Released in August 2016, No Man’s Sky, an action-adventure game released for the Playstation 4, hoped to revolutionize the gaming industry. However, the game is now considered one of the biggest scams in the gaming industry.
Initially announced at the 2013 VGX award show, hype began building almost immediately as the game that gamers have been waiting for. The premise of the game is based on “four pillars,” said lead developer Sean Murray, with those four principal activities being exploration, crafting, trading, and combat as players assume control of a galactic explorer throughout an uncharted galaxy.
The uniqueness of this game arises in its procedurally generated planets and contents of the planets, meaning that no two people will experience the same game. The game uses a deterministic algorithm that derives from a single seed number to create eighteen quintillion unique planets. The player is given what is called a “multitool” to aid in the search for minerals and even defend themselves from creatures that inhabit the planet.
No Man’s Sky was heavily marketed as “the game of the future,” and developer Sean Murray was quoted promising features such as “a coexistence between players in a large universe, but it’s unlikely that anyone will meet another player considering how large each universe is.” This claim was thwarted on the first day of release, with two players meeting each other in the game by chance. From this point on, it is has been determined by critics and gamers that No Man’s Sky was nothing more than a game full of lies.
Advertisements used to promote the game were claimed to be screenshots, but were revealed to be pre-rendered images to make the graphics seem sharper and more realistic than they are in actuality. The final trailer for the game showed a diverse planet robust of plant life and life forms, but was determined to be pre-rendered footage to again make the game seem much more interactive. Multiplayer was promised, but ceased to be actual multiplayer, with many players not even being able to see others, and the list of complaints continues.
In its review of the game, the Polygon website described the game as “a mile wide, but an inch deep,” citing the countless numbers of planets to explore, but explaining that each planet seems to be the same planet with a different skin. On the gaming platform Steam, No Man’s Sky holds a twelve percent rating and has the highest number of game refunds since Steam’s inception.
Seemingly adding insult to injury, it has been announced by the Advertising Standards Authority that they have launched an investigation on the game as “screenshots on the Steam store depict a differing form of combat than what is actually available in game” according to the PC Gamer website. As a result of No Man’s Sky, Steam now requires promotional screenshots to be actual in-game footage.
Unfortunately, No Man’s Sky is not the game that it was said to be. Could the disappointment be attributed to the unprecedented level of hype that this game received? Possibly. Regardless of the anticipation, no game should have this many fallacies on release. Hopefully other developers take notice and make quality games that are free of bugs and glitches.