Did any of this actually make it to the game? Largely, no, but a scaled-down, simplified version of the above does exist.

No Man’s Sky promised great things, which is why we expected greatness. By the time the game made it to our hands, however, all we received was a shell of the original game.

The game is in such a bad state compared to four months ago that it seems like the developers spent the last few months chopping off features than adding them.

One Man’s Lie

This aptly titled post, called “One Man’s Lie, the documentation of an unpleasant deception,” methodically compares the promise of No Man’s Sky with the reality of No Man’s Sky. That post puts into a great many words exactly what everyone who’s bought the game has been thinking.

If that post was too long, this video also manages to sum things up quite nicely.

The game’s reception has been so terrible, in fact, that Amazon, Sony and Steam are nowoffering full refunds to disappointed gamers. No questions asked.

But enough of the complaining. Yes, we were promised a universe and received a pond. Yes, the game looks nothing like the trailers. Yes, there is no depth to the gameplay and yes, this is an indie title masquerading as a AAA game.

One community’s vision

no man's sky bigthings 2.0 mod

BigThings 2.0 makes everything, well, bigger

All of this can be salvaged, however, but only if the community is allowed to step in and do their thing.

Skyrim and Minecraft are perfect examples of this. Both games can devolve to formulaic drudgery if you let them and Skyrim in particular was a seriously unpolished console-port that had more bugs than features.

The respective gaming communities took both those games and transformed them into something else entirely. They fixed bugs, added features and created mods that completely changed the scope of the respective titles.

No Man’s Sky can benefit from just such modding. The game is, after all, based on a formula. Tweak the formula and you tweak the game.

Modders have already started fixing issues like the restriction on flight physics, the incessant voice alerts and even the pointless lag in the selection mechanic. Gameplay elements are also being tweaked and you can even transform the game into a more roguelike survival game if you so desire.

No Man’s Sky is a disappointment, that’s certain, but it needn’t stay that way. There’s a lot of potential here that’s just been wasted. Opening up the game to heavier modding will go a long way to transforming this shell of a game into something more substantial. This will take a lot of time, however.

As far as I’m concerned, this game is headed to cold storage though. It might be worth revisiting the title a year hence, but for now, it’s back to space-trucking in Elite: Dangerous.