No Man’s Sky: lonely, repetitive, and utterly beautiful


Bethany Berg, Photo Editor

When looking up No Man’s Sky before its release in early August, most results were overwhelmingly positive. This game was going to make history and bank, if the record-breaking almost 300,000 pre-orders in the U.S. had anything to say about it. But when looking up No Man’s Sky today, you’ll see articles reporting gaming platforms offering refunds, angry Reddit threads, and reviews that call it more of a demo than an actual game.

What caused this? Unfulfilled promises. The list of missing features for the game that were said and showed in demos included multiplayer capabilities, a more prominent and fulfilling plotline, and faction options were some of the few that caused backlash and distrust when found to be missing from gameplay. Now, it’s the only thing most can focus on. Fans waited three years for a game that looked to be amazing inside and out, and then it didn’t live up to the hype. I went into No Man’s Sky half excited, half already expecting to be disappointed. What I found, though, was more than I could’ve ever thought to expect.

This game is beautiful. From the lush landscapes, to the diverse creatures, you’ve seen the pictures. I am talking about that, but there’s so much more to it as well. Beauty in understanding only bits and pieces of languages, of traversing caves and marshlands and oceans, to finding relics and monoliths of ancient civilizations, No Man’s Sky is amazing. Playing it, I feel like an adventurer, space explorer, chosen to reach the farthest ends of the universe, become a diplomat among alien civilizations, and come to terms with how small I am, compared to the planets, nebulas, or asteroids that I visit and pass by.

As amazing as I may put it, I should also mention how meticulous it gets. It’s practically an endless runner: you mine for ores to build other materials, to sell for other materials and units, to buy better tools to mine ores, and ships to travel the stars in to find more ores. In mechanics, that’s the whole game. But games aren’t only their mechanics, as featured above.

As a game, No Man’s Sky has potential. It is already a breath-taking experience. Adding features like multiplayer, extra details in planet differences, to enhancing combat, to integrating complex alien species, would make this experience much more appreciated and enjoyed by the majority of players that aren’t too happy at the moment.

No Man’s Sky shows us there is so much out there, so much more than us on our tiny blue marble of a planet. It tells us that we are not alone, no matter how lonely we may feel. It’s a game that hurtles you into hyper drive, launches you into the endlessness of space, and tells you to explore and appreciate the emptiness.