It’s clear that many fans ran away with their own expectations for No Man’s Sky. While the game was announced all those years ago, Sean Murray and the Hello Games team left details out of the mainstream because they wished to build anticipation, excitement and a sense of mystery prior to its release.
A lot of said anticipation for the game, however, was fan-generated and must have left Hello Games feeling a bit anxious to meet the requirements set by the wide audience they had established.
It’s clear that the finished product hasn’t been enough for some of that audience. Gamers like closure, and it seems that this will be harder to achieve now that some fans have grown discontented with the gap between what was originally revealed and what we actually got when No Man’s Sky launched last week.
Some of the fans that were eagerly awaiting No Man’s Sky feel let-down by what was promised to them. Some even feel cheated.
One user on reddit has gone a step further, aside from voicing his own disappointment with the game and what Hello Games have seemingly “left out.”
The user, Cymen90, has analysed pre-release interviews, demos and trailers for No Man’s Sky and compiled a pretty extensive list of features and elements of the game he believes were promised, and ultimately not delivered.
The OP states that the post is a “…huge deconstruction of all info we had received years and months ahead of launch.” The user assures that they have compiled the list exactly from “information linked from the horse’s mouth, or official marketing material.”
Here is a shortened version of the list, with most stand-out features the user believed were not included in the final game even though they were promised at one point or another:
- Planetary physics
- Ship classes with meaningful differentiation
- Faction reputation with meaningful gameplay impact
- Homogenous resource availability
- Asteroid landings
- Space station and fleet destruction
- Large fleets
- Traveling freighters
- Large scale battles the player can join
- In-atmosphere battles
- NPCs outside trading posts and other docks
- Ringed planets
- Sand planets
- Flying between stars (as opposed to warping via the Galactic interface)
- Complex creature behaviour including environmental interaction
- Points of interest such as large structures and crashed freighters
- Hacking locked doors
- Radio chatter
- Interaction with other players
The user goes into a lot more detail on the post with tables, statistics and relevant quotes from the Hello Games team as “evidence.” The post is fairly lengthy and the user tries their best to validate and explain their reasons for including what they have.
Now, while it’s true that some of these factors are almost definitely included in the game, it does pose two questions.
One: there is a possibility that due to the size of the game, there is simply still more to discover. Potentially, some of the things detailed in the above post may just not have been explored yet. The game still may have its own secrets and its own systems that are hidden away waiting for a player to find.
Two: games change. Yes, sometimes it may seem annoying, but games do change from what is shown in demos – especially at large corporate events like E3. Hello Games would have engineered such demos to show of the game at its fullest potential.
If they decided that certain things back then did not work or they didn’t want them in the game, they took them out for a reason. They may not have fit within their ethos and the experience of No Man’s Sky.
We do know that Hello Games worked many hours on a day one patch that included substantial changes to the game. There will be more patches in the future, more updates to a game that Hello Games are very passionate about no matter if they met player expectations or not.
Hello Games is an independent studio and has struggled under the weight of anticipation since announcing No Man’s Sky all those years ago. Some of their audience is annoyed at the finished product and in some cases, they make have a valid reason to be.
But No Man’s Sky launch did not mark the end of the game. With more patches in the future, more content changes and updates, this is not the last we’ve seen of the space-sim.
It’s not all bad though, here is a look at the lighter side: