Review: No Man’s Sky – Unlimited Adventure or Just Boring?
No Man’s Sky has been eagerly anticipated for about 4 years now. The game boasted an almost unlimited adventure as you go from planet to planet collecting resources, selling your crafted items and interact with the local wildlife. The games creators boast “you can do ANYTHING you like in the game” and this is almost true. If by doing anything means you can walk around a horrible looking blue and purple planet with no end game in sight, then they are right. You can probably tell by now where I am going with this one. I reviewed this on PC.
If you haven’t yet heard of the game, here is the “I’ve seen things” trailer:
What’s it all about?
The game starts off with your character awakening on a strange planet with a multitool (A laser mainly used for mining materials but can be used as a weapon also) a small amount of storage and a damaged ship. The first mission is to get the parts you need to repair your ship and so you can get the hell off this planet. Once I explored a little….Ok, I explored a lot! I was asking myself so what is it I am actually doing here? So I went through the objectives in my menu and started to look for the components I needed to get my ship up and running. I saw a few creatures and none of them seemed to be aggressive (except for a crab that was like a rottweiler that was looking to take a bite out of a postman) so completing the task of collecting the materials was not a difficult one and lets you ease into the game slowly, very slowly.
The first thing you will come to realise is that storage is going to be a large part of this game as you will run out of space fast and often. Never fear however as there are many upgrades throughout the game to boost your storage needs from larger bags to bigger ships. You can share your space with your ship so you don’t really need to carry everything as you go exploring but beware. You can somehow magically transport items to your ship and Vice Versa but if you stray too far from your ship you can send items but not receive them. That’s a little annoying when you get somewhere and discover that you need an item on your ship and it’s too far away for you to “teleport” it.
After you get your ship repaired you can finally discover the rest of the galaxy in your ship but you won’t get far without hyperdrive, so this becomes your next objective. Once you get hyperdrive you can get to neighboring planets in seconds but let me tell you that if patience is not your thing, then this game is not for you. The speed at which you walk around the planets is horrible. You can run albeit for a short time which makes you marginally faster but I really think that they should have included an ATV with the ship to enable you to get around a bit faster. They have confirmed that ground vehicles are coming but after making us wait for 4 years, I think they should have made the wait a little longer and included them at launch. Here is a cleverly made video that shows a Jurassic park type scenario that the creators promised Vs the experience of one player
Pretty much all large scale games have fast travel built into the core of the game. I think that game devs realise that most people don’t want to spend most of the time on the game simply travelling. Not in this game, though. If you walk for 15 minutes away from your ship it’s going to take you 15 minutes to get back. Unless you come across an outpost and have the required materials to summon your ship, which I never did. Again, I know that the games creators are selling this as a game about exploration but I found this quite frustrating and learned to just fly everywhere instead of walking which takes away from what the creators actually wanted you to do in the first place.
Currently, it appears that there is no real online value to the game. The only online feature I can see at the minute is whether or not someone else has discovered a planet before you so that brings a Pokemon element to the game to be the first to discover something. That is not a feature that will see me reaching for the game on a regular basis.
What’s next for NMS?
It seems like the developers are listening to their customers and there are rumours of more online capability but in my opinion, the games biggest selling point; The ability to create an almost infinite amount of planets would actually be its Achilles heel. If they go down the MMORPG route with the game, they would need to almost redesign the whole thing as meeting people randomly would be quite unlikely. They would also need to inject large scale missions and objectives to keep people engaged and keep them wanting more.
The type of games I love to play is large scale RPGs like Fallout, Skyrim, The Witcher etc. Saying that I have been a fan of WOW for many years and really, I like a game that immerses me into the story while not being overly linear. Thes are the types of games that are built to last.
No Man’s Sky (no matter what they do to reinvigorate it) will never be that game. I played approx. 10 hours of the game and that took me 6 weeks. In a really immersive game, I could clock that up in a day or more likely, a night. Just getting to 10 hours was real torture and I felt like playing the game just so that I could write a review was a chore.
That being said, there is obviously a market for this kind of game as there are many good reviews but it’s all about your gaming style and what you like to do. If you like roaming around without purpose or any real sense of reward then you will love this game. If like me, you would rather run into a crowd of players firing a gun like a madman then look elsewhere as this will not get your heart going any more than it would if you were sleeping.
Thanks for reading and let me know what you think in the comments section below.