For me it's just the depth.
The game is great for just lounging. It's art style was great for me, and it is cool to land on different planets and see the styles.
But I did find it became repetitive after the first 15 hours or so.
I posted about the game on my blogg:
"So I tried. I desperately tried. I tried to commit myself to No Man’s Sky (NMS). I really did. But I failed. Don’t get me wrong, it’s wonder-filled game. For at least 10 hours. I’ve spent at least 30 hours on this, but after the first 10, the appeal dropped drastically.
The visuals are some of the most unique and refreshing I’ve seen in many, many years. And the promise of what the game could be, seems to be so close. Yet so far.
There’s no question, what Hello Games (HG) have accomplished on a technical level is remarkable. For such a small team, they’ve done a great job putting this game together (I’m playing on PS4) and having as much variation as the game offers through procedural generation leads to some eyebrow raising moments. That being said, scores of players have had a number of issues on both PC and PS4 (I’ve been lucky, I’ve only encountered a crash once). HG have been working on releasing patches (several have already been released) to address crashes and other bugs.
But bugs aside, the game was touted as one of the largest ever. Some quintillion planets to be discovered. That’s huge, and it does feel ridiculously large, especially when you open up the galaxy map. The main appeal of this game is the wonder of exploration. But the problem for me is, the wonder wore off after a few hours in. There are certainly all different types of worlds to visit, but once you’ve seen the main “types”, there’s nothing really propelling you to continue on.
The game lacks the depth to have any “meaningful” activity beyond seeing the different artistic planets. For some people that is more than enough, but for a vast number of players it sadly isn’t. There’s a number of problems for me personally:
The game requires a large time investment simply in micro managing your inventory, which for a survival game makes sense to a degree. But NMS makes it tedious in that items (other than elements) can’t be stacked with any real ease. As a result, you’re constantly trying to find ways to use items so you can store another item in its place. This becomes less of an issue later in the game as you acquire more inventory slots for your suit and ship. (Neither of which is adequately explained to you in game.)
For a game promoted as a space exploration game, there really isn’t much that goes on in space! You can attack stationery freighters, tangle with other ships, or mine asteroids, but that really is the extent of it. The fighting mechanics are extremely basic, and there’s no real incentive. I was really hoping for a bit more from this component of the game, but was sad to find that there’s no real missions or compelling combat to be had.
Technically, even though there’s endless variation, there’s no real differences. You’ll replicate the exact same action against the same objects over and over for the same result. By this I mean, you’ll mine resources to refuel or create items, and you’ll do this over again, and again. The resources are always the same types for the same items, the NPCs offer no real engagement or character, the ships are different predominantly in appearance only, and the flora/fauna eventually starts to feel very similar and also lack any significant or meaningful interaction.
Lack of Story
In their defense, they stated all along that there was only a “loose lore” prodding players to journey to the center of the galaxy. That being said, the game does lead you to two different “quest” lines. One being the Path to the Atlas, another being to the center of the galaxy. However, both are a repetitive sequences of events, which end in probably the most disappointing ending I’ve encountered in gaming. I won’t give it away for you, but, I suggest if you’re on the fence about seeing it through that you look up these two endings so you don’t feel that you’ve wasted ‘X’ number of hours once it’s finished.
(Another notable indie game had a similar premise, however, that didn’t feel like a disappointment in my opinion due to 1.) the time it took to complete said game, 2.) the style of the game. You can quiz me on this and we can discuss if you like.)
There are plenty of threads on reddit talking about what was expected vs. what was received. But my main issue with NMS is that it could be so much more. It’s almost like a symphony building to a crescendo, only to fade out before. A Forbes article mentioned it being one of the greatest anti-climaxes in gaming. I’m inclined to agree. A number of great features had been mentioned across the dev cycle, which either didn’t appear or didn’t seem to measure up to what was touted.
E.g. Trading is said to be one of the core pillars. Except, the trading simply entails selling resources at a station where there’s a good return, or holding on to them if not, in the hope that the next station has a good price. See there’s no way to check prices offered in any station. There’s no way to set bookmarks or way points to certain stations. And given the size of the game, it’s extremely difficult to find your way back to a station once you move on.
Another item was the NPC / Faction interaction, except, there appears to be zero (that’s nil), influence to your “standing” with any of the factions in game. It was mentioned there would be benefits to befriending certain factions, but none can be seen in game and I haven’t noticed any other player mention it.
I could go on, and on. The game is great to look at, and the musical score is reflective at times. I thoroughly enjoyed my first few hours as I got lost in the game’s eye catching world. But soon after, the depth notably the lack thereof became apparent. There’s simply not enough here to hold the attention for many gamers sadly.
I’m hopeful that HG will release patches with additional content to expand the game, because with even a few fundamental changes, the game could be great fun.
So alas, the excitement I had for “The Journey” is, for now, over."