No Man's Sky Review Roundup

Here's what the critics are saying about space exploration game No Man's Sky.

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Now Playing: No Man's Sky - Review

No Man's Sky is now out for both PS4 and PC, and critics have started to give their verdicts on the space exploration game. So far, the critical reception is generally positive.

The PC version of No Man's Sky has experienced quite a few issues, some of which developer Hello Games has said it's "working hard" to fix. If you're thinking of picking up the game on that platform, it might be wise to wait until further updates are released.

We've collected a series of reviews from around the internet and compiled them into an easy-to-read list below. For a wider view of the critical reception, check out GameSpot sister site Metacritic.

We've collected everything you need to know about No Man's Sky, and you can find it all out for yourself here.

  • Game: No Man's Sky
  • Developer: Hello Games
  • Platform: PS4, PC
  • Price: $60
No Caption Provided

GameSpot -- 7/10

"No Man's Sky is immediately a massive game with impressive seamless transitions from ground to space, and it will entertain your inner collector for a while. The more you get to know it, the more you recognize its faults, and it's easy to fall so deep into the act of exploring and trading that your focus narrows to those aspects alone. If, however, you consider everything it has to offer and listen to what Atlas has to say, No Man's Sky becomes more than a collection of slightly different worlds in a seemingly never-ending galaxy--it becomes an examination of the meaning of life in a way that's more valuable than all the gold or starships in its virtual galaxy." -- Peter Brown [full review]

Time -- 4.5/5

"Who knows. I've poured hundreds of hours into Minecraft and I've yet to visit 'The End' or slay the Ender Dragon. Our ideas of what it means to play much less 'finish' games like this look increasingly like scatter charts. Even if a hundred or more hours from now No Man's Sky wears out its welcome, I'll be grateful and still somewhat awestruck by what a tiny team of developers rejiggering decades-old design ideas managed to pull off." -- Matt Peckham [full review]

GamesBeat -- 80/100

"I've waited my entire life for No Man's Sky. How could it possibly live up to that? The truth is that it doesn't satisfy the lifelong yearnings of a 33-year-old man. But I'm not throwing it in the garbage. Its scale and sense of isolation is special. The procedural nature imbues everything in the game with a sense of life that other, better-crafted games can't match. And it nails the emergent storytelling that I want from a survival game. But I also hope that this is only the start for No Man's Sky or games like it. I'm glad we can do this, but I want more. I hope we get it." -- Jeff Grubb [full review]

The Guardian -- 4/5

"No Man's Sky is a way to experience the kinds of cool moments you read about in old sci-fi novels--shoot a hole through an asteroid and fly through it, shelter in a cave to watch a deadly storm tear across an alien landscape, or make friends with a dinosaur (obviously)--all to an evocative procedural post-rock soundtrack from 65daysofstatic. The planets you, and probably only you, will discover can be so lovely that it feels bittersweet to know that you'll leave them behind when you jump to the next star. But then, in an essentially infinite galaxy, there's always something new to discover." -- Jordan Erica Webber [full review]

GamesRadar -- 3.5/5

"...[I]t's probably the best three-and-a-half star game I'll ever review, and certainly the most ambitious. But that doesn't mean it's for everyone. Players looking for savage space battles will be frustrated by systems that simply aren't up to muster; those desperate for peaceful study will struggle when it forces combat upon them; anyone wanting to meet other players will get lonely. Look past these limitations, however, and No Man's Sky offers a timeless universe of quiet, compelling exploration." -- Matt Elliott [full review]

Polygon -- 6/10

"The magical tech behind No Man's Sky has long been its selling point, so I guess the game's nature as wide but shallow makes a lot of sense. Hello Games has built a set of tools that is amazing and unprecedented, something that could absolutely change the way huge games are made if placed in the right hands. But these powerful universe creation algorithms have been grafted onto a game that is, beyond its initial hours, so light on imagination. No Man's Sky offers an incredible, impossible universe--but there's little to do within it." -- Phil Kollar [full review]

The Jimquisition -- 5/10

"Like Spore before it, No Man's Sky is a game that promised far more than it could ever deliver, but I can't even blame my tepid reaction on hype. I did not for a second believe Hello Games' vaguely described spacefarer could be anywhere near as varied and expansive as promised. Even with my expectations guarded, however, I did not expect just another survival/crafting game that used randomization as a crutch to the point of losing all potential personality. And I at least expected more to f***ing do." -- Jim Sterling [full review]

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Avatar image for Grenadeh

What exploration?

No seriously. I'm asking.

Last time I checked, you can't make it more than 100m from your ship on *any* planet before your ship inventory, suit inventory, and multi-tool are all full and you have to purposely waste resources to recharge everything just so you can have room for one worthless element you won't even use for god knows how long but you found a gigantic mountain full of it.

Avatar image for katerinafm

Jim once again looking like the most grounded of the bunch.

Avatar image for coolmanmick

As someone that doesn't really like to grind in games and really just prefers playing a game with a proper story, I'm really enjoying this one and have been playing since release with a lot of hours sunk into it already. I guess I just really enjoy the freedom of flying that ship and visiting new planets. It's a nice adventure! But I do get bored of the same planet very quickly so thankfully there is enough planets in the game to keep it exciting to explore. The freedom of flying the ship is what I had wanted for Destiny which it failed to do. Can only imagine that game being so much better if it had done it too. So I'm very happy with No Man's Sky. It's not a perfect game and needs some improvements made. It's also certainly not for everyone but everyone should at least give it a try to find out for themselves if it's for them or not.

Avatar image for Grenadeh

@coolmanmick: This game that doesn't have any story? Yea lol ok bud.

Avatar image for so_hai

We can now see how important that review embargo was.

Avatar image for wtf_666

"generally positive"???

Hmmmmm....not really. Generally blah and meh reviews. Glad I didn't get on the hype train and waited for reviews. Will wait til it's free or $10 on sale. Probably next month lol

Avatar image for adro191

@wtf_666: you should see steam reviews, very mixed, personally I'd trust general public reviews more than these reviewers as at least you'll get a rough idea of how game really is, especially when it's 35,000 reviewers

Avatar image for Grenadeh

@adro191: Except that 29,580 minimum of those reviews aren't actually reviews and are just "feelings" where people write completely stupid bullcrap in a vain effort to be funny and get votes in the popularity contest. Customer review systems are the opposite of trustworthy.

Avatar image for adro191

@Grenadeh: Well we can't expect them all to write lengthy articles about the game, and of course it would be based on feelings, isn't this the gaming industry after all, entertainment?? you don't need long reviews to get a general idea of how the public feels about your game.

have you read all the 35,000 reviews to say that minimum 29,580 are bullcrap? of course not, no sane person would read all these anyways, but you read maybe 10-20 and see which common issue people are having with game.

Avatar image for jeffyjeef

I started out exploring each planet for a long time. going to many of the different points and enjoying some very magical moments in many unique locations. Then after a few warp jumps and the same gameplay over and over again I no longer spent much time on each planet. I basically just landed, looked around to see what resources were available and then went to the next. Now I'm just trying to warp to the next system as quick as I can to complete the Atlas quest. I find that each planet I land on is more of the same just shuffled up differently. Perhaps things will get a bit more interesting after Atlas when I start going towards the center but I know the gameplay isn't going to get any more interesting. I will just be landing on planets to walk around a bit and look around. That is sadly all I have to look forward to in the next 15 to 20 hours I have left in the game.

Avatar image for hystavito

"The magical tech behind No Man's Sky has long been its selling point, so I guess the game's nature as wide but shallow makes a lot of sense."
Pretty good way to describe it.

Avatar image for Iamkalell

Despite a few performance issues (PC) I've been having a lot of fun with it. I got lucky with the planet I started on being one of the lush ones. I've played for about 10 hours and am still exploring that planet.

Avatar image for yumyumnomnom

I don't know but I am enjoying this game so far.

Avatar image for CrusaderForever

Really having a good time with this game. Getting ready to hyper jump to a new system. It's going to have 4 planets. There is another system I can jump to that has 4 planets and a moon but they aren't on my way to the center. Come to think of I may just jump there to check it out and then come back and get back on track. Time to play some more.

Avatar image for Aldarish

Gotta get Easy Allies on your reviewers list someday. Basically Gametrailers guys under new name. They just got this review out today also.

Avatar image for themarco

I guess this game might go into history as the most controversial and divisive title ever. I 'get' the negative reviews but I personally love the game. It's one of those things that are not for everyone. Some reviewers classify this game as 'repetitive and boring' while they get all excited every time the 36567th FPS game comes out with roughly the same gameplay as the 36566th and rate it 9/10 "Amazing".

That said, I see No Man's Sky as the beginning of something. It looks like a fair amount of people bought the game which will hopefully fund the Hello Games team for a long time to come so they can enhance and extend this platform to make it even better. It should not be too hard to create more variation in building structures, space stations and ships. Just throw in more models and building blocks that can algorithmically combined.

I'd also LOVE to see gas giants where you can visit every moon but not the gas giant itself. If only for the amazing vistas that would generate. Same thing for ring systems. Imagine space battles inside a Saturn like ring system? Or mining. Awesome.

There are many things possible with this platform and I hope Hello Games will tap into them.

But even as it is now I personally love it. I haven't been as excited about a game since Mass Effect. I consider No Man's Sky to be Carl Sagan's 'Pale Blue Dot' quote packaged as a video game. The size of the universe is humbling. Some reviewers say the game lacks purpose. But isn't the real universe just like that? What is the purpose of the real universe? No one knows. Maybe it doesn't has one. Maybe it just is. This game gives me that kind of feeling. Almost a meditative experience.

A welcome variation from, say, Doom, or Ratchet & Clank, or Forza Motorsport 6, just to mention a few other games I like to play.

Definitely not for everyone. but certainly for me.

I hope Hello Games will keep building on top of this platform for a long time to come.

Avatar image for Grenadeh

@themarco: Stop apologizing.

This isn't a "it's not for everyone" situation.

You LITERALLY have people like me who have put hundreds of hours into Empyrion, Space Engineers, Savage, Rust, Day Z, 7 Days to Die, Starbound, and other games that are as close to identical as possible - saying that this game is incredibly simplistic and shallow and utterly lacks content or entertainment value.

That's not "it's not for everyone." It's not even for it's main f*cking audience.

I can literally do 100x more things in Starbound than I can in NMS. Starbound a 2D game that was in development for 3 years, versus this game that was in development for 5.

I've spent 10 hours straight mining a planet in Starbound. I've spent those hours recovering my dead body over and over - literally accomplishing nothing. I've spent them going to every ocean planet I can find to scan artifacts from certain species, where every ocean planet follows the exact same template. Tiny islands with the same buildings on them, tons of ocean, deep sea ruins, and underground.

Please, don't talk to anyone who actually plays these games about repetitive. There's repetitive with a little variety, and then theres totally f*cking pointless generic farming.

And don't pin your own lack of exposure to games on everyone else. Those are all nonsensical AAA games that appeal to casuals.

Avatar image for themarco

@Grenadeh: I'm not 'apologizing'. Game makers get their audience to like their game or not. That's as simple as it is. For whatever reason.

You say: "You LITERALLY have people like me who have put hundreds of hours into Empyrion, Space Engineers, Savage, Rust, Day Z, 7 Days to Die, Starbound, and other games that are as close to identical as possible - saying that this game is incredibly simplistic and shallow and utterly lacks content or entertainment value."

My response to this is: "You LITERALLY have people like me who have put hundreds of hours in all kinds of games varying from FPS, simracers, action adventures, RPG's or sports games saying that they're really entertained by this title. I've seen many, many people who really love it. Easily as many as those who hate it. If you don't like the game why not just get a refund or sell it? I do that with games I don't like.

Also I don't really understand what it is that made you draw the conclusion that I have a lack of exposure to games. I tend to own all current consoles available at any given time. I've been gaming for 33 years at this point so let's see I've spent a fair amount of time playing video games.

Sticking to my point. It's not for everyone. It's not for you. I get it. But it is for me and it is for many other people including people in this very comment thread and in every other comment thread below a NMS article. Go look, you'll see. Your opinion is as good and as founded as mine. They just happen to differ. It's a free country.

Avatar image for adamus

@themarco: fund them for a long time??? the greedy fu**ers are already talking about paid DLC "Maybe in the future there’s some reason why we just couldn’t possibly afford to do a certain feature without charging for it". pure greed they cashed in on the hype.

Avatar image for themarco

@adamus: I can't look into their financials. I do know that I personally don't work for free unless I'm providing maintenance on something I've sold earlier. So it makes sense to deliver on promises that have already been made and potentially doing even more but reserving the right to charge for something bigger in the future. That said, paid DLC would literally fracture the NMS universe so I really hope they won't do it unless it's really something that doesn't have that side effect. For example I appreciate how Forza Motorsport charges for car packs but never for tracks which would result into players being unable to join certain races.

If Hello Games adds a ridiculously detailed model of the Millennium Falcon as a ship option and charges for it I'd happily pay for it. If they add gas giants, new hazards (for example extreme gravity) and other universe-wide stuff I hope and pray they WON'T charge for it because that would mess up the consistency of the universe.

Just my 2 cents.

Avatar image for deactivated-5893d17ed65b4

I'm enjoying it, so there's that.

Avatar image for deactivated-594c406a99d4d

Majority of people no nothing about "creating" something extravagant. I don't know what most wanted from this game, but while Hello games did say certain things that did not come true, understand that this VERY small team has just broken videogame barriers for what they have just created. Not to mention, they can still add what they want through DLC, this is just the beginning... has anyone even mentioned the score soundtrack of this game? It's not a constant loop, it changes all the time on how you are playing, even the opening of the games intro is different everytime you start it up and lastly, if this game gets a VR treatment, then we are in for a TRUE experience with this game.Hello games has my support and I thank them for this beautiful game

Avatar image for TheZeroPercent

--i dont even have to play the game for 20 secs
--the info is in(even though at least 10 critics have not been tallied into the metascore yet)
--the game is a 7/10(it is a 'good' game)
--i can guarantee you that

--i will wait until it is around 20$ and then i will 'give it a run'(only 'so much time' for a game like this one)

--i mean
--what am i playing now?
--knack(i got it for like 3$)
--horizon 2(free)
--until dawn 18$(and let me tell you~that game is something else too)
--cant really get going in state of decay~but i am still playing it(got the xb1 triple pack for like 18$)
--recently beat sunset overdrive 10$
--and i mean
--but i do not pay 65$ for 7/10s
--it just aint how i roll
--what will i pay 'top dollar' for?
--top dollar shit

Avatar image for elheber

This is the kind of game that would make for a great sequel. A sequel which presumably would add all the things that feel missing and refine all the things that feel wonky in this one.

Avatar image for snugglebear

For the life of me I have no idea where these peoples' expectations came from.

Avatar image for SofaCama

Gamespot should make an article about Sean Murray having lied. All those interviews about "meeting other players" and now it's just a single player experience and he just won't make any statements about it.

Yeah I know he said something on twitter a few days ago but that isn't enough. Just watch him blabbing in those interviews and you'll see.

I'm not saying it's a bad game per se, sure it has its limitations but I'm kind of enjoying it. The being lied at part though really pisses me off and he should say something. Anything.

Avatar image for fig56

@SofaCama: All I ever saw was when he said you won't likely meet other people at all. Plus, there are tons of other multiplayer games out there already. Why does every game have to have some form of multiplayer?

Avatar image for bigrob007

@SofaCama: did I miss where it came out that he lied and this wasn't just a server issue? or some other factor?

Avatar image for kyelo

@SofaCama: Got links for these interviews? I remember seeing a few months back saying it was highly unlikely you'll ever meet anybody and you can't hook up easily with friends.

Avatar image for wtf_666

@7tizz: "Hello Games used trickery in their words. By 'probably never' hints of a possibility of it"

So in your mind, probably never equals highly likely?????? LOL probably never means no chance to most people. Am I going to win the lotto? Probably never. I better start shopping for Ferraris!

Avatar image for SofaCama

@kyelo: link here look it up

And by the way it's not that's "highly unlikely" to meet anybody. The game has no multiplayer.

Avatar image for sladakrobot

The game has potential if the devs can update the game with more things players can do...the question is if this indie dev has the time and resources to do it.

I hope they earn enough money with the sales so they can support this game with updates.

Avatar image for kyelo

Got 71(has risen from 69)on Metacritic from 44 reviewers so Gamespot's 7 is about perfect for the general feel for the game.

Avatar image for speed45823

Here's the Easy Allies (Former GameTrailers) review of No Man's Sky. It's the most on-the-point review yet and has been scored accurately too.

Avatar image for kyelo

@speed45823: "scored accurately" no such thing, entirely subjective.

Avatar image for speed45823

@kyelo: Sure but as far as the review for No Man's Sky review scores go, it's pretty accurate right now. It's definitely not a 10 / 10 game. It's mediocre to slightly above average at best.

Avatar image for ShadowStyleB

@speed45823: So what you're saying is that it is about like all the other reviews which makes it like very review ever meaning "Subjective".

Avatar image for suicidesn0wman

Seems to me the critical reception has been less than 'generally positive'. Half of the reviewers don't know what to make of this game. A meta of 70 isn't positive, its average.

Also, did the Time reviewer actually give this game a 90 because he likes Minecraft?

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