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Review: Is No Man’s Sky a fun or mundane experience?

Tue, 16th Aug 2016
FYI, this story is more than a year old

No Man's Sky is a huge game with 18 quintillion planets in total. As big as the game is, does the actual gameplay offer a lot of variety like the trailers showed? Let me start off by telling you that No Man's Sky is not a game that will please everyone. If you are a fan of science fiction series like Star Wars, you might be disappointed with this game. The game lacks any fast-paced action and huge planets full of civilised intelligent life. I do feel that some gamers hyped the features of this game too much that they will end up being disappointed from the get-go. Even though this game really does 18 quintillion planets for you to potentially explore, you won't see cities or extravagant landscapes like you see in the movies. The variety of planets that you visit in this game will vary from user-to-user. The game is procedurally generated as you play thanks to an algorithm that Hello Games implemented. However because of the procedural nature, you might not visit the prettier-looking planets that have been advertised in the trailers. I've played No Man's Sky for several hours now and I have yet to see planets with any grass, dinosaurs or trees. Every planet I have visited so far look very similar to one another apart from just the colours being rearranged. The planets I encountered had rocky surfaces with either a red or yellow sky. Even though from a literal standpoint the planets looked “different”, they all had the same looking geography and features. The “18 quintillion” planets is just the same game assets being rearranged lots and lots of times as opposed to actually featuring anything fresh and new. Not to mention all of the plants and animals I have discovered look pretty bland as well. The plants are just mushrooms or other fungi looking things while the animals are all yellow anteaters or camels. I have yet to see furry animals that other people have encountered such as bear-looking creatures or the tall dinosaurs from the trailers. Visually as a whole, this game doesn't look bad, but everything starts to look the same the more you play it. The same can be said for the gameplay because you have to do mundane tasks over and over again just to survive the outwardly harsh environments that these planets have. Farming resources is the main bulk of what you have to do in this game can and it can get boring after a while. In order to fuel your spaceship, you need to find lots of Plutonium and other resources so you won't get stranded. You also have to find similar resources for your exo-suit, mining gun and more. It plays more like an RTS sometimes since you have to collect resources constantly. One of the main things that were advertised for this game is exploration. Exploration is somewhat limited because you need to craft something called Warp Cells for your spaceship to travel in different solar systems and galaxies. Crafting Warp Cells is a big chore as you have to find the right materials and blueprints to make them.   That being said, exploration can still be fun if you manage to see something out of the ordinary.  The game is also very relaxing as you can just turn off your brain and just ogle at the scenery. I thought the in-game soundtrack sounded boring so I ended up listening to my own playlist on Spotify and it was quite cool just kicking back and listening to the music. The thing that will make gamers keep persevering in playing this game is the incentive to keep upgrading your equipment. You can easily earn money by just discovering new locations, planets, plants and animals. Gamers can also sell off valuable items that they find on the ground or inside caves. It's just worth mentioning that this game is not for everyone. As I previously mentioned, action is very sparse in this game. There are little robot sentries that try to kill you, but they don't appear very often. You can also have space battles with other spaceships, although the aerial combat is slow and sluggish compared to that of Star Wars Battlefront. As boring as this game can be sometimes, I oddly became addicted to it. I just wanted to keep exploring and find blueprints in order to try and craft a better weapon. I also wanted to earn enough money to get a better looking spaceship. Overall, No Man's Sky is a game that might appeal to Star Trek fans. Star Trek is about exploring new worlds and finding alien life. If you are more of a Star Wars fan, you won't like the slow pace and lack of action. This game could have been much better, but it's not entirely terrible. It's worth playing if you just want to kick back and enjoy the scenery. Verdict: 7.0/10

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