If I could snap my fingers to instantly change something in the world, I would eliminate people’s ability to write about Star Wars: The Last Jedi on social media. No matter what is said – whether it’s good, bad, or something completely mundane – toxicity and chaos erupt. That film has hit the polarization point of politics. Someone always jumps in to let someone know their opinion is wrong.
Go ahead and shake your head at me for suggesting we silence speech, but this is my dumb Thanos fantasy, and I’d love to see The Last Jedi have a day of social silence. Just one damn day.
I had similar finger-snapping desires about No Man’s Sky roughly two years ago. People couldn’t share a thought about that game without someone jumping down their throat for so much as saying its name. Weirdy enough, I sympathized with people who were unleashing angry messages on social media. Why? Hello Games’ vision for No Man’s Sky changed between its announcement and release. Some of the ideas the team hoped to include in the game didn’t make the cut, and the visual fidelity shown in the early trailers didn’t line up with the final product. People felt like they had been given a spaceship full of lies. That frustration is justified.
On the other end of the spectrum, people went into the game blind or with tempered expectations. Some of the ended up enjoying it immensely, and were like “I just named an alien lizard after my dog. This game is cool.”
No Man’s Sky feels like it released forever ago, but it’s going to be the big talker again this week, and maybe for a while. Hello Games continues to support the project with big updates, and this week’s new content is its most exciting yet.
We were told no one would likely ever meet in No Man’s Sky, but that happened almost immediately after the game launched. That encounter ended in disaster, further angering an already irate base of players. Flash forward two years, and the messaging has now shifted from “You’re alone in space” to “Exploring is better with friends.” No Man’s Sky Next allows a small group of friends to team up and discover life together. This is a complete change from what the game was originally intended to be, but may be the difference maker to bring people who deleted the game from their hard drives back for a second look.
The multiplayer, as exciting as it is, isn’t the driving force for my return. I’m more excited to see how the core game has evolved. Hello Games has reworked the resource gathering, story, missions, base building, scanning, U.I, and practically everything in the game. I burned out on the resource management early on, and didn’t find the journey to the center of the universe engaging. I’m going back to see if these facets of the game are better, and I’m going to do it with a crew of friends.
I’m also coming back because Hello Games is finally communicating with players, and is promising weekly content drops. Sean Murray today wrote a letter to the community saying that they made mistakes in the past, and are now ready to talk and be active with players. I don’t believe for a second that Hello Games couldn’t communicate before. In that post, Murray said “Certainly one regret is that the intensity and drama of launch left no room for communication with the community. We decided instead to focus on development rather than words.”
The radio silence was a bad move. This comment makes it seem like Hello Games was engaged in a “we’ll prove them all wrong” mission. They admit they made mistakes…two years later. Everyone plugged into gaming news knew mistakes were made. Hello Games chose to disappear rather than confront them. What if the community has similar issues with Next? Are we now at a point where we’ll hear from the dev team, or will they disappear again?
No matter what happens, we’re looking at two years of a make-good effort to a game many people had written off as “dead at launch.” Several of us at Game Informer are revisiting the game and will be sharing our thoughts over the next few days. My take will be right here in next week’s Science-Fiction Weekly. You can join Javy Gwaltney on his expedition today through a live journal that details his discoveries and impressions.
Are you heading back into No Man’s Sky, or do you still carry the torch that it’ll forever be No Man’s Lie? Let me know your thoughts on the game in the comments section below.
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Science-Fiction Weekly – Will You Return To No Man’s Sky?