No Man’s Sky – The Abyss

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No Man’s Sky.. No Man’s Sky.. No Man’s Sky.. [big sigh] how I love you… how I hate you.. how confused I am by what you have become.
It is hard to know exactly how I feel about this game now. I have defended (and rightly so) Hello Games and Sean Murray since I pre-ordered and started playing this game. I just felt in my gut they would put things right, and they did, in spectacular style. No Man’s Sky‘s reviews for the last month about 70% positive, as opposed to 30% when it came out.

Sean promised that they would make regular updates and run community events, and they have, and most recently they released “The Abyss“.

The Abyss is, as it seems fairly obviously, about underwater. This has been severely lacking in the game. The planets and space have this great, almost infinite, quality to them, but the great oceans that cover a lot of planets seem to be more like puddles than oceans. This update addresses that. Oceans are now deep, with wrecks and buildings and new critters all ready to take chunks from your armor. There is a new ghostly (because it was released on Halloween) underwater story, as well as new aquatic building parts and a new aquatic vehicle, the Nautilon.

Hello Games are doing what they have said. They are adding stories and content, fixing issues, adding new things for people to do. The universe is massive and unlimited and the scope of what can be done is huge, but, you might ask, why am I confused? What is causing me internal conflict? The answer is, I don’t know. I love the game. I love the idea of the game. I love the story and the intrigue. I love that Hello Games did what they said they would, and gave us a game with everything they promised and more. Hell, I have more than just a little bit of respect for those guys. They were abused, slandered, called every name under the sun, and they could have just given up, but they didn’t. They just went back to what they said they would do and “made the game that they wanted to play” – and in fact, if you follow the staff on twitter etc, you’ll see they regularly comment about stuff they find while playing.

So… what is it? I don’t know.. I really don’t know. I love space, I love exploring, I love being underwater and able to build a base. I love being able to send ships on missions from my freighter and being able to read the hard case, quirky, and crazy things those crews get up to (like, get drunk and accidentally discover a new technology, or push the wrong button and cause a war.. funny guys those freighter crews).

I think, ultimately the problem is I have played the game since day one, and the game isn’t now what it was. There is also a bit of “what will Hello Games do.. I know they will do something” and now they have done it, the intrigue is gone. The game is now more than what it was, but as Sean Murray posted the other day, there are still several thousand people every day still playing vanilla, day 1, unpatched No Man’s Sky. Do I want to play vanilla NMS? No, the updated version is a million times better. But do I want to go through 50-80 hours of scanning, warping, mining, searching, gathering, fighting pirates, sentinels, critters, etc, just to get to end game once more? I’ve done it several times already… nah.. I don’t think so.. well… maybe just once more, on the next update..

-Geoff Gummer


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