The media loves victims, and the public loves scandals. In an industry where a large part of the success is based on hype, without disasters is not enough. Destiny, Battlefront, Mass Effect – they caused in the total mass of huge enthusiasm, even hysteria. Eminent developer, unique idea, tons of promises, everything that we passed. Smart companies know that it is better to be too modest than to praise his creation and cause an uproar. Especially well they know it now, “the world after No Man’s Sky”.
A year ago we watched the most spectacular shipwreck in the history of modern gaming. It happened suddenly, came out of nowhere. It seems that no one could have predicted such. Studio Hello Games, a little before known, consisting of a small team, produced a small, nice toys, but at one point its creators came up with a very interesting idea, the ambition of which exceeded all that was developed in the most eminent companies. A game that would simulate the universe in all its diversity, and offered unlimited scope of movement and the endless passage.
And it wasn’t just an idea – the guys from the Studio was a prototype engine, which, with the proper infusion of funds, it would be possible to optimize to work on PC and consoles. The potential of the project saw Sony, where he offered to help the Studio and its head Sean Murray and organize the massive PR.
The Japanese giant was right. One video at E3, and the audience went crazy. It was a hit, it was a masterpiece, it was the future of the industry and the benchmark for each independent Studio. One small video, and Sean Murray has become a superstar in the world of video games. Talk shows and the constant interview forced him to spend as much time in front of the camera as in the Studio. And Sean, like the hero of the film “Always say Yes”, replied positively to any question from journalists. Will there be multiplayer? Yes, we think about him. Is it possible to land on an asteroid? Why not! The battle in the planet’s atmosphere? Yeah! Planet with rings, the river, the interaction with other players, large fleets, freighters, faction reputations, physics of planets, ship classes, AI living beings… the list of what was supposed to be extensive. With each new lie or prevarication hype only grew, until he, like ball, did not explode.
One day gamers swept the game off the shelves in record time, and the other rapidly already tried the game back. The rating of Steam fell to a record low, on Twitter Studio and Sean Murray in particular was a barrage of indignation, in the Reddit group game suddenly turned from a positive space into a hotbed of hatred.
After a couple hours of play it became clear that the inside is almost nothing. The engine worked as promised – it was possible to leave the planet and fly to another without downloads. The planets were different beings too. But everything else was… empty. There was no plot, no multiplayer, no fractions. The feeling of a pioneer in the space, too – every planet in the galaxy, the result was already found by other races. As for the planets, that infinite generation, which was to guarantee the absence of identical worlds, turned out to be nothing – already with the fifth planet, it was possible to notice many similarities. The game was one big grind. Want to fly – get a resource for fuel. I want a weapons upgrade – extractive resource. Everything was mixed with the endless crafting.
It seemed that this game is early access without any web. And the biggest crime? The price tag. The game was worth $ 60 standard for AAA title. That was the last straw, the last insult. Hello Games is an independent Studio, and if she set the price at least twice cheaper, most of the critics would have been softer.
After the explosion of hatred and resentment Studio and Sean Murray are gone. Murray, in particular, the months kept silent, ignoring the messages of users and journalists. Of a star in outcasts at one point. He probably knew it was inevitable. Possibly to blame for what gave the game life Sony that is too aggressive PR game and he insisted on a clear release date. And now, in 2017, a year later, I understand that another year of development, and the story would be completely different.
Becoming the most hated by the Studio, which, it seems, for a moment, pushed and Ubisoft, and EA, which decided not to love, Hello, was silent and was silent, yet not gathered strength, did not announce a return to work. It all started modestly, with “bug fixes”, but after some time game edition shook with a new sensation: No Man’s Sky living. Moreover, is preparing a free update that will be the first step to the restoration of all that was promised. Modestly, quietly, learning not to give loud promises, we were promised a big change. After numerous rumors about closing the Studio, it became clear that they do not give up, and willing to dedicate at least a year for new updates that will make everything better.
The first update really became significant: the possibility to create own base, and the space began to surf the massive freighters that can not only explore, but also to buy. There are more reasons to make millions, and the possibility of creating a farm helped more to learn how the economy works in No Man’s Sky. Soon, innovation was even more: vehicles on the planet, new types of ships, new elements, new, more effective planet. There were different modes, including a survival mode and a creative mode where you can finally stop giving a shit about resources. Well, where do without photorika. Whatever you say, and the game is beautiful.
Surprisingly, increased even the soundtrack from a magnificent band 65daysofstatic, who though still rotten at the Studio a year later.
The updates probably would not have saved the Studio from stigma, but this was the start of rebuilding relationships with fans and audiences. And the solution, surprisingly, worked. Each update has reduced the degree of hatred in social networks and raised the rating of the game on Steam. Each update returned No Man’s Sky at the top of the sales, because even after all the tragedy we still wanted to see all that can give this truly unique game.
As for me, I was among the first to try yourself in the role of a mysterious space Explorer in search of the secrets of the center of the universe. I bought the disc on release day, and I never uninstalled the game. Was I excited? Hardly. But I didn’t want to take pitchforks in hand and go to Murray’s war. Disappointment is part of life of a gamer, and it is impossible to pretend that such an outcome was not possible. In the end, we’re promised lots of free improvements – is not this the reason to bury the hatchet?
From the outset, my gripe with the game was, in fact, one is the lack of motivation. I can a lot – but why? The vast universe devoid of soul, and each new solar system is somewhat similar to the previous one. Reminiscent of the planet floating in the vacuum rocks, for lack of anything else individual. Ugly, dumb animals are only annoying. Examining all possible I, like most, gave up the game before the update.
The emergence of databases has become an interesting addition, and freighters led to the desire to save money. The planet also became a bit more interesting – finally instead of the eternal stones could be seen and the grass and trees. The upgrade completely “restarted” the universe, redrawn all the planets again.
The interface has also become easier and more detailed, although annoying, the computer’s voice announcing every insignificant event that will not go away. Was it the game I’ve been waiting for? Alas, still no.
In August, No Man’s Sky is one year old and the Studio has released a massive patch. Taught by experience, they modestly described, interesting leaving up to the release. And there were many interesting things.
Now No Man’s Sky is the most complete game for all time of its existence. Many corrections and fixes added to her volume, and interface facilities. And, most importantly, the latest update promised to fix one of my old complaint and add a story, and some 30 hours! Appeared and portals, and a new race, and manipulation and even rudimentary beginnings of multiplayer. And, if nothing has changed, the world is again mad at the suffering game. No Man’s Sky took the first place in Steam sales, and its rating was no longer considered negative. Players emerging from this year began to sing the developers praises. Even cynical journalists said that it is necessary to praise Hello Games for making the commitment. They were wrong, but it’s hard to think of a better apology.
So what if No Man’s Sky that game we’ve been waiting for?
The answer to this question is very complex. Though, because we were waiting for all completely different. May be surprised, but there are many of those who were satisfied with the original game and its ambient detachment. I was not among them, though, and appreciated the atmosphere of boundless space and the music of gifted musicians. And now, after all the great innovations, I can say that and still not got what I was expecting.
But that does not stop me from liking to watch the game. I still want more. Echoes of last year’s hype refuses to die. This is its strength.
There is no doubt that after the shipwreck last year, something has remained, and it returned to life and brushed. The makings of a good game has existed since the beginning, and if she came out now, the reaction would have been different. Large cruisers, different classes of ships, the story, a rich set of chemical elements and well – developed economy- a lot of this sounds like what we expected.
But people still desperately looking for a “game of E3”. Paradoxically, the planet that we saw in the commercials, not very reminiscent of a planet from the game – even after all the additions. Animals also produce a painful impression: instead of an enormous dinosaur the size of a house we continue to feed the seven-meter mutants, more often hilarious than impressive. Sometimes a particularly fortunate player finds something that resembles the monster from the trailers, but most of the planets remain the most unimpressive part of the game. Flora became more varied and brighter, so there were truly amazing beauty of the worlds. With the ability to build a base of those planets to call home.
But at heart the game remains the same. When I saw the trailers, I saw the opportunity to become a drifter in space, a pioneer, opening up new worlds and new species. An outstanding game for intergalactic introvert. That’s what I promised Murray, when told that the planet common to all, but only the first of them the visitor can call them and give names to the animals. I wanted to look for planets and assign them to yourself by writing your nickname in the annals of history. And let technically Murray was not lying, I never for a second felt like a pioneer for the reason that all the planets — all of them — have already inhabited by other races.
The most remote planet of the universe places a huge number of buildings, depots, trading posts and abandoned buildings. However, no one ever bothered to go out and to pay attention to flora and fauna. It’s so stupid that there is no “game logic” will not be able to justify the game. And that’s not to mention the fact that all of the space station, all the buildings are absolutely identical. Absolutely, always.
And what about the plot?
I suspect that I’m not exactly the person who will fully appreciate the plot for the reason that it works in some sense as a tutorial, which I, as the experienced player, obviously not needed. But if you are just beginning to play, the story is great to help you not only learn management but also to get involved in the passage. For the first time in the game, a goal, and not artificially created by me, and the present. Appeared and a new race.
After the upgrade, I sadly found that my base, which I slowly have made in the past, were under the earth, which has completely changed. That’s like saying the creators of “the rule”, since the universe rebooted again, and the algorithm of generation of the planets have been modified. I’m happy for the game but the fact that hours of my work were erased in the name of progress, something unpleasant. Okay and you were able to import database – but no, or I simply have not found. I understand that each update is a reason to start again (and many do), but I still would like to continue.
I can’t really say much about the plot to avoid spoilers, and I myself am not very far advanced. As I said, my motivation was slightly spoiled.
Harm to the enthusiasm and the fact that with each new update the game gets a new, sometimes significant bugs. You should give credit to the creators: the next day after the update was a patch to fix the most critical problems. My problems have not gone away. For example, every time I try to defend the cruiser, to get the reward, I be inside it, without the ability to run. It remains only to restart the game.
As for the notorious “multiplayer”, which for some reason all wanted from the start, then it began to emerge. So far, all very humbly: you can see the glowing dot in the air, which represents another player. A player can exchange messages and talk on voice chat. It is modest, but the beginning. Who knows what will happen next. While it is difficult to imagine the “real” multiplayer at least for the reason that in the game there are no models in motion – certainly all the NPC stand still, except that gesturing during dialogue. Maybe in space at least? The capture of the cruisers (like Battlefront II), the joint search of some mystery – there’s always something to think of, and with the imagination of the creators order. We can only guess how they have enough patience and money. Does No Man’s Sky the actual game that can be profitable, or is it just a corpse that refuses to be buried in an attempt to regain face?
No Man’s Sky is a very niche game that never had to pretend to be anything else. Due to bloated hype, overpriced and awkward behavior of Sean Murray in public, we all began to wait for something else – not what was intended in the beginning. I still believe that multiplayer was never in the plans, because he did not fit the “single” nature of the game. But Murray is downright squeezed the recognition, and back words will not return.
Does it make sense to buy?
The question, in what form is No Man’s Sky now, I tried to answer. A lot of people being on the news, but they can hardly be called deluded. The game really got better and now it isn’t empty, and there will be enough classes to many tens, or even hundreds, of hours. The Studio made it clear it has no plans to tie with their child, so in the future we will have more improvements. Immediately after the updates the game has received a discount, which is also great for its future.
In order to understand whether you fit the No Man’s Sky, just think how much you like her idea. To surf the cosmos alone, to search for rare resources on a distant planet, to explore the mysteries of ancient races and find the center of the universe. If this sounds interesting, then you are unlikely about anything you will regret.
It is difficult to say whether No Man’s Sky “saved” game, but it’s on the right track. A little more, and we can talk about the great forgiveness – about how even the most disastrous project you can save, finding the right approach. Not so often you can hear from the creators of apologies, but Hello Games his whole appearance was given to understand that everyone can see and listen to. When Battlefront was accused of lack of content and expensive DLC, EA just shrugged their shoulders. Deal with it. Sean Murray, on the other hand, showed humility and understanding. He will forever be the epicenter of a huge scandal, but with each update it seems less epic, less significant – especially given the recent failure of BioWare and their Mass Effect is truly disappointing that, again, has nothing to save. There’s still hope.