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Since it's launch on August 9th, No Man's Sky has been a game to receive criticism in both good, bad, and the in between. It is a game that sought to do the impossible by handing us an endless universe to explore, countless sights to see, and new life of all shapes and sizes.
Since it's launch, No Man's Sky has dropped roughly 88% of its PC player base according to reports from both SteamSpy and SteamDB. The game saw an all time high at 212,604 on August 11th. But, within 11 more days, the game has dipped down to a low of 25,689 concurrent players.
Is this game what we needed? Of course it is. It's a game that is good, it is a game that brought forth promises we'd never seen before in gaming as a whole.
Despite the Internet Hivemind's Doomsaying, No Man's Sky Is Still the Game We Were Waiting For
It is also a game that once it launched just a few short weeks ago only to be met with heavy criticism due to how the game plays, functions, and the content within.
On the internet, if you browse, you'll see fans complaining that the game has been full of broken promises, that Sean Murray and his team have lied to them. But what if none of that is actually fact?
If anything, it has been the fans that did the damage with wild speculation of what is coming, holding dear to what they want, and ultimately being disappointed in the end because No Man's Sky didn't live up to their overblown expectations.
No Man's Sky Isn't All That Different
When you first boot up No Man's Sky for the first time, you'll be gifted with the view of warping into a solar system. From there you'll load in as your explorer, your ship destroyed, and stranded upon a quite possibly lush, but also lively planet.
You will also take notice that things are slightly different from what the game was presented as during E3 2014. To do so? A small video showing gameplay (above) shows what the game is like now, and the video after after will show you what No Man's Sky was initially revealed as.
Much like in the reveal trailer, you can see that No Man's Sky is a beautiful game. It's also very alive in the sense of both ambiance and musical score. You'll see both planets in the video are completely different.
One is alive, it is lush, and animals are sparse, but existent. The viewing atmosphere is hinted in darker colors with vibrant purples for gras, weeds are accented in yellows, while the odd bubbles on the trees glow with yellowish green light in the night air. On the other hand? You'll see a second planet, dead, barren of life, and limited in its resources.
You'll see drones exploring the planet, attacking over the rare materials found as trade commodities. But what thing that is different? My exploration, my time on my planet - it varied from the reveal trailer we saw Sean Murray present at the E3 2014 Sony Press conference. It's not as lush, they are not as lively. But that's ok.
What is different than the HUD is simply the fact that the ammunition layout has changed a bit, but what has also changed? The auto-uploading of discoveries. It is all now manual for some intent or purpose of being so. Overall? The game was carried out with many of the promises it offered in many ways.
Granted many of us have yet to probably see a tropical forest, there's still hope though in the vast reaches of outer space.
You'll Still Enjoy it for the Unique Experiences
As stated on an article PCGamer ran recently, it's not odd to see the concurrent amount of player attendance decay shortly after the boom of players on release.
Far Cry Primal, for example, displayed that the player count dropped down by 82% within the first month since it came out. AAA mega hitters such as Fallout 4 and DOOM each fell from between 74-82% within their first month of release. It's not uncommon to see players move onto other projects due to burnout, but what you'll be coming to No Man's Sky for is the longevity of unique experiences it has to offer.
From gazing across asteroid belts, to staring across night skies on a distant planet, only to walk among the unique creatures that inhabit the planets, to the sunlit fields of a lush and lively environment. No Man's Sky offers experiences we've only briefly seen in games such as Mass Effect where we were able to land on foreign planets. It's the uniqueness of traveling among procedurally generated planets, creatures, and environments that makes No Man's Sky a game we need in this current generation. It even leaves questions left to be answered in the future.
With the possibilities of DLC, future content updates, and more - Hello Games has plenty to offer in a seemingly endless universe. One that is alive with alien life, one that breathes new languages for us to learn, and even sights for us to discover so that we may share the with other players over a conversation of sharing stories about our travels.
So travel on, Explorer! travel on and find your uniqueness among the vastness of the stars. May you live long and prosper in your journey's ahead.