No Man's Sky: The PR Disaster and Rumors of the First New Content Update
Can No Man’s Sky dig itself out of the hole they put themselves in?
No Man’s Sky was one of the most anticipated games of this year, with its promises of a game that could be played forever, set in a world that was too large to fully comprehend. But its release left a majority of players feeling cheated and lied to. After months of silence from the studio and chief developer Sean Murray, rumors have begun to surface about the game’s first content update.
1) What No Man’s Sky Promised
News recently surfaced that the UK’s Advertising Standards Authority is looking into No Man’s Sky, specifically its Steam store page, after receiving numerous complaints from customers about false advertising and being mislead in what they were actually purchasing. Some of the major features that No Man’s Sky promised but were missing or different from what was promoted was the ability to fight in large-scale space combat, a large variety in planets, buildings, and structures, complex animal behavior, and the design of the UI. There were also claims of realistic planetary physics and different classes of ships based on your preferred play style.
Many players feel mislead by promotional photos and videos of the game.
One of the largest sources of discontent among consumers was the complete absence of a multiplayer aspect despite Murray stating that, while unlikely because of the enormous scale of the game universe, there was a system in place should two players happen to run into each other. This was disproved almost immediately after the game’s launch, when two players discovered they were in the same place and live streamed their attempt to interact with one another, only to find that they were unable to do so.
An ongoing list of all features advertised but not currently present in the game can be found here, originally taken from a post by a Reddit user whose account has since been deleted.
2) What No Man’s Sky Actually Delivers
Images like these were a far cry from what was actually found in the game.
No Man’s Sky turned out to be less exciting space adventure and more of a quiet mining simulator. Instead of presenting a large universe that felt real and seamless, the landscape of planets materializes in front of you as you fly over, hampered by minutes of slow travel to get from one side of the planet to the other. The procedural generation of planets doesn’t offer as much variety as we were led to believe, with planets falling into just two broad categories of barren and full of resources, while the randomness of animals often resulted in odd, silly looking creatures that were more often the cause of laughter than they were of awe.
No Man’s Sky gets repetitive very fast. Every planet you go to has the same types of structures and the same generic dialogue from the alien inhabitants. These aliens also take the excitement out of discovering a new planet as they have already set up outposts and colonies. Soon the only real variant in planets is what kind of atmosphere they will have, and even that gets predictable quick. Most of the gameplay consists of mining for resources and managing your frustratingly small inventories, both of which are satisfying for only so long.
3) Rumors of the New Content Update
In the days leading up to release, Murray and his team stated that No Man’s Sky will continue to be worked on after launch, with new features being added in the form of DLC’s, some free and some paid for. So far a few patches have been released, but only for fixing the numerous bug and server issues that arose in the first few days on the market. Recently, the game’s audio director Paul Weir tweeted that new music was being worked on for the first content update, but did not specify when that update would be released or what kind of new content would be included.
No Man’s Sky lost the support of many of its fans in only a few days after its release, going from the top downloaded title on Steam and the PlayStation store to losing more than half of their record breaking player base in under a week. As Murray and his studio slowly make the return to Twitter and communicating with their fans, only time will tell if they can regain the hype of what looked to be a truly innovative game.
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