A comeback story: review of ‘No Mans Sky’


A gameplay screenshot of No Mans’s Sky. (Credit: Hello Games)

Broken promises, the theme of ‘No Man’s Sky’s’ launch in 2016. Meant to be a true video game sci-fi experience, Hello Games promised a world where you could do anything.

The true story of ‘No Man’s Sky’s’ development is one of massive public pressure on a small indie studio. Sean Murray, the lead developer at Hello Games, consistently promised features that would not be in the game when the public got their hands on the final product.

The reasoning behind this may have been that Murray was thinking like a developer and talking about in-development features not ready for the final game.

However, the space exploration game with over 18 quintillions of randomly generated planets, millions of randomly generated ships, and millions of randomly generated moments of fun gained an insane amount of hype after being picked up and promoted by Sony.

Despite pleas from developers, Sony did not want to hold back the launch because of the hype that had built up. Hello Games was forced to release an unfinished game, with no multiplayer, and half of the originally promised features published.

Gamers were understandably angry at developers. Once it was discovered that the game was almost unplayable, Hello Games went silent, everyone had assumed they quit.

A while later, Hello Games released an update fixing many major bugs, making the base game playable. Still, with very few public statements from developers, gamers didn’t expect the biggest issue to be addressed, lack of content.

21 major updates and 6 years later, the community has been proven wrong. Hello Games had been working hard.

The core formula that excited people back in 2016 is so well executed in the current-day game that it would be hard to imagine that it was ever done poorly.

You can do anything you would imagine doing in a space adventure game. Command a massive fleet? Yes. Build a network of factories that allow you to crash system economies at will? Yes. Run a smuggling ring? Yes.

The game looks amazing no matter what you’re doing, entering an atmosphere, interacting with aliens on a space station, or playing the story that is provided.

Yes, ‘No Man’s Sky’ has a story, although it is not the core feature of the game. There are no recorded voice lines, but the text-based dialogue does very well at progressing the story. 

You do not have to play the story once you get past the tutorial, but it will help you progress through the game. 

The game is a great one to sink an unhealthy number of hours into and feel better than you did coming into the game.

The game is available on PC, Xbox, Playstation and as of recently, Nintendo Switch. It’s cross-platform and the multiplayer is incredibly fun, with everything from separate expeditions to just joining your friend’s worlds and helping out.

With incredible content updates like governable settlements, customizable capital ships, companion robots with an added story, etc. the game has turned into an amazing play.