I can’t help but feeling that the biggest problems with No Man’s Sky had almost nothing to do with No Man’s Sky. It shouldn’t have been marketed the way it was, it shouldn’t have been shown off with deceptive early teasers and a bunch of patently untrue claims and most of all, it shouldn’t have been sold for $60 in stores like it were a traditional AAA boxed release. That last bit is the essence of the disconnect that has made this one of the most controversial titles this year. No Man’s Sky was clearly something we were all familiar with: a small team, largely experimental game that was bound to offer some unique and interesting experiences and grow over time. Such games are important and fun. But putting it next to an experience like Uncharted 4 sent the wrong message about what to expect and chaos ensued. Now, however, things have shaken out a bit, the developer is talking again, there’s a new “Foundation” update out there, and it’s Cyber Monday, which drops the price down to $25.
So that makes it a good time to buy No Man’s Sky, in my estimation. The game is far from perfect or complete, but what I’ve seen I will reckon is eminently worth $25. This game is neither the end all, be all it was advertised as nor the total mess it was portrayed as post-launch. It is an enjoyable, meditative space exploration game for the person that wants to wander around zapping rocks with lasers. It is, one might say, particularly well-tuned for residents of Massachusetts, Maine, California, Washington, Oregon and Colorado. If you catch my drift. A recent update gives you more to do but doesn’t add a huge amount of depth (read Paul Tassi for more), and there is a promise of much more to come in the future.
Don’t get me wrong: like most games these days, No Man’s Sky is only going to get better if you wait. It might not be this cheap again for a little while, but it will definitely be this cheap again at some point before being cheaper. And this update will be joined by more content. So if you’ve got no burning desire, it’s fine to hold off for a few months. But there comes a time when the price of a given game hits a sweet spot in terms of content, and $25 feels pretty good for No Man’s Sky.