No Man’s Sky: The Kotaku Review

No Man’s Sky: The Kotaku Review

My lengthy first tour of No Man’s Sky was a disappointment. I spent 30 hours skating across the surface of an endless puddle, searching for depths that didn’t exist. I skipped and skimmed until, with great regret, I stopped.

On my second time through, I liked it a lot more. I spent 15 hours standing still and appreciating the puddle for what it was. I watched the tiny ripples around my toes and admired how the sky reflected up at me from below. I met the puddle halfway, and found depth where there had been none.

The difference between that first time and that second time does a lot to explain No Man’s Sky as a whole. It is an unusual and contradictory game, one that asks very little of its players while simultaneously demanding a great deal. It’s a frustrating failure in many ways, technically unpolished and seemingly unfinished. It’s full of perplexing design decisions and half-realised ideas. It gets a few big things right and a hundred little things wrong. It draws you in with a promise of endless splendour, then swiftly reveals itself to be something much more ordinary.

No Man’s Sky reaches for the sun and comes back with a light bulb. I’m pretty much fine with the light bulb.

It is difficult to separate No Man’s Sky: The Video Game from No Man’s Sky: The Great Hype Experience. It’s not impossible, however, so: No Man’s Sky is a first-person game about looking at pretty things and crafting jet fuel. It starts with a straightforward crafting grind — break 10 rocks to make four metal sheets to craft one shield upgrade, and so on — and sets it against an endless, procedurally generated universe full of procedurally generated planets. You get in your spaceship and travel from place to place in search of materials to make more fuel and trade for a better spaceship so you can carry more materials and make more fuel and trade for an even better spaceship, and on, and on.

Players are given two directives from the outset: Heed the call of a mysterious entity known as the Atlas, or proceed along a charted path toward the galactic centre. There is also a third option: Ignore both and freely explore. No matter what you choose, you’ll continue to unlock more storage and better gear upgrades. You’ll blow up a robot or two, and get in the occasional clumsy space battle with pirate starfighters. You’ll have charming if shallow conversations with aliens that you meet in space stations and planetary bases. You’ll discover some goofy animals and share screenshots of the funniest ones on social media.

Each planet and animal you discover can be named and uploaded to the game’s servers, and while you’ll never see another player in your game, you may come across one of their discoveries.

That’s it. That’s the whole game. Whatever its masterful marketing campaign may have implied, No Man’s Sky does not offer a universe of limitless possibilities. On the contrary, its limits are obvious after a couple of hours of play. Its flaws and failings become apparent even sooner. Within those limits, however, lies a fascinating and enjoyable game, albeit one that took me 30 hours to discover.

The first time I fired up No Man’s Sky on my PS4, it immediately crashed to a blue error screen. Not a good sign. I rebooted and found myself crash-landed on a lonely planet. I set about following the tutorial in order to repair my ship. I crafted the parts and fuel I’d need to break atmosphere and leave the planet.

I knew I was supposed to name my discoveries, so I paused the game and named my first planet. “The Planet Kirk,” I dubbed it, slowly selecting the letters with my PS4 controller. I named the star system, too: “Kotaku System.” Good work, I thought. Those are good names.

I was given a recipe for Antimatter, so I gathered the materials needed to craft some Antimatter. I used the Antimatter to craft a Warp Cell, which I could use to fuel my Hyperdrive, which I could use to leave the star system. (I also crafted a Hyperdrive.) I learned that I could shoot trees with my laser to collect Carbon, and I could shoot rocks to collect Iron. I learned that Heridium appears in large blue-tinged columns, while Plutonium spikes out of the ground in angry red crystals.

“Perform a warp jump,” the game suggested, and so I did. Upon arriving in a new star system, I immediately set about finding more materials so that I could craft more fuel for another warp jump. I flew down to the nearest planet and saw a familiar sight: Rocks splotched with grass and sparse trees. Large columns of Heridium, spiky clusters of Plutonium and all the rest.

I jumped through a few more systems and explored a few more planets. I met some aliens, and I received directions to my first Atlas station. It seemed as good a destination as any, so I headed toward it.

When I arrived, the station gave me a cryptic message along with directions to a second station. OK, might as well head toward that one, too.

For the next 30 hours, this was how I played the game. I’d hop from system to system, chasing Atlas stations. A couple of times I opted to go through a black hole, which promised to take me closer to the galactic core. I passed through a dozen systems, then a dozen more. I stopped naming planets after my second jump. I stopped scanning animals shortly thereafter.

As the hours passed, disappointment curdled into annoyance into outright dislike. There were so many problems, so many small inconveniences. Why couldn’t I stack certain items in my inventory? And why was my inventory constantly full? Why was the UI such a bother? Why was combat so mushy and unexciting? Why was it so hard to find my way around on a planet and so easy to lose track of where I’d been? Why couldn’t I name my ship, and why did my suit keep telling me my life support levels were low when they were at 75 per cent, and oh my god is there any way to make this suit shut the hell up for three seconds? And so on.

It all seemed so lonely and pointless. I didn’t feel like an explorer. I felt like an interloper. Every system I arrived in already had a space station. Every planet was already covered with exploration outposts and research facilities. What was I even doing here?

I saw my friends posting screenshots of the game to Twitter and Facebook. The animals and planets in their screenshots looked like my animals and planets. I discussed my alien encounters with colleagues who were also playing the game, only to learn we were all having the same experiences. That time I agreed to marry an alien? They did that, too. I gave up hope of finding something striking or unique.

By the time I reached the final Atlas station, I was more than two dozen hours in. I couldn’t have been more over No Man’s Sky if it had been in a mine. The narrative, such as it was, had become a hazy blur of overwritten philosophical rambling. The planets had become a hazy blur of crusty monsters and samey sunsets. I was bored.

I hadn’t had the foresight (or the storage space) to hold onto the items I needed to trigger the game’s “ending”, so I watched it on YouTube. It confirmed my suspicions that the Atlas narrative is purposefully pointless. It exists to repudiate the notion of authored narrative in a game like this. There never was a story, ha ha. Should have taken that third option.

Frustrated and burnt out, I stopped playing. I spent a couple of days doing other things. Then the PC version came out, and I decided to start fresh. This time, I thought, I’d do things differently. I knew what the game was now. Maybe I could finally enjoy it.

Turns out I was right.

The second time I played No Man’s Sky, I stayed in one place. I ignored the call of the Atlas, because I knew just how empty that journey would be. I ignored the beckoning of the galactic core, because I wanted to see what I could accomplish where I already was.

I efficiently handled the initial busywork of crafting and repairing. I assembled a hyperdrive in record time. I immediately accumulated enough materials to fuel a half-dozen warp jumps. I doubled my inventory size within the first few hours. As I did all that, I slowly figured out how I wanted to re-approach the game.

My new agenda was that I had no agenda, no objectives. I wasn’t going anywhere. I had a few rules: Every time I jumped to a new system I had to name it. Same for every new planet I discovered. I numbered each new system so I could know how far I had gone, and more crucially, so I could know how far I had to go to get back. I returned to my starting planet regularly and never strayed too far in any one direction.

I’d named my starting system Homestead, and it lived up to its name.

Some of the planets I discovered were barren and dull, others lush and lovely. I spent more and more time on the nicer planets, and eventually began to notice details I would have missed on my hurried first playthrough.

One of my favourites is a planet called Greenpeace, located one system away from Homestead. It’s mostly covered in thick grasslands, and at night the sky turns a beautiful shade of turquoise.

On the third or fourth time I visited, I noticed that the rocks were covered in odd circular scorches. Sometimes they look like faces.

Each planet has some aspect like the rocks on Greenpeace, some small signifier that sets it apart.

The icy planet Hogarth is rich in Chrysonite deposits, along with floating jellyfish and horrifying T-Rex-sized predators.

The red planet Dragon’s Rest is covered in what appear to be fossilised demon wings, giving everything a burnt-out, apocalyptic look.

The planet Farmville is home to dozens of weird creatures like Senator Cruz up there.

Last but not least is my most visited and beloved planet, The Cube Forest. The Cube Forest is a massive planet in the Yutani system, 175,000 light years from the galactic core. It earns its name because it is covered in valuable Vortex Cubes, which can be harvested and sold at the nearby space station for a tidy sum.

I have spent several profitable hours farming in The Cube Forest. My visits have become soothingly formulaic. I land in a large field. I survey the area and chart a path through the cubes. I grab the first one, which sets off the planet’s security system and sics a few robot sentinels on me. I continue to snag cubes, moving quickly to avoid the sentinels’ lasers. Once my ship and inventory are full, I head up to the space station to cash in.

Thanks to this technique, I was able to afford a greatly expanded inventory and a fantastic starship after only a few hours of playing. The Cube Forest has also given my second playthrough some needed focus: Rather than moving from planet to planet as quickly as I can, I stay in one place and build up my resources.

I’ve charted nine systems so far, and their planets and moons have become familiar to me. I could tell you their names off the top of my head, and quickly explain what differentiates them. Swamp Thing is a vast, toxic bog. Moon Drago has a spectacular view of Dragon’s Rest. Serpintinia is covered in massive, snakelike rock formations. I’m sure I discovered planets just like these on my first time through, but I never slowed down to appreciate them.

I’m now 15 hours in, and a new plan has begun to emerge. I’ve yet to implement it, but it’s actually got me pretty excited. With the money I’ve gained from The Cube Forest, I’ll max out my inventory size and get the best ship I can. I’ll store up some resources and upgrade my gear and when I feel like I’m ready, I’ll finally move on.

I’ll say my goodbyes to Greenpeace and Dragon’s Rest, bid adieu to Hogarth and Craphole Island and Moon Drago all the rest. I’ll even say goodbye to scaly ol’ Ted Cruz, safe in the knowledge that maybe, someday, some other player will find him and laugh. Or maybe they will ask, “Who’s Ted Cruz?”

When everything is ready, I’ll find a black hole and jump. I’ll keep on moving ever closer to the galaxy’s centre. I hear the planets get more lush near the centre. I hear you can find stranger, larger beasts there. We’ll see.

Few games in recent memory have been as open to a metaphorical interpretation as No Man’s Sky, bleak though many of those interpretations may be. You are alone, voiceless and bodiless, casting about in an endless copy-paste universe. You will only find peace when you accept that you’re never going to find what you were looking for.

As I prepare to leave my homestead for parts unknown, I’m comforted by the knowledge that I’ve spent time in this place and gotten to know it. This cluster of planets — Greenpeace, New Meridia, The Cube Forest — will linger well after I’ve jumped away. Knowing that they may turn up in another person’s game makes them feel real to me in some faint but nonetheless meaningful way.

The first time I played No Man’s Sky, I moved forward too fast. The second time, I stood still. Now, I’m ready to set out again, anchored by the things I’ll leave behind.


    • Yes, we heard you first 100 times before the game was even released, we all get how you feel about it.

      But thanks for sharing again.

      • We also heard Sean Murray talk 100 times about the endless universe before the game launched… But in zzzonked’s case, he wasn’t lying to everyone.

        • nor was Sean. His only mistake was saying so little that gamers just filled in the blanks with their own lalalalalaland of expectations, not stopping for a second and actually thinking about what they were being told and the reality of it, they would have then had grounded their expectations like the rest of us.

          • The trailer contains gameplay that doesn’t exist in the game. Flying in formation with the AI during space combat? You can’t gaslight us and say that it’s a problem with our expectations when you have included straight up lies in your game trailers and have been evasive with your answers.

          • in this reality ALL game trailers lie to us. They are like pictures at McDonalds, in reality the product is never quite going to look like that.

            They are created years out, during game development. Do you know what development means? Everything you ever see for any game EVER, before launch is subject to change. Thats reality. Even if they dont say ‘alpha or beta’ footage it should be taken for granted they are always in the state of flux. Now if that video says “final build” you have a point.

            but everything you see before you read reviews is just advertising, hopeful thinking or day dreaming. Once again thats just reality.

            Not sure how long you have been gaming for but this is the norm and has been for decades.

          • How high are you right now, every time that they pull this shit it causes an inevitable backlash over misrepresentation… and it doesn’t happen that often. Show me another case of something clearly not in a game in the gameplay trailer, then go look at the reaction.

            This is the CURRENT trailer on release on steam, and it doesn’t represent the final product. And regardless of your stupid interpretation of “It’s always happened, how new am I” doesn’t make it right.

            Gimme your steam ID and i’ll give you mine. Then we can see how new we are together!

          • Doesnt happen often? it happens to pretty much every game that launches these days. Hell people even do it to tv and movies all the time now. Good grief, it is more surprising when a game or something launches to positive reviews. There is always something to complain about.

            Everything is a grand conspiracy these days. NEWS FLASH: Games never feature everything or look the same as they do during game development. Thats reality. The reason for this is because its called games DEVELOPMENT.

            Er that happens to heaps of games on Steam, hell Witcher 3 got damned at launch and people complained that Steam was showing the original footage used to demonise the final product. It had that up for months. Same complaints and it is perhaps one of the greatest games of the decade. So please, spare me, that isnt a No Mans Sky thing, so many game do it.

          • Sean over-promised on multiple, easy-to-find instances. It’s not that he said too little, it’s that he said far too much, from a sales perspective. I quite enjoy zenning out with the game, but I have no problem admitting Sean completely mishandled the PR, and talked often about features that clearly were not confirmed and did not make it into the final release.

          • well maybe gamers shouldn’t be such gullible fools and bought into the hype. Hype only successfully works when the customers engage their expectations.

          • I suggest you check the No Man’s Sky reddit. There’s a thread stickied at the top stating a long list of things Sean lied about with cited references. Whether he intended to mislead about what would be included in the finished product is debatable – maybe he is just a nice guy who got caught up in his own hype. But sadly, what we were told would be included in the finished product and what was included are not the same thing.

          • He said a lot of things. Like how sci-fi weapons in other sci-fi games have been “done wrong”.
            I’ll cast my attention from the classic Halo weapons or the gravity gun and look at the multi tool lol.

    • Well you’re the wrong person for this game then, as plenty of people are enjoying themselves and will continue to do so with added content including mods (for pc) which are being produced daily. Personally this game fits me like a glove and I have to play it.

      • This ^ right here, i avoided the Hype for the most part and while yes the game isn’t perfect and could have been much much more, im 30 hours in and i find that its just a relaxing experience.

        Im keen to see what people add in from the MODs as well.

        • This ^
          so much hype perpetuated by consumer hopes and dreams.
          i dont believe Hello Games ever said this was going to be the game of all games.
          they knew what they wanted it to be and said its not for everyone.
          this seems like a game i could definitely get lost in for hours on end and just relax and enjoy. im not expecting this game to be a space version of skyrim, or even a mine craft.
          it is what it is and it knows it doesnt cater for everyone, yet everyone treats it like it should cater to them.

          • That^ (Sorry, had to join in)

            I just love this game. Lived up to the hype I created for myself.

      • It’s one of those games,you either love it or hate.
        A lot of people think it’s boring and shit,and that’s because they either rushed it(like author) or it’s just not their cup of tea.
        Me,I’m fucking loving it and can’t wait to get home to play it.
        No Man’s Sky has 18 quintillion planets.
        That’s more planets than I have time in this lifetime to find and explore.
        To sum it up,No Man’s Sky is “too many things to do and not enough time”.

    • really because I keep having to quit at the end of the day with a huge list of things still to do. Its a game for those who are accustomed to creating their own fun.

      • Yep, and then when I do play again I end up going on a whole other tangent and following where the adventure takes me.

    • There are clearly cut features, but what irks me the most is that the balance and resource distribution appears to have been borked right at the end. It feels like they either got scared of letting anyone get stuck anywhere and/or they were having trouble with the algorithm so they made a bunch of the most commonly used resources ubiquitous. Apart from a couple of hard to find ones for upgrades, everything is mostly everywhere.

      So planets are rarely particularly individually valuable for their resources and you can easily max upgrade your mining laser and grab mountains of gold, emeril, etc. A mountains of gold planet should be an omg moment, but I have seen dozens, yawn.

      For example – If you run out of plutonium on a planet, it should be possible that there is no natural plutonium there and you should have planned better. Of course there should be a way. A long walk to a shop, or send a distress signal and negotiate a cost with a rescuer based on local resources (or your installed upgrades), or a more arduous crafting task (solid rocket boosters!) involving more mundane resources. Plus make the buildings much rarer but give you better options for tracking down what you want. Distribute everything more to make exploration more valuable to game mechanics as opposed to just an animal scavenger hunt and resources for some upgrades.

      The game is amazing, even if its about 60% of what was talked about early. I couldn’t stop playing it. Best case scenario right now is that Hello rescues it’s reputation with 6-12 months of free work, fixing the biggest issues and then announces a sequel. They can reap the benefits of proving (or discarding) whatever ideas were blocking release until it was (apparently) forced by circumstance, then take that work, lock down a scope and finish it by release.

      I feel a bit sorry for that Sean guy. He is clearly a visionary geek who thinks big and speaks way too much off the cuff from his own prodigious imagination but the cold hard facts of implementation and deadline seems to have got him in the end. He has been copping a lot of flak, but I would bet he is heartbroken right now over the compromises they made to make this release. Gut feel is that this game is 6-12 months underdone. Still needed more time in the oven.

  • Bit of a tip. When you max out your inventory and ship size, and decide to leave, don’t do it via blackhole.

    If you have a couple of warp reactor upgrades (sigma, tau, theta) then you actually travel faster by warping in ‘free roam’. Also going through black holes tends to damage your ship components which is annoying if you need lots of resources to repair them every few jumps.

    • That’s a good tip.
      I’m in a similar position to the author.
      I’ve now got a 46 slot ship, I’ve got 48 slots in inventory and I’m now about to start exploring ie. put the survival “put coins in the slot to continue” behind me and start to see different worlds in other places.

  • Can’t really talk about The Hype without mentioning it – it wasn’t revealed ‘normally’ – it was part of the loathsome Video Game Awards. If we get the same event this year (we are, right?) and another game about toe-nail clipping or whatever is put up on a pedestal as ‘the game of VGA this year’, we will have learned nothing.

    The thing is, I liked this review and it’s given me even more reason to buy this game.

    • But even directly after that event a lot of blogs were praising it… but game critics were honestly straight up saying procedurally generated worlds are subject to content and limited game mechanics it can deliver will be its weakness.

      A game where you can name the lead developer and he does all his own press, is subject to this issue… vague details, flashy demostrations, over promised content, bitter disappointment.

      The famed (or infamous) lead developer is selling you his dream vision of the game… and never what they can realistically deliver. (Game limits, budgets, time, technical limitations, publisher pressure)

      Molyenuex is the worse offender… and since Kojima is going off on his own I am concerned Kojima will be able to deliver his “dream game” realistically to consoles.

      • I’m a bit bemused at the pasting Sean Murray’s received, yeah.

        I liked him (and his games) before he was cool.

        No Man’s Sky at some point was irrecoverably made into an amorphous blob of anticipation and I don’t really believe we’ll ever be able to point to a single culprit.

        But this is still fascinating as this happened over and over with many IP’s Third Game. Let’s say last gen – we would get 1 Good Game. The sequel would come out, and generally improve on things. But you had better have played the first. Either because of peer pressures or story points. Then the Third Game was announced and more often than not it was to be the Everything Game.

        I’m not going to blame ‘games journalism’ for being excited about un-released products. That’s like telling sports journalists to think every player is going to fall over and break their legs in the first few rounds.

        We’re seeing a LOT of different games thanks to the diverse range of voices able to pick up such democratised development tools now. That’s a good thing.

        I don’t see why the same people who champion such games have to begrudge or dismiss people who cover videogames speak enthusiastically about technological advances like No Man’s Sky purported to have.

  • Thanks Kirk! Was a good read and enjoyable assessment. But I feel it doesn’t come to any final conclusions. And still leaves me wanting… Maybe the review is a metaphor for the game?

  • I got this game and I’m enjoying it. I have intermediate goals set for myself, I enjoy a grind to relax, I explore, I go to a new planet when I feel like I’ve stripped what I want from a planet.

    I don’t get a lot of the complaints from people who says there’s nothing to do. Exploring isn’t nothing, flying around isn’t nothing, baiting sentinels because you want some oxide isn’t nothing.

    What do people want to do in a game about exploring? Not explore? Have everything given to them?

    I bought this game on release day after looking at a few post-patch streams, I barely knew about the game before and didn’t follow the hype.

  • Great review but it does sound like you’re trying to force yourself to enjoy it to meet the hype.

    • I feel like that’s every person who spent money on the game and became over invested in it both financially and emotionally. A lot of people trying to justify their purchase and demonstrating cognitive dissonance.

      • And on the other hand there are a lot of smug I-told-you-so’s determined to rain on people who are genuinely enjoying the game for what it is and for some reason find it necessary to dictate how people should spend their time/money. It’s pretty bad at both extremes.

        • I have no opinion about the game. Didn’t follow it’s development, nor have I played it. I’m just stating an observation.

          But thanks for proving my point. Very overzealous fans defending their purchase, disproportionate to criticism.

          • In support of what gz was saying, I think you’re a little confused, as the cognitive dissonance you think you see is that of 2 different groups:.

            1. People who seem to be overzealous are the ones he have hyped themselves into a toddler-like state of expectation. To then be confronted with the fact that the game will never meet their expectations, they’ve been “let down” by those evil money grabbing developers!

            2. The people who you say are “defending their purchase” are the balanced ones who are just enjoying the game — no defense — just happy to play a game they enjoy and that would be a majority of the people posting here.

          • I’m only talking about the first. Not the second. My wording maybe was perhaps a bit subtle in that sense. I did say both over invested emotionally and financially.

    • well no, its about accepting that what you have IS the product and finding within that what you like and dont. For the game that exists not the game you wanted or thought it was going to be. So many reviews I had read are all about what the game fails to do, compared to other games, but rarely about the game we have.

  • This looks like the ultimate solo weed smoking game.

    As someone who occasionally likes to veg out on the lounge in such a state I often find games too stressful or too complex. Games like the Witcher feel too complex, (also I feel like I’m wasting a one-off experience I want to remember), fast placed shooters stress me out, Alien Isolation can go to hell….

    As a result I normally end up playing low-stakes games like Rocket League for a while and then graduating to science documentaries on Netflix.

    This game looks the a game that will fill my love of both science documentaries AND games! That’s potentially a pretty awesome combination.

    As an objective gamer, it also looks boring as shit.

    • best experience I had with NMS was getting wasted and then launching into it
      Im also a veteran space game player… so easy to fly in NMS

  • I am enjoying it only because I play it sparingly. I can already see how it would get boring. I am having fun at the moment and I guess that’s all that matters?

  • Cheers, I’ve been waiting on reviewers to tip me.

    So I’m hearing game systems could stand touching up but the biomes are sufficiently rich providing you slow down and look deeper. I appreciate that it’ll not be for everyone, but I’m certain I’ll be among those who find reason to play on.

    Oh, and just scored a four day weekend…

  • Great review and a good example of what happens if you dive headfirst into something without stopping to appreciate what you’re doing!

  • For me, once I realised the game was how Elite would have played if you could land on the planets, I was fine. First playthrough is similar to Kirk’s, with no real direction, while a second one is also similar to Kirk’s second playthrough.

    I have no intention of moving on any time soon. WAS planning on just staying on the starter world (it has giant dancing pineapples!!) but might at least explore the system. The one thing I’m not doing is repairing the hyperdrive, At least not yet.

    The difference between the two games is chalk and cheese. I’ve yet to find a crashed ship on the second starter planet for example (something I’m hunting for), while my first game has found me on a planet that has exosuit upgrade’s every 20 seconds, and at least half a dozen crashed ships in a couple of hours. Having so many of those suit upgrades gets expensive.

    But as someone who’s early gaming experiences surrounded elite, this ticks a lot of boxes for me. Could it be better? Definitely. But as I didnt buy into all the hype (just some of it) in the buildup, I dont have expectations that would be disappointed.

    I dont have to care whether there are any rivers or not (would be nice, not a dealbreaker) or whether I can meet others in game (again, nice, but not a dealbreaker) or anything like that. Its Elite meets Spore and thats good enough for me.

    • I think I ended up with the second play through first :p Well, I did choose the Atlas thing at the start. But so far it hasn’t come into play at all. Some twenty odd hours in and I’v.only just jumped out of my second system. Haven’t bothered naming anything though, and am incredibly grateful they all come with default names for me to stick with. I think this is going to take me a while.

      • Seriously, when I scanned em and realised what it was, I was laughing for a good couple of minutes. Still got to figure a name for em, but as Pineapple is my sisters nickname its going to be something based on her name I expect.

        It was just such a strange thing to see, and miles away the craziest. Its why I didnt just delete that save altogether when I went back to my first one.

      • Yeah,there’s some weird and funny shit in this game.
        Like one time when I was at a base station,met this alien and we played a game.
        He/She/It asked me a question.
        The 2 choices were to a)smack the creature or b)walk away.
        So I chose option a) and smacked it.
        He/She/It smacked me back,I took damage and He/She/It gave me a gift.

    • Easiest way to look for crashed ships :
      1) Look for a base that has a signal scanner(or there are signal scanners dotted on the planet all by themselves)
      2) Scan for “Transmission”
      The Transmission scans will sometimes pick up the “Observatory”.
      Go to the observatory,do the puzzle or quiz and it’ll reveal the crashed ship location.
      When it comes to these puzzles and quizzes,not all are simple and straight forward.
      If you do mess it up,there’s a simple solution to get the right answer.
      Once you arrive at the observatory,go to the save point and do a save.
      This is your back-up if you fail any attempts.
      So,just rinse and repeat until you get it right.
      I haven’t failed one yet using this method.

      • Yeah, I know. I havent seen ANY scanners on the second game though. They are everywhere on my first run, and its something I do as a matter of routine there.

        I want to at least get a few upgrades, before I leave the planet I started the second time though. Its a specific goal of this run through, working off the crashed ships always being 1 slot either side of what you have, and what it costs to get to the bigger size ships.

        My basic theory is that if I crashed, surely others did as well… Not yet borne out in practice.

  • Worst major released game I’ve played in a long time.
    The mechanics are so atrocious on their own, and with the loop of collecting stuff so you can collect more crappy stuff at a faster rate is the worst decision that is completely incompatible with this game.

    Add in that these worlds that you visit in the vain hope of visiting an exciting line of world discoveries, are painfully the most fictionally unbelievable, unnatural and unconvincing fauna and geography I’ve seen in years. The seams of a computer made world are bursting at the seams, screaming how fake it all seems.
    But lets ignore all that, LOOK AT THOSE COLORS EVERYONE.

    Kirk seems desperate to play this game till he found something he liked. Wished he keep doing that same ” principle” for other games he initially likes too.

    • Completely agree, my biggest issue with NMS is this exact fact. We have literally every single game reviewer desperately looking for a positive spin on this game. If this sort of desperation and cognitive dissonance was applied to other gaming titles, every half decent/half hyped game would be receiving universal 10/10s

      This game is a major failure in terms of its gameplay, engaging story driven content and polish. Any other title especially one built and delivered in this state by an EA or Activision/Ubisoft would be utterly panned mercilessly. It is so shallow and half baked, you can’t pretend these awful game mechanics doesn’t exist and then set up fake goals/mindsets to somehow then reframe the review or your experience.

      The game shouldn’t be polarising the gaming community. It’s hot garbage and if we held it to the same standards as its peers it would be destined to be remembered as such. Jeff Gerschman likes to say the money is the money and the product is all that counts, I would like to see a lot more of that sentiment used when reviewing NMS.

    • I Agree with you 100% the game is a joke and everyone is looking past how rubbish it is because of all the hype. if this was any other indie game people would be up in arms. $60 is a joke. ohh like its the same rocks with different colored mushrooms on it. the planet is -0c but has liquid water. I landed and my ship and went into a cave and got stuck. then my shield got damaged and my shit exploded. the best way to fix this game is to uninstall it.

  • I refused to buy into the hype train for NMS however did not ignore those pretty screen shots & vids pre-release. Decided to jump-in on PS4 and… loving it. NMS feels very “Meta”..those who are really enjoing or hooked on the game know what I mean right?
    If you read comics like SAGA or grew up on 1970’s/80’s sci-fi you’ll find plenty of fun to be had.

  • It’s a indie game at heart so its bound to cop a lot of hate with the amount of hype behind it because you know… the best indie games aren’t mainstream.

  • I’ve ended up in a similar position in that my son was horrified I was still on my first planet (Altair IV) after several hours of exploring. The thing is, there was plenty to do and collect and I’ve even been back. I’m now on only my 3rd/4th planet and take time to have a look around.

    They need to fix some of the inventory management and could assign stuff to unused arrow keys etc but it is a great way to chill out for a few hours…and I found those giant butterflies last night!

  • I define NMS as a game for people who like hitting the rando-seed generator in minecaraft and seeing what comes out. But it’s so much better than that.

    Take that as the greatest thing it does, and it does that pretty well, and the mining, farming, flying mechanics are just window dressing to give you something to do while you’re looking at stuff.

    Edit: I think the confusion comes from people thinking it’s a space sim. It’s not, that’s just the simplified mechanism you use to explore more planets.

  • I love it, despite its flaws. Its the first time in ages I love the idea of a game more than the game itself but thoroughly glad it exists and I bought in. Its hard to explain. I go from 11/10 to 6/10, often in the same sitting. I rarely get bored and always find myself not being able to wait until I get home to play. Though when I do play I often find myself wishing it has X, Y, Z but still having fun for what it ACTUALLY is.

    Given it took them three years to get to this stage if they held off until they finished it, the game would be outdated. And with a game like this will it ever really be finished?

    I love the fact that I cant tell if I love it truly or merely mildly impressed with the game. More games need to take risks like this. More game devs need to think big. The structure is there for an amazing game and I think like things with Minecraft, it is not so much about how it launches but what it will become in time.

    If you are arent a patient person, or have an inability to create your own fun or if you are just an entitled gamer who feels all full price games should be finished and perfect (are any sandbox games ever that?) then look away, this is one for people who would rather artists try their hand at something different and slightly miss a mark, than never try anything brave.

    I cant wait to see No Man’s Sky v2 or what some other dev can do with such an incredible tech and ideas in time. While at the same time I am having sooooo much fun.

  • Wrong, it is a space sim. But it’s not trying to be Star Citizen. It’s like people are searching for a deeper meaning/experience than the game was ever meant to have. It’s a great game, it’s a unique experience and it does it well. It’s not trying to be a Space Opera though. It’s more like a space cartoon. Simple, short, sweet. I love it, but I’m not expecting the depth and Opera of Star Citizen.

    • You’re probably responding to me. I said it’s not a space sim.

      Sure, you can call it a space cartoon, but I can’t categorise it as a space sim, because space in this game isn’t relevant.

      The only reasons for space in this game is to compartmentalize planets (the difference between an O class star and a G class star, for example), give you something to shoot in your ship and to mine thamium. The game is primarily about on-land exploration. All the screen shots are of on land exploration. You could have an infinitely long room with portals and each of them teleporting you to a different planet, removing the space entirely, and it will still be fundamentally the same game. I might jump into my space ship just to fly to different points of references, but this could just as easily be done with a mech or hover boat or rover.

      It’s a land based exploration game with some space-sim elements. Much like Deus Ex is not an rpg, but an action game with rpg elements..

  • I can appreciate the Zen aspect people are skint from the game and in an industry of highly scripted games, NMS can make you feel a little bit lost or underwhelmed. I’m okay with it, it’s not life changing in any way but it’s fun for the most part.
    But please tweak the space dogfights, especially shield management on the fly! I’m starting to worry every time I leave a planet.

  • when they mentioned procedural generation warning bells rang and when they described the only real goal is to make it to the centre of the galaxy i frankly lost all interest in the game.. wide ocean ankle deep is the most common phrase ive heard.

    but with all the hype gone, ive been looking for a repetitive chill out game and i might pick it up when they finish patching it and it goes on sale

  • I’m really enjoying it. I got my almost Cowboy beebop swordfish geared up, finished the atlas path and have started the final run for the centre.

    I’ve seen and treked across some wonderful crazy planets, seen some weird a cool aliens, had some fun space battles. What was in the trailers and interviews is the game I’m playing, so I’m pretty happy. I’d be really happy but the occasional crash warping into a new area brings me to tears

  • That was a good review Kirk. I’m enjoying my first play through. But it wasn’t until I read this review, that I realised that what has been spoiling my play through. That need to follow the narrative. There is so much that you can do, but that drive to keep going has stopped me from doing what I want to do.
    I’ve been wanting to upgrade my suit, ship and multi-tool but I just never stop.
    Cheers Kirk you’ve just made no man’s sky even better!??

  • I felt genuinely sad during the game, it came time to upgrade my ship I found a trading post, saw a ship and traded it in, swapped out all the good resources and what not and when the deal was done there was my trusty old steed sitting there just discarded.

    This game really needs a base building feature so you can build a base and keep multiple ships and store resources.

    • Instead of a base I would love a mobile home in the form of a smallish freighter that I can customise. Mass storage, ship hanger, and a home on the go!

      • That could be a good idea, have a starship base that can move around between star systems and small ships to explore planets.

  • This NMS game looks really interesting, I haven’t paid any attention to games for the last 5 years. So when saw an article in a mainstream news outlet about this game NMS and its dreadful launch day issues i got intrigued. I missed the hype train and the game even on its own merits, warts and all looks like it would b very fun to chill out with, a low intensity peacefull game. Hopefully the game does well enough that it gets extra content and whatnot. But even as it is, this is a game I’d enjoy playing.

Show more comments

Comments are closed.

Log in to comment on this story!