So as we careen toward the imminent release of No Man’s Sky on August 9th one question is burning away in the gaming community; will No Man’s Sky be really good or will it be a huge disappointment?
No Man’s Sky is a highly ambitious title and has certainly captures the attention of those in the gaming community since its unveil but I personally believe that No Man’s Sky will be a huge disappointment!
Now don’t get me wrong, just because I think it is going to be a disappointment doesn’t mean I am actively lobbying in the streets for the game to fail, I want it to succeed, but I have doubts, and it is mostly because of two main key reasons: Procedurally generated planets and people’s expectations.
So starting with the big one that I think will be the game’s biggest undoing and that is the procedurally generated planets. On paper procedurally generated levels are one hell of an idea, created levels at random with infinite possibilities. Games like the Binding of Isaac have shown that procedurally generated levels can work and be really fun, but in the case of No Man’s Sky, a title based around the idea of exploring the universe, is procedural generation really going to build vast planets full of exciting creatures and brand new vistas?
This is where my faith in the games procedurally generated planets falls flat, as I am yet to see a game that has the procedurally generated mechanics that does not become a case of assets you have seen a million times being recycled just put in a different piece of the level.
Rarely in gaming do you see a title that uses procedurally generated mechanics to create levels that are dramatically different to what have come before it. The floor plans change but the assets that go into making the rooms you visit or in the case of No Man’s Sky the planets you explore will likely start to look really familiar around the 2nd or 3rd hour of gameplay.
On top of all of this is the fan’s reactions to No Man’s Sky and to say they have been out of the ordinary is to put it lightly.
The reaction to No Man’s Sky is almost unprecedented for a title made from such a small studio as Hello Games and while it is great to have people be excited about your project, the fans have stepped beyond the realms of excitement into hyped.
Hype can be a good thing but by god can it be a complete negative violent storm of angry fans, hateful messages and internet infamy. The hype surrounding the release of No Man’s Sky is nothing short of insane and this level of hype is detrimental to the finished project. It won’t matter if Hello Games make one hell of a exploration title that maybe just falls short of greatness, because the expectation of the players is that this game will knock it out of the park, and anything short of that will be met with some serious criticism and anger from fans unable to manage their own expectations.
And what I believe people are expecting is completely different to what they will get, I think people are expecting each planet they visit in the universes to be dramatically different with different eco systems, visuals and things to look at when in actuality I think those playing No Man’s Sky might find a lot of planets that look fairly similar to one another who someone else has visited before them and called “Xxxx360NoScOpEXxXxXx”
Saying that I think the game will suck might be slightly harsh, but I can’t help but think that Hello Games will make the world’s most interesting exploration game, with the shortest shelf life. But who knows maybe Hello Games will knock it out of the park and make me look like a fool!