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No Mans Sky

PS4 Video Games
7.2

Good

Game Reviews from around the web

100

No game, film, book or otherwise has been more effectively in capturing what the experience of exploring the universe must be. Lonely, hostile and unforgiving, Hello Game’s effort works so hard to reject the convention on how games are made that it’s easy to understand why people expecting something more traditional might come away disappointed.

99

No Man’s Sky is an incredible experience, and completely different than everything else that I’ve ever played.

90

No Man’s Sky is currently a great game, and it has the potential to be a truly amazing one.

90

This game is unique, unbelievable big and extremely well made. Although the game is good, it must be said that it is not a game for everyone. If you enjoy a storyline that leads you step by step, then this game is not for you.

90

The act of playing the game isn’t without its problems, as far as the tedium of having to pay for and fuel your ship and suit is concerned, and yet it’s all in aid of enabling us to have an experience unlike anything a game has ever delivered, or one that we’re ever likely to see again. This is the first game to ever make players truly feel as if they can boldly go where no one has ever gone before.

90

No Man’s Sky is no doubt a magnificent feat in game development. I am left humbled by all that I have seen and intend on continuing my journey in an attempt to see as much as possible, well aware I will never see it all. Space has its hooks in me and I don’t think I’ll ever want them to relinquish their hold.

90

If you’ve ever dreamed of being a cosmonaut, of starting with practically nothing and amassing a fortune, of becoming a notorious space pirate, or had any other of the countless sci-fi fantasies out there, this is probably the game for you. Now, those fantasies might not play out exactly as you’d have hoped in No Man’s Sky, but this is a game that begs those who put in the time to come back just once more and see what lies just over the horizon. If this game is right for you, you won’t be able to put the controller down.

90

No Man’s Sky isn’t a game for everyone, but it’s one hell of a game. A love letter from every sci-fi reader to their everlasting fantasies.

90

Even if a hundred or more hours from now No Man’s Sky wears out its welcome, I’ll be grateful and still somewhat awestruck by what a tiny team of developers rejiggering decades-old design ideas managed to pull off.

87

This is the experience of playing No Man’s Sky, a series of recurring structures that overlap and intersect, a surprisingly knowable collection of repeatable actions.

86

No Man’s Sky is not only a marvel but also a disappointment in some respects. Nonetheless, it’s a very ambitious and powerful title with quite a bit of grinding thrown into the mix.

85

No Man’s Sky is a totally new experience. All Hello Games’ promises are in the final game. The original soundtrack is awesome. It’s a spectacular journey across the universe.

85

No Man’s Sky is the fulfilled promise that had been made by Hello Games a year ago. We face an infinite universe and a very well-developed and deep story, even though the gameplay mechanics could have been more elaborate.

80

Postcard-worthy space tourism, best dipped in and out of in short spells to avoid mechanical frustrations. It’s an otherworldly achievement of an insane scale, with tons of genuinely special moments to offer – but also an acquired taste. [Oct 2016, p.72]

Playstation Official Magazine UK

80

Ultimately, the way you play No Man’s Sky is going to have as much of an impact on how much you enjoy it as the quality of the game itself. Hello Games has talked about this being a ‘chill’ game and has questioned whether it should have made heading to the centre of the universe an objective at all since it distracts from the more fulfilling approach of simply being and existing in this world. If the old adage that the journey rather than the destination is what has worth holds true for you then you should find much to admire.

80

It brings a relaxing gameplay design that is geared more towards exploration, rather than sci-fi action. In addition to exploration, it has a healthy crafting system, an interesting monetary structure that adds extra motivation, and an endless amount of adventures and secrets to uncover along the way.

80

It’s not perfect, but No Man’s Sky is as much – and probably a lot more – than we had any right expect from such an ambitious game made by such a tiny team.

80

Sean Murray and the team at Hello Games promised us a huge, open universe in which we could live out our dreams of being interstellar explorers. And they pretty much delivered – think about how amazing that is.

80

Speaking as a fan of a more relaxed paced games, as an owner and backer of both Elite: Dangerous and Star Citizen and as a wannabe Minecraft survival-mode architect, I find it incredibly easy to look past No Man’s Sky’s admittedly rough exterior and see the brightly shining diamond beneath and I think I’m going to playing it for a long time.

80

No Man’s Sky is about cutting your own path through a galaxy teeming with possibilities. It is a playground in which to let loose the human urge to explore and discover, supported by a deep crafting system that keeps players engaged in their journey. Improvements could be made, new features could add greater depth, but Hello Games’ achievement here is nothing short of incredible.

80

No Man’s Sky is one of the most unique games we have ever reviewed. Sure, it lacks variation, and it can be really frustrating at times. But it’s also a wonderful experience that offers countless hours of exploration, stunning landscapes and a world that never stops surprising us.

80

No Man’s Sky is an unforgettable adventure, one plagued by lack of direction and lack of meat. It brings about one of the most incredible worlds ever seen in a video game, but it doesn’t always take advantage of that. Despite the issues, No Man’s Sky is a milestone in video game development.

80

Its scale and sense of isolation is special. The procedural nature imbues everything in the game with a sense of life that other, better-crafted games can’t match. And it nails the emergent storytelling that I want from a survival game.

80

No Man’s Sky has no real flaws (except the star maps, really a disaster), but many limitations, but often due to his youth. It seems now clear that the objective of Sean Murray is to create another phenomenon a la Minecraft. The designer has already announced the arrival of terrestrial resources, the ability to build our own bases, even larger ships. Moreover, in a similar game structure you can add anything, including new variables, new land, new formulas to make things even more varied and surprising. No Man’s Sky is not only gameplay, but there is something more, and that something is hidden in each of us.

80

Hello Games has created a gorgeously realised, constantly regenerating universe for players to get lost in, where the incredible journey trumps the destination.

80

There’s a famous quote from mountaineer George Mallory, when he was asked why he would want to climb Mount Everest: “Because it’s there.” If that answer strikes you as profound and beautiful, go buy No Man’s Sky. If it seems dumb and unsatisfying, go play something else.

80

No Man’s Sky is a fundamentally simple game; one that’s flawed, slow, and where the moment-to-moment activities are sometimes even… boring. But its intoxicatingly rare attitude towards pure discovery create a game that’s captivating unlike any other.

78

There are wonders indeed to be found in the No Man’s Sky universe, but not everybody will be willing to put in the time and effort needed to discover them. This game is a technical marvel that patient, detail-oriented gamers will love. As-is, however, it demands a bit more time than it deserves. The universe is vast, but your inventory is small, and not everybody is going to want to make the long trudge necessary to become a galactic superstar.

77

Procedurally-generated infinity is a wondrous thing – but it’s also strangely samey. [Oct 2006, p.64]

Games Master UK

75

Endless universe, endless grind. Quite a fascinating ride at the start, which unfortunately turns into a bit of a drag through sheer repetition as the hours stack up.

75

No Man’s Sky rarely reaches beyond its vibrant world-building efforts to provide satisfying gameplay and story. Over dozens of hours of play, I couldn’t escape the sensation that I was playing one impossibly immense side mission, and I kept waiting for the real game to start.

75

Hello Games’ procedural dream is becoming a reality, but we’ll probably need to wait months/years to see the process completed.

75

While it has some problems and may not be for everyone, Hello Games should be commended for pouring all their effort into such an ambitious project and launching an end product that fulfilled their vision.

75

It’s flawed in some fundamental, if fixable, ways, but No Man’s Sky has a dreamlike allure for those who can sink their teeth into its space-faring expanses. A memorable game, if not quite what it could be.

75

No Man’s Sky is a huge universe created by Hello Games, and gives players the opportunity to explore and live it the way they want. It isn’t a game for everyone, maybe only few will enjoy it for what it truly is, and it comes also with some technical issues, due probably to its procedural essence. There is no specific purpose in No Man’s Sky, every player will find his own and will simply enjoy the journey, not the destination.

75

A game that can be loved beyond its problems, and that can be hated despite its triumphs. A game looking for a player looking for something different, quiet, relaxed with a big and refreshing focus on exploration beyond anything else.

75

No Man’s Sky is a very interesting concept, and it definitely works until it starts getting repetitive. The ground it is built upon is amazing, but so far there are many questions that remain unanswered, so make sure you understand what the game has to offer before buying it.

75

Fluent space exploration videogames’ dream comes true. No Man’s Sky is an experiment that has its flaws when it comes to design, and you must always fight the randomness of its concept. Its creators made something unique and with unfathomable vastness. Probably, with a bigger team, with a bigger budget and with more ideas when it comes to variety in gameplay mechanics, we would be talking about a true revolution in this kind of entertainment.

75

The planets are amazing and the game has fabulous moments, but several gameplay flaws keep it away from becoming a masterpiece.

75

A great exploration game, but beyond the wow factor of infinite travel and discovering unique creatures and planets, there is little else to really do.

73

No Man’s Sky is a huge galaxy sandbox using an interesting concept, but as far as gameplay is concerned, it’s running out of steam way too fast.

70

The joy of exploring new worlds quickly gives way to monotony, especially that a lot of them are disappointingly empty, while trade, mining and piracy are as basic as they can get. [10/2016, p.44]

CD-Action

70

A game, a promise, which sometimes turns into a pleasant surprise, while turning into a void at others. Void that, one day, might get filled by promises that the developers made, however it still captivated us to push forward and explore.

70

No Man’s Sky is an ironically small game, but it has a big, beating heart at its center, even when the procedural generation and the sometimes narrow-scoped world building tries to hide it.

70

Appreciating the design of a game and investing time in its gameplay are two different things. It requires a very specific type of gamer, one who loves finding their fun in an experience with a ton of freedom, to keep progressing through No Man’s Sky. The game is part Minecraft, part Subnautica, and part its own creation, but if any of those component parts interests you then this may be worth checking out.

70

The fundamental gameplay isn’t deep or rewarding enough for me to stick around and explore many of the planets the game has to offer. With such basic combat and inventory management, it quickly wears thin and you’ll feel like you’re dragging yourself from system to system in search of Atlas.

70

An ambitious game, No Man’s Sky allows gamers to play space-captain across an entire universe of planets. Unfortunately, numerous glitches and monotonous gameplay options make the game frustrating for those desiring something more serious.

70

Hello Games achieved what they set out to do. They have crafted a massive galaxy of planets for players to explore. That feat is nothing short of extraordinary, and I think everyone who enjoys games should experience that. Whether you come out of it with a smile or a frown, it is entirely dependent on how much you are willing to put up with to explore a nearly endless galaxy.

70

In general, the good in No Man’s Sky outweighs the bad, but there are enough minor annoyances and curious decisions here to hold it back from being something special.

70

It’s size and scope elicits feelings of wonder and irrelevance in equal measure, creating metaphors from calculus and code. Those feelings are savagely curtailed by oppressive systems that transform it into something smaller: a videogame.

70

We buy video games to play them, not simply marvel at what they can do. Its technological advancements and sheer scope may indeed be incredible, but No Man’s Sky’s repetitive world and gameplay are decidedly less than stellar.

70

Even if you don’t like random generated universes, No Man’s Sky is really amazing as a giant sandbox to travel and enjoy it as a virtual place to stay, unfortunately we can’t say the same of its boring and uninspired quests and ambiguous progression.

70

No Man’s Sky will not be everyone’s cup of space tea, proving to be just as divisive as the genre it represents. It can be boring, but a “good” kind of boring. It can also be frustrating, the sort of frustrating that makes you wish you can travel back to 2013 and relive the first time No Man’s Sky entered the public mind, sparking the long-dormant imaginations of the gaming community.

70

Playing No Man’s Sky is very similar to my experience of playing Minecraft. I will spend months exploring a Minecraft world, gathering coal and iron and diamonds to make the weapons and armor, brewing the potions and enchanting the gear I need to keep me alive. I go on mapping expeditions to chart the entire world. And then I invariably spin up an entirely new Minecraft world so I can start over again from scratch and enjoy the thrill of discovery.

70

No Man’s Sky is a unique experience dampened by many shortcomings. It’s a game which manages to offer a wide universe to explore through shallow mechanics, exceptional freedom inside a mind-boggingly repetitive structure. Hello Games might have developed the most inconsistent game of all time.

70

No Man’s Sky is a game in which the initial sense of wonder quickly disappears, leaving the player with a feeling of discouragement the moment he realize he’s doing the same things over and over again. A terrible inventory and other minor flaws leaves this game in need of constant support from Hello Games after its release.

70

An amazing technical feat but a shell of a game in most respects, No Man’s Sky excels at atmosphere and world-generation but its core mechanics are commonplace and unexciting as they come. Good, but not extraordinary by any means.

70

No Man’s Sky fulfills its basic function, offering impressive exploration of endless planets, with plenty of amazing vistas and exciting discoveries. Some other elements – like combat, survival or inventory management – are poorly thought-out though, which lessens the overall experience. Hello Games’ ambitious title is great for short trips and relaxing sightseeing, not extensive all-nighters.

70

No Man’s Sky is a bold experiment in game design, and one I’m glad Hello Games took the opportunity to make. I can see some players taking issue with the utter lack of direction, but I personally found it a refreshing divergence from the usual hand-holding present in open world titles. The real beauty and appeal of the experience is in the discovery of the procedurally-generated worlds and the life forms that populate them, and I can’t wait to see what other players find.

70

No Man’s Sky is an atypical game that offers an experience outside the norm. For one of the very first times (except Minecraft) we really have the feeling of macrocosmos. In this infinite universe, thousands of other players travel into cosmos like you but have no chance to meet you. The gameplay is repetitive but not uninteresting. It’s a good game but we hope Hello Games will add content in the future.

70

No Man’s Sky is impressive, unusual and staggeringly vast. Despite some moments of tedium, its gravitational pull will keep many players perpetually engaged.

70

No Man’s Sky is immediately a massive game with impressive seamless transitions from ground to space, and it will entertain your inner collector for a while. The more you get to know it, the more you recognize its faults, and it’s easy to fall so deep into the act of exploring and trading that your focus narrows to those aspects alone. If, however, you consider everything it has to offer and listen to what Atlas has to say, No Man’s Sky becomes more than a collection of slightly different worlds in a seemingly never-ending galaxy–it becomes an examination of the meaning of life in a way that’s more valuable than all the gold or starships in its virtual galaxy.

70

No Man’s Sky’s journey across a massive procedural universe is compelling in how seamless it feels, the way that it allows you to explore at your own pace, and its questioning of the drive toward completionism found in most games. Unfortunately, it’s saddled with a terrible interface and a crushing sense of repetition, both of which come to overshadow its more interesting qualities. As such, while it feels incomprehensibly vast at times, No Man’s Sky can also feel crushingly limiting. And it’s the latter feeling, unfortunately, that keeps its from reaching its full potential.

70

No Man’s Sky isn’t quite what I thought it would be. It’s a fun sandbox game that’s full of wonder, until it isn’t. Unlike other similar titles, the magic fades over time, because 18 billion planets (sorry, 18 quintillion) don’t matter if it feels like there’s only truly 20 unique ones. I wouldn’t recommend No Man’s Sky if you don’t like getting lost — but for those of you who do, wander away.

70

Despite the various caveats and areas that Hello will look to improve upon over the coming months, you can so easily lose hours at a time landing on a new and interesting planet for the first time, giving the local flora and fauna idiotic names, before falling down a hole and getting lost in a sprawling cave system, only to do the exact same thing on the next planet over. There’s nothing quite like it.

70

Its main gameplay is simplistic but becomes totally engrossing, and the technical achievement is impressive. The atmosphere created by the graphics and sound is second to none, and there’s an amazing sense of place. Some may struggle to find the fun with the lack of direction, and there are some technical issues that need addressing, but if you’re able to create your own fun with the tools that you’re given, you’ll be playing this for a long time.

68

Hello Games created something truly new and unique: No Man’s Sky manages to be the best videogaming experience in the recent years, and at the same time a huge disappointment for what it could have been. The first hours are simply amazing, and will probably be stuck in your memory for the rest of your life. After that, the supposedly thriving and procedural universe transforms into a cold and soulless repetition of landscapes and concepts. The videogames universe still has a lot to say, and probably this is the misstep we needed to understand that.

65

All things considered, No Man’s Sky is the first game in years to actually justify the use of the word “ambitious”. That’s why I like it.

65

No Man’s Sky kept us waiting. For the better? Not really. Hello Games’ production is far from the wonderful space opera and exploration game we were expecting, far from the game we’ve been promised.

65

No Man’s Sky is sadly one of the more disappointing games of the year, mixing small moments of grand wonder with inescapable hours of tedious, boring survival gameplay. If you’re willing to fight through that, there’s a game here for you. But it’s often not worth the effort.

60

While No Man’s Sky is engrossing for the first few hours, repetition starts to set in and the proceedings grow dull. The developers stated that they plan to add significant features such as base building which could dramatically change the game for the better. There’s a promising foundation present, so it’s possible to envision a more substantial game down the line. As it currently stands, though, our excitement to cross the universe faded sooner than we expected.

60

If you’re looking for a chill experience, are ok to wait for content patches, and have a high tolerance against repetitive tasks, we say boldly go. But probably only after a price drop. [November 2016, p62]

Playstation Official Magazine Australia

60

As beautiful, ambitious and clever as No Man’s Sky is, there’s just no real game here. At worst, it’s a walking simulator in space but that initial feeling of wonder is powerful and putting the game down is nearly impossible. No Man’s Sky may be the most enjoyable tech demo ever.

60

No Man’s Sky was never going to live up to the hype, but sadly even those with tempered expectations are likely to be somewhat disappointed. It is by no means a terrible game, it just feels unfinished and empty.

60

Years from now, No Man’s Sky will be on the books as the game that shifted the paradigm of console gaming as a whole, but only on a technical level. It is not too late for that to change, however, as Hello Games has a lot of opportunities to improve what they have created, should they choose to continue to develop it.

60

No Man’s Sky feels like a great adventure, with a lot of freedom to explore many, many planets. But the game is not very good at telling a good story, and the fact that the gameplay is very repetitive and the game even crashes is a big disappointment after the huge hype surrounding this indie title.

60

It’s not a terrible game, it’s simply not a very engaging one. In the end, it’s just boring—a monotonous and dreary affair with pretty visuals and the promise of something more just over the horizon.

60

At the end of the day, No Man’s Sky isn’t a perfect game. It’s really not even close. The ride has been bumpy, with Murray and the team keeping their lips sealed tightly about anything and everything pertaining to the game, and the overhyped nature of this industry has pushed many away from the title. But if you’re just looking for a game that can be both intense and relaxing, while offering lots of opportunities to explore colorful and interesting worlds, No Man’s Sky fits the bill perfectly.

60

It’s light years from being a great game, but there’s still something at the heart of No Man’s Sky that speaks to the would-be explorer in all of us.

60

The universe is huge. It instills such a feeling of insignificance and it is incredibly fun to think of all the possibilities when arriving in a new place, but when it inevitably requires the patience to do the same things over and over, the wonder of exploration loses out on some important magic.

60

No Man’s Sky reaches for the stars but falls short by light years. It’s amazingly big, but too often poorly designed.

60

In short bursts, ‘No Man’s Sky’ is amazing, but going deeper, I found only a void. There’s a great framework, and an arresting visual style to go with an ease of mobility, but in a short amount of time, I despaired of finding any more interactivity or progression in the all-too-similar horizons and star systems.

60

No Man’s Sky is a shallow package of undercooked ideas that will ultimately go forgotten in a year full of other, better releases.

60

So while it’s difficult to give it a glowing recommendation, it’s impossible to hate. On balance, it succeeds – for just long enough to be worth going in.

60

One of the most anticipated games of the year, No Man’s Sky is somewhat of a letdown. While it certainly puts its best foot forward with a beautiful audio and visual presentation, to put it bluntly, it’s boring. Ambitious as the universe that’s been created by Hello Games is, what lies within is a middling survival/crafting game.

60

These powerful universe creation algorithms have been grafted onto a game that is, beyond its initial hours, so light on imagination. No Man’s Sky offers an incredible, impossible universe — but there’s little to do within it.

60

A stunning technical achievement and a mesmerisingly addictive one, even after you realise how simplistic and repetitive it really is.

59

After quite a few systems, dozens of planets and hundreds of scans you don’t feel like a conqueror, but rather like Haviland Tuf from George R.R.Martins novel “Tuf Voyaging”: You’re a collector and explorer. But you can experience truly magic moments in this interstellar Terra Incognita. Nonetheless the fascination fades eventually and is replaced by frustration about the frequent crashes that in the end are effectively killing your motivation to continue.

55

No Man’s Sky is a very interesting experiment and a boring videogame. First hours are really pleasant but the magic disappears pretty quickly and you’re left with a repetitive and uninteresting obligation to explore new planets. In time it could be something really good but right now it’s flawed both on the technical and gameplay side (and the finale is disappointing to say the least). My expectations were shattered.

50

For now, this is a game whose concept is more interesting than its execution.

50

A triumph of hype and tech over engaging gameplay. The latter is short-lived with No Man’s Sky.

50

There can be no doubt that Hello Games set out on a journey of extreme ambition with No Man’s Sky. Unfortunately, too much of a good thing can turn into something bad, which sadly reflects the reality of this never-ending game. While it is a beautiful, inspiring and gigantic title, No Man’s Sky lacks the depth, the polish and the substance of a truly great adventure.

50

Even with my expectations guarded, however, I did not expect just another survival/crafting game that used randomization as a crutch to the point of losing all potential personality…And I at least expected more to fu..ing do.

40

No Man’s Sky is a missed opportunity to do something truly epic, and while the final game, when measured moment by moment, showed glimpses of something more than merely ordinary, the final result, was far less than. Promises aside, there’s just not enough to this universe to make it worth exploring.

Game Reviews from around the web

Its voxel-based, procedurally generated engine is an incredible template for more systems, content, and performance tweaks. Until then, the game’s title is true: this isn’t yet a sky any man (or woman) should bother claiming.

The first time I played No Man’s Sky, I moved forward too fast. The second time, I stood still. Now, I’m ready to set out again, anchored by the things I’ll leave behind.

Above all else, it requires a proper commitment of time. It’s as much a hobby as it is a game: an activity that requires patience, diligence, and the capacity to be awed by sights that are quietly profound. The experience won’t suit every temperament, but to give up on an entire universe for inspiring awe too infrequently or for not inspiring the specific awe you’d prefer would be like abandoning bird-watching after a single hour without an exciting specimen.

For all this, for all of its pretentiousness, for all of its own flaws, No Man’s Sky rightly deserves a place in a modern art museum. Like a home with doors that may never open, begging us to ponder what lies beyond, No Man’s Sky is an unanswerable question, but one I’m glad I asked.

Summary

As beautiful, ambitious and clever as No Man’s Sky is, there’s just no real game here. At worst, it’s a walking simulator in space but that initial feeling of wonder is powerful and putting the game down is nearly impossible. No Man’s Sky may be the most enjoyable tech demo ever.
7.2

Good

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