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One Year Later, It’s Time To Pull ‘No Man’s Sky’ Out Of The Bargain Bin – Forbes

Paul Tassi/Hello Games

No Man’s Sky

For as much as everyone seems to hate No Man’s Sky, gamers certainly still seem to be fascinated by it.

No Man’s Sky’s latest update, a 1.3 anniversary patch, is the leading story on most gaming sites, reddit and it’s trending on Twitter. The attention is likely one part genuine interest, nine parts “what on earth is going on with this game?”

What’s clear is that Hello Games is not giving up. No Man’s Sky is one of the most high-profile cautionary tales in the industry, the new “Peter Molyneux overhyping Fable” as the go-to for high expectations leading to disappointing results.

But what’s clear to me is that this game is certainly now worth picking up. Hello Games’ loss is your gain in this instance. While no, I cannot make the argument that No Man’s Sky in its clearly unfinished state was worth $60 to most people at launch, a year later we are far, far away from that scenario.

To date, No Man’s Sky has received three giant patches. The first added base-building and freighters, the second land vehicles and this third one has graphically overhauled the game, added quests, added a better story, added multiplayer components and all three of these have come with additional minor improvements that have drastically transformed the game from what you played or heard about in week one.

Paul Tassi/Hello Games

No Man’s Sky

It’s true that maybe No Man’s Sky should have never been a $60 game, but now…it isn’t. A year after launch, you can pull it out of any bargain bin for $10-20, and Steam routinely puts it in bundles for a similar price. While I may have been one of the few people who got my money’s worth at $60 with 80+ hours played in the launch window, I was definitely not comfortable recommending the game at that price for the general public. But for $10, $20 or even $30? Yeah, I’m willing to bet you may appreciate the recommendation at this point.

This year of updates have taken the game from what was essentially at technical alpha at launch to a beta level today. Still short of its promise, still promising to improve, but worth checking out all the same. I cannot tell you how much I’ve enjoyed messing around with base-building, hunting for rare ships and simply cruising around planets taking photos. It does take a certain kind of mindset to enjoy this game, but it remains one of the most chill and relaxing gaming experiences I’ve come across (though the game has also added intense combat and permadeath for those seeking a rougher ride). I still don’t know why it’s not in VR.

I genuinely don’t know what Hello Games is doing at this point. It frankly seems a bit insane that they’re continuing to work this hard on a game that was so poorly received at launch and is held up as a warning flag for all future titles. And they’re doing so not to sell DLC or microtransactions, but just to get people their money’s worth, and maybe to sell a few discounted copies if they can (a literal bargain bin purchase of the game is used will get them exactly nothing, however). From the outside, it seems like their time would be better spent on a new project, but honestly this seems like it’s about redeeming their name and getting people to trust them again, not necessarily just moving loads of copies (and that chance has almost certainly come and gone at this point). It’s somewhat admirable, but then you remember how they got into this mess in the first place, and it’s tough to know how to feel.

But as I said, no matter why Hello Games is doing this, this series of updates has made No Man’s Sky a much better purchase at a lower price. If you’ve been avoiding this game until now because of all the anti-hype, it may be time to reverse course and actually give it a shot. Or if you own it, to boot it up and download all these updates to see just how much has changed. It’s a lot, trust me, and I think you might like what you find.

Follow me on Twitter and on Facebook. Pick up my sci-fi novel series, The Earthborn Trilogy, which is now in print, online and on audiobook.

One Year Later, It’s Time To Pull ‘No Man’s Sky’ Out Of The Bargain Bin – Forbes

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