Review: No Man's Sky (late 2017)


#1

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2017/11/18/review-no-mans-sky-late-20.html


#2

Rob, glad you made it back from Wherever’astan.


#3

Maybe I will let this sit on the shelf a bit longer…


#4

Those problems didn’t bother me all that much; for me, it was the updates breaking my savegames that made me quit.

I can only start over so many times.


#5

After all the relentless hype died down I had forgotten that this was a thing.


#6

Finally getting around to playing it eh? I talked about it at length here in the past and i hardly remember my wishlist of improvements a sequel would be better suited to tackle but some would be true co-op, a much more meaningful and varied HQ building system (it feels very restricted), being able to just find/buy/pick a ship type you like and then upgrade/customize it to your liking. I hate finding a ship i really like only to ditch it for something shitty looking because the new one has better storage.

I commend the game for not focusing on the typical violent gameplay that other games fall into, but i’d actually like to see less violence actually. Would like to be able to do more with the local flora and fauna beyond destroying/killing for resources, and showing up to a planet and stripping it of all kinds of resources in the quest for my personal journey kind of others me as well.

As far as the other alien races i would also like to establish some meaningful relationships with them and have the space stations or other hubs be more lively and varied. So many locations feel completely desolate and i’d love to see small cities, towns and villages. Giant transportation hubs, junk scrapping places in space, etc.

Hmm… there’s more i would like to see but as far as what is actually in No Man’s Sky it’s strongest part is actually the story mode. I found it to be incredibly compelling, unique, and emotional, and the way it unfolds to the player is pretty great.


#7

I adored the charming piece McSweeney’s did on the subject, pasted together from review quotes. Freakin’ sublime.


#8

I personally would love to fly a giant strip miner into planets. And also fly a capital ship/carrier.


#9

Reminds me of a different game, in the first Dead Space game where the main character’s job is to crack planets apart for resources.


#10

Almost makes one want to put down the controller and explore the cultures, ecology, flora and fauna of Earth!


#11

Yes, the overall similarities between a limited number of planet types, surface features, and biomes can get a little tedious. Once in a while, though, the procedurally generated words can really hit the “Whoa! That’s beautiful,” spot.

It’s not Kerbal Space Program – no transfer orbits, just turn on impulse power er ah “pulse drive” and head for the nearest planet – but it’s not meant to be quite so realistic.

Mild spoiler (maybe) but as I follow the narrative line, the overall planet-side barrenness is enforced by the Sentinels. Build (or mine or harvest resources) too much and they’ll come in and attack. No cities allowed, just isolated outposts. Civilization, such as it is, is limited to the interplanetary ships, rather like “Battlestar Galactica” or even “Cities in Flight.”

Aaaanyway, it’s a fun universe to tool around in. Start out by waking up next to a crashed ship with few resources on a random planet near the galactic rim and work your way up to owning a freighter and a small fleet of starships while you explore the galaxy.


#12

I don’t know if I have time for all 18 quintillion planets. You think I could just get the flavor by exploring 4-5 quintillion?

Tweet-length nibbles of story string one instantly-forgotten Mr. Potato Head alien to the next…

More evocative than this?


#13

sounds to me like a different solution is called for.


#14

The thing is, if they keep improving it and changing it via major updates every 4 or 5 months, Rob could revisit it next year and find purpose and depth where today there is only (ultimately) facile beauty.

Personally, after 150 hours or so, I’m still enraptured by the loveliness of the thing and am constantly drawn to go back. Even if my enthusiasm peters out, as I’m sure it will eventually, I’ve got my money’s worth. $60.00 is cheap for the amount of time I’ve enjoyed playing this immersive, frustrating, exciting, boring, fascinating game.


#15

I would say not. They’re superficially more variable and certainly more well-drawn and modeled. But No Man’s Sky NPCs really are immobile statues that stand around in completely identical space stations. You might not even notice at first, but over time it creates the uncanny impression of them just not even being NPCs. They’re just buttons you push to get things.

Minecraft villagers at least wander around, interacting with things, appearing to have conversations with one another.

That’s not to praise then as particularly evocative as far as generative personalities go.

NMS is very odd in how detached the exploration side is from the “RPG” side. You can feed the alien fauna and make them fall in love with you and follow you and they’ll shit and you can use the shit as fertilizer. But all the NPCs are just text dispensing statues. I wonder if there is going to be some kind of “Space Station” update?


#16

Wow. Reviews on Steam are mostly negative.


#17

It was savaged at the time of release. After this year’s big updates, the recent reviews went “mostly positive”. It’s gone down to mixed, though, because it was briefly discounted at Halloween to $30 and went back into the charts. So I guess lots of everyday gamer lads checked it out and got mad at it.


#18

I bought it for my kiddos during the hype last year for a whopping $60. They played it for two days, then stopped. They got the recent updates and don’t play it anymore. Nuff said. They like Overwatch better.


#19

In other words, the sort of rifraff who didn’t have hopes and dreams to speak of.


#20

I wouldn’t expect a kid to be super into the game, the amount of things you can do is lighter than Minecraft. For me the draw of playing it was that it’s easy to put down and pick up whenever and you don’t get confused as to where you were and what you were doing, and it’s a relaxing game to put some time into. I’d say it’s a time waster of a game but in a good way, helps me de-stress and focus on something for a bit at the end of my day.