Given the scope and scale of No Man’s Sky, plus the fact that the press were pretty much left to source their own advance copies, we didn’t expect to see reviews of Hello Games’ sci-fi opus roll out until next week.
A whole bunch surfaced today, however, just in time for the PC launch.
With scores varying from 5/10 to 9/10, it’s more than fair to say that the reception has been mixed. May expected something groundbreaking and truly exceptional, but felt that the finished product is rather vacuous.
Another common theme: critics wishing it had 10-20 hand-crafted planets full of personality, hidden areas and momentums to explore rather than 18 quintillion planets with little to no variation.
Here are some other choice cuts:
Recommended – Eurogamer: “Hello Games’ lush galactic odyssey is a unique work of engineering art – and an engrossing, if flawed, game”
9.0 – PlayStation Lifestyle: “It’s probably not for everyone. Then again, No Man’s Sky is exactly as described by the eccentric Sean Murray. If you’ve ever dreamed of being a cosmonaut, of starting with practically nothing and amassing a fortune, of becoming a notorious space pirate, or had any other of the countless sci-fi fantasies out there, this is probably the game for you”
4.5 – Time: “Even if a hundred or more hours from now No Man’s Sky wears out its welcome, I’ll be grateful and still somewhat awestruck by what a tiny team of developers rejiggering decades-old design ideas managed to pull off”
4/5 – The Guardian: “Hello Games has created a gorgeously realised, constantly regenerating universe for players to get lost in, where the incredible journey trumps the destination”
8.0 – GameCrate: “No Man’s Sky is all about the pure joy of exploration. It will be a polarizing game that will prove unsatisfying for some gamers, but it offers a vibrant, Zen-like experience others will treasure”
8/10 – Gaming Bolt: “Truly infinite, boundless in its possibilities, and presenting its players with a universe of possibilities, No Man’s Sky is a triumph in what it sets out to do”
3.9/5 – Cheat Code Central: “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”
3.5/5 – Hey Poor Player: “If you think just exploring new and untouched worlds will entertain you, No Man’s Sky might just be worth the admission price of $60. Otherwise, there are better experiences of the genre to be had elsewhere”
3.5/5 – We Got This Covered: “No Man’s Sky isn’t the “game to end all games” that some fans have made it out to be, but that’s no cause for alarm. What Hello Games’ ambitious project does offer is the chance to savor the little details in a massive universe absolutely rife with them â€” a messy universe, to be sure, but one that’s not that different from our own in that regard”
7/10 – Destructoid: “It’s a fun sandbox game that’s full of wonder, until it isn’t. Unlike other similar titles, the magic fades over time, because 18 billion planets (sorry, 18 quintillion) don’t matter if it feels like there’s only truly 20 unique ones”
6/10 – VideoGamer: “No Man’s Sky fails at a fundamental level; it’s designed to be played endlessly but in the end, it simply doesn’t have the stamina to sustain itself. Which is a massive shame, because it has a lot going for it”
3/5 – Attack of the Fanboy: “While it certainly puts its best foot forward with a beautiful audio and visual presentation, to put it bluntly, it’s boring. Ambitious as the universe that’s been created by Hello Games is, what lies within is a middling survival/crafting game”
5/10 – The Jimqusition: “Like Spore before it, No Man’s Sky is a game that promised far more than it could ever deliver, but I can’t even blame my tepid reaction on hype. I did not for a second believe Hello Games’ vaguely described spacefarer could be anywhere near as varied and expansive as promised. Even with my expectations guarded, however, I did not expect just another survival/crafting game that used randomization as a crutch to the point of losing all potential personality”