You may have already heard how procedurally generated title No Man’s Sky was released a few months ago – but did you hear about what happened next?
Gamers and fans alike were enchanted by the visual excellence and seemingly smooth and polished worlds teased in trailers, with a hype train seemingly on an unstoppable course towards glory for developer Hello Games. Sadly, the final product proved boring, options were limited for players, and reviewers described it as a ‘screenshot generator’.
The game’s mechanics were somewhat clunky, and the assets within the worlds, while good looking, failed to deliver the polished final look and some even failed to function in the way shown in the trailers. A lack of multiplayer was among features promised by the game’s developers which never materialised, causing a bitter response from buyers.
Subsequently, the game was subject to a massive backlash on social media, and fans and purchasers were given the option for a refund by Steam themselves, well beyond Steam’s customary money back policy of giving players 6 hours of game time before they changed their mind. It’s currently the lowest rated title on Steam, and an infamous example of a flop in the gaming community.
On top of this, the UK Advertising Standards Agency reportedly is following up on several complaints they have received in response to the game, although it’s doubtful anything major will come of this, but if it does it could be another huge setback for a developer already feeling the sting of a highly toxic backlash from bored, angry and decidedly juvenile internet users. The game’s subReddit was recently taken down due to this toxic atmosphere.
However, the above image has surfaced on Tumblr and Reddit depicting the developer’s offices seemingly abandoned, although today we did hear that the game’s developer Sean Murray and his team are ‘fine’ and working on the game’s next patch from an undisclosed location. It does seem like a genuine image, as the company’s logo can be seen on the office doors.
Let’s take a step back for a moment – No Man’s Sky is a good game. It just doesn’t quite deliver enough features to expand the longevity of the activities one can get up to with the amount there is to explore. Once you’ve collected a lot of the key items, deciphered the alien languages and crafted the best gear, there’s not much more to do, but you’re still left with this infinite (and a little bit buggy) universe to explore. And you’re alone.
It kind of reminds me of an old, old version of Minecraft, but rolled back so far to such an early update that once you’ve built a very basic house you’re sort of just stuck there, with nothing on the agenda. Even then, Minecraft would still manage to be a bit more engaging. Hopefully Hello Games will implement a ton of new features in order to address this in the upcoming patch, because we all deserve it. I’ll be hanging onto my Steam copy for now.