Is No Man’s Sky really the Elite that Elite Dangerous isn’t?

There’s a lot being written about No Man’s Sky at the moment. Unfortunately a lot of that is fairly critical, or at least wildly diverging on whether it’s a success or a disappointment. Personally I’m somewhere in the middle. I am enjoying the game for what it is, but also feeling a bit let down that some of the more ambitious features didn’t make it in. For me I feel that the vision may have been compromised by the limitations of the platform and the size of the team/time frame for development.

Space Station arrival

Space Station arrival

That said, I AM enjoying the game, and I have put a lot of hours in, and will continue to do so. I’m certainly enjoying it more than Elite Dangerous. With Elite, I just cant get back into it after the initial enthusiasm. I played the hell out of it when it was released, I bought VR gear, head tracking devices, and even started a small business based on selling voice packs for the game. I don’t play Elite any more though. I can’t offer the game my time in the way that a game of that scope needs.  I feel that to get back into Elite would take days of dedicated gaming, days I just don’t have, or want to spend on it. Elite requires commitment, big chunks of time, it’s a simulation with all the requirements of the player that a sim demands. It’s awesome, it’s fun, but it’s not something I can drop in and out of whenever I want.

No Man’s Sky is also massive, more so that Elite in the scale of the universe provided, however NMS is accessible. I can jump in, play for a few minutes, pop the controller on the couch and walk away. I can spend 10 mins or 8 hours playing it and have the same sort of fun. This is actually one of the biggest things Hello Games got right with NMS. They’ve made an incredibly accessible game. Instantly accessible. You boot the game up and you’re there, on a strange world that no one has ever visited before. You can do.. well pretty much anything, explore, shoot things, document the wildlife, grind for upgrades or just fly at cruising level over entire planets. I can see how this part of the vision is a success. Whether it’s the whole vision, only Sean and the team at Hello Games may ever know.

No Man's Sky - Red Planet

No Man’s Sky – Red Planet

Ok, I’m rambling. I started this post as a way of introducing someone else’s article. Someone who I think gets what No Man’s Sky can be. Take a read of Keith Stuart’s article over at The Guardian and see if you agree.