Community Review: No Man’s Sky

Community Review: No Man’s Sky

Okay so let’s talk about No Man’s Sky.

Boy, where do I start on this one.

Let me start with this: the No Man’s Sky backlash was predictable. It’s also understandable.

Particularly for PC players. If I was playing No Man’s Sky on PC I’d probably be a little bit pissed off by now. It crashes, if it starts at all. The frame rate is shonky (although there are a few known fixes). According to Alex the PS4 version looks better even if you’re playing on PC at 4k resolution. It’s all a little bit weird. I have no doubt a large number of these issues will be fixed by patches but it’s still borderline unacceptable.

Okay, with all that out of the way — I goddamn love No Man’s Sky.

I mean I really love it. I love the universe. I love the mystery. I love scanning creatures and plants, I love trying to learn languages. I love wrestling with the weird (Destiny inspired) user-interface. I love the aesthetic. I love the way this game looks. I love seeing some sort of planet resting on the horizon. I love knowing it’s not some skybox trick, but a place I could fly to and explore.

I love just landing on a planet and following a trail, finding monoliths, talking to Alien’s. I love scanning for resources. I love managing my survival systems.

I don’t even mind that the planets are pretty much all super similar so far.

I’ve visited around three systems and about 10 planets. I’m not tired of the whole gameplay loop yet.

It’s funny. I understand and even empathise with the complaints people have about No Man’s Sky, it just doesn’t resonate with me. I didn’t have ludicrous expectations for the game, so I’m not disappointed. I’m not playing on PC, so the game has been working flawlessly.

I am having an absolute blast.


  • The main complaints just seem to just be based around the price. If the game was priced similar to other indie games I think everyone would be 10/10’ing this game.. not that i’ve played it yet (even though I want to).

    • The pricing of this game is a real issue. I don’t think its $79 good. Its a fine game though. Predictable like has been said but fine.

      • Agreed. It’s AUS 40 bucks good imho. At most. Not premium priced good. It feels like a truly bare bones alpha. It needs much more than it has. Much more.

        • I disagree, I’m likely to get hundreds of hours out of it, so for me the $79 seems okay, and I am stingy when it comes to buying games.
          I’ve already spent more time on this than I did on SW Battlefront.

          • When you get hundreds of hours out of it, then we’ll talk. I’m not saying you won’t but it’s a pretty tough claim to make until such time as you do. I once said I’d get hundreds of hours out of Ark. Im up to 1400 hours lol. So it’s not impossible. But for the style of game it is, the content it has, the content it *hasnt* got, the lack of gameplay it has (and it truly lacks a lot), the fact it truly is incredibly empty, the fact space itself could’ve been done a lot better (missiles etc, would’ve made it a lot more interesting with combat rather than just lasers) we can only hope they add all this later on..

          • And that you don’t even need to savescum for pirates, just die and go back and get your loot. Feels cheap and dirty.

          • There is no where near 100hours worth of playtime in it’s current state lol.
            As I’ve said before there really is only about 5 hours worth of actual content – after that point it get’s extremely repetitive with no actual end game.

          • But, like many games these days, why do people assume there will be no changes coming? You think there won’t be things added to the game through patches? Whether it be missiles, story objectives, or even multiplayer, there will be things patched in.

          • I know there will be things added to the game in the future though I just wish the developer would be straight up and tell us what the current potential is now.

            I don’t want to play NMS in vain thinking I will find new things only for them to be only be “added” in later on. I just want to know whats available now instead of looking for things that don’t exist yet.

          • The problem, I think, lies with the scale of the game, and the size of the dev team. I think they simply don’t know what it’s capable of yet. That’s me speculating though.

          • 26 hours so far, I have the suit, ship and tool all at about 2/3 max.
            But I like modded minecraft skyblocks, so dithering about is enjoyable for me in games. I also go for walks in GTAV

    • Yeah, I’ll likely buy it at some point in the future one the PC issues have been patched and the price has been dropped.

    • Well I’ve already put in probably 40 hours…… If you just put 5 hours in and walked away you wouldn’t have been scratched the surface to be honest.

      Not that the Activites you do have much depth, but there is certainly more than 5 hours of content to see. Last night I was on a freezing planet of -100 and was being chased around by predatorial dinosaurs whilst trying to craft materials for cold protection….

    • The price demands that it be judged at that price point. It aint no GTA5 as far as quality goes.
      If it was 2/3 the price the reviews would be getting close to overwhelmingly positive.
      Right now it’s being rated fairly on steam.

  • I’ve played about 10 hours so far, only warped 4 times but loving playing it.

    After all the action games I’ve been playing lately, I’m really enjoying the explore, gather and trade loop.
    Maybe it will wear thin after a while, but for the moment I’m really enjoying it.

    • ive play the same amount of time ive warped 30+ times and gone into vblack hole, now going for my second.

  • I play it on pc. I know a lot of people have been having performance issues, I have seen a slight framerate drop once in a while but nothing that in anyway makes the game anywhere near unplayable. Besides that the game runs perfectly for me and I am also loving it!

    • agreed, I’m about ten hours in and only one crash (but I think I caused it by jumping around in the menu when in space flight).

      How about the shitty draw distance though, I’m getting major pop ins and outs when flying close over the landscape scanning for structures.

      • Fxxxxxxxxxxck, that aggravates me endlessly.
        Another thing that really pisses me off is for some strange reason, whenever I’m diving through the atmosphere, my ship will randomly for no reason disregard my piloting skills and throw me back up into space.

        • I had something similar happen to me once so far. I jumped in my ship and hit the launch button as per normal, next thing you know I am outside the planets atmosphere hovering in a bunch of floating space rock. I thought I must have stumbled upon a shortcut to automatically jump from the surface to orbit. I’ve tried a million button combos trying to replicate it, but so far no luck.

          As a side not the ability to jump from the ground to orbit in one hit is something I didn’t know I wanted until it happened accidentally, now I’m like dam I wish it had that feature. πŸ™‚

          • Terrain collision issue. I had it several times when I had a ship which was a sort of U shaped winnebago. I had to park that bastard facing uphill all the time because I would get fall damage otherwise.

      • I hate pop up but I’ve kind of made peace with the fact that it’s gonna happen in a game like this. The time when it’s really infuriating is when it re-renders resources that I’ve already mined if I walk away from them. An example:

        1. See giant mass of gold/copper
        2. Fly to it and mine it until is pretty much exhausted
        3. Wander around in the area
        4. Turn around to see giant mass of gold/copper
        5. Walk to giant mass only to see it disappear in front of my eyes and render into the exhausted mass I was previously mining

        Edit: spolling

        • Yeah I’ve been led on a few escapades over hills etc only to get there and realize its the same section I already mined. Maybe I should just pay more attention to where I am going πŸ™‚

          • I’ve had a bunch of waypoints telling me about a cool new place and I go to the green icon only to find it’s a base I’ve already visited and triggered the waypoint for. All that wasted travel, humbug.

          • Hard to keep your bearings sometimes, esp on more barren planets. Which flat horizon did I appear over??

          • I figured this was the case but I’m too lazy to chase down the last particles floating in midair ha

  • From an observer’s point of view (ie. Someone who’s experience is watching others play), it feels like Borderlands’ 87 bazillion guns claim. At face value it seems like there’s a lot of variety but when you’ve played for a while you realise the differences are generally just one number being slightly larger than another. If I had to choose between No Man’s Sky and Starbound, my choice would be Starbound each time.

    • As someone that’s removed Starbound from his computer because the hours just vanish without warning when playing and my thesis is due in December… I agree that would be my choice too.


      Starbound is 2D pixel graphics while No Mans Sky is no loading screen full 3D. Although I agree that Starbound feels like the superior product when all you’re considering is the depths of exploration and what not, they’re also too different category wise to be compared. Starbound won’t appeal to a lot of people simply because of the 2D semi-cutesy pix-elated graphics.

  • Rorschach Painting, the game. You get out of it exactly what you saw in it from the get go. Un-reviewable, un-scoreable.

    Apparently it’s now all but confirmed for Xbox One?

    Desperately need to look at the pre-release goings-on some time. A book could be written about modern gaming and expectations, with this game as the case study.

    • Yes yes and more yes.

      Really not sure there’ much I can add to this comment except my agreement, it’s been fascinating to watch the lead up.

      Every half decade or so a game comes along with these kinds of expectations and by the time the next one comes around there’ll be a new generation of people to get overly excited by it and a surprising number of the current generation will have forgotten how this happened. It really is interesting to ponder.

      Having said that i’m enjoying it for what it is, which is what it always looked like to me, a relaxed survival-lite experience with some really impressive tech running in the background. The first time I took off and landed on another planet only to look back and see where i’d come from was pretty magic when it dawned on me it wasn’t a matte painting.

      Can’t imagine it holding my attention forever but to be honest I don’t really want games to do that so much anymore.

  • As it is now, it’s not worth $70. (I’m one who avoided all hype/info before playing NMS)

    Playing it on PC – Runs perfectly with no issues, surprisingly.
    8GB DDR3 RAM
    8 Year old i5 CPU
    GTX 950 GPU

    Played NMS for 8 hours last weekend, pretty much “finished” it within the first 5, There’s not really that much content. End game for me was buying a cool looking ship. Once you visit a few planets you have essentially seen them all. The inventory system is incredibly frustrating and cumbersome to use, especially with the very limited space you get.

    For now, let’s hope the dev’s put in more content. I really want NMS to do well!

    • I’m sorry but if you think you’ve seen all planets after visiting a few….well, you’re mistaken. It’s taken me a long time but there is definately a large variation in planets if you travel enough. Problem is some of the awesome one are fucking rare and a pain in the ass to find so most people just given up and assume there’s nothing else out there.

      • That may be true, but the variations end up being the same after a while that it becomes almost predictable. I was playing NMS with a bunch of friends in the same room and we were constantly sharing our finds and found that even though we found that that were “one of a kind” they were pretty much the same things just re-skinned or re-modeled slightly . Fair enough you might find something super rare and awesome but the interaction with said awesome thing is pretty basic and it’s always the same basic, meaningless interaction.

        Nothing significant happens if I decide to kill all species on a planet.
        besides the GEK story my interactions with things in the NMS universe seem to have no effect.
        The Cargo ships I destroyed 30 seconds ago will have no future consequences and it’s as if nothing happened.
        The GEK backstory is interesting but I have yet to see any weird zombie abominations besides the static infected space stations and planet bases.

  • Those textures at 2560 x 1440 aren’t good really (I’ve heard that it’s upscaled 720p FFS!). Otherwise no issues running on 980 ti with ok fps (not dropping below 60). I can’t stop playing the bloody thing though β€” I’m going to need help soon!

  • The planets I have been visiting have been really different, as have the life-forms.
    I am loving the hell out of the game, and have put over 40 hours into it so far, so currently the game has cost me less than $2 per hour of entertaintment, I I think I will be pouring hundreds of hour into this.
    So far I am loving it, and it looks like there will be improvements and new developments down the road. I think this will be a favourite for a while.

    Disclaimer. I also loved ABZU and Journey and Rescue on Fractalus and Star Raiders, TIE Fighter and The Last Starfighter, so I guess it is right in my wheelhouse.

  • I pretty much had no expectations of this game. I avoided all the hype since it was announced, never read any articles or viewed any of its trailers in the last couple of years. I really had no idea what was promised and what hopes people had, but i did realise that the hype was there.

    I only started reading (or skim reading) articles like a day or two before launch. I really just picked up a few words like “exploration” and “survival” which seemed to resonate with me, being someone who likes that kind of game.

    Now i’m about 12 hours in, and I have to say I’m glad I didnt have any hype for the game, because i see how many people will be disappointed. That being said, I’m perfectly happy with this game. I love the fact that its easy to jump in and play for 10 minutes or 10 hours without being constricted to finding checkpoints or such. There’s not heaps to do reaaally at this point, but i didnt expect much so i’m not disappointed, and im fine with what there is to do…

  • I understand the general frustration with the PC version… but not for me. Its working really well and I love it for all the reasons you mention above.
    The game surprises me too! Last night I entered a locked and overgrown outpost after blasting the door and defeating 3 sentinels. Once inside, first inspection suggested just one accesible door, but the layout from outside suggested a corridoor on the other side of the outpost running in to the side of a hill. I discovered I could blast my way through a rock slide/vegetation to an internal door with grenades! How cool. There was no evidence/guidance that there was a door there other than the plan of the oupost from outside the building. Once I got there it was locked anyway, but I love that, it adds to the mystery. A hidden locked door on an alien planet!
    I have never really been in to survival games, but the sci-fi space setting makes all the difference for me. I love how small the game makes me feel. I could keep ranting, but enough. I like it. A lot.
    I’m interested that the Ps4 version looks better? I hope so, because it already looks great to me (particularly design wise) on PC and I expect it will get better looking over time too. If the ps4 version looks better I imagine the PC version will get patched up shortly.

  • I’m really enjoying the game, no I hate the game, no I really enjoy it…….

    I’ve had two crashes on the ps4 where I’ve had to hard reset the console. Both times I lost about 30 minutes of mining.

    I’m really enjoying the exploration and the dog fights with pirates in space.
    I kinda enjoy the mundaneness of mining.
    I like saving up for a new ship and buying it.
    I do like the survival system, in that it’s just annoying enough that you have to keep an eye on it, but it’s not full on in your face must baby it.
    I kinda like the trade/economy system in it, but it could be a whole lot better, like a resource being worth more in a neighbouring system, or different planets having trading posts with items they’d buy at a higher price etc.
    The game needs to let you manage waypoints and set your own so you can come back to a mining location and continue mining there once you’ve off loaded your stuff.
    Shooting is terrible and really hard to aim.
    Space combat is great and a lot of fun.
    The novelty of finding new animals/plants has worn off now and I’m just doing it to get the money, although my kids are really enjoying naming stuff.

    I wish I could save up and get a frigate or something and make shuttle runs back and forth to it for mining and then take that bigger ship full of cargo to a station to sell.

  • Yeah its pretty good so far. Playing on PC and have been one of the lucky ones from what I hear (I’ve only had one crash so far, but have suffered lots of frame rate drops in about 10 hours). The Draw distance is super s****y though and really pulls you out of the moment when large structures pop in and out like crazy.

    I am enjoying the whole exploring side of things, but after 10 hours I am starting to look for something…….more I think. Something deeper to propel me forward to the centre. I did find my first couple of atlas stations yesterday so I will see where that goes.

    I am taking my time with it though and really appreciating each planet as I go (averaging around 70-80% completion on each planet I visit). I can see it being something I will keep coming back to put on for a few hours and just explore when I need some down time.

    hopefully the devs can add in some sort of end game goal as time goes by to keep it interesting.

    At the end of the day the Devs should be applauded and supported for trying something out of the box, but they should still be made aware of its failings to allow for improvements in the future, or on future games.

  • It’s a nice game to unwind after planning and committing accidental genocide in other games. I’ve played for about 20 hours, and I’m enjoying it. Also got it on GoG for their price, so I don’t regret it.

  • I’ve been really enjoying on PS4 so far. There’s a few things I wish they’d fix/change like low planet flying and naming ships (or even just fixing the seemingly broken discovery system) but overall I’ve been having a lot of fun exploring, talking to aliens and messing around with monoliths and other wierd things.
    Have already been on a moon with almost no atmosphere, a radiated wasteland, a planet with about 99% water and a planet that was basically a giant glacier with regular blizzards.

  • No Man’s Sky really reminds me of Spore.

    And I’m having fun. I can see it wearing thin not long from now, but I AM having fun.
    I maxed out the exo suit upgrades as soon as possible and it’s not enough! Setting my own goals has been worthwhile. I want to learn ALL the languages and I want to learn ALL the plaque-conveyed racial histories. I want to learn the language of the fucking Atlas, but man, that’s one hell of a grind on top of a grind and I’m not sure if I’ll have the patience.

    I have no interest in the tagging and naming, it’s kind of pointless and typing with the PS4 interface is a level of torture I’d like to see banned by international convention, rather than something I’d grapple with willingly.

    After spending literally days on my first planet before moving on to other systems, I’m now racing towards the centre, in a hunt for more upgrades/improved atlas passes. I still need to discover those languages.

    I have disappointments in spades, though:

    I’m disappointed that searching for waypoints almost seems to simply create them instead of finding what’s been planted by the world-seed, because you can craft yourself one hundred bypass chips, camp next to a scan terminal, and never run out of monoliths. It makes planets less of a ‘real place’ than a mere backdrop for a minigame. Fewer but more meaningfully-calculated points of interest would’ve been a real blessing. I’m jarringly reminded of the algorithm by every misaligned pre-fab hovering in thin air over terrain. If there’s some rhyme or reason to the placement of interactive objects, I can’t see it. Really, waypoints are scattered around planets like bits of dirt and grit clinging to a gob-stopper that’s been spat out and rolled around on the ground.

    I’m disappointed that every world is basically the same. Heat, cold, toxins, radiation, whatever – every world I encounter is hazardous, so I need to keep certain mineral stockpiles or stay close to the ship. Hooray, gamification. All the plants, animals, minerals, buildings… everything basically looks the same. Shield plant, zinc plant, plat plant, health plant, hazard plant, th plant, toxic-spitting coiled plant. A seemingly infinite number of crashed machinery containing already-discovered technology.

    In the last week the only thing to surprise me has been fish that swim through air, with a lifespan of ‘perpetual’. The primary difference between worlds so far is what colour atmosphere filter is in place. That’s it. Coast-lines, mountains, geography… makes no sense. Every planet seems to be be utterly uniform from pole to pole. Where Earth has a wide variety of biomes by climate, in No Man’s Sky, every planet I’ve seen only gets one. This is the ice planet. This is the desert planet. This is the swamp planet. Except that I’ve actually yet to see an ice planet or a forest planet or anything other than basically deserts and planets of nothing but scattered islands. I don’t think the engine could actually handle a forest planet, so I expect plants will continue to be nothing more than scattered cosmetics/resources on fractal-generated rocky terrain.

    (Edit: It’s possible that there are rare planets of Earth-like diversity, but given the sheer size and scale of the in-game universe it seems all but impossible that I’ll ever see one.)

    I’m disappointed that so much of the game is about inventory-juggling. Everything you might want to craft requires certain types of materials, many of which are too varied to be kept indefinitely for that time that you want to craft it. And with everything being so random, there’s no reliable way to go find those materials beyond rolling the dice on there being some on the next planet or the next asteroid belt. Oh and there really needs to be some kind of fucking map.

    I’m INCREDIBLY disappointed by the technical ham-stringing of both the procedural generation engine, and the graphics. It has a noticable impact on gameplay in that you can’t fly around looking for things so much as hover at a sedate pace, waiting for things to materialize damn near immediately under you in some of the most visually heinous pop-in I’ve seen since Rage was launched. In fact, it’s actually much worse than that. My experience of that on the PC would NORMALLY inspire me to get the PC version soon after, but in this particular case, that bizarrely – inexplicably – appears to be signing up for an even worse experience.

    Despite all that, I’m enjoying it.
    I’ll learn the languages, reach the centre, and maybe upgrade my ship and multitool. And then I’ll be done.

    Exploring is about finding new things. When those things all look the same, they are no longer ‘new’. And you’re no longer really ‘exploring’. That’s probably when I’ll stop.

    • Bit of an awkward mess at times, but I think it still gives us something that’s never really been done before. Not to this scale anyway.

      The first time I opened the galaxy map and saw all the points, realising that each one was a system i could go to, that had (somewhat) unique worlds with (kind of) unique life and environments, was a little breathtaking.

      I still enjoy being able to seamlessly transition from interior space station, to ship, to space, to planetary orbit, to planetside, to underground to underwater pretty much in one go.

      • Bit of an awkward mess at times, but I think it still gives us something that’s never really been done before. Not to this scale anyway.
        (Except by Elite: Dangerous.)

        I dunno. I guess all I’m seeing is that those quintillion planets that you can go to… they’re all essentially randomly-created minecraft worlds that you can’t build anything on.

        Perhaps I’m simply too old, too experienced with systems analysis to enjoy this the way it’s meant to be enjoyed, letting the smoke and mirrors do their work. The uniform planets of only one biome per planet really bug me more than anything else, really. The algorithm may be complex… but it’s not complex enough to give me the illusion of real places with real stories. All I see is fractal-style-generated messes of popping-in geometry.

        Then again… maybe that’s all that real-life interstellar explorers will see.
        Earth in its diversity seems to be pretty unique.

        • Yeah, don’t get me wrong. I can also see those times when the system burps out something that just makes you go huh? And because it’s systemic, you see more and more of them the more you play.

          But that said, I’m still really enjoying it. I like just turning my brain off and clicking scan and finding the next knowledge stone or giant chunk of gold or something to check out. and then once i’ve had my fill, head off world, sell it at the station and then pick the next planet/system. I think for some players, that loop isn’t enough if they don’t buy into the idea that the value proposition is the adventure itself. Not the glory or story or the search for the centre – just the adventure of being out in that place, on your own, when it’s harsh and dangerous and kind of wacky.

          My one peeve is that I seem to have already discovered all the schematics. So whenever i find one or get rewarded with one, it’s nothing new. Like a present that’s a pair of underpants that I already own. It sucks. But that is at least something they can fix (I think).

        • Yeah but Elite has a bazillion empty barren rocks, about the same variety of stations, less (visual) ship variety, no walking or NPC’s or lore/story and less to do.
          Hell, no variety? Go replay mass effect – a hand crafted universe with even less to see.

          I mean, I hear you on all points but all the under the hood stuff showing through that you have issue with? I see that in every game nowadays. Everything is just iteration with a layer of gamification on top. Besides, it’s procedural generation – that has it’s drawbacks but it’s still better done than any other pg I’ve seen.
          What matters to me is: is it fun? And to me it is.

        • The uniform planets of only one biome per planet really bug me more than anything else, really. The algorithm may be complex… but it’s not complex enough to give me the illusion of real places with real stories. All I see is fractal-style-generated messes of popping-in geometry.

          Lets hope that this is only the start of what they can do with the tech then. Soon enough it’ll happen, if their teams already come this far.

        • I think the single biome thing is an intentional gameplay decision. By having each planet be a single environment it doesn’t matter where you land on it, you’ll still be able to find whatever’s available within reasonable distance without having to scour for that one tiny patch that may not be there, and it also encourages you to not dwell so much and move on to another planet. So I don’t mind it so much.

          • See, this doesn’t make any sense to me. All flora is basically carbon, all minerals are basically iron. Everywhere. Regardless of what actual type the species is. They can still do that and still have resource deposits appear uniformly throughout a planet without any impact on how varied or uniform the biome around it is.

          • I guess that makes sense in terms of resource gathering, it’d more cause problems in terms of discovery. Unless every biome featured the same flora and fauna, and formations. In which case I’d wonder what the different biomes were for anyway :p

    • I’ve just been zooming around so I can find transmission towers to find crashed ships. They’re a lot harder than I though because they come under transmissions and colonial outposts on the beacon detectors, but so is every other building. I need a new ship and I’ve spent most of my units on exp-suit upgrades to buy one from randoms.

    • I’ve had that Spore feeling for a while… I could just see the NMS hype train before, I see the NMS hype thing now and I see the “problems with NMS” articles soon to follow.

  • Absolutely love the game, played about 9 hours worth first night but have scaled it back a bit since (damn life getting in the way).

    Been to about 4 systems and 11 planets in total 2 of which are almost identical the others were very different.

    The space pirates are cool but i wish there was an easy way to escape them, i have been killed twice now and usually quite scared to venture into space because of it.

    I felt like a dick though trying to find electron vapor in the trading centres when i had the ingredients already to make it so 6 hours of doing nothing when i could of done a lot more. Hopefully i get an hour or so tonight to play and i can clear off a heap of monoliths and get to the next system.

  • I’m loving it.

    My one main caveat is that, this isn’t a typical kind of game. In some ways, it isn’t a game at all.

    There are no hard levels, no win/loss conditions, no real penalties. Kind of like Minecraft.

    But the way it kicks over the concept of a game (for me anyway) is it’s emphasis. If you approach this thing like it’s a game, with all those preconceived ideas of mechanics and levels and min/maxing, you’ll feel like you stepped into something archaic or just puzzling.

    If, on the other hand, you take it as a meditative exercise, it totally works. NMS really embraces that notion of being a tiny speck of an entity in a vast, vast universe. Everything from the scale of the worlds and the systems, to the diversity of life, to the harshness of some of the worlds. It’s all so open and free-form and enormous.

    But the fact that there aren’t really any hard restrictions to stop you from just speed running it and nailing the “end game” can make it feel like there isn’t really that much content. That’s like if Skyrim main quest was only 5 hours long, but you didn’t explore any of the rest of the world.

    Yes it’s clunky, yes you can see cracks in the system generated world. But by god, I love the feeling of losing myself to the vast realm of possibility that is in this game.

  • I’m loving it so far, but it feels like there just needs to be more to do to give my character motivation (ie.puzzles, quests, interactions, npcs, multiplayer, story, colonising, base building, survival…etc).

    Feels like a very strong foundation for an incredibly good game if it manages to evolve over time with more content it could be a top ten game, the potential for what this game could do is infinite!

    But other than a few crashes (PS4) and trouble being online I am enjoying the shit out of this game. In fact turning PS4 on right now.

  • Loving the game. Had a couple of issues, when my PC decided to flick to desktop (dodgy cable charging my mobile) and the game not showing any graphics when I switched back, but that was solved with a simple option change to windowed mode.

    My only ‘gripe’ is how isolated you are. You start the game with an (albeit crashed) warp capable space ship, but cant understand a single word of the other sentient life around you. Surely in your adventures up to the point you crashed you would have learnt the language enough to pidgin at least.

    Thats the sole thing I’d change – give a dozen or so random words for at least whatever the aliens on or around your starter planet speak.

    Apart from that, I’ll most definitely get my moneys worth out of the $62 I paid on GoG.

    • and the game not showing any graphics when I switched back, but that was solved with a simple option change to windowed mode.
      Bugger, I had this issue and I had set the game to borderless windowed mode before I started.

      $62 on GoG is definitely a lot more feasible that the $90 or so Steam was wanting.

      • I was getting the game noise, but it was still showing the desktop. When I went looking for the options, I’m pretty sure there were two windowed modes, so I picked one, restarted, and it worked fine.

        So have a look and see if there is another windowed mode, I may have picked the non-borderless one. Couldnt tell for sure, I aint in front of that PC (damn that work thing), but will check when I get home.

        • Another way around this is to open task manager and go to the application and right click and select “switch to”. Worked for me on Windows 10.

          • Didnt work. It just wouldnt revert back to NMS whatever I tried, until I went to windowed mode. Either one works, was set on borderless when I checked. But came up with a border for some reason today…

  • Very much enjoying it on PC. Was getting frame rate hitches until I installed the experimental build, now it’s fine (I believe I was getting the shader cache issue as did notice the frame rate stabilised over time).

    I can see how it’s a marmite/vegemite type of game though. Very similar to Elite:Dangerous in that if you go in with an attitude of needing to “win” the game – min/max to try and get the best ship/equipment – you will have a bad time and get bored quickly, but if you just enjoy the journey for what it is it’s great.

    Unlike ED though, if I’m honest some of the core gameplay is pretty bad – bad FPS controls, and flying the spaceship just doesn’t feel nice coming from E:D. But again, it’s not really a shooter or space flight sim, in a sense you just have to endure that as a wrapper to the fun (exploring and enjoying the sights). The poor mechanics would be enough to put a lot of people off.

    For me, I’ve always been a sucker for wandering around cool procedurally generated stuff (have played with many “world builders” over the years) so this is the game I’ve been wanting to play for a long time.

  • 100% agree with you Mark. I’ve put around 10 hours in on PC and love it!
    I haven’t had any issues at all. No Crashes, No frame rate issues (max settings and increases FPS cap to max) so I’m one of the lucky ones I guess..
    I haven’t seen it on PS4 so I also went in with little/no expectations.
    A lot of people are complaining about the price… I got it from GOG for $62 and quite frankly I would have paid $80 for it. Great game so far.

  • If it’s the case that there’s serious frame rate issues, crashes, and other problems for a lot of people on PC, I’d call that totally unacceptable rather than “borderline unacceptable”.

  • I’ve played roughly 4 hours of it, on PC. Haven’t had a crash or any hiccups.

    I like and am overwhelmed by how big this game is.
    The coloring in the game pisses me right off as I already have major trouble telling different shades apart from colours (Greens > Blues, Browns, Reds. Yellows > Oranges. Oranges > Red. Blue > purple. Etc etc.) Really hard to look at.
    Severely disappointed that there is no base building and how you’re unable to play with friends and/or see other people.

    I currently agree with the 6/10 rating that AU IGN and Polygon have given it. I think it would be bumped up if you could create your own ships and bases, along with finding friends.

    So far however, I’d rather apply the Pixelmon mod for Minecraft and blitz through that.

    • Base building and freighters are coming, apparently. Word from Hello Games directly, not some dreamer wishing it were true.

  • Those damn sententials, keep scanning me while mining so they end up in my mining beam and it thinks I’m attacking them

    • They would also not like you mining at all, they go aggressive once you’ve gone over a certain amount no matter what. Fortunately you can just jog away (i didnt know there was a sprint for the first 4 hours), wait for them to go non hostile and get back to mining.

      • That depends on the planet too. Some places, they’re just outright hostile. Others, you can mine to your hearts content without them bothering you.

      • Found that out, after I got annoyed and started killing one that came near me, and ‘Elite Combat’ version appeared, (bi-pedial) and got stuck on a hill, so I just went over the hill, waited a few minutes and I was good

  • Loving the hell out of it.
    It’s not perfect by any means – draw distance is a particular problem, outposts and such get samey and many crashes.
    But when you consider the credits roll is like 20 people, and nothing like this has been done before, I’d say they did a good job.
    And as for planet variety; how many planets have people visited and how close to the core have you got?
    Because I assure you there is interesting stuff to find out there. But if every planet had dinosaurs, there would be no need to explore.
    It’s a game about exploration for exploration’s sake. And if that doesn’t appeal then it was never the game for you.

    • It’s a game about exploration for exploration’s sake.

      Totally. And that’s what really makes this for me. I’ve never played a game before that just let’s me explore something so vast and seemingly endless and (so far) quite diverse.

      Not perfect, but it fits my mental groove remarkably well.

      • Exactly. No other game has provided actual vast exploration with actually stuff to actually find.
        Not like Elite with billions of empty rocks. Not a limited amount of canned content that everyone “finds”.
        The six legged zebra unicorn lizard the size of an elephant I found on the acid trip colour planet while braving constant extreme rad storms? No one else has or probably will see that.
        And that’s awesome.

        • Yes! The knowledge the while someone could in theory go there and see what you saw is there, but it’s balanced by the fact that it’s such a vast space that (usually) no one else will. But there’s the possibility…

          I found a giant bunny. Like, the size of a house. Seriously weird.

          • Haha nice!
            One of the weirder ones I’ve seen was basically the severed head of a hooded Cobra. No limbs, no real body, not a glitch, just this Cobra head about a metre tall that hops around on its stump and hisses at things.
            Quite amusing.

        • Do you know if there’s a screenshot button? I haven’t yet seen anything that really compels me to capture it (other than maybe these tiny tiny baby horse things on my starter planet), but print screen + open paint shop + paste + save is too much hassle to bother with.

    • Does it get more varied the closer to the core you get? I’ve been following the path of Atlas, so while I’ve travelled about 2kLy, I’m fairly certain it’s been sticking around the same distance from the Core…

      Also, I’m pretty sure I’ve seen the same rabbit-headed crustacean on every planet/and moon in the past five systems… It was so cute when I saw its head poking out above the grass on that first planet… then I flushed it out into the open, and it was all pincers and tentacles… O_o And now it’s everywhere…

      • Seems too yeah.
        I’ve noticed there’s a bunch of common archetypes that you’ll see slight variations of on most inhabited planets.
        Xeno goats, Xeno cows, little Xeno squirrels, basic birds ect. Slightly different shapes with different horns/scales/growths/spikes/patterns ect but filling the same kinda place in the ecosystem.
        The really strange stuff is rarer.

        • I found these tiny little aquatic creatures… swam in schools, with each looking like a stone with four little elliptoid balloons (arranged like points of a tetrahedron) that swam by expanding and contracting those balloons… probably the most “alien” thing I’ve seen thus far. But then again, I don’t really consider anything more familiar than a Shoggoth to be worthy of the term “alien”, so maybe I’ve just got high standards… πŸ˜›

  • I haven’t played it yet. It looks amazing, exactly what I want from a “flying a spaceship and looking at things” simulator. Not too much in way of combat challenges, I guess you can grind money for the sake of it and set yourself up as a kind of trader or whatever, with a loose goal of reaching the centre of the galaxy or something. But I feel like to really get the benefit of the game you have to *really* sink time into it. And with my wife and I sharing the PS4 which is hooked up to the main TV, I am cautious about doing that.

    If it comes out on Xbox One (which is apparently a possibility) I will jump in right away. For now I just feel like I’m missing out, because while there’s 18 quintillion planets, I’m worried that if I were to jump in on PS4 in the future, I won’t really be making “new” discoveries.

  • I’m having a blast on PS4. Put in around 15 hours or so. My only issue is the crashes when coming out of warp. I’ve warped around 12 times and it’s crashed at least 7 times. Once it crashed 3 times in a row.

    If they fix that, I won’t have any problems with the game.

  • Not sure what you mean by crashing all the time, I’ve played on PC since launch, booted up the game literally hundreds of times (due to checking starting worlds) and it has never crashed even once…graphics are fine. I’ve seen people complaining that the graphics look worse than PS4 but those same people are running on medium settings so what do you expect.

    • PS4 but those same people are running on medium settings so what do you expect.

      Not my, and a lot of others experience’s buddy.

  • Got really excited the day this was revealed, looked like the perfect game for me, laid back exploration, discovering new creatures and plants and the freedom to fly anywhere in the galaxy. That was what was shown in the game on day one, and that is what is in the finished game.

    The game I got so excited about back then is the game I’m continuously excited to boot up and play for a quick 30 minutes or a good couple of hours.

    I’ve repeated some things a few times, but have constantly made new discoveries and had the opportunity to buy new ships. A big plus for me is the small impact death has on your progression. Reload and search for the spot you died, everything there to be picked up so you can continue on without having to worry about spending hours collecting precious metals again. There’s no need to make every game hard and punishing just for the sake of it. It’s nice to have a game you can play through at your own speed.

    I’ll be playing this for a long time.

    Oh, and lastly It’s not “over-hyped”, I am so over the haters coming out and saying how it just didn’t live up to the hype. What? It’s never pretended to be a game it’s not. If you liked the look of the game when you first saw it, then you know what you’re getting. If you didn’t, then move along, it’s not for you.

  • From a technical perspective i love this game but from a practical perspective i think I’ll be taking it back. It’s not my type of game. Kind of wish it was but it’s not…

  • There’s rumblings of it hitting the Xbox One, so I think I’ll just wait for that version, since I don’t think my laptop will be up to snuff and I don’t have a PS4. And hopefully any and all kinks will be ironed out by then.

    Really looking forward to trying it out though, it looks like something I’d enjoy just to tune out with.

  • Enjoying this on ps4 immensely, and so are the kids. If I was to nitpick, some more story and NPCs would be great (but this style of game that’s hard); would also love modular builds for the ships. But I’m comparing to games like Freelancer, which has much better combat, and other, older games which isn’t necessarily apples to apples.

  • I think its a tech demo of a new procedural engine that should be free.

    They seem to have tried to put a user interface in and also the driver level graphics needs to be sorted
    On my titan X I get flickering at any res higher than 1080 on openGL…. its due to the windows 10 UI scaling and can be fixed with one change of the NVID CP but when you change it it buggers up all other games. Its exactly the same with Doom openGL

    Its sad this was made for PS4 as it would have been real good for PC, as it could be used as a platform for mods and other games as a procedural space engine.

    Mark said it first…. huge backlash.. and huge sellout price to pay/deadline madness for what is really a good engine.

    It needed another 2 years of development. AND not to be a port with all bugs fixed.

  • Also, is there a short cut for uploading discoveries? I’m a bit over having to do it for each animal/plant/rock formation and planet individually.

  • Also, I thought of a plausible explanation for the scattering of same buildings on all the planets. – They are mass produced, standardised structures built on the stations flat packed, sent down and assembled by drones in readiness for science teams ect.
    The shipping container ones are just that – initial container dwellings used by surveyors while the proper outposts are built.
    This is the frontier after all. Cheap, mass produced stuff would be the only way to go in that kinda numbers.

  • Enjoying it thus far… I think. Have had maybe 5-6 crashes over the weekend, but my main issues are due to odd design choices, I think. Flight controls in-atmosphere seem to be more of a suggestion than actual controls – seems it’s impossible to crash into the surface (so no idea how all those crashed ships I keep finding managed it). The language they use to describe “discovering a planet” seems pretty dismissive of the friendly Gek at the trading outpost I ‘discovered’ it from. The ability to discover technology blueprints that you already know – particularly underwhelming to find basic thruster blueprints… in my 15th system.

    But despite all that, it’s relaxing, and there’s always an interesting view. *continues hunting for nickel and aluminium to upgrade warp drive*

    • Titanium! My god that stuff is rare.

      And I agree with your assessment of the flight controls. The first time I went up against pirates was dismal. On planet, it’s wonky at best. So many times I’ve desperately wanted to skim the surface to see more details, only to have my ship weirdly drift skyward.

      And the blueprints. Hopefully they add more, because it seems odd in a universe this big, I’ve learnt them all…

      • I’ve landed on planets where titanium is quite common in the form of blue crystals. Same with Chrysa… whatever that is.

        ALso, titanium can be gotten from destroying round supply containers and by killing sentinels.

      • Seems like planets were alternating between being rich in Gold, Emeril and Aluminium… right up until I found the blueprint for the warp reactor tau, that needs 800 Al… every planet since has been gold and emeril. Ditto for asteroids – used to be nickel and copper everywhere… now that I need to find 400 nickel for the reactor, it’s all iridium and iron. Curse you random number generator! *shakes fist at sky*

        Oh, yea – first time I tried to fight I got wrecked pretty quickly. Second time I fared a bit better, but mostly because I found my ship’s lases were far more effective than the plasma cannons. I mean, in E:D you could escape pirates by outrunning them, jumping away before they reached you. Here, there’s no way to run away, aside from dodging fire and hoping they leave you alone.

        • Yeah spent like 3-5 hours getting the 800 aluminium. Best option is to keep travelling to different planets until you find it in the big clumps. appears in the same form as gold etc. Generally theyre green looking rectangles. Slightly smaller in volume than heridium. However be warned you can only mine like 30-40 per big xlump socbe prepared to travel.

          • Yea, I’ve seen them around in various forms – the big hill-sized blobs, the sharp-angled hill ‘caps’, the heridium-esque pillars, and the small green crystals – just never bothered to take note because it’s not worth anything. Now that I actually need it, I just seem to be getting system after system with semi-valuable yet completely useless materials. Only been making small jumps, so there should be an old system with the materials I’m after within jump-range. Hardest part will be remembering where I saw Aluminium last… the alternative being to keep moving forward and hoping for the best.

          • Find a planet with large ‘mounds’ of said resources. Then just walk/fly around looking for it and mine it all in one go. It’s painful but if you know said planet has the resources, don’t risk leaving.

      • You want titanium? Sentinels are your friend then. Shoot at once, let it raise the wanted level to 2 or 3 (whatever you’re comfortable dealing with). Then shoot the fuckers. Theyre the most reliable source of titanium.

  • I’ve played quite a bit. I took release day off work, played it as soon as I came home from work everyday, and the weekend was spend in 16 hour play sessions each day.

    I have a 48 slot exosuit, the max 24 multitool and a 36 slot ship.

    The repetitive points of interest now don’t concern me, as I have most of the stuff I want, and I feel if I need anything they give me I can go to one on any planet. Now I can just to any star within an 900 light year radius and I feel like it’s a game of pure exploration.

    It’s really compulsive. It’s like hitting the randoseed generator in minecraft any time you go to a new planet. Whenever you get a few dud planets in a row it’s frustrating. Then you land on a planet with something you’ve never ever seen before and it’s all amazing again and completely redeems itself.

    Also, those landscapes…! So incredible.

    I love it. For me it’s a 7/10, but it has its issues. Amend that to an 8 if you love rando-seed minecraft. Also, wait for what the future brings, as it seems they can make wide ranging changes fairly easily.

  • I’ve probably played about 30-40 hours on PS4, discovered about 6 solar systems and 13 planets so I feel I have enough experience to pass my judgement on NMS. For me, the unescapable decision is that it’s an indie version of Elite:Dangerous (with hints of Galaxy on Fire 2 on iOS) with a few extra bits chucked in for good measure .

    – If you like exploring, harvesting, grinding for credits and aspiring to have the best ship and gun in the game, this is for you.
    – It’s enjoyable to scan for life forms and be amused at their various shapes and sizes (although there’s a lot of similarity here too)
    – Space used to be black, now it’s multi coloured!
    – Not much in the way of loading screens if you are expecting screen-blocking “Loading…” placards. That said, there’s obviously loading going on asynchronously as you play such as when warping to a new system.
    – When you die, you can – if you like – go back to your place of death and get back your supplies.
    – Initially your suit and ship storage space is severely limited, but in the case of the suits at least they’re easy and inexpensive to expand (drop pods, locked Atlas doors on space stations). My suit now has about 30 slots available, which is extra useful when harvesting rare items.
    – One can surely expect a lot of updates over time to make the game better. It feels like this is an MVP to get the ball rolling.

    – It crashes – a lot. In the first day it crashed twice, second day three times, and lately it crashes every first load of the day, and then randomly at some other point. So always always make sure you save progress, either at undiscovered locations or simply by hoping out of your ship (which creates a restore point)
    – as someone else has mentioned, previously mined minerals or previously collected rare items (such as Korvax cubes or Graviton Orbs) often will still be visible if you wander away and then return, only to disappear as soon as you get within harvesting range.
    – redrawing of the landscape is fairly obvious with a dithered effect when terrain is being shown as you fly by
    – some of the textures are really poor when you’re up close
    – after you’ve scanned a half dozen planets you’ll soon realise there’s an awful lot of similarity. There’s a lot of cross-over in the flora and fauna, such as with those annoying crabs that attack you on sight and that appear to be spread throughout the universe.
    – the galaxy map is somewhat difficult to navigate
    – ship controls are difficult to get used to at first, and still grates when flying over the landscape as the game will ensure you always fly over terrain, not under or in to. It’s like part of the freedom to do what you want has been removed.
    – Draw bugs. I’ve seen outposts seemingly hanging off the edge of cliffs, with everything inside the building visible from underneath. Ships that fly through terrain and other such nonsense.
    – Grind. Yes, there’s no two-ways about it. This game is pure grind. That said most games that require resources to do stuff are a grind in one way or another so at least in that respect it’s not unique.
    – Expensive. As I said at the start it’s my unescapable belief that this is an Elite:Dangerous clone, but where E:D was justifiably expensive to get in to (thanks in no small part to Braben’s history with the genre) I can’t help feeling NMS is overpriced. This may well change with updates.
    – No multiplayer, which is a real shame (although never promised).

    My verdict is that it’s a game that is not without its flaws, released before it was really ready, but for someone like myself who grew up with and absolutely loves the original Elite and now E:D, it’s still a lot of fun to play and as yet I don’t see that changing.

  • Many hours in on the PS4.
    The game is good, not GREAT, but good. Even very good. I really am enjoying my time with it and think the overall package is a great experience.
    I would be happy to give it an 8/10 aside from three problems that make me feel more like a 7/10 is more accurate.

    1) Launch ship from planet = instant spit into space. Happens far to often, just a little R2 and take off becomes a “I can’t be stuffed exploring that anymore”.

    2) Crashes. I have never had a game crash this much on the PS4 before. Warp jumps? 2 x crashes… bought a new ship and left space station? 1 x crash (the ship I lost due to that was sweet, never did find its like again). A real killer? I have a very expanded inventory on my suit and was doing a jet pack pakor run on a planet dodging the sentinels as I grabbed orbs… had a full inventory and was on my way back to the ship when….CRASH/LOCK UP. There have also been just a few (3-4) random lockups.
    Each crash costs me about 30 minutes.

    3) Navigating the galaxy. Sure, following your atlas path (or other objective) is easy, but the way it all spins around when you are trying to do a bit of free exploration? Or try and find a way back to that system three stops back where the resource you have now found in abundance is worth +99.9%? I like the trade aspect and think making it easier for players to leap back to previously explored planets would be a big bonus.

    The good news? All of these things can be fixed. This game is an exciting new entry in my library, but as I have been saying for a while now it is what will come next as people expand on the concept and refine its good points that makes me optimistic for the future of space exploration games.

    Bring on VR.

  • I’m a big fan of space exploration games. I’ve played around 15 hours of NMS on the PS4 version so far, and I have to say the whole experience so far has been totally awesome- I’m not at all disappointed, but then I didn’t pay much attention to the hype so I didn’t have any expectations.

    If you are looking for a space exploration game that doesn’t involve tons of WORK and just lets you do your thing, then this is for you. I loved the X series of games but always gave up on them when I reached a certain level and was spending more time in menus than looking at my surroundings. A lot of people are complaining about the lack of /simplicity of real gameplay elements, but I believe this is a design feature of the game as it allows you to focus more on the exploration side of things. I think Journey was a great game, though it is more of an experience than a game, and No Mans Sky definitely falls into this category. I am a visual designer and I can tell you the game is gorgeous to look at, I have sat for hours at the top of one mountain or another just watching the sunsets and sunrises, or simply watched other craft landing in stations. For me this is a true work of art firstly, and a game secondly. I can appreciate that will turn off some people, but as Sean Murray said, it’s a niche game, and it fills that niche perfectly.

    I can understand why some gamers will not like it for the very reasons they state, and if you relate to them then it’s probably not for you. If you’re like me however you need to get it at once, take a day off, roll a fat one and get lost in space, you won’t be disappointed.

  • I’m loving it atm, have been playing in ps4 with no problems. I’m about 30 hours in, 5 galaxies and about 20 planets deep and can’t see myself not playing another 100 hours at least. I think if this game came out of nowhere and had no build up everyone would be loving it more and wouldn’t be complaining about the price. any game that can be played for over 30 hours and is attempting something new has every right to be full priced imo. it’s up to the individual but if you don’t think it’s worth the money don’t buy it (pc cases excluded if it doesn’t work).
    I’ve just been enjoying discovering weird animals and landscapes. I’ve had a great mix of planets and lifeforms so far and get a rush everytime I go into a new galaxy/planet. I only watched the first trailer and avoided the rest of the build up but it’s everything I hoped it would be

      • haha yeah I’ve been running on minimal sleep, having a nms free night tonight just to do my body some good. I haven’t found it too hard getting the warp fuel and only move onto the next one once i have explored all the planets. just found my first Atlas stone last night too. I’ve now done 3 planets though where I’ve found all but 1 lifeform, I can never find that last 1!

  • My son’s playing on PS4 and played about 6 hours. He’s not really the wander around picking things up type so is now waiting for me to figure some stuff out. I watched him play for a while and decided to pick it up on pc from GOG (since I am the explorer type). Our planets look very different.

    I’ve put in 14 hours so far and haven’t left the starting planet. Have flown around a bit (definitely need some practice) and salvaged crashed ship for an upgrade. Learnt about 50 Gek words, met a few aliens, fed some wildlife. Clocking up the steps (doing better than on my pedometer – pity it doesn’t count). Getting better on jet pack.

    Yes, PS4 version looks better at the moment but pc is ok and not unplayable. A couple of crashes but after saving so no lost time. Could be better but am optimistic things will improve.

Show more comments

Comments are closed.

Log in to comment on this story!