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No Man's Sky is dope, and it's okay to not agree with that.

Divisive games exist. There's no way to get around that. In an industry where everything we play is going to be subjective to the person who plays it, we have to learn to accept that we just aren't going to like some games that others do like.

Enter No Man's Sky. It's a game that takes place on planets and in space. When it comes to gameplay mechanics, there are basically only four things to do:

  1. Fly around space
  2. Explore planets
  3. Go to waypoints and essentially "liberate bases" ala Far Cry (meaning that you interact with whatever place you are at)
  4. Mine stuff

Sure, you can sell stuff at the Galactic Trade Network, learn languages, pick up blueprints and improve your exosuit/multi-tool/starship, buy new starships, and a handful of other things. However, in terms of the pure gameplay mechanics themselves, there are four things to do in the game.

Personally, I like simplicity. This is why I did every possible thing in open world games like Assassin's Creed 2, Batman: Arkham Asylum, Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, Far Cry 2 and 3, Skyrim, and so many others: the mechanics of exploration were simple. As a matter of fact, it was the main thing that even kept me playing those games at all. It's the reason why, after all of these years, Oregon Trail is still such a solid game: simplicity and exploration.

There is the survival game aspect as well, and many can say that it isn't fully realized and that it's beating a dead horse. I won't disagree on the latter, as anyone with eyes who can look at Steam Greenlight knows how insanely flooded the marketplace is with survival games at the moment.

No Man's Sky never feels like "survival game" is its core aspect. Exploration is always front and center. The rest of the package is a way to interact with that exploration on a deeper level.

Nonetheless, there are a lot of voices out there screaming and crying out "the game is boring" and "the game sucks." To those people, I speak with simplicity in the same way that No Man's Sky offers simplicity in its gameplay: that's okay. You don't have to like the game. It's not going to be a game for everyone. For a video game company, that's not the kind of thing they want to hear about a game that has been in development for a little under half a decade. Video game companies want to make money so they can keep making video games. At a $60 price tag, people are looking at the simplicity of the game and wondering "should I spend money on it, wait for a sale, or avoid it completely?"

The answer is "do whichever feels right for you."

In this, I personally look at No Man's Sky as a commentary on itself within the video game industry. The worlds and creatures you will explore and analyze within No Man's Sky will start feeling a bit like the same thing over and over after a bit, but everything has its little quirks and bits of uniqueness. If you don't care for one of those things, there are plenty of others out there that can appeal to you and do right by you.

If you don't like No Man's Sky, that's fine. There are other worlds out there for you to explore, but let those who wish to explore this one be at peace while they do so.