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Thread: "No Man's Sky" is procedural sci-fi exploration, and *purdy*.

  1. #101
    verbose douchebag
    Registered: Apr 2002
    Location: Lyon, France
    That post has made me want to progress. I still think it can go either way. I may be making a mistake playing it on my laptop rather than on the home computer, but that's hundreds of miles away right now.

  2. #102
    Performance makes all the difference. All I have at the moment is a laptop but it plays well if I set the resolution to 720p...not much of a loss on a 14 inch screen.

    It helps for me that I was going into it thinking of it as a survival/exploration game This really is not a game for anyone looking for something that is "engaging" in the traditional sense. However it is extremely immersive. Turning the game on and hopping around a few different scenic planets is somewhat cathartic when you have a few extra minutes to spare after a high stress week.

  3. #103
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2006
    Location: On the tip of your tongue.
    I'm finding it fills a sorely-needed niche - it's a relaxing, casual space game. In my experience, most space games are hardcore, mega-learning-curve simulators vomiting spreadsheets at you. This is just totally chilled out by comparison.

  4. #104
    Level 10,000 achieved
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Finland
    Not usually a fan of these "E3 trailer vs actual gameplay footage" videos, but this one is too good not to share.


  5. #105
    That was perfect.

  6. #106
    verbose douchebag
    Registered: Apr 2002
    Location: Lyon, France
    Brilliant.

  7. #107
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    Played about 8 hours and so far I'm not really feeling it. Doesn't help that the gameplay is very clunky with plenty of annoyances, big and small. All in all, it feels like a 20 dollar indie game priced and hyped like a triple-A game.

    The inventory system is probably the most irritating and actively works against exploration -- you find something cool but then you can't keep it because it would take up a slot. And everything competes for the same small amount of space -- equipment, equipment upgrades, life support/hazard suit fuel, crafting materials, the items that you craft.

    Then there's the fact that you can't really explore a place other than stumble around and hope to find something good. As far as I saw, there are no unique landmarks to serve as reference points. Oh yes, there are the beacons/waypoints to guide you to a few places of interest, but if you happen to find an interesting place on your own, there's no easy way you can mark it on your map and return to it later (unless I'm missing something).

    Furthermore, for me the survival aspects/resource management are rather annoying. It's not difficult to find the materials to keep your stuff going, but they run out so fast that you can't really concentrate on any one task without regular interruptions. For example, you can't just mine a pillar, you also have to stop every so often and go to your inventory to fuel your mining laser.

    Oh, and the combat also sucks, but I didn't care about that anyway.

    The alien encounters are interesting, although I'm finding that the CYOA aspect of the game isn't really as well done as, say, in King of Dragon Pass. The monolith ones are probably the best so far, but the NPCs are somewhat underwhelming, especially the ones in the ships. You meet an alien and all you can do is trade? No gossip? No chance to learn about the culture? This would probably have been the cheapest part of the game to make and it would have helped to flesh out the races quite a bit more. And it could have even tied into the gameplay -- for example, learning that a certain gesture is offensive or that a particular food is considered to be a delicacy might have helped you get a more positive reaction in future encounters.

    Also, I like the language learning a lot, although I feel that they could've done a bit more here as well. Something like the lizardman language in Ultima Underworld or Gostakian English would probably have been too hardcore, but just collecting words is perhaps a bit too simple. Maybe there could've been something like a vocabulary list or conversation library where you attempt to match/guess the words yourself.

  8. #108
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    Quote Originally Posted by Abysmal View Post
    How does it compare to Starflight?
    Apples and oranges?

  9. #109
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    Well, there's Star Control 2. Also, Space Rangers, but it's very badly translated.
    Last edited by Starker; 16th Aug 2016 at 17:23.

  10. #110
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2004
    And now Penny Arcade is jumping in...

    https://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2...-infinitesimal

    The sad part is how much less derpy Gabe's creation is compared to the one in that video henke posted.

  11. #111
    PC Gamering Smartey Man
    I <3 consoles and gamepads

    Registered: Aug 2007
    Location: New Zealand

  12. #112
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    That one at 5:20 is actually not a lie -- you can definitely see the aliens land and take off and offer to buy their ships in the game.

    Also, despite that clickbait video title, the game is actually nothing like Aliens: Colonial Marines. For all its flaws, it actually is a coherent game that mostly works and approximately corresponds to what a small indie team would be capable of. It just falls short of expectations, some of which were inferred from vague statements or completely made up.
    Last edited by Starker; 17th Aug 2016 at 17:03.

  13. #113
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2006
    Location: On the tip of your tongue.
    This is a review that seems to get it: http://kotaku.com/no-mans-sky-the-ko...iew-1785383774

  14. #114
    verbose douchebag
    Registered: Apr 2002
    Location: Lyon, France
    Maybe I've been unlucky with planets, but I think I may be done with the game.
    It's just too grindy and the variation is so superficial that it stops feeling like variation after a while.
    Also, the exact same drop crates and base structures on every single planet kind of removes any feeling of this being an undiscovered universe.
    It simply feels like playing an a RNG with precisely zero soul. Add to this to really poor quality of life issues the game has and I just don't have the patience to sit through the loading screen to start it up again.

    I've put in more than 2 hours to get to this stage, so I can't get a Steam refund by the normal route, but I've read I may be able to apply for one on the basis of owning it less than 2 weeks.
    I can't believe this went on sale for €60.

    [EDIT] Except now I read that Kotaku review and am wondering if I should wipe my save and try a different approach.
    Last edited by faetal; 18th Aug 2016 at 07:33.

  15. #115
    Administrator
    Registered: Sep 2001
    Location: above the clouds
    The review there is interesting, but I don't think I want to drop 40 on it. I'd have expected it to be around 20. I've not followed the hype at all but I couldn't understand the price. On the other hand I've probably paid more for simpler games 25 years ago. Perhaps there are just so many games these days the expectations are greater.

  16. #116
    verbose douchebag
    Registered: Apr 2002
    Location: Lyon, France
    Well I've started again and this time I'm just walking the planet's surface playing Pokemon and trying to absorb the atmosphere a bit. Can't say I'm blown away, but it's certainly more interesting and involving to actually try to come up with names for things. I'm going at it like a scientist and just calling them things like "Tree-like bulbous trunk spines plus date and time", which is making me think more about the physical characteristics of stuff. I'm leaving the mineral names as they are though, because fuck that shit.

  17. #117
    Member
    Registered: Jul 2001
    Location: cesspool
    Quote Originally Posted by henke View Post
    Not usually a fan of these "E3 trailer vs actual gameplay footage" videos, but this one is too good not to share.


    Yesterday I lold at this for like half an hour.

  18. #118
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2006
    Location: On the tip of your tongue.
    I renamed a few phallic rocks to "hardonite" and suchlike at first, but beyond that, a rock is a rock.

  19. #119
    verbose douchebag
    Registered: Apr 2002
    Location: Lyon, France
    It's definitely way better to avoid using the ship where possible as the increased time navigating the landscape reduces the frequency of how often you see the ubiquitous assets and gives you more time with the procedural ones. Still greatly disappointed by how shallow the game is, but it's fun enough to eke a few more hours out of at the moment.

  20. #120
    Southquarter.com/fms
    Registered: Apr 2000
    Location: The Akkala Highlands
    It's been interesting following this game's release. Seems like a deeply flawed title that has turned some reviewers into apologists and left scrambling to justify the hype they've been giving it for some time now. Sorta sad when a game isn't just fun on it's own, but instead you're forced to say "well, maybe if I play it this way, it'll be worth 60 bucks (or at least 45 or maybe 30)."

  21. #121
    Moderator
    Registered: Jan 2003
    Location: NeoTokyo
    Criticism aside, it appears they did pretty much get away with it for the opening week, so their strategy technically worked.

    I think they cashed in just making a game type lots of people want but they were the first one in town. I see lots of clones coming in the next few years that I bet will be better, but they won't get that boost for being first.

  22. #122
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2004
    I'll bet we'll see a lot of clones that aren't even as good.

  23. #123
    Level 10,000 achieved
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Finland
    Quote Originally Posted by Brethren View Post
    It's been interesting following this game's release. Seems like a deeply flawed title
    I haven't bought it either, but it's been interesting following, yes. I wouldn't call it "deeply flawed" though. It's pretty clear that it functions as intended, and most of the deviations from earlier trailers are due to technical limitations(getting a thing like this running smoothly on one system is tricky enough, launching it on both PC and PS4 in the same week is a bold move for a small indie team) or are just gameplay design decisions. I don't like how casual the flight model is, with your ship automatically hovering a certain distance above the terrain without being able to go lower, unlike in the first trailers where it could fly really close, but I realize that this isn't because the devs somehow messed up. It's pretty clear they made it like that to make the game more accessible to gamers who aren't into flight sims. As nicked described it a while back, it's a "casual space game". A niche well worth filling, it turns out.

  24. #124
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    I'd take deeply flawed but interesting over a little flawed but boring any day. Alpha Protocol, Deadly Premonition, a David Cage game... as long as it's entertaining I have no regrets.

  25. #125
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    For me it's a case-by-case thing. Having played Heavy Rain, I don't need to play another Dabid Cage game any time soon... but I'm glad there are people who fill these niches and who try out things. They could've handled NMS's pre-launch phase better, but I consider gaming richer for covering a wide range and allowing for ambition and experiments, even when some of the latter fail. I prefer an industry that produces iffy outliers like Molyneux to one where everything falls within a much narrower spectrum.

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