I've been playing No Man's Sky for the past few days, and most of my Steam friends have been asking me if the game’s worth the RM105.00. So a quick summary:
What’s the game about?
Space exploration and survival. Sort of like Minecraft meets The Martian. Colourful planets, beautiful landscapes and exotic animals.
You start off alone on a random planet with a small crashed starship that you have to repair, a protective spacesuit and a tool for mining & combat.
You can either choose to explore the game world freely (Sandbox mode), or heed the Atlas' calling for objectives and follow a storyline path to the galactic core, i.e. the end-game.
Things to do in the game?
Mine elements on planets you land on
Discover and tag wildlife
Meet aliens and learn their languages
Game-affecting dialogue choices and puzzles to solve
Trade stuff for units (money)
Collect blueprints to upgrade your ship, suit and tool
You can also...
Get a wanted level (a la Grand Theft Auto) from pissing off the space police
Fly from planet to planet - into space - across galaxies seamlessly
Rename planets and galaxies (“Cottoncandyland”, “Planet Bollywood”) to annoy people
The aesthetics. Graphics are mesmerizing and immersive, even therapeutic if you ask me.
Maneuvering the spaceship. I like how there’s no loading screen when flying between planets.
It’s a peaceful, relaxing game. You only have to worry occasionally about survival, e.g. predators, space pirates or extreme temperatures on certain planets.
Easter eggs & random fun things to discover (I won't spoil it for you).
The local wildlife that you can feed and befriend.
Giving stuff ridiculous names to get a kick out of whoever lands on the planet after you.
And people are complaining about the game because...
It’s different from their expectations. Not everyone loves Minecraft-esque sandbox games.
It’s expensive considering the content we have access to in the game now.
Inventory space is really limited.
The multiplayer aspect isn’t implemented yet. As of now you can meet another player in game but not interact in any way.
Lack of objectives. Apparently you reach end-game pretty fast if you’re rushing, and then there’s nothing much to do.
Planets start feeling repetitive after a while, since everything in the game is procedurally-generated.
No maps or anything to mark locations with. So if you chanced upon something you’d like to return to later in the game, chances are slim that you’ll ever find your way back to it.
A lot of people jumped on the hype train and paid for the game without knowing what kind of game it is, and when it turns out different from what they expected, they’re disappointed.
Personally I’d recommend buying the game after the multiplayer aspect and perhaps an intra-planetary map UI is fully-implemented. Since games like Minecraft and No Man’s Sky are usually boring when it’s single player, and to me the lack of local maps doesn’t really make sense in an exploration game.
After you do buy the game, my advice is: don't rush towards the end-game. Take your time, slowly upgrade and explore - perhaps then you'll find more in the game than you expected.
And don't forget to give your planets and animals ridiculous names.