No Man’s Sky fails, impresses no one


“You can’t escape the never-ending boredom of No Man’s Sky,” said Early College senior Ali Chaudhry.

On Aug. 9, video game developer Hello Games released No Man’s Sky, an open world exploration role playing game for the PlayStation 4 and Microsoft Windows. In No Man’s Sky, you play the role of the Traveller, a space explorer that journeys to various planets in an uncharted universe. You mine resources, fight off enemies and attempt to survive in various environments.

A key point of the game is the fact that it is procedurally generated. The game’s environment, including the planets and everything inside the planets, is produced through algorithms, rather than manual design.  This allows for nearly endless gameplay possibilities.

In theory.

“It is so infinite, and there are so many possible combinations, but it just gets repetitive after a while,” said sophomore Caleb Bausman.

“The reviews came out, and people started playing it for extended periods of time, and it didn’t seem what it was cracked up to be. A lot of features are missing and it gets boring after some time.”

After the game’s announcement in 2013, players expected something huge and exciting.

“People assumed it would be this revolutionary universe simulator with multiplayer and with procedurally-generally life forms,” said sophomore Dylan Byers.

“There was a whole lot of hype around the game, and it wasn’t really generated by the developers. It was one of those things where they mentioned what the game was about and the people created their own hype. That’s something that has happened in the past with games, and usually there is a huge letdown because there isn’t a game that can keep up with the hype.”

It was not only unrealistic expectations, however, that brought the game’s ratings down. Many features promised in earlier announcements were simply not present in the game, like multiplayer gameplay and complex systems.

Nevertheless, some individuals are still satisfied with what the game currently offers, focusing on what the game does have, rather than what it does not have.

“In my personal experience, this game came about as close to what it promised as it really could,” said Byers.

“The developers, Hello Games, are an independent studio that has made only one game before, so (No Man’s Sky) was a big task to take on. I’ve played it, and I’ve really enjoyed it. It has a lot of depth. Still, I worked pretty hard to keep my expectations in line before the game came out. It only falls short when compared to what people assumed it would be.”

In the end, most consumers were left feeling disenchanted with the game, parting with it through bad reviews and an unprecedented demand for refunds.

“The sales dropped immensely in the first week,” said Bausman. “Certain platforms are even allowing players to fully refund their game.”

Hello Games is not the only developer that has not gone through with many of its ideas, leaving buyers unsatisfied. In fact, this trend has almost become a theme in the modern video community industry.

“The issue with No Man’s Sky is a continuation of a problem where there is a product that is being sold to a person and the actual product that is given is not what is promised,” said senior Nicholas Bachinski.

“In addition, the company may even charge you extra for content, which can cost anywhere from $10 to $20, which if you buy a $60 game means you’re paying 30 percent extra for something that has already been made, but that the company is holding it to make an extra profit.”

Opinions on the video game industry may differ, but there is one thing that is certain. As one Steam reviewer described the game, No Man’s Sky is a “procedurally-generated disappointment.”