No Man's Sky may very well have been the most hyped game of all time. With the promise of a virtually limitless, procedurally generated universe, the game was designed with infinite exploration in mind. Hello Games, a small independent developer, used a mathematical algorithm to create unique planets, aliens, and items. Unfortunately, reviewers found the gameplay from planet to planet to be more or less identical., resulting in a repetitive experience.
Making issues worse, on both PC and PS4 the game at release was riddled with game-crashing bugs. While Hello Games has reportedly addressed the bulk of these and is continuing work on additional patches, No Man's Sky is still not entirely stable. Additionally, a number of promised and expected features, most notably cooperative multiplayer, are absent from the game's final build. Even existing features, like the ability to name planets and creatures for other players to find, are reportedly not working correctly, with the histories of planets being wiped clean upon return visits.
With gamers understandably disappointed by the state of No Man's Sky, many are having luck getting refunds from major retailers - Steam, Amazon, and Sony's PSN. A Reddit forum concerning the game has documented procedures for applying for refunds, in which usual restrictions seem to have been lifted. Steam, for instance, normally requires gamers to have played for less than two hours, but refunds are currently being issued regardless of hours played.
Interest in No Man's Sky appears to have severely dwindled since its initially huge August 12th launch. What started with 212,620 online players on launch day (46% more than any other game released this year) has dropped to 15,700 according to PC Invasion. That's an unusually high decline over a two week period, especially for a game with aspirations of infinite explorability.
It was likely impossible for any game, much less one with such a small development team, to live up to the immense hype No Man's Sky was privy to, but it's still unfortunate to see Hello Games catastrophic fall so far from grace. There was a severe lack of transparency about exactly what No Man's Sky's features were, and it has resulted in no shortage of frustration from fans.
With any luck, No Man's Sky will eventually be patched to resemble the experience that Hello Games originally promised. However, the bigger question at that point may be how many people still own the game to enjoy it.
No Man’s Sky is now available on PC and the PS4.