A YEAR AGO
NOTE: This was originally written in 2016 , long before the Pathfinder or Atlas updates arrived.
So the text you are about to read or revisit, only relates to the original format of the game when it came out and when it was receiving so much hate and backlash on the web. I always loved the game from the first second even in it´s early “empty” original version and so this is a review I wrote last year about a month or so after I got the game which I bought at hour zero through download at the PS4 store the second it came out.
Right now I find it even better than it was, but here´s my original review which tells why I always supported this game so much.
Here´s my original review from 2016 when 99% of young players where out there hating the game:
BOY, I´M OLD…
I´m 46 years old now on 2016.
I´ve been playing video games through out my life since the late 1970s and probably to some extent I must have played every iconic game tittle you can throw at me, to a point that my house sometimes resembles more a game console cemetery than anything else, as I´ve played them all over the years.
I´m not saying this to get some sort of instant seal of approval for what I´m about to say but simply to put things in context and point out that through the years , by playing so much stuff, I was able to compare everything you could think of in terms of game technology that came along.
Contrary to many reviewers in their 20s (even younger) who just hate NMS because they don´t get what´s exciting about it, or it´s just the cool thing to do so now on the internet, my opinion about this game is actually based not only in playing intensely since it came out but also on having played a ton of other comparative stuff over the last 35 years at least.
I played Pong in the Arcades at a time , when Pong was the arcades !
And that was it.
Someone replied to one of my comments on Youtube the other day, stating that No Man´s Sky has as much depth as Pong.
As if that was a negative thing to reply !!
Yes, it´s probably true.
NMS has as much depth as Pong for sure.
As much depth as Tetris in my view. And because of that this game is as much addictive, because it´s simple. That type of argument I bet, came from the same sort of person who thinks Tetris was boring too, so nuff said.
Every NMS review I ever read so far, either praising or attacking the game, has the particularity of having been written from the standpoint of what young gamers expect nowadays from a triple A game. Unfair in my view; if you think NMS was written by a team of 13 people and not by 600 as it happens nowadays with the typical GTA/Assassins Creed/Wow blockbuster game productions.
A GAME AHEAD OF ITS TIME FOR AN AUDIENCE THAT DOES NOT EXIST ANYMORE.
There´s another angle to write an opinion about NMS that very few professional reviewers even remember to point out. Or can´t.
No Man´s Sky, is a game ahead of its time trying to please a type of audience that does not exist anymore. A public that could really appreciate for what it does but an audience that went almost extinct for at least 25 years now.
If you were a kid of 12,13,14 years old back in the late 70´s; early 80´s, you loved space games and you always dreamed of one day having a game were you could really explore a galaxy, then NMS will be a dream come true for you right now.
A game that science 30 years ago always pointed out , could´t be achieved for at least a couple of centuries in the future, because there was no way computer games could evolve past Ms Pac Man in just two or three decades. Sure.
The same science that in 1984 criticized movies like “Wargames” as being a science joke because in the film someone had a computer in his room and could connect it to the exterior using a telephone line and a modem. It will never happen in the near future, science cried out !!The same science that in 1984 also pointed out that the movie “2010” ( the sequel to 2001); was just fine except from one major scientific error… in one scene in the movie, the hero not only carries a small laptop around, but he even works with it while being on the beach connected to some “weird” world database. How unscientific , science screamed at the time the movie hit theaters. Travel to Jupiter, fine; laptop computers, what a Hollywood joke !All this for me to say, that No Man´s Sky was doomed to never live to the hype generated around, simply because the same generation that hyped the game and now tries to destroy it online, was never the right audience for this type of game to begin with.
Generically speaking, only an audience who is now about 40+ years old will fully grasp where´s the appeal of a game such as NMS and only those who one day ever played ELITE back in the ZX Spectrum days (or even Starstrike 3D , 1 and 2) on a 48K machine, will understand where is the gameplay in this brand new NMS.
Young gamers take technology for granted, as if it´s something that just appears and has always been here. Everyone seems to be a couch-programming expert nowadays if we browse through youtube comments for example.
THERE ARE TWO WAYS TO WRITE ABOUT NO MAN´S SKY.
A review can be written from the angle of a modern gamer born among technology and fed on a diet of 20 years of cloned console/pc games that look as formulaic as an episode of CSI.
The same angle that makes – a game look cool – as long as it recycles the last formula of success so mass consumers can relate to it without putting to much thought into their emotions of why – they need- to buy the same game again… and again next year. Fifa games, anyone ?…
Or… a review for No Man´s Sky can be written from the standpoint of a type of gamer that still exists, believe it or not.
A gamer who´s old enough to have been there at the beginning of the video game history; at a time when having a video game at home was no different from having a magic object in the house; and parents treated it as such.
WE´RE NOT DEAD, KIDS
And yes, we are still around.
And many of us still play video games nowadays, many of us have accompanied the video game evolution through out the decades and many of us remember what it was like to have a game appear at a time where original ideas were amazing to see, even though much of what we -could see- was fueled by our own imagination; because simply put technology was´t there yet.
No Man´s Sky reviewed now by a generation who was born at a time when Internet, cellphones, Pcs, tablets and consoles are a reality will be a totally different thing than if it´s evaluated by someone who was already playing games three decades ago.
Playing games at a time, when even the internet was considered a sci-fi joke, so ludicrous that couldn’t even be thought as a conspiracy theory.
Because of this , most of the negative reviews and empty comments about this amazing experience called No Man´s Sky that seem to have become a new teen fed on youtube these past few weeks, must be watched or read with a grain of salt, if you´re over 38+ years old. Trust me.
You won´t care about anything these negative reviews think it´s bad about the game.
Simply because those details that seem to bother so many young gamers nowadays, don´t really matter at all. No Man´s Sky is an amazing game even with its flaws. It doesn´t need to be perfect. It could never be perfect.
No Man´s Sky might never be appreciated by it´s young modern audience, generically speaking, but, trust me, if you´re around 38+ years old now, you´ll appreciate it fully, for what it achieves.
If you were 14 years old back in 1984, you owned a ZX-SINCLAIR SPECTRUM and you played ELITE in your 48K computer for months on end just staring at some black screens with white dots pretending to be stars while you “landed” on octogonal vector wire-frame “space-stations” after shooting “space pirates” that looked like floating triangles; and you still have fun with that “technology” then… trust me… you could´t care less about what´s being pointed out as negative by young reviewers and gamers about NMS on their reviews.
Nothing that is pointed out as being negative by young gamers or twenty somethings that dish hate about NMS has any relevance, once you start to experience the exploration feel this space game adventure is able to convey.NMS is ELITE reincarnated and it´s a masterpiece.
Everything you ever dreamed about when you were a kid.
There´s nothing like that feeling of stepping out on an alien planet for the first time and explore all the vistas and landscapes it has to offer. If you love hiking in real life, you´ll be amazed with this game can do to convey that sense of wonder about the natural open spaces.
This open world feel is one the great things that Elite could never do in 48k thirty years ago, but today in 2016 is what makes No Man´s Sky so special. And for me it´s the most important thing on its gameplay.
That same gameplay that kids seem to find soooo boring…
DO NOT TRUST NEGATIVE REVIEWS ABOUT NO MAN´S SKY. THEY ARE NOT FOR YOU. THIS GAME IS !
If you´re, 38+ years old, do not trust these negative reviews about No Man´s Sky on the web, because they were written from a totally alien frame of reference when compared to what you will have.On the other hand I´m amazed to also find some incredibly positive reviews from younger journalists that actually got it right. Trust those.
I´m glad to see that at least some young game press understood what is the appeal of this game. Not all is lost. Ignore the bad hype and search for the positive reviews out there as those are mainly right about what they write about the game, contrary to what generally happens with most of the negative reviews because it´s clear that these negative people are not playing right at all. More on this ahead on my text.
Do not hesitate to buy No Man´s Sky (particularly on PS4) based on what the young generations of gamers complain about the game online. You will not care about what they claim is bad in NMS. Particularly if you love ELITE on ZX Spectrum or similar stone-age computers like that at the time, back in the early 80s.
Yes, everyone is right. Yes the frame rate could be better, yes some planets are too empty, yet there´s some pop-up effects that bring an older feel to the game technologically speaking, yes there are better detailed games, yes the combat is simple, yes no multiplayer ( good!!! ), etc, etc, etc.
Could´t care less about it, and if you´re above 40+ years old and you won´t care about all those negative rants too.
They simple don´t count on what the game really ends up offering. Particularly if you´ve been around for decades too.
IF YOU DON´T SEE BIG CREATURES YET, YOU´RE NOT LOOKING.
Oh, and by the way, many people seem to give a bad review claiming that they cannot find big animals on the game contrary to what was publicized. Well… I might be wrong, but I can bet that these creatures will start appear as soon as you play the game in a more exploratory way. If you just jump around solar systems and take no time to explore the planets, I´m starting to have the feeling that the game will not reward you with newer or bigger alien life forms to discover.
People are not seeing big animals because they might not be taking exploring the worlds right. Dinosaurs might not even be included yet but I can bet there will be some future updates for this game which will ad them.
In fact, if this game feels rushed now, I can bet it´s SONY´s fault and I can bet that the team behind NMS will still be doing plenty of updates in months to come.
But I couldn´t care less about what the game does not have right now. I love what it has !
I´ve been playing NMS since launch day, I´ve been playing about 4 hours a day, I´ve explored dozens of planets (spend about two to three hours on each world on average); but ONLY YESTERDAY after about 15 Solar Systems and more than 30 planets explored I´ve encountered the first big “dinosaur” looking big creature. It might not be a brontosaurus or a T-Rex thing , but it was big enough to be almost the size as my small current spaceship. And at least three times bigger than the standard NMS small type creature that people seem so disappointed to see all the time when they play the game racing to the center of that galaxy instead of exploring the worlds at a leisure pace.
Here´s my first big creature; encountered after hundreds of hours just seeing small alien life on other planets before I discovered this big fella on this world.
WHY DO I LOVE THIS GAME SO MUCH
And why No Man´s Sky will probably be right for you too.
To me NMS is an amazing game. More than a game it´s an experience.
I´ve been playing it since 00:00 of it´s release day on PS4; I´ve been playing it over a week non-stop now and never – ever, EVER; in my entire life was there a game that kept me glued this much to a screen as NMS glues me.Disappointed negativistic reviewers claim the more we play the game, the more boring it gets !
REALLY ?! ARE YOU SERIOUS ?!
You probably don´t get that hiking around the planets it´s part of the great appeal in NMS. And it gets even more addictive when we are doing nothing, but walking and admiring the views. If you don´t get fascinated by having such a playing epic field at your disposal to explore, then it´s not the game that it´s bad. It´s just No Man´s Sky is not the game experience for you.
Everything that NMS does, does it very well. As an exploration experience is something unsurpassed in all my 30+ years of gaming.Never in my entire life I´ve had a game in my hands which I played for so many hours straight.Never before in my life there was a game so hard to put down.
I have to force myself to stop playing it, put down the control and go to sleep.
Which for me at 46 years old, having played through so many iconic titles is something that I was not expecting at all. At the most a modern game can grab my attention for about a couple hours every other day.
I´ve been playin NMS since it came out, sometimes almost to dawn.
This game has that hook where : “I´m just going to see what´s over that hill and then I´ll call it a night…hmmm…. oh look a… thing ! I wonder what´s over there too… … … … Oh, look another thing behind that mountain…and the sunset is coming in… I´ll stick around just a few more minutes, I guess…”
Young gamers rant about how boring NMS is because there is nothing to do which I find almost unbelievable. They claim the gameplay is non-existent or repetitive; they claim there is nothing to see and that all the planets look the same.
If you haven´t found absolutely incredible worlds, my friend, you´re not playing this game right !
As for the nothing to do or repetitive gameplay claim, I find that fascinating.
“NOTHING TO DO…”
Yesterday I spent about 5 hours exploring one single planet ( the most amazing scenery I ever seen in the game so far ). Because of the variations in climate of that world, I had to adapt the way I explored the planet to fit my life support system capabilities, which made the experience of visiting that world a totally different experience of what I had on the last planet I visited.
I had to change my entire style of gameplay just from one world to the next and that enough gave NMS a degree of variation that I never found for example in so called -amazing games- like GTA, Wow, or Halo based on repetitive missions overall too.
The gameplay in NMS is about details.Details that at least 99% of the reviewers that claim this game sucks , I bet, never took the time to discover that exist within the game (not to mention the “easter eggs” and secrets spread out as a plus, in many worlds).
The problem with NMS is that it´s a game that will annoy the crap out of the new generations of younger gamers simply because it takes time to be enjoyed.
It´s not a game that offers instant gratification at all.
Also everyone seems to be really annoyed to find boring planets in it. Well, it´s a big universe. If you´re not finding amazing landscapes, you´re not playing this game right.
This is a game that takes time to be appreciated.
If you like landscape photography, you´ll love the concept in this and the endless amazing vistas you can capture (if you go print screen on it)…
Actually when I loaded up the game for the first time I thought it was crap too.
Because of this I know that many people that give it bad reviews didn´t bothered to stick with it for the same reason I almost gave up at first.
Depending on where you start on NMS , your experience can be amazing or absolutely crap. And if you start in a crappy world…you´re in for at least 3 to 4 hours of crap, with “nothing to see”, and “very few things to do”.
So I´m willing to be, many reviewers got really disappointed simply because of the way the game begun for them.
I bet than then, they saw some other negative videos on youtube, and embarked on the new popular trend which is to call NMS a failure, which is an accusation that could´t be more further from the truth.
Yes, the planets don´t rotate, yes the big starships don´t actually go anywhere, yes we cannot sell our starships, yes we cannot find our friends…
Couldn´t care less.
I myself, started on a planet which was boring as hell, the graphics looked like PS2 graphics, the sky was awful, the geography boring for endless Km, there was not much to see, not much to do; and i had to persevere and walk around forever ( just yawning around ) gathering stuff to repair my ship for about the next three hours.
Only around hour 3, I started to realize what the gameplay had to offer, how detailed were the hidden things to discover, what some of those things do for the game and above all, how amazing the planet surfaces can be.
Then I saw my first amazing landscape at sunset on the top of a mountain and I was hooked !
From the moment I took my first space flight I knew this game had been made for the 14 year old kid in me that waited 35 years for a space game like this.I could spend an entire text just detailing what´s about the gameplay of NMS that is so addictive to me. The same gameplay many negative reviews claim it´s totally non existent !!
Exploring the planets inside a space exploration game does not appeal to you ?!! Having endless worlds to visit and marvel at the vistas is not appealing and it´s … boring ?!
Wow !!! …
Really ?!…Probably if I´ve played NMS as most of the negativists seem to be trying to play it , I´m sure I would end up with a similar negative opinion.
DUDE, EUROPE HAS NOTHING TO SEE… BORIIIING….
The problem with a game that presents the player with a real open universe, is that game engine allows the players to play the game on a totally empty way too !!!
It´s that free.
It´s the same as if you decided to just be on planet earth jumping from town to town without doing nothing to get to know the places you visited and then claimed your trip through Europe had nothing to see.
And that is what´s happening with most of the the so called NMS players that gave it a bad review.
They are playing the game as if there was just one objective – reaching the center of the galaxy – and that´s it.
That´s the goal for them.
The only thing they see in NMS !!!
They play the game with style of “gameplay ” in mind and then find the game boring and shallow ?!
They will never take gratification in exploring a planet, admiring it´s views, simply because that does not even qualifies as gameplay for them !
IT´S YOUR FAULT THE GAME SUCKS.
Modern gamers need something to be happening all the time and because of this need they think that by trying to jump from system to system as fast as they can, that will make something happen and give them some burst of video game adrenaline rush.
These game reviewers are playing NMS in the most shallow way imaginable !!!
Then complain about that as if that emptiness was the game´s fault and not the way they are experiencing the open universe !!
The irony is that; that form of chosen shallow game style they chose to play was only made possible because of the existence of the amazing open world game engine these same gamers, then end up criticizing as not fit to have“real gameplay” purposes.
How ironic !
If NMS is an empty boring experience for you , it´s your fault.
So don´t go blaming the game endless possibilities for it.
If you just go through NMS jumping from system to system, only stopping on planets to collect resources to craft more hyperspace power to jump to the next system , over and over and over again… you’re not playing NMS !
No wonder there´s so many negative reviews complaining about a non-existent gameplay in this game !!
People are more concerned about reaching the center of the galaxy than exploring what the game has to offer !!
If your bad review is based on a lack of gameplay, that is simply because you didn’t took the time to find it within the game, my friend.
I´ve been playing NMS 4+ hours a night since it´s 00:00 hour launch in PS4 , and I´ve only traveled 15 star systems.
BUT… In those star systems I´ve visited and explored EVERY SINGLE PLANET AND MOON there was on each one.
In total I´ve explored about 40 planets or so right now, AND I MEAN; EXPLORED !
I spent the first 35 planets with less than 50.000 units in my account and only recently started to gather some money out of my explorations.
I didn´t even reached my first million units yet, because what I do most on the planets is admire the views and “take snapshots” of the geography by capturing screens.
And yes, I call that , gameplay.Because I took the time to admire what´s on each world, I´m sure I´ve discovered stuff that none of the people that claim the game is boring ever gave themselves time to discover. Namely I´ve discovered my first big creature yesterday when everyone claims Sean Murray lied and there are no big creatures to be seen.
NMS is not an instant gratification adrenaline filled game and this fact for a modern audience that just wants to exhaust the game as fast as they can because next week there will be another trend – must-play- game coming out.
Time – is something 2016 gamers don´t seem to have, as they don´t want to be caught playing “old” games of – so last month – when their mates are already playing the next popular game and they´re not.
So expecting a game like NMS to be appreciated by a modern generation of ultra fast gaming rewarding experience junkies, was a goal doomed to be missed.
Even Sean Murray from Hello Games said that he does not understand why people would want to spoil the game just by racing to the center of the galaxy instead of absorbing all the content it has to offer on the planets !!
Sean Murray has an old gamers mind, and this is why NMS is such an amazing experience for people who grew up with space games back in the early 80s.
Sean Murray gave us the game we always dreamed of. And it works perfectly despite some technical flaws, about which I couldn’t care less.
People who claim NMS is just Minecraft in space simply didn´t get this game.
And they didn´t because they can´t. Their references are not fit to appreciate such a beautiful exploration experience as this game engine provides.
This is not Minecraft in space, this is ELITE reincarnated under a simple arcade form of gameplay that allows us to play it at our own pace if we want it.It´s not original, it´s been done before with more strategy elements, the combat system is really simple sure; space combat could be more exciting… so what ?!
Do I care ? Not really.
No Man´s Sky as a space experience is unsurpassed in my view.
The epic worlds are a joy to explore and it´s everything a little kid of 14 years old back in 1984 only dreamed of having someday.
NMS hate gamers are pissed because they had to wait 5 years for this game… well I´ve waited 35 years for No Man´s Sky to become a reality and I couldn’t be more happy with this game if i tried.And my style of gameplay might look “empty” but it´s the appeal of just walking around each brand new world that gets me every time.
I only do -crafting- and trading activities because I need to.
What I love to do in NMS is exploring each planet on foot, discovering it´s secrets and above all I love to “take photographs” of the place I visit.
WHERE DID I PUT MY CAMERA ?… … …
In fact if there is one great major flaw in NMS is the lack of a camera !!
How come nobody thought of adding camera equipment to our suit when they gave us such amazing worlds to visit ?!!
I hope soon they add something like that.
( note: something later fixed with the Pathfinder Update which included a fantastic virtual camera ).
We could even get points to store photos of the places we discover or something…
Photography should be a major part in the gameplay of this game, as it is NMS is an actual photography simulator and it could even be used to teach how to compose a shot and all sorts of things.
As a professional illustrator myself, NMS is also an amazing tool to compose shots and plan illustration and all sorts of things, so to me this is also another bonus.
Give me more stuff to explore.There is nothing more that I love to do in NMS than just
Sometimes I spend three hours in just one world and DO NOTHING !
In fact, out of the 100+ hours I already have in this game, I´m sure that at least 90 WERE SPENT DOING ABSOLUTELY NOTHING in the gameplay ! JUST ADMIRING THE VISTAS.
Not even intensive mining. I Just explore and get screen captures of the locations I visit.
Because of this I only have to laugh when negative reviews claim the worlds in NMS are boring, repetitive or have no gameplay depth in them.
Come walk with me !
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