by Christopher Groux via iDigitalTimes

No Man’s Sky released in one of the rockiest ways possible. Hours after launch, angry players took to social media to discuss the game’s missing features and visuals dissimilar to its PS4 trailers. Amidst reports that Hello Games is under investigation for false advertising, one journalist has defended the developer.

Owen S. Good has been employed in games journalism for nearly a decade, and he’s currently a reporter for Polygon. Late last week he composed an editorial about No Man’s Sky that’s just now starting to get some attention. In roughly 500 words, he essentially slammed fans for not being happy with a vision that, in his mind, is true to what Hello Games had always promised.

“The essential promise of No Man’s Sky was — to me anyway — a vast procedurally generated galaxy that a user could go explore as a camera, more or less, whether on alien soil or in orbit,” he said. “When the game turned out to be exactly that boring, a lot of people got mad and went to authorities over promises of ‘ship flying behaviour’ and the size of the creatures populating the worlds the user may explore, and other claims rooted in some kind of objective standard that the game has apparently failed.”

While he conceded that sometimes game developers release “bullshot” images that are impossible to replicate in any way on any hardware, Good equally expressed that “No Man’s Sky didn’t do anything close to that.” Titles like Aliens: Colonial Marines famously shook the trust of gamers three years ago with those kinds of tactics, but no comparison to it was made in this case.

The major point made by Godd is that the criticism against No Man’s Sky actually has nothing to do with its trailers or advertising but is instead a manifestation of frustration with a game that just wasn’t very good. The title was pre-ordered bountifully by devotees that felt sure Hello Games would deliver a quality product. In the eyes of many, that didn’t happen.

“It all feels like people are going to court over a refrigerator’s ice-making capacity, and getting a settlement there, when what’s really bothering them is the fact the appliance clashes with the countertop,” Good concluded.

From our perspective, it’s not so simple. No Man’s Sky did indeed release without many features its developers seemed to openly promise. Where’s the large-scale space combat? Why are factions so meaningless? Why aren’t there any hooks for multiplayer at all? While Good makes a solid case in saying that many detractors are focusing on tiny issues like creature size, it’s the bigger gaping holes that are certainly worthy of contempt. That being said, none of those elements were shown in actual ads, so it’s difficult to hold the studio legally accountable for them.

Do you agree with Good’s point of view? Did No Man’s Sky really release just as boring as advertised? Should Hello Games be facing legal trouble? Tell us in the comments section.

No Man’s Sky is available now on PS4 and PC.

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