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Vincent

No Man's Sky: 2016's Biggest Disappointment

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I don't know how many of you were following No Man's Sky like I was, but I'm posting this here anyway. I first became interested in this game 3 years ago when they had a cover story in Game Informer. I was very excited for the promise of No Man's Sky. It seemed like it was going to be great. Unfortunately, what we ended up getting was not so great. I recently completed the main objective, as well as the one little shred of a story questline it had called the Atlas Path.
 
The main objective of the game is to reach the center of the galaxy, which took me just over 50 hours to do. You start off on a random procedurally generated, life-sized planet, your ship crashed and unusable. Your first task is to explore this planet and repair your ship with resources you've found. Once you're done with that, it's time to leave and explore the 18 quintillion fully life-sized planets. Yes you read that right. Sounds great, doesn't it? Well... not so. It's fun for the first 2 hours or so, but then it starts to settle in... how not fun this game actually is. There really is no objective whatsoever, other than the Atlas Path if you choose to follow it, which in itself is kind of pointless anyway.
 
The game is just... the same basic 5 or so planets repeated over and over again with different colors and layouts. You want to get to the center of the galaxy because you're told that some amazing mystery that you have to see to believe is there, so you want to do that. I did... and I regret it. From where I started off in the galaxy, I had 175,000+ light-years to travel to reach the center. This is a tall order. The game decides to make this easier by offering the option of going through black holes to speed things up, but each time you do so a part of your ship breaks, so you have to land and gather more resources to repair those parts. Eventually you wise up and decide to stock up on those resources so you don't have to land and mine so much, but your starting ship can only hold so much. So now it's time to go mine and mine away to earn Units, the monetary system in the game, to buy a new ship. If you want anything with decent storage, you will need at least 5 million units, which is no small task. It's basically, mine resources, run back and sell them due to your small inventory, and then go mine again. You will do this over and over again on different planets until you've gathered up enough units for that nice new ship. Yeah, that's well and good but your upgrades that you made to your previous ship do not carry over, so unless you destroyed them to gain back half of the resources required to make them beforehand, it's time to start mining again to get your upgrades back, and you desperately need your upgrades, which of course you have to randomly find the blueprints for. The basic ship will do you no good. If you're traveling to the center, you will need the three warp reactor upgrades. The first one is fine as it requires common resources. The second and third one are horrible, as they require rare and uncommon resources in great capacity. Now this wouldn't be so bad if you only had to do it once, but if you want to make any real progress you have to use the aforementioned black holes to travel, and more often than not, the parts breaking are your precious warp reactors... so it's back to grinding rare resources so you can use them again. Not to mention the fact that you need warp cores to even use the warp function, and your hyperdrive only holds 5 of them at a time. Now add the resources needed to make them, along with the resources needed to keep your ship running all into your inventory, and you are pretty much dead on space at this point. And this is the entire game. Warp, repair, warp, land, mine, make cores, repair, warp again.
 
Now here is the most infuriating thing about this game for me. The center of the galaxy, the prize for all of your hard work and dedication. Guess what happens once you reach it. Go ahead, just take a guess. It must be something miraculous and worth the journey, right?

WRONG. Once you reach it, you are presented with a scene of you moving all the way back through the galaxy to, you guessed it, the starting point. You just start the game over! Only this time it's in a new galaxy and you get to keep all of your upgrades and resources. Although your ship, suit, and multi-tool are completely busted just like the beginning of the game, only this time it's worse because all of your upgrades are broken too, leading to more things to repair. Why the hell would I want to do all of this again? What's the bloody point? Some reward.


 
There you have it, $60 poured down the drain. 
 
Now supposedly the game is not done, and is essentially early access right now, which is a load of bullshit for what they are calling a completed, full priced game. They are working on adding new features such as building bases on planets, and the ability to own trade-freighters, so maybe No Man's Sky will be good in a couple years. Maybe not.
 
 
Update:
Check out this astonishing list of things promised to be in the game but are no where to be found.

Edited by Vincent

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The final product is baffling. Sean Murray, who I'm now calling the Peter Molyneux of this generation, talked about all these amazing and complex features for years. Even one month before release he was talking about things that didn't make it into the game. Hell, even the current marketing materials for the game use fake gameplay footage and show features that aren't in the game. It's like they accidentally released the alpha build. They did delay the game a month and went quiet during that whole period. I wonder what happened. There is clear footage of a lot, if not all of these missing features. Seems like they lost the game and their only backup was a semi-working alpha build. Coincidentally that wouldn't be the first time something like this happened, as their office was flooded a few years back and they lost tons of work.

Edited by Vincent

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From what I gather, this is effectively a halfhearted tech demo for a gimmick that the developers gave up on halfway through (not bothering with) tacking a competent game to it. It's a bad demo for a 3D Starbound, but mechanically incompetent in comparison, and managing to have a lazier story.

 

Plus the open lie about featuring direct encounter style multiplayer, which the press of course pauses not to mention amidst all their inanity. I've had to dig, then give up and watch a reliable commentator in order to find actual criticism instead of shite flinging about how it's either a godsend or sexist (I'm still trying to figure that one out).

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Sony has been pressuring reviewers and issuing takedowns on videos. They put a lot into this game. Actually, I'm not so sure I can even call it a game. Anyway, I wouldn't be surprised if they were pressuring the press as well.

 

The whole thing about those guys meeting and not being able to see each other was priceless. They said time and time again that you would be able to run into other players, but not to count on it as it is nearly impossible mathematically. Peter M... I mean Sean Murray's response to this was so dodgy.

 

 

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Edited by Vincent

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I was hoping that there would be some building capabilities beyond just your ship.  Like bases and colonies, and that sort of thing.  Give people a reason to stay on a world for longer than five minutes.

 

In other words, I wanted a Factorio/Subnautica IN SPACE game.

 

If this is what the game is like...Spore did it better.

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We may need to make a game. I'll start researching engines! May not come to much but I figure doing basic research couldn't hurt. :)

 

And I really need to get back to taking over the Spore galaxy....

Edited by Visceral Moonlight

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Well that does seem a big disappointment, I've actually seen the game with a few youtubers. They were enjoying the game. Now it feels like when they "complete" the game. They will be disappointed. Besides I won't buy this game anyway. Because it will be boring, doing the exact same thing over and over. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE Space.

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A shame really. I got somewhat interested in this after a couple of recent articles but my gut said to wait. My gut was clearly right. :P

 

I know a lot of hype is stuff to be ignored, but there were things even I know they said that people have pointed out never made it in, and they've been strangely coy about the whole multiplayer part of things. Maybe we'll see in 6 months when they finally tack a game onto their shiny new engine.

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Gamespot had more articles about this today. They were all bright and shiny. They briefly mentioned that there are some "challenges" to game play and some bugs that will prevent you from playing the game the way you would like, but it wasn't an honest review at all. So I jumped down to the player comments... and pretty much got verbatim what Vincent said in his review. :lmao:

 

They were really pushing the multiplayer aspect. It sounds like there's supposed to be a major trade and commerce component as well, so perhaps things will improve in future updates.

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Stardock has been doing the same thing with Galactic Civilizations 3. Selling all the missing stuff as $5 DLC packages. Rather annoying, but it seems to be the new trend with some companies. Hopefully NMS won't do that cause it'll definitely not be worth buying if they do.

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That's really too bad. It's such a shady business practice to imply that a game will have something and then turn around and say, "Nope! More money!"

 

The way things are going, I wouldn't be surprised if we'll need to pay twice for the game in the near future: once for the engine and once for the actual content. And possibly a third time: once more to make legal modifications. If anyone tries those tactics, I suspect EA will be first. They seem to be one of the worst offenders for things like this.

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I'm hoping they don't do like Spore and release a lot of the missing features later as a paid add-on. That was really aggravating.

 

Sean Murray has sort of gone back on his statement that they would never have paid DLC recently. So, that's on the table now.

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So it's basically Spore without as much customization? I keep hoping they'll release an update but it seems less likely with each article that comes out. I may need to see if X: Rebirth has the kinks worked out.

 

Edit:

 

I did look into engines and found that the best option would probably be to modify the FreeSpace 2 engine if we were to go through with it but I'll keep doing research on other options.

Edited by Visceral Moonlight

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Apparently Sony, Amazon and Steam are issuing NMS refunds regardless of playtime. Understandable given the forced padding.

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Several instances of false/undelivered promises and a progression that is so padded out that the tutorial period outlasts any reasonable playtime grace period for refunds. It's crazy, but not surprising.

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Just be careful if you do that. Valve has been known to permban people who issue chargebacks against things on Steam.

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