|System: PS4, PC|
|Dev: Hello Games|
|Pub: Hello Games, Sony|
|PS4 Release: August 9, 2016|
|PC Release: August 12, 2016|
|Players: 1 Players|
|Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p||Fantasy Violence|
If there's one area in which procedural generation absolutely fails No Man's Sky, it's the music. It is largely procedurally generated, just like the planets, and it's supposed to reflect what you're doing at any given moment. Maybe my experience with the music is a judgment on my playstyle, then, but I found it uniformly dull and completely lacking in any sort of emotional swell. I found it one step worse than the usual "atmospheric" mediocrity that's found in far too many space games, and I quickly switched over from using my surround sound system to turning the sound down and playing my own music instead. I didn't find the sound effects particularly crucial to survival, so it's no big deal to play that way.
So overall, how does No Man's Sky feel to play? I'm a bit torn. I'm just the kind of nerdy, exploration-loving player that this title is aimed at, but even I'm not sure I'll be able to hang on long enough to make it to the game's end. To my surprise, it's not because I find the procedural generation algorithms lacking. Rather, it's the fact that there's just a bit too much micromanagement required to advance regardless of your gameplay goals, and it can simply take too long to get things done with the limited inventory you're given to work with (yes, it can be expanded greatly, but that takes money, and money takes time).
Giving a final opinion about No Man's Sky is a bit like reviewing an MMORPG... there were so many huge additions in the day-one patch that I have to assume it will be incredibly different a year from now. Consider this, then, a state of the game at launch report. There are wonders indeed to be found in the No Man's Sky universe, but not everybody will be willing to put in the time and effort needed to discover them. This game is a technical marvel that patient, detail-oriented gamers will love. As-is, however, it demands a bit more time than it deserves. The universe is vast, but your inventory is small, and not everybody is going to want to make the long trudge necessary to become a galactic superstar.
Date: August 11, 2016