Video Game Review: No Man’s Sky

Rating: 5 Stars out of 10

Warning: This review may contain spoilers.

This game had the potential to be really good and I’ll admit I was really psyched for its PC release. It has some really great concepts and pretty nifty features. Unfortunately, these positive qualities do not make up for the numerous amount of detrimental flaws. These flaws include, bugs, poor game mechanics, lack of versatility, and overall just low replay value. It’s really quite a shame.

When you’re first beginning No Man’s Sky, everything is really exciting. You’re stranded on a planet and you have to repair your ship. Alien creatures or fauna as they’re referred to, are abundant and very… strange. Scanning them is fun at first, but later in the game it really becomes more of a chore since they’re made from a predetermined set of parts. You really only scan all of them to complete the planet’s zoology, but even then it’s not that rewarding. They give you roughly a quarter of a million units, but by this point you come to realize that units are really just inflated dollar bills. By that I mean, you’ll have a lot of it, but it won’t really be worth that much to you. If you haven’t hit that point yet, then you haven’t played the game long enough.

After about twenty-four hours of game play, I found myself recognizing which planets would be worth landing on. In retrospect, this sounds good, but it’s really not. What I really enjoyed about No Man’s Sky was that it could be unpredictable and that feeling that I wouldn’t be safe no matter where I went. After a few upgrades to the exosuit, these hazardous and hostile planets served to be nothing more than a nuisance. Even sentries were a bother! Just to have some excitement, I’d get my wanted level up to five. When I killed the bipedal sentry, the game bugged. Not a single sentry showed up to attack me or do anything. I found this funny the first time around since I just kept snatching free gravitino balls. Those things are worth a fortune and it was nice being able to pick them up without consequences. Eventually, that does get to be a bit boring. However, one cannot mention combat without commenting on this game’s buggy AI. I’d be lying if I said it was rare for sentries to bug out behind a building when you’re breaking in to steal blueprints. It honestly takes out the fun of shooting the blasted things.

If that wasn’t bad enough, spaceship combat leaves a lot to be desired. It’s kind of like the exosuit. After you grind and install a few upgrades, hostile ships also become more of a nuisance. The most fun I get is when they’re attacking friendly cargo ships and you’re engaged in a space battle. The controls are a little wonky, but there’s enough to get a minimal amount of enjoyment once you’re used to them.

You won’t like this game if you’re looking for nonstop action. In fact, you should avoid this  game if you hate that feeling of being alone, repetitive tasks, gathering resources, or just flat out grinding. This game was supposed to have multiplayer capabilities, but I’ve yet to hear about any follow up on that.

The worst part about this game is the end game content. It is incredibly underwhelming and unsatisfying. I can warp pretty far into the galaxy and I’ve held off on doing what I really want and rushing to the center. I’ve heard rumors about the game starting over once you’re there. I sincerely hope that isn’t the case because that would really send this game to my Do Not Play Again list. I don’t really know what I was expecting from No Man’s Sky. Honestly, I enjoy mining for resources and making things just for the heck of it. This game is great if you just want to relax and sometimes I play it for that reason alone. On top of that, this game cost 60 US dollars. I can’t really say it was money well spent and I really should have waited for Hello Games to get their act together. It’s the first game and probably the last game I will play by them.

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