s a really difficult one to predict whether it will click for someone or not without them actually getting a bit of time to play with it. There’s also a part of me which feels the price tag is way too high. It’s a really really ambitious project and I don’t want to say this to demean the things which do work well or are stunning or which create wonderful moments, but the individual parts really don’t come together to form a game that works as a unified thing and I feel like if you pay a triple A price you’d expect something more coherent. I honestly think that if the game had been £20 there wouldn’t have been *quite* as much vitriol, because the pricing does affect a certain amount of the perception.

Graham: I agree wholeheartedly. I enjoyed my time with it, I think it’s a mess but ultimately worthwhile as an experience. I’d recommend anyone play it, because I think it does some remarkable things and there’s nothing else quite like it in some ways. But I wouldn’t recommend that just anyone buy it. Some people aren’t going to care about the things it does well, and some are going to be more put off than others by the many things it does badly.

That’s an unsatisfying answer.

Pip: It’s a truthful one, though.

Adam: I hope that people don’t dismiss it (No Man’s Sky, not your answer) as either a complete failure, or a hyped-up version of the usual survival game. The resource collecting and especially that bloody mining laser could easily make it look like it’s far duller than it is; even though I don’t enjoy that side of it at all, and the exploration isn’t as exciting or varied as we all might have hoped, it’s still a spectacular game at times.

But fuck that whole inventory system.

Pip: It feels like one of those games which might be remembered as being the game that did a thing first that later games then… perfected? Improved on? Smartened up or worked out how to make the other bits of it tick? IT was such a cool and ambitious project in a lot of ways and I don’t want those positives to just disappear.

Adam: I stand by what I said before it came out – it’s the new Spore and all the good things about it might be forgotten and treated as dead-ends rather than foundations. I hope not.

Graham: So we’re saying that people should rent it from the local Blockbuster or Global Video, yeah?

Adam: Absolutely. I think they still do those ‘try before you buy’ deals where you get the rental price knocked off the retail price if you buy when you return? NOW THAT’S A GOOD DEAL.

For more No Man’s Sky, take a look at all of these features: our review, galleries, creature videos and our helpful No Man’s Sky guide.

And here’s Brendan on why the broken promises of the game matter.

Reminder: Alec did some writing for the game. No idea which bits but he probably learned the Gek words for “disclaimer” and “freelancer” in the process.

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148 Comments

  1. Hanban says:

    *claps at Pip*

    • Bahumat says:

      Pip: It feels like one of those games which might be remembered as being the game that did a thing first that later games then… perfected? Improved on? Smartened up or worked out how to make the other bits of it tick?

      I think that quote right there absolutely nails it. I love No Man’s Sky, but I have faith that another developer will come in, learn from the mistakes, and build on the successes.

      • Czrly says:

        But… what did it actually do “first”?

        A lot of its supposed innovations actually belong to older, better games. Sport did the creatures better, Elite Dangerous did the space better, Minecraft did the caves better, Mass Effect 1 brought the horrid Mako into existence, survival-meters are NOT novel, and just about any game you’d care to name has done “walking about height-mapped planets”.

        If you’re going to name a large number, beginning with 18 and then having a lot of zeroes, I’d counter that Dwarf Fortress, Minecraft, Terraria and any other procedurally generated world game has trumped that by giving you “infinite” worlds. Sure, you just have to click a menu button to get to a new world, you don’t have to travel for exactly a certain amount of time, but having a lot of “worlds” is hardly innovation.

        • Czrly says:

          “Sport” should be “Spore”

          Oh… and any Bethesda game did draw-distance-pop-in first… and arguably better… although better is not something that is desirable.

        • Crocobutt says:

          Amen.

        • snowgim says:

          “A lot of its supposed innovations actually belong to older, better games. Spore did the creatures better, Elite Dangerous did the space better, Minecraft did the caves better, Mass Effect 1 brought the horrid Mako into existence, survival-meters are NOT novel, and just about any game you’d care to name has done “walking about height-mapped planets”.”

          I think what No Man’s Sky did first was put all those things together.

          • KDR_11k says:

            I think Derek Smart has been trying to get those elements together for many years now.

        • jhk655 says:

          This was my thought exactly. It didn’t pioneer anything or do anything particularly well. Procedural generation wasnt as good as we were led to believe, and its been around in gaming for at least 15 years? (or maybe since the beginning? in text based rpgs?)

          Almost everything NMS has, Starbound already has, (and arguably did better than NMS) and that game came out years before. Starbound is just a tiny indie project with 2d graphics, but without the support of the a giant marketing machine.

      • Crocobutt says:

        My own two cents:
        Czrly is quite right, there are plenty of games that do what NMS does but a lot better. Space Engineers (don’t like it, personally) has seamless planet travel, deformable terrain, building, mining can be made super efficient with enough machinery.
        Rodina does space travel real well coupled with insane sense of scale, building your own ship interior, semi-realistic physics.
        Heck, even Kerbal Space Program (love it) has interplanetary travel, seamless space-to-planet, building your own spaceships/planes/spaceplanes/space stations, AS WELL as teaching you physics, orbital mechanics, and some rocket science.

        Who knows, maybe they’ll improve NMS with future updates?

        PS – I did play NMS (~8-10h) and found it painfully boring.

    • PanFaceSpoonFeet says:

      Isn’t it funny that people end up looking like their RPS avatars.?

  2. leeder krenon says:

    This piece is a perfect example as to why RPS is one of the last homely computer gaming houses on the internet. Coverage of this game is dominated by tedious, shouty, cynical internet men, whilst here we get wise souls with varying tastes and sound judgement. Thank you.

    • Titler says:

      Or, coming from a critical perspective, RPS reads like a bunch of friends who don’t really “game” as such, but treat it like a hobby to dip into when they want some fun, like going to the cinema etc without being a film snob.

      Which is fine, except if you ignored the fact that film needs to have a working projection to be appreciated properly, you aren’t really talking about film, but rather about yourself. Likewise, talking about games requires at least some addressing of the mechanics that make up gameplay. Otherwise you’re not really talking about games.

      In this article, I noticed two quotes from Pip in particular that illustrated this tendency for comment-as-chums rather than as games critic;

      “I’m not sure if that might be because generation is linked to particular systems and perhaps I’m seeing similarity because the game is trying to represent a kind of geographical proximity or a genetic link,”

      The thing is, there shouldn’t be any doubt about this. The generational code is blatantly obvious; Yes, it does filter the creations it makes. All the aerial creatures are always either worms or winged. The land based ones all match basic body types; My “Land of the Legless” had everything without legs. Other planets will have mostly gazelle versions…

      Maybe RPS isn’t that kind of webpage, but you could have tested this objectively by sitting down with a world each and then marked all the creatures and compared actual notes… ok, RPS rather wants to be about the “feels” of a game, which they chuckle about above when talking about beaming down to see the new pretty colours; but as a reviewer, you’re directly failing your audience because this is a core part of the game you’re skimming over here.

      And the other quote was this one;

      “Once, during my playtime, I found a ship that I craved. It was a weird colour combination and I coveted it, but hadn’t saved up anywhere near enough to get it”

      Pip, your videos were charming, but as a gamer, how have you not noticed that the ships on stations (and their pilots, and their inventory list) are identical so you could have just stayed in that system and waited until you had the money?

      Or, to really speed up the process, go down to the surface and, if that planet’s pre-chosen type of crashed ships doesn’t please (those duplicate too), use them to swap up to maximum inventory, then earn money to return to the station and wait for Identikit Ship #3 to return yet again and then buy him?

      RPS’s coverage of NMS is a great illustration exactly WHY the hype before game launched was “Don’t watch youtube etc, don’t spoil it for yourself!”; you guys seem to be going out of your way to not look at it too closely in order to maintain a sense of mystery… and ok, if you find pleasure in life that you genuinely appreciate from doing that, fair enough. You’d have to have a heart of stone to not go “D’awww” at Pip Squeeing from beak to beak.

      But the formula behind the game IS blatantly obvious. Seriously guys, look at it with just a little rationality rather than emotion. As a critic not a chum; and it’s almost insultingly simple and clear when viewed that way.

      • minijedimaster says:

        You must like to hear yourself talk. A LOT.

        • Titler says:

          Of course I do; because I spent less time in education learning how to speak words than I would have to spend in No Mans Sky to see the words there’s no real reason to hide from me ;)

        • P.Funk says:

          Isn’t it just the most useless internet thing to do to make this sort of quip that tries to justify a personal attack by making the comment sound cheeky?

      • deathcakes says:

        I haven’t commented on this site in a good long while – I prefer to read and absorb. However, your comment made me log in, simply to point out something which I feel should be obvious to you which evidently is not.

        A film that is fatally flawed can have its fans. A book which is poorly written can be moving for its ideas. Thus, a game with bollocks mechanics can be fun, or whatever you want to call it, despite its failings.

        This article is why I read RPS. I am a human with feelings. They appear also to be humans with feelings. Apart from John. They communicate their human feelings about a thing and I, having read their previous feelings, feel I know more about the thing now and how it would make me feel.

        If you want emotionless prose, then RPS probably isn’t your thing.

        • Titler says:

          Er no; you logged in purely to prove you didn’t understand what my point was.

          If you can’t see the screen clearly, but then talk about how behind all the fuzziness and uncertainty, the film MIGHT be a masterpiece, and ooh what if behind that cigarette burn in the screen something awesome could have happened… you’re not talking about the film itself, you’re not talking about emotions that the film might trigger, because there’s no content in the film itself triggering those feelings… you’re talking frankly about being self obsessed with your own imagination. You’re talking about narcissism.

          And No Mans Sky’s only real draw appears to be to people who substitute their imaginations into a game that does nothing at all to deserve them. At least Spore you actually could make your own creatures and send them out into the world. NMS randomly slaps stuff together and then expects YOU to say why it’s so great.

          It’s art in the same way modern art is; “here’s two cubes on a white canvas that Charles Saatchi says is art, and the media agrees. Now stare at it and tell me why it’s genius. And what ever you say is right! And then buy it.”

          People who seem to love NMS aren’t true artists. They’re people who want to stare at their own navel and imagine they’re artists without ever learning the real skills or doing the hard work that true art requires.

          Which is really why you logged in. Because defending hype about a game you self associate with is how people today seem to think they help art.

          Even whilst everyone else less naval gazing says “Er no… look, it’s still shit. The Atlas path doesn’t even let you see the reward it says you get at the end. And as for the actual ending…”

          • Jediben says:

            Bravo sir!

          • Sleepy Will says:

            That was the longest way of saying “Your opinion is objectively wrong” I’ve ever had the misfortune to read. Talking of navel gazing, I think you’ll find its an objectively better hobby than dentate line gazing.

          • anHorse says:

            *FARTS*

          • Chaoslord AJ says:

            Yeah there are at least those two sides of discussing a game. Like how I play it and games in general and why I have fun with an elsewhere at least controverse game and that’s fine and entertaining for a read.
            On the other side there’s also say the cold judging stare of a journalist who needs to extrapolate the facts which are relevant to the gaming consumer masses.
            Prior to release this would have been: the game is nice for around 10 hours procedural fun give or take, Sean Murray is indeed a fraud like Molyneux is and 60 bucks just too much to ask thus creating a sober atmosphere among the target audience rather than hype.

          • invitro says:

            Almost as good as a giant vagina!

          • LennyLeonardo says:

            “People who seem to love NMS aren’t true artists”. Sheesh, have some dignity, dude.

          • Mags says:

            Your cinema analogy is bizarre, specious and mildly incomprehensible. The technical details of a particular showing in a particular cinema screen are really only of relevance to the patrons of that cinema, if a critic started talking about it in a review I’d have to go find another critic who’s actually bothered about the film.

            A better analogy would be to, say, complain about the mixing or sound levels on a record. Technical guff that might be important to some people, but most are really only bothered about whether it’s worth a listen or not.

          • syndrome says:

            Bravo

          • Crocobutt says:

            Bravo, sir. I don’t see how anyone could possibly defend this game based on its present state.

          • deathcakes says:

            I should have known you’d have more to say, given how many words you had let loose to begin with.

            I think, and I address this to all those calling bravo for your incredibly poor counterargument, that it is you who have misunderstood. Not just me, but the article, the game, and I have to say, life itself.

            You claim that only people who can engage their imaginations are to gain anything from this game. I submit to you that only people with imaginations can gain anything at all. Reading words on a page, to such people as I, and it seems the RPS team, causes images to form in our heads, images of the things we have read, by dint of our imaginations. What wonder!

            You bring a childish and perverse criticism to bear against modern art, which in the same way as this game has done nothing to wrong you and does not deserve such accusations. Art is art. If you do not like it, that is fine. If other people like it, this must also be fine. Get over yourself.

            You have no imagination. You want an “objective” opinion on a things worth, despite the fact that no such thing can possibly exist. You want people to stop “naval gazing [sic]” and you are angry because I hold a different opinion to you.

            Perhaps you bought this game and you are upset it is not what you wanted. I sympathise – this has happened to me before. However, you mistake your upset for my being wrong, when in fact, its all just opinions.

            In summary, get a grip.

        • P.Funk says:

          “If you want emotionless prose, then RPS probably isn’t your thing.”

          Why is it an either or? Why can’t there be a combination of exploring the feeling and exploring the material limitations of the subject more objectively?

          Why can’t it be about talking about your obsession with exploring it then saying “but it doesn’t hold together and if I actually shake myself awake I see the flaws, so why is that? Whats making that happen?”

          What’s wrong with asking for a little self awareness? Its not rejecting the emotions. Its reflecting on them in tandem with a more sober outlook. I am both a feeling human being and a rational sober minded thinker. Why can’t that be something that coexists?

      • ScubaMonster says:

        I think I have to agree generally on your points. It’s an entertaining read, but it’s more like a podcast round table than any sort of verdict. You don’t get any clear sense of what that verdict might be. It basically boils down to “It’s kind of crappy, but not really”. Maybe that’s not the point of these articles, but yeah.

        • laiwm says:

          They pretty much unanimously gave the verdict of “try before you buy”. Don’t think there’s any ambiguity in their advice to a potential customer here.

          • Jediben says:

            I would suggest a better course would be “steal and see how you feel”

          • Ericusson says:

            Except you can’t quite see in 2 hours how flat the game is and you actually except it to take off …

            Just to realize there is nothing more and your 2 hours time to get refunded has ended.

            Hence the importance to warn potential buyers of this … pragmatically distasteful design of the product.

          • laiwm says:

            @Ericusson and… they did that too. They’re very clear that the game doesn’t open up mechanically after 2 hours, and your enjoyment of it is limited by how much you’ll enjoy the base experience. Not really sure what you’re criticising here – this is the most honest take I’ve seen on the game, and totally in line with my feelings about it after ~14 hours.

      • laiwm says:

        Leaving out in-depth discussion of a game’s technical aspects in a discussion isn’t a failing, and they are very clear that they feel it’s sorely lacking mechanically. Games journalism’s narrow focus on mechanics & stats was part of why games got so damn boring for a while, and I like that RPS takes a more holistic view.

        • Titler says:

          It’s not holistic though if you are openly unaware of what parts of that whole actually are.

          “Ok, the cake could have all sorts of things in it, we aren’t sure! But should you eat the cake? Maybe!”

          It’s fun fluff, but it’s not an actual game review. And it’s especially noticeable when one of the people commenting worked on said game…

          I get it though, you guys all prefer Chummy fun chat over actual video game reviews. That’s fine. Just don’t pretend that’s all it is.

          • DePingus says:

            You’re sort of right. Here is the actual RPS review of NMS.
            link to rockpapershotgun.com

          • Premium User Badge

            Captain Narol says:

            You’re making a mistake, Titler.

            It’s Alec who worked on the game, and he is not one of the people commenting here about the game.

          • laiwm says:

            This isn’t a review, and what parts of the game are they unaware of? Just because they’re not repeating statistical breakdowns of the procgen created by obsessives on reddit doesn’t mean they’re fools.

          • zabieru says:

            It’s too bad there was no way to fact-check whether Alec worked on this article before you posted this latest entry in your litany of complaints about lack of research.

            If only there were some kind of disclaimer posted at the bottom of the article for you to read.

            But I know that would take time away from obsessively charting which ships crash where.

      • Urthman says:

        That thing you’re disparaging where a game manages to engage the player’s imagination is actually pretty great, something many games aspire to and few achieve. If No Man’s Sky does it for several of the RPS writers, that’s important information. It’s not like they picked some game at random and started writing fan-fiction in their heads about Minesweeper. Something about NMS in particular game draws many people in despite its flaws. Reporting that experience is no more subjective than judgments about whether a game’s mechanics are “satisfying,” its story “fascinating,” or the graphics “beautiful.”

      • keyan says:

        The key point you’re forgetting here is that the entire game journalism industry has already picked this game to pieces, going in-depth on the myriad ways in which it sucks, disappoints, or generally isn’t what everyone wanted it to be. For RPS to devote a whole feature to rehashing stuff that’s been said elsewhere would be tedious and repetitive. I imagine most readers are tired of all the hot No Man’s Sky takes on every single reviews site.

        Having a frank discussion of the weird, personal ways a mediocre or divisive game can prove satisfying is far more interesting and novel. Also, this is an RPS Verdict – the whole appeal is the friendly chat amongst professional game journalists format. If you want an in-depth review, read the review.

        Adam, John, Pip, Graham – this was an interesting and insightful read. Don’t listen to the haters, especially the long-winded ones.

      • Unportant says:

        Dude, it’s one of the signs of the maturation of gaming as a medium that so many critics are discussing (smartly) emotions and feeling and all that, and it’s no longer just a recitation of facts. Have you read any halfway decent critic in any other medium? The good ones always deal with it as an intellectual parsing of a human experience. The talking about the thing is always a dialogue between the emotional and the intellectual. The kind of review you want would be fine if the review is for a graphics card or a knife, or … maybe games, if you consider them to be nothing more than tools. It’s your right to marginalize the entire medium.

      • Sin Vega says:

        Not everyone who loves games wants to game.

        • Marr says:

          Yeah, but you could decipher NMS’s systems while suffering a mild concussion. You kind of have to, since they take every opportunity to get between the player and whatever they’re trying to do.

      • John Walker says:

        Ignoring your wretched patronising, can I say that I’m *delighted* that RPS comes across to you as friends being interested and enthusiastic about games. That is precisely what we exist to be, and it’s splendid that we’ve achieved this.

      • rondertaker says:

        ^ more like hitler

      • geecen says:

        This isn’t a technical review. There have already been other more technical writeup about NMS in RPS. I think the article works well as a followup with diverse opinions.

        In general though RPS is much better games journalism than you get elsewhere IMO. Most other stuff is boringly and soullessly written, often resembling a press release more than anything else.

    • Premium User Badge

      PoulWrist says:

      They might be wise, but this game is so extremely poorly designed in every single aspect of it that it doesn’t deserve this level of coverage. I am amazed they got this much text out of what is so shallow and so poorly made.

  3. Premium User Badge

    Godwhacker says:

    Agreed, it’s an enjoyable mess. I’m glad it exists, but I don’t think I’ll wait for some updates before I try to get to the centre of the galaxy. Hunting for Chrysonite and an Atlas Pass v3 so I can ooen some extra doors isn’t what I want to spend my evenings doing.

    But… spending 30 minutes floating around a new star system still feels wonderful. The view when you warp in is always stunning. Looking up and seeing a moon and then flying there and landing and looking back is somethings you can’t get elsewhere.

    I’m glad it exists and it doesn’t eat hard drive space like most modern games, so it will likely be installed a while longer

    • Premium User Badge

      Godwhacker says:

      *don’t think I’ll wait for updates = will wait for updates

    • draglikepull says:

      I’m in complete agreement with this. A lot of the mechanical elements of the game *are* bad: the crafting, the inventory management, the mining, etc.

      And yet the feeling of flying around this universe, of discovering new planets, of finding great new vistas to take gorgeous screenshots . . . it’s a great feeling that no other game I’ve played gives me.

      As a set of game mechanics, of “verbs” as they’re described above, I understand why the game has bounced off many people. But as an *experience*, as a way of communicating the loneliness and wonder of a vast, unknowable universe, it’s incredible.

      • Premium User Badge

        PoulWrist says:

        The loneliness of a universe that’s so heavily trafficked that it makes downtown on friday afternoon look quiet? :p Where every lonely planet is colonized already and everywhere has someone who has lived there for ever?

        Right.

    • Someoldguy says:

      Absolutely. I think my biggest criticism of the game that hasn’t already been levelled at it above is that there *is* a story about what the aliens have been up to and why the universe is like it is. Unfortunately it just takes far too long to dig it out of the game monument after monument and knowledge stone after knowledge stone. I think I had to visit more than 150 Vy’keen monuments before they got past talking about their struggle with the Sentinels and started talking about their relationship with the Gek. That took me more than 60 hours and I’ve spent most of my time in Vy’keen star systems. I’d really like to hear the viewpoint of the other two races but only if the revelations can come considerably faster. For now I’m pootling about occasionally while waiting to see what content patches are delivered.

  4. Zenicetus says:

    Well, I went 10 hours before the repeating building blocks become so obvious, and the grind set in. Spent another 5 hours to see if getting a new ship would be enough of a goal to keep me going, but that wore off pretty quick. So, 15 hours total for me. It was worth the money just to experience something that hadn’t been done before.

    It might have had more “legs” as a pure exploration game if they had figured out how to create more diverse environments. I missed seeing cratered moonscapes in hard vacuum, or anything resembling a forest.

    The color palette got on my nerves after a while too. There is a large range of colors that just aren’t in the game because they wanted it to have a certain look, but it’s like being forced to eat only strawberry and orange flavored ice cream. Once in a while you want some chocolate and vanilla too.

    The other off-putting thing was seeing alien buildings and Sentinels on every freaking planet. If they had relaxed the survival element a bit more, so you didn’t need to constantly stop and sell/buy stuff, the exploration could have been more interesting. I might have actually felt I was the first to land on a planet, instead of seeing aliens and their buildings everywhere.

    • Premium User Badge

      PoulWrist says:

      Well, the design of the game shows that the developers are very inexperienced. They might not even have played many videogames themselves, what with the number of design sins they have made in just the general HUD…

  5. Jay Load says:

    I’m in almost total agreement with most of the above. The ‘verb’ parts of the game are stupid, broken, agonising things. There’s no joy in them at all. The procedural generation is good but is so narrowly confined as to show all its parts very very quickly, leading to boredom of rare intensity.

    And yet I can’t stop playing it.

    For me the game is the heir to Noctis’ crown. Noctis being another game where the mechanics of the thing were ultimately awkward but the experience it delivered was beyond compare. I feel in love with Noctis for the freedom and exploration, for the mood it generated. For presenting a vision of space about something other than combat or resource gathering.

    NMS is a philosophical and emotional journey; it’s very much not a “game”, and should never have been sold as one, at least not in it’s present state. Like you I’ve spent time with the game, indulging the systems, improving my lot little by painstaking little, but the best moments for me are when I find planets that speak to me personally, when I find a vista that speaks to my old space soul, when I allow the grandeur of my journey to fill me…the Atlas journey describes the player’s journey – it literally does show you “the path” – the way to play the game: how to appreciate it: how it WANTS to be appreciated. It should never have been sold as anything other than a journey.

    • Jay Load says:

      Last thoughts: the game actively resists your attempts to apply meaning to the universe. To find logical structure. To define purpose. People talk of Races and Histories and “meaningful” exploration – for me, that’s not what No Man’s Sky is about. It doesn’t want definition other than what is already there. This Sky belongs to No Man. You are merely a visitor passing through. It’s too big to be ever conquered. The tension between player expectation and what the game actually presents and allows mirrors the underlying philosophical ground in which the game rests.

      No wonder it’s pissed people off, lol.

    • Laurentius says:

      But can this philosophical and emotional journey also use concepts like well established mouse controls… left button, right button, clicks, double clicks, drag and drop. Hello Windows 3.?, this has been in use for over 20 years…

      • Jay Load says:

        Ha, yes, it can and bloody well should! Noctis was similar. The keybinds and menus were a nightmare to use and deeply unintuitive. That we’re having to fight a game’s controls and menus in 2016 is pretty shocking.

  6. HeavyStorm says:

    More importantly, will the hivemind let this go? You may outpost Fallout 4 if this keeps going.

    (I know, I know – we, readers, want it… But let me be a jerk once)

  7. imchillyb says:

    As of today -this moment- I have 188 hours into No Man’s Sky. I love the game for what it is, and play the game for what it is.

    Your article mentions: “The aliens don’t seem to particularly care about any of these planets, they’re outposts or forgotten places, and there’s a sense that their civilizations have been around for so long that they’re almost falling into decline. But none of that is communicated, I’m imposing story and situational stuff where the game isn’t filling in the gaps.

    I completely disagree. The Monoliths, Ruins, and Alien Encounters flesh out that story for you. There was a galactic war.

    The Gek were almost the Borg of this Universe. They trampled and conquered everywhere they sought, until they met The Sentinals. The Gek are now reduced -from the consequence of this war- to the equivalent of Jawas. They’re merchants, and little better than scavengers now.

    There is plenty of lore there, if a person wishes to seek it out. Much like a Bethesda Fallout game, most of the good-stuff must be discovered by the player. And, much like a Fallout game, 40 hours is a pittance of time. Could /truly/ expect to glean all the lore of an exploration game in under 40 hours?

    I agree that the game isn’t for everyone, but the misinformation being spread around, about No Man’s Sky is nauseating. It’s especially nauseating when done by a /supposedly/ credible source like this site.

    /shame-face.

    • Jediben says:

      I learned about the fall of the gel in around 3 hours. How no one in RPS discovered it after a month makes me question their ability to follow way points and press E.

    • Adam Smith says:

      There may be plenty of lore there. I didn’t find most of what I saw interesting enough to engage with it. The aliens and their buildings were disconnected from the parts of the game I was actually enjoying, and seeing the same place pasted onto planets again and again didn’t catch my interest at all.

      I have a similar reaction to most Bethesda RPGs so there may be a common thread :)

    • KDR_11k says:

      The problem with the lore is that you specifically have to seek it out in a way that’s pretty grindy, I’ve played 41 hours (it felt like so many more), feel like I’ve greatly outstayed my welcome and with the Gek story line I’m still not past “I am firstspawn, hear me roar” phrased in dozens of ways. I’ve learned more about the races of Starbound in less time just by playing the game normally and that game has 7 races.

      Lore is something you should organically discover, not something that should be completely opaque until you spend hours “mining” for it.

      • kderby42 says:

        Yes, the lore of all 3 races seemed quite interesting, unfortunately that lore was not reflected in gameplay in any way. The more I read, the more I was like… “OK, why didn’t you make the game about this?”

  8. GenialityOfEvil says:

    See, I didn’t grind for a better ship, I did it for a *nicer* ship that happened to be good. Now I’ve got a slick 46-slot yellow-black fighter, but I’ve seen other ships that I like the look of.

    • PancakeWizard says:

      This is, IMO, the correct way to play. I’ve got a 23 slot ship and I have no inclination to change it based on inventory size. I’ve got a photon cannon that takes out pirates with ease, a max-upgraded shield and pulse drive and all the warp reactor upgrades. I’ve no reason for more inventory space in the ship unless I decided I’m trying maximise trade profit, but what would I need the money for?

  9. Laurentius says:

    I must say that I don’t get the appeal of this game and not because of core ideas bhind the game ( which I do feel is pointlessly grindy) but execution of PC port of this game. So when I read John’s opinion I am like yeah but also no way!
    Three main aspects of interacting with the game are so borked that I don’t even. ( at least ith m&k)
    1. Walking, it’s bad, I know, yopu are in suit and all but I just can’t, it’s so unrefined, walk up the mountain in GTA5 in first person mod, it’s hard to even describe how much better the latter is.
    2, Flying, I don’t have to comment on it, do I? Playing Freelancer after NMS feels like sliding into warm bath.
    3. UI , using mouse is pain, it is literaly worse UI then Skyrim.

    • Mags says:

      I’ve quite enjoyed NMS, but it has got me hankering to play Freelancer as well. Alas, I’ve currently got no disc drive and I’m having a real headache getting the thing running.

  10. Premium User Badge

    alison says:

    God, I want so hard for there to be a walking sim version of this. I love the screenshots. I love Pip’s photo albums and videos of the funniest animals. I love how John talks incessantly of pottering. I would very much like to pootle about in here for a while like some kind of ETS2 in space. But all this talk of getting shot at by pirates and having to collect stuff just to stay alive sounds awful. I don’t want combat or crafting or survival or trade – just give me a hot space-hatch and somewhere pretty to fly around in and an incomprehensible space opera split into a thousand shards of scattered narrative and I think I would be very happy.

    • draglikepull says:

      Combat is rare (it’s possible to entirely skip ground-based combat if you want to) and the “survival” stuff is quite minor. I’ve never once come close to dying due to lack of resources. The main resources that power your life support are so plentiful you would have a very hard time running out unless you did it on purpose.

      If you want to treat it as a planetary walking simulator, it’s very easy to play the game that way (I would argue it’s just about the most fun way to play).

      • Premium User Badge

        alison says:

        Cheers for the reply. It’s on my wishlist and I had been planning to buy once it dropped to the price of other walking sims. Because before release the articles had me expecting just that – an entertaining little walking/flying sim. But after release every article started talking about joyless grind mechanics that do not interest me and that I did not expect to be there in the first place. The flood of histrionic responses has started to worry me that this isn’t the game I expected – a Zen-like ETS2 experience where you peacefully travel from here to there and from there to here, and maybe you collect enough money by accident to buy a new truck/spaceship along the way, but if you don’t, oh well, that was never really the point anyway.

        • All is Well says:

          Depending on how you like to play, this might not be optimal for you, but I also wanted NMS to just be a walking simulator, and found the various mechanics very tedious to deal with, partly *because* they are so minor, and the required resources are so plentiful. Recharging your laser/life support/hazard protection/shield is simply an annoyance you have to stop and deal with every 5-10 minutes, like picking pebbles out of your shoes, and adds virtually nothing to the experience since there is no urgency to it and you don’t have to adapt your playstyle in any way.

          Anyhow, what I was going to say was that there is a trainer floating around (I think it’s on the NMS mods site but you can just google it) that allows you to turn off all those annoying meters that require recharging/cooldown, which allows you to play the game without those interruptions. Normally, turning off systems like health and whatnot makes games boring, but in NMS I found the reverse to be true, since those systems add so very little to the core experience of walking around and looking at stuff.

    • PancakeWizard says:

      Honestly, you could sleep through the combat.

    • Marr says:

      There’s a pair of mods that in combination, do pretty much exactly that, disable all the videogame trappings. link to nexusmods.com link to nomansskymods.com

  11. Distec says:

    “There’s also a part of me which feels the price tag is way too high. It’s a really really ambitious project and I don’t want to say this to demean the things which do work well or are stunning or which create wonderful moments, but the individual parts really don’t come together to form a game that works as a unified thing and I feel like if you pay a triple A price you’d expect something more coherent. I honestly think that if the game had been £20 there wouldn’t have been *quite* as much vitriol, because the pricing does affect a certain amount of the perception.”

    There you go with your consumer entitlement! We all know that this is because people hate indie developers, and gamers were offended at the idea a small studio competing with the big dogs over in AAA. They should know their place by now.

    /s

  12. ZakG says:

    Mods, that is all (well and more updates from Hello Games)

    link to nexusmods.com

    link to nomansskymods.com

  13. ephesus64 says:

    20… England moneys? 20 Quinns then? That’s about 30 USD–I think I’ll probably be waiting until it gets below 20 bucks. Some things I’d like to see more:
    1)No Man’s Silent Hill: wandering a lonely universe where the bad draw distances are masked by fog, and everything you see is a metaphor for your feelings of isolation, addiction, and fear of intimacy.
    2) Dear Esther’s Sky: Heartfelt and moving albeit self-absorbed narration laid out over an introspective walk through the ruins of past tragedies, only less linear in that you get to choose when to fly your spaceship into a sun and end it all.
    3) No Man’s NaissancE: Turn the spectacle, architecture, and cold brutality up to 11 and leave people with the feeling that they are in a universe that no longer welcomes or needs humanity.
    *I just found out despite spending hours in that game that “naissance” means birth. Ooo, extra deep.
    4) Fallen London’s Sky: Just bring on a few actual writers who know how to craft a sentence, and let people’s imaginations resonate with the words and visuals.
    5) Divinity: No Man’s Sky: Larian could fix it. I love Larian.
    Anyone got more?

    • Premium User Badge

      Ben King says:

      FAVORITE COMMENT AWARD! I am reveling in imagining the Naissancee version of No Man’s Sky where the entire universe is a single procedurally generated black and white planet which is in fact an entirely man-made brutalist sculpture of concrete. Deep inside you’ll find procedurally generated mini buildings oozing around and deep within it’s core a procedurally generated music box crafted from nothing but light, shadow, and quicksilver cranked by a really angry tornado which is also a building. The game only ends when you throw yourself into the black-hole at the center of the planet.

      • ephesus64 says:

        Yes! I’d play a procedurally generated Naissance. If “play” is the right word. Explore? Experience? It’d be fascinating to see the monochromatic architecture and biology compete for space in the universe. And thank you, I’m genuinely happy someone enjoyed my silly comment. [:

    • daver4470 says:

      No Kerbal’s Sky Program: Visit new planets and add more struts until things don’t explode anymore.

      • ephesus64 says:

        I agree! Some well integrated humor and silliness could have been very good for this game. In theory, what some are saying is lacking from the crafting and exploration could be filled with a crunchier process for building and maintaining a spaceship, and a small crew of minions to direct around on missions. Fun!

  14. TheAngriestHobo says:

    Give me six months and a budget and I’d add the ability for players to design and construct their own spaceships from a hundred craftable pieces.

    So… It’d be Starmade?

    • geldonyetich says:

      Starmade wrought in something other than kludgey JAVA? I’d best not be planning on doing anything important in 6 months.

      • VaporStrike says:

        It’s not going to be truly released until very late (Dec?) 2018, but Dual Universe is looking to basically be a massive MMO StarMade that mashed together with everything good from Landmark (that weird EQ: Next thing that let people build with voxels).

        It’s Kickstarter just came out a little while ago (and looks to be well on the way to being funded, 20% after 1 day with 33 left to go) if you want to check it out. (I hope I don’t sound like I’m shilling for this company, but the game looks like everything I’ve wanted from space games for the last decade.)

    • VaporStrike says:

      Or possibly Dual Universe (which just happened to start their Kickstarter up a little while ago).

      In fact, Dual Universe is just looking to be a massively upgraded version of StarMade. So I’m happy.

  15. buzzmong says:

    I find it really intersting you guys are slamming the plot/story.

    Didn’t Alec have a hand in that?

    I’d also be interested to know his views on the game.

    • Premium User Badge

      Skabooga says:

      I’m sure Alec would respond if he could only see the screen through all his tears.

      • Premium User Badge

        Skabooga says:

        (I love you Alec! I only mean this in the most good-natured of jibing, which I’m sure your RPS chums have already given you.)

    • laiwm says:

      IIRC Alec got hired to do bits of writing for some of the aliens and maybe some other bits, I don’t think he had a hand in the overarching plot. The moment-to-moment writing is really lovely in places, but it’s definitely lacking in terms of broader worldbuilding.

      • Jediben says:

        I hear he came up with the Gek language, pre-translation. A pot full of dung beetles were set free on a keyboard for the other race.

  16. wodin says:

    Managed a few hours before uninstalling for good..a boring grind isn’t for me..

  17. Rizlar says:

    You’re wrong! The Lotus Esprit is the best car in GT.

    But I did like the bit asking why all planets are uniformly populated. For the first time it’s got me craving a mod that makes some planets totally uninhabited and some huge cities of repeated buildings.

  18. CartonofMilk says:

    “This one… I wanted it enough to start playing the game in the grindy, savey-uppy way but… there was no point. It would leave before I could do anything useful financially and then… what? Wait for the game to generate one and keep a few squillion in the bank just in case?”

    The game only generates maybe a dozen new ships per system. As long as you’re in that system that’s all the same dozen ships that you’ll see. So if you DO want to save up for it, you can stay in that system, (i don’t know for sure if you leave and get back to it if the ships are still the same) grind for hours and then, and this is where the real “fun” is, get to a space station or a trading post and wait for the ship you want to show up.

    Chances are it will soon enough, but it will be one with either way less or way more cargo spaces than the one you saved up for (the ships design and how much slots it has is unrelated and also keeps randomly changing). You don’t want to downgrade form your current ship, and you can’t afford the ship with 36 slots. So what do you do? You wait..and you wait..and you wait…last time i bought a new ship i counted about 3 hours just sitting at a trading post plus the maybe 2 it took me to grind to get enough money. Head scratchingly stupid. I get the idea of “discovering” new randomly generated ships, that’s cool, but maybe make it that once you have seen a ship, say maybe, talked to its pilot or something, then it’s added to the trading computer or whatever it’s called?

  19. Merlin the tuna says:

    Pip: It feels like one of those games which might be remembered as being the game that did a thing first that later games then… perfected? Improved on? Smartened up or worked out how to make the other bits of it tick?

    I get this desire, but on the other hand, what exactly is the new thing in NMS? As an achievement of software programming, it’s really impressive that they’ve been able to make a playable universe so big with such a small system footprint. But the actual gameplay systems seem to be utterly hackneyed. It’s hard to point at anything and say “this will be a major influence on games in the future.”

    I mean, even Spore had a more obviously novel use of procedural generation through its creature creator. Not only did it allow more variety of form, but by procedurally deriving walk animations and the like, it made that form feel more significant than swapping out pre-genned parts. And on a software side of things, encoding creature data within PNG images of the creatures themselves is BRILLIANT. (And tangentially, props to Monaco for picking up the latter torch.)

  20. VaporStrike says:

    “I’d add the ability for players to design and construct their own spaceships from a hundred craftable pieces.”

    *cough*DualUniverse(KickstarterUpNow)*cough*

  21. waltC says:

    The whole “procedurally generated” shtick is just marketing. I’ve never seen it done right–and by “right” I mean to have so many variables in art assets and seeds that you could play the game and visit 100 planets and none of them would look *remotely* similar. You would not recognize the head on animal A on planet Y as being the same head on animal F on planet B, etc. To do that you would have to have maybe 20x the art assets and maybe 100x more seeds–or it might not be the seeds at all–just too few art assets, so that things quickly become repetitive.

    All planets should not bear life, etc. etc. ad infinitum. Enter hand-crafted assets. You could actually do everything I’ve listed above by hand with fewer assets and no seeds at all. You could have a plot and a story–a mystery to unravel as in Starflight. Or several mysteries. But all the made-up names like “Ysmillland” and “Gluundrapheemica” and so on–how unbelievably boring and repetitive. Journalists call that “filler”–it’s babble spoken just to run out the clock.

    One of these days *someone* is going to come along and remake Starflight with modern art assets and a modern perspective and they are going to have a gigantic blockbuster when they do. I wonder if I will live long enough to see it, as NMS doesn’t come close. NMS reminds me more of “Romper Room for Space Kiddies.” [recommended for ages 6-10.]

    • P.Funk says:

      The only real way to do it seems to be the Dwarf Fortress way which is to entirely forego the art and imagery and make it entirely content based and fashion the game around exploiting the environment for your own role playing satisfaction. Without imagery its much easier to create content and depth and layers and let the player fill in the blanks with their imaginations or let game events populate the mythos and history.

      Sadly 3D and graphics and imagery makes proc gen very very limited until we get to probably quantum computing.

    • Marr says:

      I’d also accept a true spiritual successor to Star Control.

  22. aircool says:

    It’s just half arsed with a bullshit filler. It’s like a board game compendium with half the bits missing; so much potential, but next to useless.

    The inventory bollocks gets tedious quickly, it’s like sitting through an eternal health & safety briefing whilst really needing a shit, and just when you’re given a five minute break and head to the toilet, you realise (too late) that there’s no bog roll. There might be some in the next cubicle, but if there was, there’s no way of communicating with your toilet bound neighbour.

  23. invitro says:

    I am just glad I didn’t spend any money on this waste of electrons.

  24. Ericusson says:

    Too little honesty too late RPS.

    • Sin Vega says:

      Damn, if only there were some way to stop the men holding guns to your head while ordering you to buy every game the instant it’s released.

      • Marr says:

        Sin, it took RPS a full calendar month to come out and say, unambiguously, “This is a bad game, not recommended”, the site was very much part of the hype engine, and a regular contributor worked on the game. Can you see how this might look bad?

        • All is Well says:

          I don’t think the above article really amounts to calling it a “bad game”. Regardless, RPS pointed out shortcomings pretty early. Did you actually read their previous coverage? John’s WIT amounted to pretty much the same sentiment that he’s expressing here, and Brendan called it a “broken promise”, all in the first week. Add to that the fact that there hasn’t been a single article or news item about NMS that hasn’t had a disclaimer about Alec working both for RPS and on the game. Given this, I think it’s a little bit hysterical to go around hinting at corruption or conspiracy.

        • Sin Vega says:

          A month during which they were all evidently enjoying it, only have now all cooled on it significantly, which I’d imagine is precisely why they chose to write this together.

          • Marr says:

            Mm. If it takes professional review sites a month to see behind the curtain, is snark about “buying every game the instant it’s released” justifiable? Ericusson is basically asking where you guys were back in the release week.

          • Sin Vega says:

            Yes. Digesting a giant game takes time (and time that’s often taken away from the billion other games critics have to play in order to eat), and those that promise a long tail but perhaps don’t really deliver it literally require several weeks to fully assess. And if a grown adult can’t restrain themself from buying a game for a month, they shouldn’t have access to money.

        • John Walker says:

          a) No, we didn’t say that, because none of us thinks that
          b) Week 1 coverage:

          link to rockpapershotgun.com
          link to rockpapershotgun.com

          • Marr says:

            Well, that’s how I read the following exchange:

            John: Oh, sorry, let me translate. Yeah, no, you’re right. The game’s terrible. Seriously, it’s such a giant mess. There is absolutely no reason to keep going, and the more I play, the more it becomes clear to me just how poorly thought through and deeply uninspired it really is. But then I could get a ship with more inventory slots you see, and then when I have that, it won’t be so inconvenient to get another ship with more inventory slots. And I like it when the plutonium crystals explode.

            Pip: Is this your version of AdVenture Capitalist, then?

            John: It… might be.

            I mean, that’s not a recommendation, is it?

          • geldonyetich says:

            I mean, that’s not a recommendation, is it?

            No less a recommendation than his week one review either:

            This likely reads as an overwhelmingly negative review, and it’s deserved – No Man’s Sky is massively flawed, and systematically poorly designed. But it’s also a massive playground of potential and opportunity, and its sheer ambition, for all its massive stumbles, is rewarded in play. It’s bloody awful that the whole time I’ve been playing, the dozens of hours on PC this weekend, I’ve been thinking about the PS4 hastily hooked up to the TV at the other side of my office and wishing I were still playing over there.

            And yet, I see where he’s coming from here. Sometimes a game being terrible is not the same as it being unworthy of playing. Just as a person who has terrible personality flaws might nevertheless be worth knowing, blowing him off because you desire instant gratification is fundamentally missing out, but this doesn’t excuse his personality flaws, either.

  25. Marr says:

    I don’t really understand how it took so long to get to these conclusions. For a couple of weeks there you all seemed to really like the thing, and I’d spent my few dispirited hours in the game thinking many of the things in this article, but mostly thinking “Seriously, this is all of it?”

  26. Peppergomez says:

    If ever there were a game to hold off on buying for a good year or so, this is out. Hello have outdone Bethesda for release-day jank factor, it appears. Bring on the patches, the mods, and the additional official content, bring down the prices. That’s what I say.

  27. Peppergomez says:

    *this is it.

    Ah well. A little jank of my own there.

  28. KDR_11k says:

    Man, so many obviously incomplete features and even some that look like they were added with no understanding of why other games have them. E.g. the need to hold a key for everything which is based on Destiny and Division having you hold a key for irreversible things like scrapping items. Or the hit indicator that all shooters have these days but NMS uses to indicate your shot hitting anything including the ground. Or the wanted levels that don’t increase by fighting and pretty much never hit a new level unless you’re doing it on purpose or an enemy spawned inside a wall or something.

    • Marr says:

      The inventory system designed for Out There, a rogue like with constant time pressure where the limited space and awkward crafting are a core mechanic.

    • Marr says:

      It’s a Frankenstein’s Monster, they tried to make a game by carving bits off other games and stitching them together in roughly the right shape, but with no understanding of the anatomy under the skin. If I didn’t know who made this I’d have assumed it was a postgraduate thesis by very serious academic chaps with zero videogame experience, not even as players. That HG are actually seasoned professionals is just bizarre.

      • ZakG says:

        It seems it was Sony’s QA process that yanked out a bunch of the features we had been told about (Planet orbits, not being able to crash etc).

        Thread in the forums gives links to the details.

        • Premium User Badge

          Captain Narol says:

          You mean this link, right ?

          link to gog.com

          Very instructive read, thanks for signaling it !

          • Marr says:

            Yeah, interesting stuff from another indie dev with some experience working ‘with’ Sony there.

            But we have had problems like that in the closed betas I was in. That we had people with very curious views – not just very idiosyncratic opinions, or something like that – but very curious complaints that might not be instantly recognizable. And because they would always have these “it looks more convenient this way” arguments, to for example remove physics, or avoid weather simulation, or having day and night cycles, etc. Because of that way of arguing, some of us joked about it at the time that they were essentially flat-earthers and creationists. And played games because they were fascinated by the idea of a perfectly created universe, rather than having any fun. You know, it fits perfectly, right, when the same people in addition have a small personal crisis when a butt is implied to be shown naked in a game, for example. Something was going on with these guys, and Sony would still treat this as “legitimate concerns” like any other.

            The problem of course not being that flat-earthers have their say, but that Sony adds in “issues” based on the most ridiculous complaints people might have, and treat them as “if we fix this, then more customers will be happy! I cannot see why any of this will ever upset 99% of the rest of the player-base in any way! Besides, it’s just a game, and the developer agrees it’s not “core” to their vision of the game! So there!”.

            But a lot of these freaky concerns then resulted in being reformulated and added to the change-lists for one reason or another, that the devs then were convinced of (by Sony) that were important. So this stuff is real, and it’s one major reason why I will never buy another Sony game ever again.

  29. Premium User Badge

    Captain Narol says:

    John, my friend, you don’t have to be ashamed of your feelings.

    Let it go and just enjoy, you have the right to feel that way…

    What people say doesn’t matter, it’s your difference that defines you, and you’re not alone.

    Say it with me : “I love No Man’s Sky despise its flaws… I love No Man’s Sky despise its flaws… I love No Man’s sky despise its flaws…”

  30. Premium User Badge

    Captain Narol says:

    Now my 2 cents about NMS, after 133 hours in :

    If you come into it looking for a conventional game, you’ll be disappointed for sure. Gameplay is functional but light and shallow, there is not much gamified content thrown at your face to keep you busy, and even the lore/storyline is quite optional.

    However, if you embrace it like a freeform exploration sandbox, as most of those who enjoy the game seems to do, you’re in for a totally different experience. It’s simply beautiful and amazing, a virtually endless source of joy and wonder.

    A whole peaceful universe full of strange and alien visions, where to escape and get some relief from our doomed reality. To put it short, my new home…

    PS : I have exactly the same weird “vagina with teeth” on the planet I’m currently exploring, what a stunning coincidence !

  31. TheSplund says:

    “the player shrugs at Atlas” – excellent.
    Could this be a game that EVERYONE has a limit as to how long they will love it, be it 2 minutes or 2 weeks (actual playing time)? might it be so infinite that it will ultimately test everyone’s patience – think how bored you might be if you could actually live forever and how that would grind after a while

  32. Brave Dave says:

    Sometimes I feel like I am playing a completely different game to most people. 50 hours in and I (last night) have just seen some creatures walking around on their hind legs, needless to say, I **** myself….I thought they were humanoids of some sort as they were gathered around and seemed to be chatting to each other. I calmed down and went for a walk around the planet, it went dark (proper dark because of the mod) and one just walked around a corner (silhouetted) and I **** myself again. It genuinely sent shivers down my spine and as a 40 odd year old horror fan, that hasn’t happened for years. It turns out that the were just sentient things milling around (and yes, they are communicating (in my head they are))

    I saw the game when it was first announced years ago and it filled me with wonder and knew right then I needed this game as I am generally bored of most “game” mechanics so the whole inventory thing doesn’t interest my in the slightest, I upgrade when I feel like a change of aesthetics and something different to do, not because the game tells me I need to.

    I get why people feel let down and also (sort of) feel lied to. I think this is the game that Hello Games wanted to make, but, **** me can you imagine trying to sell this to people???

    This game gives me great pleasure and would pay the £40 over again today, but, again, I completely understand why people would hate it with a passion.

    Great write up as per usual folks.

  33. plugmonkey says:

    Give me six months and a budget and I’ll do all of your jobs better than you too. And I apparently don’t need any knowledge, experience or track record to back that up. ;)

  34. klownk says:

    I think you speak about this shitty game too much.

  35. frightlever says:

    It got tedious and repetitive very quickly, stretching already slim ideas to breaking point. The game was just as bad.

  36. Klydefrog says:

    I’m just going to spew some thoughts about this because I don’t really have anything better to do right now and hopefully someone will gain something from reading them.

    I’m in a pretty weird position when it comes to this game and I get the feeling other people might be with me. As soon as I saw that first E3 trailer for No Man’s Sky I was absolutely fascinated and immediately thought of Spore, which for me was one of the biggest disappointments of my teenage years (it came out on my 15th birthday) and which I’ve often thought was basically my generation’s equivalent of The Phantom Menace although I guess on a much smaller scale. I was terrified of meeting the same disappointment again so I ignored almost all No Man’s Sky coverage from that point on in the hope that I would be able to go in with no expectations and enjoy it even if it didn’t turn out to be what was promised.

    I managed to stick to that up until a couple of weeks before released, even then I only read a couple of things and watched a tiny bit of that Stephen Colbert appearance, but did everything I could to keep my expectations down. I still wasn’t prepared at all for the reception it got though and what I heard put me in a strange position. This article was actually one of the most illuminating things I’ve read in regard to what’s actually in the game, I’d still kind of tried to avoid it up until now but had read Jon’s review which had let me know that I should probably wait a bit for the PC version to be fixed a bit which I’m glad to hear has happened to some extent.

    The comparison to Adventure Capitalist was really helpful because that was exactly what I didn’t want the game to be and reading that almost put me off for good. Jon turned me back around though, mainly when he mentioned listening to audiobooks as I’m always on the hunt for more games that allow me to just play mindlessly while my mind is on something else and there are very few games that properly achieve that for me. I think when it’s on sale I’ll probably pick it up and give it a try for that. It’s shame there isn’t a demo to determine whether it’s for me sooner really as I don’t think the videos I’ve tried watching really give me an idea of what it will feel like to play myself, particularly in light of some of Adam’s comments about the feeling of discovery which I really hoped the game would have all this time.

    I think waiting a bit will help though, in letting me judge the game on my own terms after I’ve forgotten all the things that have surrounded the release. It’s strange that a game has managed to give me such a feeling of disappointment when I really didn’t have much expectations of what it would be. Thankfully it’s nowhere near as bad as it was with Spore but it still makes me sad that this isn’t the game I thought it would be. The most interesting thing for me is that it seems a lot of people had very different ideas of what they wanted from this game and a lot of them avoided the hype for the same reasons I did, which may have made it even more of a disappointment since we avoided hearing what the game actually was and instead judged it on what we imagined it to be. Having said that though, it seems like even if I’d paid attention I wouldn’t have been properly shown what the game was but I’m still completely in the dark as to why that’s the case.

    • CartonofMilk says:

      seeing as this is without protection you could also just get the torrent version, play a few hours and see if you care to invest your money in it and reward the devs. But that’s probably too crazy and illegal.

      I personally am very glad i didn’t buy it. I played maybe 30 hours, visited a dozen planet and 3 systems. I’ve seen and done everything. I mean no i haven’t but you know…i have. The planet generation is actually very underwhelming and disappointing though it isnt helped by the absolutely atrocious draw distance. I said it and will say it again, i’m still more wowed by the planets in Elite Dangerous and they are just barren lifeless rocks. But when you get to a mountain, it’s actually a dozens of km high mountain that will take you maybe an hour to get to the top. Also you can actually see if from hundreds of km away. That sense of scale is inexistent in NMS.

      • Klydefrog says:

        Yes I’ve definitely considered torrenting it to give it a go. Like I said though waiting for a sale might give me some time to judge it fresh and I’ve got a fair few games I’m absorbed in right now, I’m only just properly getting into Witcher 3. I’ve heard so many amazing things about Elite Dangerous already but your comment about the mountain intrigues me even more, I’ll definitely have to try it soon.

  37. mickrussom says:

    Game is novel only in that small team made an algorithm generate a boring and repetitive game with interesting generated music.

    What Can’t One Do in NO MAN’S SKY?

    Can I keep pets? NO
    Can I breed animals? NO
    Can I build a base? NO
    Can I play with friends? NO
    Can I visit home worlds of advanced alien races or civilizations? NO
    Can I recruit crew members? NO
    Can I keep more than one ship? NO
    Can I sell my ship? NO
    Can I crash my ship? NO
    Can I influence the other races in any way? NO
    Can I craft interesting weapons? NO
    Is the lore behind alien races interesting? NO

    Is NMS a Sandbox? No, you can’t really edit or change the world.

    Are there noteworthy random events? No. NMS has no special events. Everything the game is going to do is hard coded. Expect major patches with huge changes to the game engine / platform if there is even a remote possibility of getting any real special events.

    Visual content is generated but the theme is always the same. Every planet looks like a super-saturated overblown colors with a severely limited color pallet. All the NPCs are soulless. All NPC bases look the same. NPC conversations are pathetic.

    All planets have the same gravity. Why? Who would go through all this procedurally generated junk and overlook this.

    Scientist? Pirate? Trader? Explorer? No difference. You have to manage a stupid-small inventory, manually deal with consumables. Oregon Trail had more strategy going for it than this.

    Get to the middle. Yep. That’s the goal. Generated a quintillion worlds and the center of it all is the goal.

    Why is space so full of “junk” in this made up universe? There is stuff everywhere. I guess once someone feels content worth looking at is generate-able they just go all in with it.

    No instructions – come into a battle (distress signal), pick a side, no communications, no instructions

    Scanner is useless. You find random strange things. No rhyme or reason as to what gets picked up from space either. Finding things like black holes, space anomalies and space stations is utterly annoying.

    Starships have no purpose.

    Space combat system is very weak. Much prefer Wing Commander I to this No Man’s Sky business

    All conversations take a stupid long time to get to the meat. For a repetitive game all time wasting is hugely annoying.

    Upgrade system is horrific. Things can’t be moved easily or at all. Things you destroy can’t be remade. Items you have and destroy and you don’t have the blueprint you can’t remake. You can’t reverse engineer.

    No scanner enhancements of significance for the ship.

    No notion of a base or a garage. This is totally needed. Also why only allow one ship at a time? Abandoned ships have disappeared on me before I could transfer inventory.

    Mapping system is utterly inferior. Just trying to follow star roads is a painful annoying experience.

    With the level of technology in this game the scanning and mapping system (or utter lack thereof) is idiotic.

    Flying animals defy physics – not possible.

    Planet temperatures where Nitrogen and CO2 would be frozen can still have “rain”.

    Element system is idiotic. Why even bother with real element names?

    All the trades, upgrades and finding broken ships are always idiotically close in size and value of the current ship. What really stinks is when you have a 48 slot ships most of the offers have less than
    48 if trying to trade up.

    No hovering. This is horrific.

    The NPCs are utterly one dimensional. They are empty, shallow and useless. They also talk very slow and it takes forever to burn through talking with them. If you have to restore from a last save to correct
    a conversation mistake it takes a long, long time.

    The fact nothing auto-recharges in a world of warp-drives is idiotic.

    Crime and punishment is stupid. Sentinels are stupid.

    The black hole shortcuts are not shortcuts.

    The Atlas path ending is stupid. All the dialogue for the 10 stops and the 11th Atlas stop is hipster idiot drivel

    The music tries to have “gravitas” and use base to make dumb situations seem cool.

    The Atlas path has an entity that often looks like an ridiculous Pokémon ball.

    I would honestly rather re-play Wing Commander I & II than suffer this game.

    Every planet out of the 18 quintillion has been discovered before and is littered with alien trash.

    18 quintillion planets and only 3 (or 4 races including the nameless faceless speechless one dimensional loser character one is portraying).

    The word list for each language is the same.

    For anyone completionist or OCD this game would be nightmarish.

    You can buy plans from Polo that cost up to 2,000,000 and keep getting the same trash plans you already have. And for junk. Also Omega gear is only for a certain few upgrades. Not knowing easily which is
    best for each system and best not being easy to identify is just foolishness.

    If I compare Minecraft to this the one thing Minecraft does is let you play. 99.9-100.0 of every millisecond is user input, user doing something. NMS forces you to watch transitions and draws out stupid
    conversations which are repetitive. If you’ve talked with a loser alien species many time you don’t need to see the little dance when you get them to do something.

    How is your “rank” known across 18 quintillion planets with each species? Are we assuming there is a pan-galactic communication system? If that is true why is there NO information anywhere?

    No bulk crafting. (You would think these HelloGames losers played Minecraft at some point)

    No hover. Again, lame.

    After 48 slots in exosuit there is no reason for drop pods. Why are drop pods always the same?

    Why when trading up can you salvage the old weapon/multi-tool?

    Upgrades for the ship all look the same. It is very hard to sort them and tell what they are.

    Space combat and control stinks. Again no hover. And has no dogfight feel to it. Basically outgun the others or don’t fight at all. No way to fight effectively or at all with a crummy ship. I remember
    surviving against all odds battles in an old game like wing commander I using skill and patience and persistence. Not here. Junk.

    No map system in a pan-galactic exploration game. This is really stupid.

    Mapping out an entire planet (even with these super high tech super futuristic ships) is utterly impossible. Also visited sites often come up as colored targets? WHY? No way to know easily if you are
    rehashing old sites.
    There is no real benefit to 100% exploring a planet. No reason to get intimate.

    Extraneous elements, e.g., Murrine. No purpose.

    This game has utter disregard for money = time. If you were to have 999,999,999,999 units/credits/money, you could not easily “get the best ship, multi-tool, exosuit”. It takes at ton of grinding and a ton
    of luck. So much so that money can’t accelerate anything. The game enjoys you wasting a ton of time grinding.

    With 3 factions (only, what a joke) – there is no reason to go to war.

    The respawning from the galactic core to another galaxy is the cruelest dumbest ending ever. Some people have gotten 25 galaxies in and nothing changes. Pathetic. So once you fully upgrade your ship, tool and
    suit and finish the atlas path you could keep going into galaxies forever and get nothing. stupid.

    No way to automatically go back.

    Warp is expensive in terms of resources.

    Looting a crashed ship is annoying, have to ship swap and swap back risking corruption (if the abandoned ship glitches).

    Ships are not classed. They look different but it seems any ship could be anything.

    The races of aliens mean nothing. Their ships aren’t much different. Multi-tools a bit different but not much. Behavior sounds different but they do the same thing.

    Polo and Nada are stupid. They don’t say anything and aren’t very interesting NPCs.

    Multi tool scanner upgrades stink. Scanning and mapping always stinks.

    Its nice to lose in space combat when you can’t charge a shield or fix it when the computer (think R2D2) could fix or recharge this stuff. What a joke. Warp hyper drive but no self-repair?

    The fact if you hit an “ally” ship (distress signal) once while helping them turns them hostile is just dumb.

    The lighting is such that the flashlight is utterly useless. Planets night vs day feel is nothing.

    If you map out 1% of a given planet you will get the exact same “crap” for the rest of the 99%. Its a joke.

    Gravity means nothing. Size of planet means nothing.

    The HUD is such trash. It is like one of the worst space game HUDs I’ve ever experienced.

    Its utterly unacceptable for the game to keep giving out blueprints that you already have. It stinks. What’s the point of being a jerk like this?

    There should be theme planet generation. So all the planets from Sci Fi, earth like, Vulcan, Arrakis, etc., there should be a way if a map system existed to seek these out. I mean if there are 18 quintillion
    planets then it should be possible to have a few be like something familiar.

    The experience between planets is the same. No matter the terrian or how close to the center or how big or small the to-do list for every planet is the exact same. This is pathetic. Everything different is plastic textures and color palette swaps.

    Have Metroid-like reserve tanks so we don’t have to care about consumption until we hit the reserve. Also all life support and shield consumption should auto refill or never run to 0% if there is something that could charge it.
    Sometimes it feels like the game is flying for me. Why? Can’t hit the ground. Can’t hover? Why?

    Map and compass for planets and space. Distance from surface, star in star system and galactic center. Also X-Y-Z coordinates for planet visible.

    Bounty hunting system stinks and the rewards are pathetic.

    Why are there milestone messages not cancelable? Why are they able to show up during a fight? This is beyond dumb. I hate them. Display a message but don’t trap the player.

    Sentinels are lame “enemies”. It is also difficult to escalate to make them really angry and there is no reward for getting into a huge fight and winning with the sentinels.

    Why can’t you fly into the sun?

    Why can’t we get a gravity gun like from Half Life? That would be cool.

    Where are the cities? The colonies? The totally advanced star systems? Where is any real advanced civilization?

    Why are all the star bases the same? This is moronic.

    Why is there no landing camera? No hover?

    Why is there no planet that means death by staying there? There is no risk. What if a planet is super-massive? Or has a gas surface like Jupiter? There is no way to screw up by landing in the wrong place.

    I hate this game. It sucks at everything it overlaps with in the gaming world. Space pirate. Space trader. Space military. Planet-bound games. Space combat. Space Exploration. Scientific exploration. Every
    time this game overlaps with another game that has similar elements No Man’s Sky sucks worse.

    Since the aliens, space cabbage, traders and outposts are all gimcrack clones – you could just think of it as naturally occurring flora and fauna which just happens to grow that way every time in this fatuous universe. It is amazing to see people taking screen shots and then they all end up looking more or less the same. Generated drivel.

    No Man’s Sky is basically a Technology Preview / Technology Demo.

    I think this is the ultimate hipster game. No face, no image, not persona. Nobody will even experience what you are experiencing again and the music you are hearing is oh-so-hipster one of a king. I think this is the ultimate hipster game ever made.

    Well……back to FTL I guess. Proteus with Spore’s space stage. Dual Universe? I guess if you want to sink time into a game its back to FTL which is way more engaging than this one.

    Shout out to a real game like Evochron Legacy for doing this without the hype.

    • Premium User Badge

      Gnarl says:

      Part of the enjoyment of reading RPS with a delay is the occasional unusual, normally very emotional comment that has appeared a day or more after the article was published. Like this 2000 word monster I hope was posted somewhere else, where it might be more widely read.

      Not to say I agree with it, but in the same way it’s sad to see someone on the street shouting and no one listening, it’s sad to think only a few have seen this.

      • Klydefrog says:

        I don’t appreciate the technical aspects of the RPS comments system though. My comment below was meant to be a reply to yours.

  38. Klydefrog says:

    As someone who frequently comments on RPS articles late and with long-winded opinions I appreciate your being here.

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