|A supposed screenshot from the game before it was released shows a very different experience.|
|I followed the Atlas mission path, hoping that I would find some other plot or story. I found nothing|
That's it. There is no great secret you learn there, no incredible piece of technology that you are given that changes the way you play the game, no portal to another player, no opportunity to design a creature, plant, planet, and no payoff for any of the alien species that you encounter along the way. It's essentially a huge reset switch and nothing more.
Since learning about this part of the game, I've felt really let down. There is still a lot to see and discover and the art of the game is really beautiful. There is a great deal more however that feels empty, and not in space, where it should. So many planets have the same basic plants, there are only a few different skeletons for the animals on the planets, and there just doesn't feel like there is really any depth to speak of when it comes to the trade system or upgrading any of the tools in the game.
|It its best moments No Man's Sky is really beautiful to look at. If only it weren't just skin deep.|
The ships, while interesting to look at are nearly identical. Even the most basic upgrades to the multi-tool make you nearly unkillable in combat, eliminating the need for any more. The sentinels, which were supposed to be a formidable force of robotic police are barely aware of my presence as I plunder the resources of every planet I come across. Even when they are alerted, killing them is so easy that I would have to work harder to let them call for reinforcements.
Still, I have soldiered on. I still fly from planet to planet, searching for new alien creatures to name and new elements to mine. I am still looking for newer and more interesting ships that I can buy or salvage. The problem is that I'm running out of justifications for doing it.
Instead, I spend more and more time obsessing over one burning question. I feel that I am familiar enough with the game developer community to tell the difference between someone who has good intentions and someone that is out for money and nothing more. Sean Murray doesn't strike me as the kind of person that would intentionally mislead the community of fans just to make money. However, I can't ignore the sheer volume of missing content. To reiterate, when I say missing, I mean completely absent from the game, not even there in part.
|The most unique looking creatures I encountered look like plant-based Hoppity Hops.|
There is too much missing from No Man's Sky to chalk this up to a bunch of devs getting in over their heads. Do I think that Sean Murray knowingly lied to fans and interviewers? No. I think that he and his team made a very very irresponsible decision by not communicating the real state of the game to people. As feature after feature was dropped from the game, there should have at least been a walk-back of advertised features. Instead, we got even more talk about elements of the game that do not exist in any tangible way. There are posts on the official site as late as August 8th that talk about and give links to videos of content that doesn't exist in the game at all.
I don't think that Sean Murray is a bad or evil person. I do think that he made some very serious mistakes in how he chose to represent the game to people. The decision to not talk to the community at all about what was being cut, trimmed or added has created a rift between Hello Games and the players so large that I expect it would be difficult for anyone to overcome. Furthermore, the near silence and refusal to talk about what went on during development is widening that gap day by day. If Sean and the rest of the team at Hello Games wants to make amends for this debacle, someone has to come forward and talk about what happened. There will be ire and rage from a great many people who feel absolutely betrayed, but after all the poor decisions made in development; after having so many opportunities to set the record straight and not taking them, someone has to do the right thing.