No More Sky, Please
(cover image via PC Gamer)
No Man's Sky (NMS) launched with mixed reviews due to an almost impressive level of over-promising and under-delivering. It had bugs, underwhelming immersion, tedious gameplay, and promised features were completely absent. It was the most impressive example of a game shipping in a woefully incomplete state. That was about a year ago. After three sizable free updates, a lot of positive buzz from the game's die-hards on Steam and Reddit, and a deep discount in the PS4, I was willing to give it a shot.
I really wanted this to be good. When NMS was announced, I was actually really excited and interested in what the game promised; nigh infinite exploration and discovery. I could sense though, in the excited speeches and interviews from the development team the same overreaching hubris that made a jasdfvgqewnmpoke of John Romero and keeps Peter Molyneux from getting invited to the really good parties.
I'm sorry to report NMS is still a tedious bug-infested shell of a game. I can't imagine how bad it must have been at launch for this to be considered a significant improvement. This isn't a review though. Games get reviews. This is a glorified tech demo. I didn't hate it though. I actually liked some of the experience. Underneath all the repetitive missions, inconsistent and unintuitive UIs there was the kernel of a great game. But I just had to give it up. Fifteen hours in and I had seen nothing to indicate that even if the game started to introduce anything interesting, the presentation would kill it.
Now this is only one of the many reasons I've had to give up on a game that had the potential to be really fun. Like a failed relationship, the feeling of loss surrounding the time invested and dashed hopes can be disheartening. In this case it's fifteen hours of my life I'll never get back. It sucks having to give up on things that offered either initial enjoyment or enrichment, but ultimately failed to deliver the goods. It's an important skill to have though.
Speaking beyond the scope of video games, there's simply too many great experiences, places, relationships, and art out there, and no one person gets to take it all in. It's unfortunate lot, but that's mortality for you. No matter what working-mom sitcoms tell us, we can't have it all. It's up to each of us to discover what we want, value, and when unsatisfied in those arenas, what needs to be changed to make room for a more educated guess at what's missing.
What have you had to let go of, video games or otherwise, when it became for whatever reason not worth it? Do you regret it? Is there anyway you would go back, or is it better not to re-tread?
Thanks for listening,