To infinity and nowhere, how did ‘No Man’s Sky’ fail?

Chris Prenatt, Reporter

In December 2013, the world was first introduced to the indie game “No Man’s Sky.” The adventure game, created by British video game developer Hello Games, wowed critics when the trailer was released. People were amazed by the graphics and that the game was a giant, open universe.

You could sail amongst the cosmos, dive into foreign oceans, explore planets and discover awe-inspiring creatures. Those who bought this game on either PC or the Playstation 4 could live out their childhood dream of being astronauts. Sounds amazing, right? It should, but there was a problem. Hello Games turned such an exciting idea into a huge, gigantic mess, according to game critics and fans alike. How did one of the most hyped-up games of 2016 turn out to be one of the biggest failures of not only this year, but this decade?

Several gamers on Facebook and Kik were asked about what they thought about “No Man’s Sky’s” outcome.

“People overhyped a game that they thought was going to be the answer to everything,” said 21-year-old artist Matt Krajewski from Chicago. “They thought that it was going to be the most perfect game in the world. It was because they wanted a AAA game from a team of 15 people.”

“Probably because [Hello Games] lied in their advertisement, no?” wrote Mariel Loveland, writer for and lead vocalist of the punk-rock band Candy Hearts.

“False advertisement and false promise of multiplayer. Repetitive game play and mechanics, just a bad time,” wrote Tobi Morgan from Buffalo, NY, agreeing much with what Loveland wrote.

“[Hello Games] lied about the content they were really going to add,” TJ Saunders, 17, from Massachusetts wrote. “The game’s repetitive and lonely. It was fun for some time, but all it is, is a grind to nowhere. Not to mention it ran crappy on PC. Overall though, it stood a chance of being a really good game, but they just didn’t put nearly enough time and effort into what the community really wanted.”

“It’s like ‘Minecraft,’ but ‘No Man’s Sky’ has limitations,” Connor Prenatt, an animation student at Niagara County Community College responded. “In ‘Minecraft,’ you can destroy the environment and kill numerous animals, and in ‘No Man’s Sky,’ if you destroy too much of the area or kill too many creatures, robots will kill you.”

Still, a few liked it. Many in the the online Let’s Play community had positive reviews. Many Let’s Play channels on YouTube, such as Achievement Hunter, JackSepticEye, and Markiplier, have found the game to be quite enjoyable.

Video game critic Joe Vargas, the host of the Angry Joe Show on YouTube, found the game to be fun at first, but over time found it to be quite boring and tedious. The more he played, the more he started to notice that the game stopped becoming fun.“The countless frustrating design choices, the overly repetitive nature of the actual core of the game,” he said in his heavily detailed video, “No Man’s Sky Angry Review.” “As wide as an ocean, but has the depth of a puddle. And all you have to do is look at the comprehensive list on Reddit, with the features promised and hyped, on exactly what we were going to get to realize why it feels so empty and half-finished.”

What critics and fans expected to be an amazing game turned out for many to be a huge disappointment. Some critics thought that “No Man’s Sky” should have been an interesting exploration/adventure game that could rival the popularity of “Minecraft” and “Subnautica,” but it instead became a big blunder for a once promising indie company. Don’t board the hype train if it’s destined to derail.


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