TR Member Perks!

Its pretty clear that No Man’s Sky might be the most divisive game to have been released in quite some time. While it would have been easy to talk about what I personally don’t like about the game and its questionable marketing, it’s more interesting to chat with a few editors and get multiple perspectives on their experience with No Man’s Sky for this video. 

Screen Shot 2016-08-16 at 6.08.24 PM

No Man’s Sky = Vaporwave The Game

No Mans Sky starts off on a pretty interesting note.  Your ship is crashed and you’re stranded on your first planet.  No cutscenes explaining why, no tutorial or side character giving you directions, nothing. It’s just you, your gun, the emptiness of space, and the most confusing placement of the sprint button on an FPS since the PSP was a thing.  Eventually after being murdered by crabs and triumphantly blasting off Pizzapotamus, I ran into my biggest issue with No Man’s Sky

Why I was doing this? Now before you brigade me in the comment section let me be clear: I don’t mean this in some lame pseudo intellectual “why am I playing Rock Band” sort of way. Within the first hour of the game there just isn’t any context to why I had to fly to empty planets to collect rocks and punch the occasional bear to death.  The lack of story and direction in this game is definitely one of its biggest flaws.  Without any kind of motivation or world building the game feels lifeless and empty.  There are no cities to explore, audio logs to listen to, or even other crashed pilots to pillage.  The vastness and loneliness of space is apparent here, and while that’s really interesting at first, it gets boring after a few hours. 

In the video below Chris, Robert, and Andrew make some interesting points about the game’s narrative that I hadn’t considered until then. So after recording the video I sat down and dedicated a few hours to the game and found myself enjoying it. No Man’s Sky is by no means the best game to have come out this year, and it’s still plagued with problems and terrible marketing, but under all of that there’s still something interesting to be discovered.  

No Man’s Sky is currently available on the PS4 and PC platforms.  

More About This Game

Nick Maillet

Video Lead

I used to be that band guy with super cool hair who lived and breathed breakdowns, now I work on TV shows as an colorist/editor. You can find me on twitter talking about my ever expanding collection of NES games and my love hate relationship with Tinder.

  • Tizlor
  • Zepherdog

    Nevermind the game touts itself as indie but has a huge backing and investment from Sony. No Man’s Sky is like the manufactured pop star or, more recently, indie rock star, the Imagine Dragons, the Justin Biebers and the Boy Bands of videogames.

  • GrimFate

    They’re a tiny, presumably inexperienced developer that largely delivered on their lofty goals of a technically impressive game. I’m willing to cut them a lot more slack than EA, whose developers are larger and more experienced. And I wouldn’t be surprised if Sony had a tiny bit of responsibility for the shitshow surrounding the game.

    That said, I still judge the game itself on its own merits (I found it borderline boring; just compelling enough to keep me going), and once they have a few games under their belt if things haven’t improved then I certainly will judge them as harshly as the big guys.

  • AD1980

    Really tired of the excuses made for this game. The finished product is nothing like the initial reveal trailer. It doesn’t resemble many of the screen shots or have many of the features the developer claimed. While some may legitimately enjoy the finished product, that doesn’t mean it’s not fraudulent.

  • Chris Anderson

    If EA was behind this game I would still like it as much as I do. Whether it’s AAA or Indie or something in between doesn’t matter to me, personally. If I find something enjoyable then I couldn’t care less about who is behind the thing I’m enjoying.

  • Sarusig Musicman

    What I wonder, seeing that, is “will this type of approach to making games become more common?”. Huge group backs small dev, but keeps just enough distance so that:
    1 – They can create hype without it feeling manufactured by a giant marketing department.
    2 – They get “out of jail free” cards for any problem in the game
    3 – They get cookie points with the press and audience at large because being indie is cool
    4 – They don’t take much risk in case of failure, because no one can blame them for dumping a dev that was always kind of independent anyways.

  • Zepherdog

    You bet it will, EA is already trying it with that yarn doll game, for example.

  • Zepherdog

    Well you got that right, people not giving a shit about being duped or by whom is what’s sending this industry to hell in a handbasket, all things considered

  • Chris Anderson

    I wasn’t duped. I got exactly what I hoped for.

    And if all those evil, moustache-twirling devs destroyed the industry then they would already do it.

    Not saying you shouldn’t be angry (the game definitely has problems, some of which are severe enough to warrant a refund) because you got a product that wasn’t what you hoped it would be, but it’s a tad dramatic to be the doomsayer.

    Regardless of your feelings towards NMS, game dev is tricky. Planned features get scrapped all the time, sometimes at very late stages in development. Never attribute to malice what can be attributed to technical difficulties stemming from either incompetence or some other reason. Which one it is we don’t know (yet).

  • Zepherdog

    I don’t know what’s worse, chalking the issues with the recent game industry to malice or incompetence, but it’s definitely been getting worse and worse as time passes. The fact people don’t seem to care and are quick to jump to the defense of terrible games and devs doesn’t help matters in the least.

    But I guess that’s how things are nowdays.

  • Chris Anderson

    People cared when Arkham Knight released in a broken state. People also cared about NMS’s launch being as broken as it is on PC. if nothing else, the past few years has taught us that people are very passionate about games and their systems. I don’t see where you got the idea that people don’t care anymore from.

    I wouldn’t call NMS terrible by any stretch. It’s not a deep experience but plenty of people seem to enjoy it, yours truly included. You can talk about the up and downsides of a game without defending or attacking it. I really like the game but I also acknowledge that it has some very real problems (technical or otherwise) , made worse by the developer being vague (or outright confirming features that didn’t make it in the retail version or perhaps were never planned to be in the retail version in the first place) and by the community for filling in the blanks themselves which resulted in people putting NMS on a pedestal.

  • Scootinfroodie

    I don’t think lack of game development experience has anything to do with being completely misleading and outright lying about a game’s feature list. It’s one thing to Molyneux and then have to cut content, and it’s quite another to be evasive about the existence of features until after the game has launched and quickly datamined. You don’t have to be a 10+ year vet to say “No, the game doesn’t have [feature]”, especially when it’s you saying it and not a paid Sony marketer. You and your company are the ones who will take the reputation hit at that point. Just be honest

  • GrimFate

    Oh, certainly. The lying and such is definitely unacceptable. The leniency they get from me is due to their inexperience resulting in cut features and a buggy release.

    But telling the truth and being transparent does not require experience, ergo they did wrong. No doubt about it. Suppose I should have mentioned that in my comment.

  • Delixcroix

    I am really really excited to play this for 20 Dollars.

    In the meantime Mass Effect 1 and Exploring Planet surfaces with the Mako has been my space adventures.