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No Man's Sky PlayStation 4 Review: Spaced Out

By: Derek Strickland | Adventure in Gaming | Posted: Aug 19, 2016 3:40 pm
TweakTown Rating: 75%Developer and / or Publisher: x

Final Thoughts

 

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I have an involved love-hate relationship with No Man's Sky. I genuinely enjoyed the game at times, and I approve of its overall message and what it's trying to do, but other times I swore it was an overpriced beta test. Even still, I find the game addicting, especially went put up against the instant gratification games I'm used to.

 

 

No Man's Sky is a feast for the eyes and ears, but it genuinely feels unfinished and hollow. The game may be near-infinite, but those planets lose all meaning if they're empty and extremely repetitive. Gamers would rather have small, feature-rich condensed areas with meaning than huge, wide open expanses that are devoid of any real semblance of life.

 

Hello Games would've benefited tremendously from a series of beta tests, and even with all the talk and promises of adding more content via free updates, I'm skeptical. I don't really think this can game be fixed without fundamentally re-working the entire framework, essentially turning it into something else.

 

At its core, No Man's Sky is a shallow experience that makes us dream big. The incredible visuals represent a game that doesn't exist, and that's its blessing and also it's curse. It's a game about being lost, for better or for worse.

 

This procedurally-generated universe is tailor-made for those who love to wander, whose main goal is to roam aimlessly. No Man's Sky breaks the conventional norms of a beginning, middle and an end, giving players a journey whose entire goal is to drift throughout the universe.

 

It's not about adventuring across the stars, or taking part in a galactic conflict; it's about simply gallivanting across the stars.

 

And for some, that's enough.

 

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What's Hot

 

Amazing soundtrack and audio - No Man's Sky is full of incredible sound effects and music that add tons of immersion to the game.

 

Absolutely beautiful visuals - The planets are the strong point in this game, especially considering your primary motivation for playing is to see all the unique variations of the flora, fauna, and brilliant celestial bodies.

 

Soothing and cathartic - Apart from the annoyances, this game can be a serene and enchanting experience that melts stress away. Getting lost is rather comforting at times.

 

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What's Not

 

Missing features makes it feel unfinished - No Man's Sky needs so many basic improvements that I'm curious why it wasn't beta tested. Players need some way to orient themselves planet-side, whether it's a simple compass, a mini-map, or some sort of planet grid map to chart findings and plant waypoints.

 

Hollow and devoid of life - This is a lonely game, and not just because there's no multiplayer: the NPCs feel like shells, and the animals feel like they're just smaller eye-candy. The worlds are devoid of any real "life", and there's no civilizations, no huge space cities, or the millions of different things a sci-fi exploration game should have.

 

Tedious grinding - The grinding is boring, meticulous, and will frustrate you quite often. I understand this is a space sim and grinding is par for the course, but I don't like it when I have to grind just to stay where I am. I'd like my grinding to mean something, to fuel a progressive experience, to accumulate towards a goal. In No Man's Sky, there really isn't a goal.

 

Exploration feels unrewarding - Exploration isn't a goal in this game. In fact, I'd say this game isn't about exploration--it's about observation. Players don't feel rewarded or engaged, making it feel as if we're not necessarily participating in our own adventure, but watching someone else's.

 

Texture pop-ins - The game's planetary environments pop into place in an obvious way, making for some jarring transitions. This isn't just isolated to the PS4 version, and the pop-ins are present on PC, too. They're just a part of the game that we have to get used to, but that doesn't make them any less ugly.

 

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