“No Man’s Sky” has fallen from grace pretty quickly, as the PS4 and PC epic has transitioned from being an object of wonder to an object of pity in a matter of weeks. Here are five reasons why gamers love to hate on Hello Games’ space exploration experience.
1) Missing Features: “No Man’s Sky” was almost instantly regarded as one of the most ambitious video games ever made, and that pedigree certainly swept up Hello Games quite a bit. Just prior to the game’s launch, its lead programmer, Sean Murray, filled the minds of enthusiasts with allusions to factions, multiplayer combat and nameable ships.
As it turns out, many of those referenced features never made it into the final game. Whether the ideas were scrapped due to to time constraints or saved later for DLC, there’s no denying the fact that many passionate consumers feel they were lied to. In many regards, the August 2016 build is not at all what was advertised. As a result, hateful remarks will continue to spew about this debacle for months to come.
2) Unexpectedly Low Reviews: “No Man’s Sky” currently has a Metascore of 71. That’s certainly not the lowest aggregate honor ever received, but it’s in the perfect spot to be the subject of furious Internet debate. Some critics loved the title, while others panned it for being mediocre and empty. This game is an ongoing argument, and all arguments feel cloaked in negativity no matter the topic.
Not every game can be a perfect 10, but there was a heck of a lot riding on “No Man’s Sky’s” success. Sony marketed the project to an unprecedented degree for any unreleased indie game. For all intents and purposes, it was sold as a major feather in the cap for PS4 owners. Instead, what they got was a pretty casual mining and survival simulator. Apparently a limitless universe does not guarantee greatness.
3) Passionate Fans: Despite its mixed critical response, “No Man’s Sky” remains a source of enjoyment for a cult-like mob of fans. While they exist as a subset of a much larger audience, their devotion prompted death threats for journalists reporting delays and DDoS attacks on sites that posted negative reviews. Fanaticism is a part of gamer culture, but it reached new heights with “No Man’s Sky.”
As with any project that sparks devoted evangelism, there are just as many onlookers that wish to mock that hope. Especially now that the lukewarm reviews and impressions are in, the voice of those trolls has become a lot louder. Were the death threats worth it? Can you handle a negative opinion? That passionate fan base has a lot to answer for, and detractors are loving it.
4) Poor Performance: Whether you’re playing on PS4 or PC, “No Man’s Sky” doesn’t exactly run well. Console players commonly complain about pop-in and crashes, while some PC explorers are lucky to get the darn thing booted at all.
Especially given the past optimization crises of titles like “Batman: Arkham Knight” and “Assassin's Creed Unity,” players are losing patience with ports that don’t offer a fluid experience. Because Hello Games delayed the title multiple times, it was expected to be polished. Now that the studio hasn’t delivered, haters are giggling at each new patch that promises modest stability improvements.
5) The Price: While Hello Games has a right to sell “No Man’s Sky” for as much as it wants, many gamers feel that the title’s $60 price is simply too high for the experience on show. At least on the surface, its crafting and survival mechanics aren’t much deeper than a decent Steam Early Access game for $20. Sure the universe has 18 quintillion planets, but some explorers struggle with finding something productive to do in that space.
Being a hardcore gamer is unabashedly expensive, so that means a lot of players are extremely careful with money. Anytime a finished product isn’t big enough or complex enough to suit the cost, countless forum threads on Reddit will exacerbate the dilemma. Gamers hate being gouged for cash in any way, and there’s a feeling in the air that Hello Games may be asking too much for a product that many agree is mechanically-shallow.
“No Man’s Sky” is available now on PS4 and PC.
Do you think “No Man’s Sky” is worth hating? Why are people so angry? Tell us in the comments section!