So No Man’s Sky is a game, right? We can agree on that? In my review I was pretty meh on the whole thing. It has a lot going for it, but it’s so bogged down by questionable design choices that it suffers from tedious gameplay and a lacklustre experience, in my opinion at least. Part of the reason I was so underwhelmed is due to the sheer ball crushing amount of hype that clung to this game like the vicious sticky diarrhea that hype is.
Before No Man’s Sky came out we were teased a galaxy of features that sounded perfect for an endless space exploration game, to only find they weren’t there in the final product. And no, I didn’t expect a small dev team to produce Skyrim in space, but I did expect footage we were shown as recently as four months ago to reflect what was actually in the game. Hello Games’ Sean Murray has yet to comment on why the game doesn’t reflect the information we were fed, which is odd to say the least considering how prominent this issue is. If you haven’t already seen that amazing video summing it up, watch it now and then we’ll proceed with the article.
Unfortunately for Sean Murray and Hello Games, the internet isn’t quick to forget. One Reddit user went so far as to record all the missing teased aspects for No Man’s Sky and link them back to quotes or evidence of their one time existence.
We’re going to look at the major aspects mentioned by this Reddit user, however due to the shit show that the internet can be, the user has been threatened by some fucking morons who can’t separate their identities from that of a game, so we’re going to keep the poster’s information as hushed as possible. The original poster’s account was deleted, but thankfully the information has been reposted. Anyway, again, just for the record, fuck those pathetic people who feel someone talking about a game deserves to be harassed.
Below you’ll find all the tables the original Reddit user put in their post, to see expanded information I advise you check out the link that I’ll share again. The left hand column shows the alluded to feature, the middle shows the sources, which you can click on and see for yourself, and the right hand shows quotes or comments. Any bold comments seem to be edits made, but I’ll leave them in so you can see this was a work in progress. And yes, some of the points may not be issues as first assumed, but I found most of the information hit the mark.
Misc. Space gameplay and elements
|Landing on Asteroids||1||“Yeah, at the moment you can land on asteroids.”|
|Destroying Space Stations And Fleets||1 2||“Maybe you take out a space station, or a fleet, or you know, something like that…”|
|Giant Fleets of Ships||1 2 3||These are examples much larger fleets than found in the game.|
|Large Freighters Actually Moving||1||An example of a freighter flying around, as opposed to just sitting there as a static object.|
|Scanning Planets From Orbit Edit:: This is indeed in the game. Leaving it here for posterity.||1||“I can do a scan.”|
NPCs and NPC interactions
|Faction Affiliations w/ Significance||1||“Different races have different attributes […] and depending on how I’m playing, I might want to kinda make an allegiance with one or [an]other”|
|Trade Ships Docking w/ Freighters||1||I’m yet to see this actually happen in-game.|
|Large-Scale, Joinable Space Battles Between Factions.||1||“Like here, we’re at the battle between two warring factions. I could join in, I could take sides.”|
|NPC Ships Launching From The Ground||1||Shows an NPC ship launching from something other than a dock, implying they can land anywhere.|
|In-Atmosphere Freighters w/ Battling||1 2||Freighters traveling through a planet’s atmosphere, also being attacked.|
Planets, stars, and the cosmos
|Ringed Planets||1||“Yeah, we haven’t shown that yet, but yeah. if it’s in sci-fi and sci-fi book covers, we kinda need to do it.”|
|Sand Planets Edited from “Desert planets” to clarify||1 2 3 4 5 6||Sand planets were shown right up until a few months ago. They do not seem to be in the game, for as common as they are in the trailers.|
|Planets Rotating and Orbiting Around a Sun||1 2 3 4||See below.|
|The Technical Possibility of Flying Between Star Systems Manually||1||GI: “Could you potentially fly to new solar systems?” SM: “Yes, but nobody’s actually done it yet…”|
Ships and flight
|Actual Ship Classes And Differentiation||1 2 3||Hard to pull a quote here that represents the full breadth of this one.|
|Naming Ships||1||“Ships are actually a discovery just like everything else, and you can name your discoveries”|
|More Natural Flight Characteristics||1||Ship flying more like a ship than in the actual game|
Trade, resources and crafting
|Resources Depending On Distance From Sun, Environmental Factors||1 2 3 4||“You’ll learn planets that are further from the sun have certain types of resources, planets that are closer have certain types of resources, or planets that have certain environments.”|
|The Ability To Play The Game Solely As A Trade or Solely in Space||1 2 3||“But you can also […] just not gather resources. Perhaps you’re the type of person who just never wants to do that because it seems a bit laborious, or you just don’t like visiting planets and you just want to play a space game, so you can do that if you want, just going from space station to space station…”|
|Crafting That Has Complexity||1||“When we release the game, we’re not telling people ‘here are all the formulas,’ we’re just letting players loose, and a little bit like Minecraft people can figure out those rules themselves…”|
|Find Elements By Checking Galactic Map||1||“If you’re searching for an element, a great tool there is the galactic map. The first thing that’s incredibly helpful [is] if someone has been to that system before, in visiting it, they’ll discover it, and then if they choose to, they will upload that information, and now anyone who goes to that system […] is going to know more about that system”|
|Animals and Plants That Eat Meat — THIS SEEMS TO BE IN||1 2||GI – “Do the animals eat each other? SM – “Yeah, they do.”|
|Bugs I’VE SEEN THE PICS, DEFINITELY IN THE GAME||1 2||Butterflies flying around. Doesn’t seem like a big thing on its own, but it’s something that adds life to an environment.|
|Large Creatures Affecting the Landscape||1 2||Creatures having an effect on their environment.|
|Creatures Doing Things They Don’t Do in the Game||1 2||The first is flying eels flying low, the second is large creatures seemingly bathing in water.|
Planetary surface features
|Rivers||1 2 3 4||Link 4 contains gameplay with a river.|
|Large Structures||1 2 3 4||Larger structures than are currently in the game.|
|Crashed Freighters||1||A freighter crashed on the surface of a planet, surrounded by sentinels.|
|Structures With Moving Parts||1 2||Some portals seem to have had the same spinning metal ring as the Space Anomoly ship.|
|Portals||1||The structures have been found, but not activated.|
|Sentinels in Large Packs||1||Gameplay showing sentinels in larger numbers than found in the game.|
|Maintaining Wanted Level Indoors||1||Footage of a wanted level not being cleared by entering a structure.|
|Ambient Walker Sentinels||1||Walker sentinel just out in the environment, and awakening in front of the player.|
|Being Able To See and Play With Other Players||1||There are more examples of Sean talking about it, including one soon after the linked bit, but people have focused on this one, so we’ve all seen it by now.|
|Beacons Marking Points of Interest With Waypoints||1||A beacon marking points of interest across a wide area.|
|Useful Marking with Binoculars||1||Binoculars actually useful for marking buildings and such.|
|Hacking Reinforced Doors||1||“Well normally what you would do is you would hack it, that would be the best way.”|
|Radio Chatter||1 2||Radio chatter from inside your starship.|
|Translucent Glass On Starships||1||Glass windshield on starship rather than just black paint.|
So all of that just scratched the surface, as the anonymous poster then went on to discuss more and more about these missing features, some of which were shown as recently as four months ago in trailers, and as they point out, surely by that point Hello Games should have been well aware they were showing misleading content. In an industry where this kind of thing is common practice, this still stands out as an exceptionally bad case of misinformation.
The biggest issue for me is the lack of ecosystems within the game. The trailers clearly show functioning worlds that would pass as feasible planets, filled with a diverse range of animals that don’t look like hot dog meat of the natural world. You can see rivers cutting their way through the landscape, not just a hodge podge of floating minerals and loose rock formations. The lack of diversity in the planets too becomes an issue the more you play. If only there were desert planets or ring worlds to brighten up the endlessness of space. The addition of worlds reflecting their position to the sun would have been fantastic, and the diversity of minerals seems almost essential for the game to work, but no we got something very different indeed. Don’t get me wrong, I do still enjoy exploring in No Man’s Sky, but having been shown and told about something so much more, which was then not delivered without explanation, is poor form. Sure, game devs drop content all the time, but there’s been nothing as extensive as this in recent memory with no mention of the cut.
I’m not saying that Hello Games’ motives are sinister, a small dev team is bound to run into some issues, and the pressure of having such an anticipated title over their heads would have been immense, but a little disclosure would have been nice to avoid people having to even post articles on this topic, and the fact Sean Murray is still being vague about everything even after release just adds to this mess.
For example, when asked in a Reddit AMA last week about the existence of giant sand worms, which were clearly shown in a 2013 trailer, Murray replied “oh man, I hate questions like this, because like wouldn’t you just rather discover for yourself? Huge creatures are out there, and I haven’t seen them on streams yet. They are rare.”
Initially it seemed like these kinds of features could be in No Man’s Sky, buried away in the hugely dense galaxy, but now a solid week after release with millions of discovered planets and life forms, it’s becoming evident that this is far from being the case, but it has allowed those responsible for the misinformation a universe full of hiding space. From what Murray said it feels as though he thinks it’s up to those who feel wronged to hold the game under a lense and look for the stuff, rather than, you know, just being told what they were shown hasn’t been made.
Of course some of you will disagree with all this, which is totally cool, I’m glad you can enjoy what was released, maybe you’re a far less cynical person than I am, and that’s a good thing! However, if you found this jaw dropping I really do urge you to read the whole Reddit post, and if you feel like threatening somebody because of this information, I really do urge you to go into space without a suit.