Buy, or be aware
No Man’s Sky is hugely popular and, depending on who you ask, a neat Jules Verne-esque romp through space or an abject failure of procedurally-generated lies. I’m not sure where I sit because I admittedly got a bit bored and then got obsessed with playing Kingdom: New Lands compulsively, but if you fall into the latter group, boy oh boy do I have a Reddit thread for you:
Where’s the NMS we were sold on? Here’s a big list of things that are missing from the game, complete with source links for everything and quotes. Also, an unpleasant revelation concerning how the game is being advertised. (LONG post)
[UPDATE: The post and original poster’s account have both been deleted. It has been archived here.]
Long post? Yeah, MeetWayneKerr is not kidding, folks.
This exhaustive/exhausting collection of links and quotes compares the game we’ve got (or, at least, what we’ve collectively been able to see of its near-infinite planets so far) to, “All information linked is either from the horse’s mouth, or official marketing material.” It’s basically a more obsessive and thorough version of this video:
— Britbong (@Britbongreturns) August 15, 2016
Some things are tough. Some of the more massive, majestic creatures used to sell that game haven’t been discovered yet, but, uh, there are functionally infinite planets and those creatures are rare. Same with ringed planets and desert planets. Some complaints have been edited to note that the things complained about are, in fact, in the game after all, like butterflies (I said this list was exhaustive). Some of the complaints sound better the way they are now (a lot of the allegedly neutered “depth” sounds like it’d be annoying as hell versus the intrinsic act of exploring, but that’s what hardcore space sim folks like).
Still it is evident that things have changed somewhere along the lines, sometimes majorly. Hello Games failed to communicate these things, or journalists didn’t ask (or assumed things were as previously described and then went on to new business). When I interviewed director Sean Murray in 2013 about No Man’s Sky before it was announced, I don’t think I even saw the game itself. The project was always ambitious and so clearly enraptured the minds of many that any divergence from the original intent would be sacrilegious, though there is in the Reddit post particular emphasis on certain realities that allegedly differ even from “information from just four months ago,” which is where I can imagine some of the disappointment in the end result holding up.
I think it’s worth going into No Man’s Sky knowing what to expect, generally. I’m not sure it’s worth poring over on an atomized level. But if you feel reviews and essays up to this point have not prepared you, or you’re worried promotional material has led you too far astray, perhaps the lengthy compilation will help you.