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dbarry_22's Video Game Reviews (208)

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Red Dead Redemption 4/5
Dragon Quest XI: Echoes... 4.5/5
Mega Man 11 4/5
Octopath Traveler 4.5/5
The Legend of Zelda: Sp... 3.5/5
Bloodstained: Curse of ... 4/5
Everybody's Golf 3.5/5
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe 4.5/5
Super Mario Galaxy 2 4.5/5
Castlevania: Portrait o... 4/5
Final Fantasy X / X-2 H... 4.5/5
Final Fantasy X / X-2 H... 4.5/5
Kirby's Dream Course 3.5/5
SteamWorld Dig 4/5
Super Mario Odyssey 5/5
Star Fox 2 3/5
Metroid: Samus Returns 4/5
Dragon Quest VI: Realms... 4/5
Super Mario RPG: Legend... 4.5/5
The Legend of Zelda: Br... 5/5
Blaster Master Zero 4/5
Dragon Quest Heroes: Th... 4/5
Super Mario 3D Land 4.5/5
Castlevania: Dawn of So... 4.5/5
Bravely Second: End Lay... 4/5

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No Man's Sky   PlayStation 4 

So Much Potential, So Much Disappointment    3/5 stars

No Man's Sky is a game with an attractive principle and an abundance of potential but fails to achieve its goals in a lot of ways. What could have been a great game is basically an experience that can be enjoyed for while but gets routine and monotonous.

Anyone who followed this game before it's release was probably really excited about its premise. Basically you can explore a universe. You can go to whatever planet you want. You can mine resources, upgrade your ship, watch and experience plant and animal life. You can buy and sell items and resources obtained. It's space exploration in a basic way. No barriers, no limits, YOU decide what to do. It sounds great right? Well...the idea is amazing but when it comes down to it when you experience it yourself it's not all that great.

Let me explain to you how the game works. You start out crashed and stranded on a random planet in an immense universe created in this game. There are literally thousands of systems and planets in this universe and the planet you get put on is one that no one else has been on before. You then must simply survive. You do this at first by finding resources to keep your life support system going. Then you move on to mining resources to sell and use to fix your ship and so on.

While you are roaming around the planet for these resources you experience a wide variety of plant and animal life that you can discover. The planet I first landed on had over a dozen species to discover and countless minerals and resources to obtain. You can scan the environment around you and eventually you find small bases littered around the planet that look like small camps that other astronauts and explorers would use to live short term on this planet. While doing this you see small flying robots that are "sentinels". If you kill a bunch of animals or mine the heck out of the planet they will get mad and attack you. You can and must destroy these things at times or you will die. You do also get to interact with aliens but it's limited to other explorers and traders at outposts and really you don't do much with them. If you're expect to find advanced civilizations, cities and aliens you won't.

Eventually you will get off the planet and you can then explore space. This includes the other planets in the system, space stations, and other ships you see out in space as well. The first 10 to 15 hours I played of this game was great. Figuring out how to fix my ship and get off the planet, eventually warping to a new system gave me a goal to achieve. The first planet I was on I took the time to find every animal species and to fully explore all its nooks and crannies. The planet was colorful and beautiful. Flying around space at first was fun as well mining asteroids, visiting a space station, and getting in a scuffle after I attacked a cargo ship in orbit was all a fun experience. Every discovery I made I could upload to the games server. I could decide what the planet's name would be or what a certain species would be called. Knowing that anyone else who stumbled upon this planet would see these names made me feel like a real explorer.

However, after that things started to go downhill. Flaws in the game started to pile up and detracted from the experience. For example, if I found a large deposit of gold on a planet and mined it, there would be a hole in the ground. But, if I got in my ship and flew near the surface looking for more gold, sometimes I would find the same deposit I initially mined but in my ship the deposit would look unmined. After I would land and approach it only then would I find out it was the same place I already mined. Worlds have no maps or guidelines on where to go so often I would feel lost and would end up visiting camps I already had been to. Sometimes the graphics would glitch and you'd see the computerized grid around a big boulder of a resource (I describe it like the grid you'd see in a holodeck in Star Trek that is off). Worst of all, sometimes the game would crash all together and I'd have to restart. Honestly I'm amazed a console game can crash. I've played literally hundreds of console games spanning several generations and I've never had a game crash as much as this (probably at least a dozen times in the time I played it). And in case you wondering, the game still crashed on me after the 1.09 update, so it's not like they fixed the problem with updates.

As I continued to play this game things started to feel monotonous. I say this because planets started to look and feel all the same. Sure some are cold, or hot, or full of radiation so you had different obstacles to overcome but really they are all the same. You charge your suit, that's it. Sometimes the sentinels on the planet are passive or aggressive so sometimes you have to battle them more, sometimes less but really it's the same on every planet. Planets start to feel all the same. Yes they have different colors, some have water and some don't, but really they all have crystals to mine in caves and the hills and mountains all feel the same. Some planets have life and some don't, but they all FEEL the same. For example, I would have loved to experience an Earth-like planet, a Mars-like planet, and a Moon-like moon. You know, one completely empty and all grey like, one planet basically all desert like with sand whipping everywhere. One planet with a bunch of water with waterfalls, canyons and so on. That's not the case. These generated planets are all at it's base the same. Every planet has the same bases and camps and the interactions and selling of resources is the same.

Then there's the inventory system. Oh man, that was annoying. First of all there's a cursor and you have to use it like you're using a mouse on a computer. Second, each slot you can hold 250 units in your suit or 500 on a lot on your ship. You spend a ton of time trying to find space in your suit, moving stuff to your ship, trying to find a place to sell stuff. It really is a time waster. I understand the concept of a limit as to what you can carry and hold but there had to be a better way of doing it. Oh, and holding the X or triangle button to confirm all those moves was also quite annoying.

There were somethings I wanted to accomplish in this game. I wanted to buy a much better ship find a much better multi-tool. I wanted to give the ship and multi-tool significant upgrades by finding resources and using the recipes I discovered. This required some grinding and searching when it came to mining resources but it did feel good when I accomplished these goals. I also wanted to obtain an "Atlas Pass". There are a bunch of canisters and doors you will find that require this thing and I eventually did get one which was nice. While doing this I also opened up an "Atlas" story-line which I did finish.

The "goal" to the game really is reach the center of the universe. Let me tell you right now it's not worth it. I'm not even close and I warped a couple dozen times with a significantly upgraded warp drive. When I say not even close I mean I started around 180k light years from the center and when I finished played the game I hadn't even reached 170k light years away. The amount of time it would take is so ridiculous it's not worth it. It's also not why you should be playing this game anyways.

A couple other disappointments I have with this game. You can learn words of other species by finding ruins and interacting with monoliths or solving simple puzzles and camps. I actually found that fun. But, I feel like there's a story there that's not being told. I feel like I'm learning about these random robot sentinels on these planets but in reality I really didn't learn what the heck is going on. Why are there sentinels on every planet? Why are they protecting these planets? I feel like they're my enemy but I don't know why. There's something there but I wonder if there really is anything there at all. Also I wish I could have found real intelligent life in my explorations and not just other traders and explorers. It felt cheap.

All in all I did have a lot of enjoyment playing this game but it was just short-lived. After the first 10-15 hours it started to feel like just work. It didn't have much when it came to goals. I knew I wasn't going to get to the center and there wasn't a true story to finish so I felt like I was just doing the same thing over and over. I upgraded my multi-tool and ship to the point where I there wasn't anything else to do. I wasn't finding new recipes. By the end it just got...boring. It was an interesting experience to say the least.

If you can find this game on a great sale it might be worth giving it a shot. Just know that there is no end to this game and the point of it is exploring. Don't rush through anything. Explore and enjoy it while you can because at some point you'll be done with it because it will feel like you're doing the same thing over and over and over.

3/5

 

 


Recent Comments
Comment On Review

dbarry_22

dbarry_22- wrote on 12/12/16 at 01:13 PM CT

 

Occasionally I've played video games that freeze/crash from time to time. But, that's usually once or twice during the entire time I play the game. This game routinely crashed every couple hours and what I was doing didn't seem to matter.

Nelson Schneider

Nelson Schneider- wrote on 10/22/16 at 06:58 PM CT

 

"I'm amazed a console game can crash."

LOL, your naivety is so cute! Clearly you haven't been paying close enough attention.

Anyway, it sounds like your experience with this dud was about the same as my experience with "Terraria." Some people love games that feel like work, procedural generation, and so-called 'buried' lore, but it's all pretty half-assed.

Chris Kavan

Chris Kavan- wrote on 10/16/16 at 08:08 PM CT

 

I was really looking forward to this, but as I saw more and more reviews and such come out, my excitement was tempered. As you said, I'll wait a year or two down the liine when this is bargain priced to try it out. The explorer in me still wants to experience it, but I am by no means ready to rush out any more.

 
 
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