• Hey, guest user. Hope you're enjoying NeoGAF! Have you considered registering for an account? Come join us and add your take to the daily discourse.

No Man's Sky Review Thread: The Scores Have Arrived (read OP)

Nirolak

Mrgrgr
Metacritic: 68 (based on 26 reviews)
OpenCritic: 68 (based on 17 reviews)

Note Xander Cage Hijack:

okay this was funny but please don't fall for this hot new copypasta anymore

Videogamer - 6/10
No Man’s Sky fails at a fundamental level; it’s designed to be played endlessly but in the end, it simply doesn’t have the stamina to sustain itself. Which is a massive shame, because it has a lot going for it. It’s often very beautiful. It has an infectious attitude about it; a bold game from a tiny studio that has all the swagger of a billion-dollar title, driven by a solid aesthetic and massive ambition. It’s very obviously a labour of love, an attempt by an enormously talented director to improve and rejuvenate a genre whose progenitors are beloved by many developers of his generation. Sadly, the end result can’t avoid being the latest addendum to the Chilcot-sized body of evidence that procedurally generated galaxies just aren’t that interesting.

The Guardian - 4/5
This is the kind of game that you’ll see screenshotted all over Twitter, an experience made to be shared not in the direct way that some apparently envisaged, but in postcard-style snaps of places your friends will probably never go. No Man’s Sky is a way to experience the kinds of cool moments you read about in old sci-fi novels – shoot a hole through an asteroid and fly through it, shelter in a cave to watch a deadly storm tear across an alien landscape, or make friends with a dinosaur (obviously) – all to an evocative procedural post-rock soundtrack from 65daysofstatic. The planets you, and probably only you, will discover can be so lovely that it feels bittersweet to know that you’ll leave them behind when you jump to the next star. But then, in an essentially infinite galaxy, there’s always something new to discover.

The Jimquisition - 5/10
Like Spore before it, No Man’s Sky is a game that promised far more than it could ever deliver, but I can’t even blame my tepid reaction on hype. I did not for a second believe Hello Games’ vaguely described spacefarer could be anywhere near as varied and expansive as promised.

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 fucking do.

Time - 4.5/5
Who knows. I’ve poured hundreds of hours into Minecraft and I’ve yet to visit “The End” or slay the Ender Dragon. Our ideas of what it means to play much less “finish” games like this look increasingly like scatter charts. 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.

Gamer.no - 5/10
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.

Destructoid - 7/10
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.

Level-Up - 7/10
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.

PlayStation Lifestyle - 9/10
So No Man’s Sky isn’t flawless. It’s probably not for everyone. Then again, No Man’s Sky is exactly as described by the eccentric Sean Murray. 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.

Attack of the Fanboy - 3/5
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.

Dunkview - 2/5
So remember that Banjo video where I talked about how smaller maps are more interesting to explore because all the interesting stuff is more concentrated? Well with this game, they've gone and achieved the complete polar opposite of that. I've experienced around 30 planets at this point, and they all play out exactly the same.

You find little buildings, you find materials, run out of inventory space, sell your shit, and then you do it again. That's it. The game loses that ability to surprise you way too quickly and you're left with this empty feeling of disappointment at how unfinished it all feels.

We Got This Covered - 3.5/5
There are some issues here that drag the proceedings down: unnecessary combat sections and cumbersome inventory management killed my enjoyment on more than one occasion, and the survival elements feel tacked on. Still, for those who tend to get caught up in the littlest of details, this ambitious indie provides a sprawling universe full of them. It’s a messy universe, to be sure — but in that regard, it’s not much different from the one we call home.

Metro - 6/10
For a game so massive in size the scope of things to do in No Man’s Sky is disappointingly small. And it probably doesn’t help its case that perhaps the most relevant modern game to compare it to is Pokémon GO. In that the urge to carry on exploring is based on the forlorn hope that you’ll see something new around the next corner, even though you secretly suspect it’ll just be more of the same.
And yet despite what seem like obvious failings you still get the feeling this is largely the game that Hello Games wanted to make. Whether they intend to use it as a foundation for more varied experiences to come is not clear, but even if they leave it as it is No Man’s Sky is still a game perfectly able to entertain and enthral for dozens of hours. But while the sky’s the limit in terms of its potential, most of your grander hopes and expectations will be brought down to earth very quickly.

GameCrate - 8/10
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.

Cheat Code Central - 3.9/5
So overall, how does No Man's Sky feel to play? I'm a bit torn. I'm just the kind of nerdy, exploration-loving player that this title is aimed at, but even I'm not sure I'll be able to hang on long enough to make it to the game's end. To my surprise, it's not because I find the procedural generation algorithms lacking. Rather, it's the fact that there's just a bit too much micromanagement required to advance regardless of your gameplay goals, and it can simply take too long to get things done with the limited inventory you're given to work with (yes, it can be expanded greatly, but that takes money, and money takes time).

IGN Spain - 9/10
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.

Eurogamer Poland - 7/10
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.

GamingBolt - 8/10
And in the end, that’s what it comes down to. No Man’s Sky staggering ambition, which it largely delivers upon, compensates for any other flaws that it might have. This is a game about the beauty, wonder, and joy of exploration, and it is a game that lets you play it at your own pace, how you want to, when you want to, and where you want to. Truly infinite, boundless in its possibilities, and presenting its players with a universe of possibilities, No Man’s Sky is a triumph, and is set to go down in history as one of the defining titles of our era- stumbles and all.

Trusted Reviews - 3.5/5
No Man’s Sky is a good game. Sean Murray and Hello Games’ vision of creating a vast universe on a scale unseen in video games has no doubt been achieved, and will certainly provide everyone who plays it with something unique.

However, 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.

GamersGlobal - 6/10
"Reviewer says, it's basically an One-Trick-Pony that is able to wow you for the first 5 hours when you encounter news things but after that it's all routine. He played 40 hours and says he wished he stopped after 10." - ekim's translation

4players.de - 59/100
"A fascinating journey with a great futuristic aesthetic, that offers many magical moments despite its shortcomings. It could be an entertaining game, if it wasn't for the numerous crashes." -Bl@de

HeyPoorPlayer - 3.5/5
I want to say that No Man’s Sky could have had it all, and that maybe someday it will, but I’m not sure the things I want out of it are feasible or even possible. What is there — fun exploration, varied planetary environments, and a solid loot/craft/upgrade gameplay loop — entertained me for my thirty-odd hours with the game, and will likely continue to entertain me for several dozen more to come, but it’s hard to come away from the whole experience feeling anything other than emptiness. If you think just exploring new and untouched worlds will entertain you, No Man’s Sky might just be worth the admission price of $60. Otherwise, there are better experiences of the genre to be had elsewhere.

Unscored (But Final) Reviews:

Eurogamer - Recommended
No Man's Sky struggles to resolve one central contradiction. The game was built to be infinite, and in practical terms it is. It's an endless, edgeless field possibilities. And yet it needs an endpoint, or at least a set of waypoints, to give purpose to your journey - to give you somewhere to be headed. This isn't just a matter of meeting gaming convention. No Man's Sky is brilliant - perhaps peerless - at evoking the classic science-fiction voyage into the stars. The further you go, the faster you travel, the more you learn and the more you see; never look back, because everything left behind is gone forever, while nothing ahead has been seen before. But to fully answer this seeking impulse, the game first has to give you a destination that means something to you - and that is something it only haltingly manages to do.

With much of the No Man's Sky's structure having apparently been added in the final month of development, that's not so surprising. (The patch notes are eye-opening; mere weeks ago, this was half the game it is now.) There is tremendous room for it to grow and improve. As it stands, it's flawed but completely intoxicating, a unique work of engineering art to lose yourself in. Sean Murray and his team at Hello Games set out with one goal: to create a game that is science fiction. Mission accomplished.

Haedox - "A Mile Wide but an Inch Deep"
From its diverse worlds to the decent survival gameplay to its exhilirating spaceship flights, this game is nowhere near being terrible. However, the clunky dull systems in place and lack of content prevent me from really getting immersed in No Man's Sky and wanting to keep playing it.

I feel like what it's really missing is multiplayer if I'm honest as that could really make the experience so much better. If you have your hearts set on getting No Man's Sky, go for it, I'm not going to stop you, but I'd suggest just waiting for a pricedrop or sale until this title hits somewhere between the $45 or $25 price range. I think the game's worth that much, but until then you have a huge arsenal of amazing survival games to try if you need to satisfy your itch.

ACG - Rent / Wait For Sale
Long story short its got issues in the UI, gfx problems, bookmarking, travel, and gameplay loop issues. Its not bad AT ALL and what I find fun doesn't mean I will think is worth others running out to get.

Even though I rated it a Wait for Deep sale I still had fun with it. I am stoked for patches on this one and a couple could easily fix many of the problems I had with the game design. For me after 25+ hours with the finished title I saw a lot to like and a good number of things restricting that enjoyment but nothing world shattering.

Reviews in foreign languages with no current translations:

JeuxVideo - 16/20

GameKult - 5/10

Previous Thread: http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1259409
 

dreamfall

Member
Things are going get a bit crazy...

Seems more reviews read like Sterling's. Excited to check the game out after some time.
 

Seiniyta

Member
The polarizing reviews are more interesting the the average number it spits out. It's not a game where you can look at Metacritic and move on. It's too divisive for that which makes this game extra interesting in a way.
 

graywolf323

Member
wow, the reviews are all over the place

edit: the quote from the IGN Spain review seems spot-on, this game isn't for everyone but the people that it clicks for will love it
 

CHC

Member
Thanks for making the new thread.

I'm probably still going to get it despite the flaws but nevertheless it's good to have reviews that are all on the same page in terms of playtime and thoroughness.
 

DorkyMohr

Banned
I'd like to think I kept my hype in check, what the game turned out to be didn't venture that far from what I was thinking. That said the underwhelming reception is a bummer. Might check it out down the line if they continue to improve and and things to it.
 
I'll keep it in mind on PC when it gets a discount. I'm sure it's fine, if not a $45 pickup for me personally when I have so many other games to play.
 

FelipeMGM

Member
I feel thats fair. From playing the game for about 18 hours so far I can totally see why someone could think this game is a 9-8 or a 6-5

Also, 7 is not bad. Not great, but not bad
 

Cess007

Member
Ranging from 4s to 9s, uh?

Well, Sean sure was right when he says this game will be divisive. Personally i'm having tons of fun, but i can see how this game doesn't appeal to everyone, and it's flaws are more visible to some people.
 

JdFoX187

Banned
Reviews are all over the place. Seems if the game clicks for a person, it's absolutely amazing. If it doesn't, it's a hollow -- albeit beautiful -- experience. Personally, I fall on the former end of that scale. Loving the game, thus far.
 
I did the "Guess the score" for Open Critic and I'm off by one point. I guessed 72 and it sits at 71. Either way I think the game looks really cool for what it is, just not my style.

I want a cookie.
 

Dynedom

Member
Shame. Wasn't entirely on my radar but I was curious. Scores are very divisive at the least so it just means there's no rush to grab it.
 

Huggers

Member
One of the most polarising games of all time? I've been obsessing over it since I started playing it but I can see why it might not be for everyone, I guess!
 

Shiggy

Member
Guess now we know why there were no review copies before launch. Doom remains on of the few outliers when it comes to the lack of pre-release reviews.
 
Reviews are all over the place. Seems if the game clicks for a person, it's absolutely amazing. If it doesn't, it's a hollow -- albeit beautiful -- experience. Personally, I fall on the former end of that scale. Loving the game, thus far.

Yep. Same here.
 
6.5 being about the average here is good.
That's probably something like what I'd give it.
It's decent and incredibly ambitious and exciting, but the gameplay is definitely lacking.
Patches will make it better and better, like most free-form games like this.
 

Nirolak

Mrgrgr
Are we using the whole scale or does only 70+/100 considered good anymore?
The review inflation from early to mid last generation has largely ended, but it's still based on the US grade system.

Major games center around the 7 range, with 5s and 6s being generally poor, and 8s and 9s being great and exceptional scores.
 

qatak

Neo Member
About what I expected (guessed 72 on Opencritic). Sounds like it's for a specific kind of player that can really buy into the exploration/wonderment aspect. Excited to see how the game grows in the coming months.

Planning to play the PC version like a tourist this weekend. Hoping for the best!
 

Z3M0G

Member
Looking forward to Joe's review. He was getting pretty upset last night on his stream.

But that'll have its own thread anyways :p
 

MoxManiac

Member
I enjoy the game but I agree with most of the criticisms. I think the lack of diversity in planets is the worst offender.

Hoping that they continue adding content over time. I'd love this to be a minecraft-esq thing where they add stuff for years.
 
reviews seem fine and not really that divisive. it's a game where you can either be amazed and get lost in it, or think it's collect-a-thon drivel.
 
Rough Jeux videos translation. English-first Canadian here. Probably someone from Quebec or France can have more polish...

No Man's Sky is a work difficult to test, when its long-term sandbox aspect is strong. The game can be enjoyed just for its value, with a single-player rich and a dynamically-scripted open world, and constantly challenging the player - who must drop their main quest to slog through millions of explorable planets. The procedural is effective and often provides surprises, even if we would have appreciated more variety in the exploited database (my note: i.e. the database the procedural generation is drawn from), especially regarding points of interest and non-player elements, far from what the trailers promised. The version on PS4 is sufficient, but a bit below what we would have expected from the title. The universe of the game is lush, contemplative, enjoyable, and will appeal to people new to exploration and exotic epics. Despite its numerous similarities to titles already in existence, No Man's Sky is an adventure unique and atypically-designed. A very good experience for players of all perspectives.

Positive bullet points:
- Savoury and atypical design
- Very long lifespan (distant objective, sandbox aspects)
- Excellent sound design (SFX, music, ambience)
- Superb sensation of solitude, rounded by scripted animations (NPCs, ships, battles, impromptu events)
- Effective procedural generation (variety of animal species and vegetables, minerals, and planets)
- Large choice of upgrades and technologies to evolve your progression

Negative points:

- Technologically-limited PS4 version (pop-in elements and short-medium draw distance; 30FPS framerate, reduced FOV, crashes and bugs, non-mappable controls)
- Lack of variety in points of interests, and routines upon launching the title (gives the impression of having an early access game at full price, without the strength of their initial promises)
- We would have liked more-developed multiplayer features (simply sending your discovery data to other players)
- Gameplay is a bit too arcadey (lack of depth, inventory is inconvenient and too limited, ground-combat not exciting)
 
Scores are all over the place.

Seems like an amazing title for those who like exploring and surviving in sandbox games and a bore for those who don't.
 
Top Bottom