You ever play something that just hits you wrong?
My wife and I are in the process of adoption. Don’t Nod Entertainment’s The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit reminded me of our foster/adoption training classes. A chunk of the stuff that parents get their kids taken away for = present in this game. As is:
- The parent who is trying and failing to succeed/live life.
- The kid who is alone, even though the parent is physically present (drunk/passed out), and has to take care of himself.
The superhero story veneer and child-lens softens the blow of what is a super depressing and potentially abusive situation. I’m thankful the game didn’t last long. Sad that kids have to deal with stuff like this when all they crave is stability and love.
Eastshade looks amazing. I can’t wait for this to come to console.
I won’t ever forget the first time Wyatt and I came across an alien creature in No Man’s Sky. I wanted nothing more than to feed the creature and be friends. Wyatt had other plans. Once he got a hold of the controller, he blasted the creature with a death ray. ZAP! Moments later, the creature was gone.
The other alien animals around us started to run. We had blood on our hands.
“Why did you do that!?!”
Wyatt giggled, surprised that I was so angry at him for blasting the creature.
Quit Game? Yes, please.
No matter what type of game developer Hello Games promised to deliver, No Man’s Sky was a dream waiting to implode. Early trailers hinted at space travel that would allow the player to:
- See a planet
- Fly down to said planet’s surface
- Land / Explore gorgeous environments brimming with life
- Take off
- Do it all over again
A blackhole of expectations soon formed in the gaming sphere. Hype morphed No Man’s Sky into the second coming of space simulators. The greatest space exploration game ever made.
Expectations are savage beasts. Release day revealed No Man’s Sky to be a survival game with heavy resource collecting. Disappointed gamers didn’t know what they were playing on their TV screens. Hello Games had failed gamers, everywhere, or so the Internet said.
50 First Dates
After our initial creature disaster, Wyatt and I stayed away from No Man’s Sky for months. In the meantime, Hello Games continued to release patches for the game. One of the patches added a Creative Mode. MineCraft is all about Creative Mode, No Man’s Sky should be just as fun, right?
Creative Mode presented us with options to build any of the game’s units. We first built a space base with twisting and turning corridors. There was no logic to our design, we were having fun. After we tired of base building, we discovered that we could build vehicles. Oh yeah! We drove the various rovers as hard as we could, launching them off of cliffs and trying to blow them up. The Creative Mode was fun while it lasted.
Months passed. 9 months to be exact. I heard about the Atlas Rises update changing the game for the better. Wyatt and I popped the disc in once again. Outside of prompts telling the player what to do next and a text log story, not much had changed. The core pacing is still the same. Which means the pacing is slow. Travel, whether on foot or in a ship, takes too long. The sprint feature exhausts too quickly. If space is this boring, I can see why the United States hasn’t returned to the Moon in decades.
- Exploring the planets.
- Flying around in the spaceship.
- Shooting the asteroids in outer space.
- Trying to get the plutonium, other minerals, and stuff.
- In Creative Mode: That I could drive around in vehicles.
My friend Josh has viking funerals, for games, all the time. He’ll delete the game from his hard drive and then remove the game from his house. I’m there. In fact, I’ve already gotten rid of the game.
In the end, I applaud Hello Games for embracing such a massive and ambitious concept for their first game. All the bones of a good game are present. But Hello Games shot for the Moon with No Man’s Sky and missed. Here is hoping that they learn to let go and try new things. Game patches do not always make perfect.