Zero Punctuation: No Man's Sky

 Pages 1 2 3 NEXT
 

No Man's Sky

This week, Zero Punctuation reviews No Man's Sky.

Watch Video

In before Escapist is DDOSed for a negative review of No Man's Sky.

In all seriousness, everything I've watched about this game says to me, "I would like this game . . . if only it had something to it." It has so many basic elements I want in a game, but there are just no fine details to make engaging or give it personality. It's video game equivalent of a data entry job.

Yeah, this sounds almost exactly like what I've heard on the rest of the forum: it's a game without much of a reason to play it.

I, for one, am shocked, shocked to learn that Yahtzee didn't like it.

Especially considering he's saying the same things a lot of other people have said since it dropped.

The game gives me the impression that you're supposed to pick up only what you currently need to continue your journey but it fails to provide any variety of obstacles along the way. Craft a warp cell once (out of extremely common materials) and you've seen all the things needed to progress already. Get a bit into the "story" and you get the tools to have warp cells galore. There's no new threats popping up to block your way, just your patience.

It's basically an endless series of sandboxes in the old sense of "here's a ton of identical side activities" except without missions to break up the gameplay and all the activities are between super easy and "just walk in and say hi to get a gift".

And don't forget that the Developers lied and released a game with almost nothing that they promised, despite still using old build footage to advertise it. The list of stuff they promised and then didn't have is massive, to the point that it seems almost like it should be illegal to lie that much.

That was kinder than I was expecting, frankly kinder than the game, and especially devs, deserve.

Live by the Hype Train, die by the Hype Train.

I'd like to think people would learn a good lesson from this debacle, but I doubt it.

In too many people's minds the perfect game is one that hasn't been released yet. That in potentia state where it can be anything you can and will imagine. You have to have it, even before it's released, have to be the first among your neckbearded clan to experience such perfection. When it turns out to not be the nerdvana you'd imagined, or even very good or at all like what was sold as, you check to see what the rest of the gaming herd is bleating, bleat similarly, and move on to the next bit of unreleased game that you're absolutely sure will this time be perfection personified.

Sean Murray rode that wave, encouraged it with vague blather, when he should have, had he any brains at all, have dampened it some rather than risk his and his company's name for that sweet, sweet pre-order luchre. I hope it, and whatever mountains of cash Sony heaved his way, was worth it, because I doubt he'll get away with the whole "Aww shucks, I'm just a gamer like y'all!" act again. At least I hope not, then again I didn't get why anyone fell for that in the first place, or why so many failed to recall just how many wall hacking, aimbotting, corpse camping, lying, cheating, rage screaming twits are among the gamer fraternity.

Love the nod to the old fairy liquid rocket ads.

I was tentatively looking forward to No Man's Sky. The idea of a space exploration game with some light trade and combat compared to Elite appealed to me. A nice idea with some pretty impressive tech for a small indie team, let down by a mix of lofty goals, unclear marketing, baffling basic design decisions and expectations that had spiraled out of control.

A least the gaming public and media has learned it lesson into buying to much into pre-release PR. I'm sure that when the next space exploration game is released that promises much will be met in a much more level headed way. >.>

So Elite Dangerous is still fun after playing for so long?

It's unbelievably how much Murray lied about this game, Angry Joe's review perfectly illustrated all the stuff that was said to be in the game but wasn't.

K.ur:
So Elite Dangerous is still fun after playing for so long?

Elite:Dangerous never was, and never will be "fun." It's grindy, frustrating, complicated, massive, overwhelming, awe inspiring, beautiful, glorious, and amazing in every sense of the word. Every time I play I find something new to complain about, or a new way to complain about a previous complaint. But it has me by the balls and I can't do anything about it.

The Artificially Prolonged:
Love the nod to the old fairy liquid rocket ads.

They're still going (with the kid bemoaning the stuff lasting forever), even though modern Fairy Liquid bottles look nothing like rockets any more...

With the less than stellar performances of Star Fox Zero, No Man's Sky and MN9 made people uneasy about delays, especially since the 30FPS in the Demo of Breath of the Wild, people are currently targeting Final Fantasy XV and The Last Guardian as the next hype train-wrecks. To which I will answer, you better jump that bandwagon folk, SquareEnix is going to deliver the Final Fantasy that people always wanted if the trailers are to be believed and they never lied; and Team Ico, what is there to say? It's Team Ico, the guys who made Ico, to which inspired MGS 3: Snake Eater, Twilight Princess and Prince of Persia: Sands of Time; the trailers do look kind of rubbish, but with Shadow of the Colossus and Ico under their belt, they can take as much as benefits of the doubt that they can.

With that out of the way, No Man's Sky was the answer to Minecraft's question "Why must this world be alive one when there's a player?" and NMS would deliver by making the universe distinct, but I think they actually forgot about the player actually doing something in this universe of possibilities. With the way they only advertized how big their universe was, the question: "What do we actually do with it?" was becoming inevitable, this looked more like a NASA space project to when we abandon Earth rather than being something to interact with. You know what would have made the game better, if instead of a billion, they made just 9 planets, but made them actually planet-sized, with variety on each and every corner of it, that way each planet will deliver a different experience and each one is going to feature the variety necessary to keep invested in, with some stuff to do added of course.

As I've said before elsewhere, Minecraft started as a silly little virtual building-block toy that Notch banged together when he realized that people who played Infiniminer were more interested in using the blocks they'd picked up to build things rather than mine for resources or whatever it is you're supposed to do in Infiniminer. All the survival-mode stuff was added in later, and was made to give you the sense that this is a real world with real materials and provide a degree of challenge to your construction projects. By keeping that stuff and leaving out the building aspect, these survival sandbox games are essentially Minecraft minus Minecraft.

Building is so essential to the Minecraft experience that it extends even into the survival stuff. How do you survive the night? You build a shelter. How do you deal with your limited inventory? You place a chest in that shelter. How do you travel long distances? You either build an elevated track, dig out a subway tunnel, or erect a portal. How do you gather rare minerals? You dig down and start a mine system. Even one of the game's bosses has to be constructed. And all of that conveys a sense of malleability and tangibility to the world (that block you just mined out/cut down/dug up? You can put it back down anywhere you want and it'll go back to being a solid block, not just some item in your inventory) and emphasizes the role that building has as a core gameplay mechanic.

So... it finally happened!
The voices in your brain have stopped calling you Yahtzee and are now using "Yahtz" as a condescending way of having to pronounce as little of your nickname as possible! :O

Don't worry, you'll *always* be Benjamin Yahtzee Godzilla Croshaw to me!!!
Screw those bastard voices' insolence! ;)

Silk_Sk:

K.ur:
So Elite Dangerous is still fun after playing for so long?

Elite:Dangerous has me by the balls and I can't do anything about it.

So Elite Dangerous has still fun with you after playing for so long? Eh, i got bethesda for that already.

OT: If you wanna a 3d minecraft with SciFi, i would recommand http://planetexplorers.pathea.net/ It has build in item editor and recipe charing. Though it's still on Early Excess, but it got recently into the Beta.

Piecewise:
And don't forget that the Developers lied and released a game with almost nothing that they promised, despite still using old build footage to advertise it. The list of stuff they promised and then didn't have is massive, to the point that it seems almost like it should be illegal to lie that much.

Actually I'm quite glad he never went anywhere near that Strawman..

Myria:

Sean Murray rode that wave, encouraged it with vague blather, when he should have, had he any brains at all, have dampened it some rather than risk his and his company's name for that sweet, sweet pre-order luchre. I hope it, and whatever mountains of cash Sony heaved his way, was worth it, because I doubt he'll get away with the whole "Aww shucks, I'm just a gamer like y'all!" act again. At least I hope not, then again I didn't get why anyone fell for that in the first place, or why so many failed to recall just how many wall hacking, aimbotting, corpse camping, lying, cheating, rage screaming twits are among the gamer fraternity.

The thing is, in every interview, you can see that he's mentally adding the "but" at the end of every statement. Anyone with any kind of talent at reading people can tell he was hedging anytime he said anything.

"Can you play with your friends?"

Slight pause with a "Yeah, but" look on his face. "Yes"

You can tell there was more to it.

K.ur:

Silk_Sk:

K.ur:
So Elite Dangerous is still fun after playing for so long?

Elite:Dangerous has me by the balls and I can't do anything about it.

So Elite Dangerous has still fun with you after playing for so long? Eh, i got bethesda for that already.

OT: If you wanna a 3d minecraft with SciFi, i would recommand http://planetexplorers.pathea.net/ It has build in item editor and recipe charing. Though it's still on Early Excess, but it got recently into the Beta.

Eh, Starforge wised me up about being hopeful with that kind of stuff. I'll check it out if it ever gets a full release.

Came here for the salty tears, but its drier than the Gobi Desert. Guess we're all agreed No Man's Sky is a mess of hot garbage wrapped in the still freshly cut skin of better games.

I had to resit my History A-level...

Dunno quite how that affects anything, but mostly No Mans Sky got played for all of about a day before forever finding itself condemned to the oblivion of never being played again. Alongside Oblivion actually (which got considerably more gameplay out of it before I eventually finally got sick to the back teeth of it).

Why is Oblivion relevant you ask? It was a contributing factor to me failing to revise for my first sitting in the final exam.

Good thing the students of today will not have No Man's Sky keeping them from revision, reading up on Clement Atlee's post-war economic policies is practically a rollercoaster of excitement compared to No Man's Sky.

I am honestly shocked that it took this long for me to find a reviewer to make what I thought was the obvious comparison to Spore. Once again, I have wasted my life trusting anyone who doesn't offer their worldview through 2D stop-motion.

But seriously, how has the "NMS = SporeCraft" narrative not become a thing? It was my instant first impression upon learning about the game and I summarily dismissed the concept out of hand. Oh well; at least this review gave me a reason to try out Elite: Dangerous, though if that ends up being EVE-level inaccessible I'll be somewhat disappointed.

Silk_Sk:
Starforge wised me up about being hopeful with that kind of stuff. I'll check it out if it ever gets a full release.

Saw Starforge and it always looked empty. PE has enough minecraft to suck hours out but, i must admit, not enough to not just play minecraft self. Beside the design your own vehicle/weapon/copter. Watch some let's plays, i guess. I got it when it was 10 or 15 bucks (it's 23? now) and got my worth in my opinion.

This is possible http://i.imgur.com/eo7xm2C.jpg

Makabriel:
The thing is, in every interview, you can see that he's mentally adding the "but" at the end of every statement. Anyone with any kind of talent at reading people can tell he was hedging anytime he said anything.

"Can you play with your friends?"

Slight pause with a "Yeah, but" look on his face. "Yes"

You can tell there was more to it.

More to what? There isn't "more" to a flat out lie. You can't "sort of" play with your friends, or "sort of" interact with other players, you literally cannot see another human in-game. He has that "eeehhhh" look on his face because he knows he's full of shit, but he isn't completely committed to outright lying about his game to sell it.

This is the part where I would buy Elite Dangerous. But Elite Dangerous isn't on PS4 or Linux. So I'll still have to settle for Rebel Galaxy. That or go back to playing Master Of Orion.

I have to cite Angry Joe here too: No Man's Sky is a game I would be really excited to play, warts and all, for $15-$20.

That's the price point where I'll totally buy, "Yeah, it's not that fun. But check out this rad system we designed! And you really CAN explore a huge-ass galaxy from a first person perspective! If we get enough people to buy this thing, we might have the time and resources to add more story too!" as sufficient reason to get a game.

Similar example: Starbound, when it first went into early access, was pretty barebones. But it was like $15 (if I remember correctly. That's what it costs now anyway) and I was happy enough to play it. Three years later? It's basically the 2-D version of exactly what I wanted No Man's Sky to be.

So, I think that I'll pick it up later on when the price comes down on bargain game websites and hope that the devs add some new features in the meantime.

Confirming what I thought, I will pass unless modders are able to breed new life into this game.

If you even wanted a baby's first space game, there's a game on Steam called Empyrion that has more features, is actually upfront about its early access state (which, by all means, is still a more complete game than this thing at retail release), actually does multiplayer, been in development for longer (meaning that it ACTUALLY RUNS ON PC), and costs ten bucks on sale and twenty when not, so basically all of this hype, like Destiny, boils down to who can afford media attention/marketing, as opposed to who actually makes worthwhile games that don't cost 60 bucks.

TT Kairen:

Makabriel:
The thing is, in every interview, you can see that he's mentally adding the "but" at the end of every statement. Anyone with any kind of talent at reading people can tell he was hedging anytime he said anything.

"Can you play with your friends?"

Slight pause with a "Yeah, but" look on his face. "Yes"

You can tell there was more to it.

More to what? There isn't "more" to a flat out lie. You can't "sort of" play with your friends, or "sort of" interact with other players, you literally cannot see another human in-game. He has that "eeehhhh" look on his face because he knows he's full of shit, but he isn't completely committed to outright lying about his game to sell it.

My guess is "Yes, but it's not quite ready for release yet. Probably something that will come in a later content patch"

Not something you want to say with this current generation's gamers. May as well bring the rope to hang yourself with.

The funny thing is that, from what I've heard, it's ridiculously difficult to even go back to where you've been before once you've put a few star systems between you and there. You can't set waypoints and there's no indication for systems you've previously visited; the game's only interest is in shuffling you ever closer to the center of the universe- the conceit seems to be "why would you want to go back to THAT old place when there's so many more places to see for the first time?".

Not sure how that's gonna jibe with base-building, should they ever implement it....

Hype-wise, it sure is like Spore. But Spore had much more variety in its creatures and more gameplay even in its space stage alone.

Also, a lie is a lie is a lie. No matter how many balls one is lacking. And also, that such a feature needs a patch to get in with such a price tag from the beginning is "bold".

The price tag for the game is "bold" in general.

That's like stating that you'd need to lie as a dev/pr person in order to sell your games. Yeah, that might even be true.

That's true for anything to sell more. Silly thing that there are laws against that and institutions created specifically for consumer protection.

No Man Sky seems to have fallen victim of the "over hype bandwagon", over promised, under delivered... A classic unfortunate turn of events for the game.

The Rogue Wolf:
The funny thing is that, from what I've heard, it's ridiculously difficult to even go back to where you've been before once you've put a few star systems between you and there. You can't set waypoints and there's no indication for systems you've previously visited; the game's only interest is in shuffling you ever closer to the center of the universe- the conceit seems to be "why would you want to go back to THAT old place when there's so many more places to see for the first time?".

Not sure how that's gonna jibe with base-building, should they ever implement it....

You can set waypoints. I do it all the time. Also, highlighting a galaxy will show that you discovered it.

And yes the objective of the game is to move forward. so it does run counter intuitive to base building. But again, you don't have to move forward. Nothing stopping you from setting up shop in a cluster of galaxies.

Yup, the more I hear about No Man's Sky, the more I think it's apt to compare it to Early-Access Starbound.

...And that game took 3 years to finally have enough content to make it worth it. :s

Atratzu:
No Man Sky seems to have fallen victim of the "over hype bandwagon", over promised, under delivered... A classic unfortunate turn of events for the game.

So, nothing we haven't seen from Peter Molyneaux already. TBH, nothing I heard about this game really excited me, and didn't tell me what it's about. Like a sandbox game where you have to make your own fun. Which describes Minecraft, actually. I guess Yahtzee's a busy guy, so that's why he doesn't like games that feel like they take forever to play.

 Pages 1 2 3 NEXT

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Register for a free account here