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Game Review: No Man’s Lie?

Arts & Entertainment

By Thomas Durbin

Edited by Linda Ruble

Many people were hyped over No Man’s Sky, a vast sci-fi game about planetary exploration, made by Sean Murray and his team at Hello Games. Since the game’s announcement in late 2013, people have been excited for it because of all the amazing things Murray showcased on live presentations, interviews, and an appearance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. When the game got its official release, people felt as if they were mislead when they noticed a lot of great features they had been promised were missing. What was promised? Here are some of the biggest missing features that people had been most upset about.

Realistic planet simulation:  According to Sean Murray during an IGN video review, the game had “a real simulation” where planets could rotate on their axis and revolve around the sun; however, many players have realized this is NOT the case. Planets are actually static and motionless in space, all on one side of the solar system, and the passage of time players experience while on a planet  is no more than just visual effects. In addition, planetary resources were said to be more diverse among planets, depending on its geographical features and closeness to the sun, but a planet’s resources are actually more random than what players were lead to believe.

 Allying with alien races:  Later in the same video review, Murray explained how players could ally with the different alien factions, after they reach a certain likability with them; and each faction has their own special trait to help players in their conquest. A player’s choice between differing factions is dependent on how they would like to play the game. Sean Murray stated, “Different races have different attributes, some are scientific, some are kind of combative, depending on how I’m playing I might want to make an allegiance with one or other.” Following the game’s release, players cannot ally with alien races and furthermore, earning likability with alien races has little effect in the gameplay.

A complex crafting system:  As said by Murray: “What your (sic) doing is like combining two atoms to create a molecule.”  In the released version of the game, this crafting system does not exist. Players are left with only two basic options:  Either buy the elements from an alien trader or find them yourself.

One upset and devoted player went over all Murray’s interviews and wrote an article on Reddit listing a huge amount of stuff that is missing, varying from subtle in-game mechanics like background “Radio chatter,” to content like ringed, desert, and earth-sized planets.

Since the game’s release, Sean Murray has been silent on the complaints of the promised features that  were missing. Some players speculate the game was rushed by Sony, or Sony’s console could not handle the game. so they had to ‘dumb it down.’ Regardless of whether or not this is true, players hope the game will be updated with these features over time.

For now, the game is an empty shell of what was promised. It is still enjoyable, but feels like it needs more content. All of these features have been seen in video, but they are not in the game people can buy. People have been left with many questions:  Did they get rushed into finishing their game early?  Will these things will be released in future updates? Or, was it all a lie? We will have to see.


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