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No Man’s Sky (PS4) review

On August 25, 2016 by Aaron Meehan

Hype can be a powerful thing it can make an otherwise normal game sound like an earth-shattering experience, but if the game then doesn’t reach the lofty goals the hype created then all that’s left is disappointment, and well Hello Games’ space exploration title, No Man’s Sky comfortably fits this description.

No Man’s Sky is a massive procedurally generated world that allows players to explore the galaxy, discover planets and alien lifeforms, gather materials, interact with advanced aliens, trade, and most importantly of all reach the centre of the galaxy. From the description, it sounds like an incredible experience, but unfortunately, it isn’t as amazing as it sounds. Yes, you can do everything I just described, but unless you are into exploration and having limited information No Man’s Sky is a rather average game.

No Man’s Sky greatest failings are its poor tutorial, a criminally small inventory, and finally a constant need to recharge various exosuit and ship systems. As far as tutorials go, the game just tells you what you need to gather to repair systems and leave the planet, but after that, it gives sporadic advice, personally, I would have loved to have been given information such as how to change between mining and weapon modes on my multi-tool. In terms of inventory size, your exosuit has 12 slots, your starship has 15 slots, and your multi-tool has 8 slots. Granted, as you get further into the game you can get more space, but for a person starting out it means they have to spend the majority of your time managing your inventory. The small inventory size also creates another issue, as a large portion of your inventory will be taken up by elements required to recharge several key systems including life support, launch thrusters and more.

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While what I said above may seem harsh, there are some positives. If you look past the poor inventory management and a constant need to recharge systems, No Man’s Sky is a fun exploration title. Once, I got my inventory management sorted I was having fun exploring every new world I discovered and learning what secrets they held, for example, while exploring a moon I discovered three alien monoliths that helped me learn more than 10 new alien words, which meant I could community better with the advanced races in the game. In many ways, No Man’s Sky appeals to those who long for a sense of adventure, also the game allows you to name the worlds and alien lifeforms you discover.

So while you can explore worlds, encounter new life forms, and gather minerals is there any form of combat? Yes, there is combat in the form of fighting sentinels that patrol and protect each world. In many ways the sentinels are similar to Grand Theft Auto’s wanted level because the more sentinels you destroy or perform an action that angers them more powerful sentinels will appear, but don’t worry if you get overwhelmed you can hop in your starship and fly away. However, if you want to sit and fight the sentinels don’t worry combat isn’t exactly a challenge unless you alert some of the game’s more powerful sentinels.

So, let’s move to the technical issues with No Man’s Sky. While there have been reports of various issues I only ever encountered one crash, which was at the beginning of the game. Following the crash, I did not encounter any more game breaking issues.

Finally before reaching my conclusion let’s talk about the graphics and audio. Since No Man’s Sky loads content in as you travel there is a substantial amount of popping, this leads to distant textures looking smudgy and objects appearing right in front of you. In terms of audio No Man’s Sky is rather subtle, with the most noticeable audio being ambient sound effects.

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Conclusion

No Man’s Sky sways between annoyed by the required micro-management of your inventory and a sense of wonder as you explore undiscovered worlds.

Score: 6.5/10

Pros Cons
+ Offers a wonderful sense of discovery – Combat is boring
+ One conversation or discovery can lead you down an unknown path – You have to find your own fun
– Micro-managing your inventory is annoying
– Constant need to recharge your systems
– Poor tutorial
Developer Publisher Genre Rating Platform Release date
Hello Games Hello Games (PC)/Sony (PS4) Exploration 7+ PC, PS4 August 10 (PS4)/August 12 (PC)

*A review code was provided by the game’s publisher.*

For more information on No Man’s Sky, visit http://www.no-mans-sky.com/.

Author: Aaron Meehan

Hi, I’m the creator of SG Gaming Info. When I’m not working on my writing or creating content for this site’s YouTube channel, I like to relax and enjoy character driven story games.


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