Game Review: ‘No Man’s Sky’ No Man Buy
When I first wrote my review of No Man’s Sky, I was still on the hype train. I specifically bought a PS4 a few months ago just to play this game. That was how good it looked! When I first started, I thought the game was a “masterpiece.” But then I played it for 2 weeks and came to realize that all the hate on it was warranted. It crashes at least 5 times whenever I sit down to play, all the animals looked like garbage, and gathering resources gets so damn boring.
We’re barely past 2 weeks away from the release date of the PS4 version and it has already been patched numerous times with version 1.06 coming out this week. This is why you beta-test your games with people. I know everything is supposed to be a surprise, but the real surprise was that they released a broken game. Just when I think I’m doing something fun, the game crashes. When you return to your last spot, it crashes again. I’ve never in my life played a game so glitchy that I actually thought my PS4 was broken. Games shouldn’t scare the hell out of you to the point where your new PS4 could be potentially broken. I kept thinking of all the annoying crap I’d have to go through to get it fixed, but it wasn’t broken — No Man’s Sky was.
You keep getting closer and closer to the center of the galaxy, but none of the planets are any different as you get closer (another lie from the developers). It’s the same generated crap with different layers. I’ve been chased by the same spider-like monster on a few different worlds. It looks a bit different, but it’s the same thing. Some of the planet life is identical to other planets. It’s like a few of the designers just said “F it” it and let it go by unnoticed. Well, the guys that do the Honest Trailer video noticed, and they let them have it.
If you don’t want SPOILERS, then stop reading now.
The center of the galaxy was one of the biggest promises made before the game came out. They said the center would be amazing. It’s so bad that I wonder if it’s a mistake. Want to know what happens at the center? You start the game over in a different galaxy without any of the stuff you collected. The end of the game is just starting the game over. I’m not even kidding. I would prefer to see the credits. There is no sense of accomplishment when you beat the game. I can’t imagine how many people reached the end and loudly said, “Wait….that’s it? No way.” That’s what I did. All the effort to collect resources, find a badass ship, and acquire a slick multi-tool is erased. You now start at the beginning with nothing.
(ED Note: This has been challenged on Reddit because the center is supposed to be a loop, but there’s a bigger mystery. Follow the Atlas and go behind doors you couldn’t open before. Yeah, it took me a long time to beat the game, so I’m not going to investigate something like that just to be disappointed again. I’ll wait to see if this is proven correct elsewhere. It’s just not worth it.)
Understanding the physics of the game brings us to how bad they are. The planets and moons are all lumped together. You can’t travel to or near a star. There are no gas giants. There are no planets (that I’ve seen) with rings. All the planets and moons, no matter the size, have identical gravity. Every time you land on a planet, you have to gather resources. It’s non-stop gathering of resources. You can’t even enjoy anything because you constantly have to shop for crap on planets. It felt like I was at a mall during the holidays.
What about the aliens? There are what I believe to be 3/4 species. Each species is boring. You travel planets to visit monolith’s to learn new words, but that’s ultimately stupid because the aliens don’t say anything interesting, and the words you learn never even show up. I gave up going to them most of the time because you don’t even have to learn anything to talk to the aliens. You’re character figures it all out anyway. And they don’t do anything. They just sit there. That’s one major part of the game that is proven to be garbage. Sometimes you have to solve a logic puzzle, but after a few hours, you’ve already learned all the answers to them, so that part of the game is lumped into the garbage heap.
Some ships fly around on the planets, they land, and then nothing happens. It’s the same thing that happens in the space stations: ships land, but no one ever comes out. It legitimately made me feel lonely when I was wandering around. I even got lost in a cave system and didn’t have the RESOURCES to blow up a wall and escape. No one was around, I couldn’t do anything, and after an hour, I finally found an entrance. This is where multiplayer would be a benefit. Having two people playing together would make the game so much better. That’s what Star Citizen has going for it, but I will keep the hype down for that game since this was so disappointing that I never want to go through that again.
Travelling through space is another function this game got wrong. The space battles are so bad that you want to avoid them because they’re a nuisance. What about those space freighters? They just sit there. They do nothing unless you attack them for guess what? Resources. Resources for your exo-suit, your ship and your multi-tool. This is a $60 gaming equivalent of going outside and collecting rocks. Not only do you have to collect rocks, you also get shot at by mindless sentinels if you take too many rocks. So now when you want to collect stuff, you have a nanny that spanks you inside the game. Not only is collecting stuff boring, the developers had to think of a way to make it worse, and they succeeded.
When I wrote my review, again, I was bathed in hype. I wasted so much money just for this game. I have never ever pre-ordered anything gamewise, but I pre-ordered this game with the hopes that the 3 years of build up in hype would pay off. It didn’t. Is it fun to look at when you play? Sure. There are some planets that are gorgeous, but as you sit and admire, you have to go back to getting resources that will take you to the center of the galaxy just so you can lose everything you’ve collected. No Man’s Sky is the YouTube comments of games. After playing through it more thoroughly, I reverse my 5 star review.
Rating: 2/5 Stars.
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Jeff Sorensen is an author, writer and occasional comedian living in Detroit, Michigan. You can look for more of his work on The Huffington Post, UPROXX, BGR and by just looking up his name.