After 3 long years of waiting for its release, gamers have flocked to No Man’s Sky now available on Blu-Ray disc for the Playstation 4 unit and on digital distribution platforms for PS4/PC. The game received mixed reviews, but sold gangbusters. Many of the players, including myself, have dissected some goods and a lot of ‘mehs’ and bads out of the 1.4m copy selling game. Many people weren’t impressed with what they saw, stating the marketing on the actual gameplay was vague and that they couldn’t get any “Chievos” for it on their ‘Bone’. The years leading up to the release saw some incredible footage of a massive game with visuals blowing away the murky brown competition in the field at the time. The final product however is nowhere near as spectacular as the marketing campaign made it appear to many, inciting intense backlash from consumers.
There’s a similar campaign going on for a product that on closer inspection could reach the same outcomes; Donald Trump’s Presidential Election. In this piece I will be examining some areas of No Man’s Sky and how they relate to the way that the Trump campaign is selling the presidential candidate.
Empty promises that change
Sean Murray, who has been the face of Hello Games over the course of its interactions with the public, has appeared through a lot of channels telling us about this ‘amazing’ game. The often cited interview between Murray and Stephen Colbert on US broadcast television program The Late Show has him strongly imply you can see other players in the game.
So it was a shocking revelation when two people arrived at the same location in the game and couldn’t see each other. A game where you could pause the game and the world would stop as well ISN’T an MMO? Scandalous! Obviously this is an issue of transparency in the marketing, as the game never really seemed to explain where a lot of its elements had gone. My personal biggest disappointment is that data-miners have found no trace of the giant snake shown off in the 2013 VGX reveal trailer. Developers have the right to remove things from their games, but what’s left in No Man’s Sky turns to game into an overly repetitive and boring slog.
Now, it is possible to argue that Donny Trump still has a while before he can welch on his crazy election promises; he has taken many backflips over the course of his campaign. He stated he couldn’t understand how people on minimum wage could live, only to later state that “wages are too high”. His most notorious policies relate to immigration, and members of his team are constantly saying they’re constantly under review. This far into an election cycle, a candidate should know what they’re delivering. But judging from the Republic Party members that have backed him after strongly arguing against his legitimacy, maybe he’s just fitting the role as best he can.
Both the hugely hyped game and the US presidential candidate lack the honour and integrity we expect in our video games and national leaders. While issues of transparency are important, we need to have a straight forward message. It’s too late for these two entities to be making these changes and the public is soaking the blood of cattle slaughtered in their wake.
Just another survival game/crackpot. And with less substance
No Man’s Sky falls under the ‘survival’ banner, and doesn’t stray far from the shade of the banner because it has fair skin or something and is afraid that the light of additional gameplay elements could damage its skin. Up until this point any notion of deeper gameplay would be like an application of a thick layer of orange fake sun tan lotion.
So many gaff-prone, out of touch and borderline insane people have run for public office in the past, but for the position that is regarded as the most powerful person in the World? It’s one thing to be the mayor of London or an ex-boxer in charge of all the Kangaroos, but the Grand Poobah of the second most powerful nation on Earth? It’s lucky that many facets of the media have portrayed him and his team as a menagerie of bumbling ass-clowns, otherwise we would have something to actually fear. As the vote’s popularity swings to the Democrat’s Clinton camp, we are seeing stranger and stranger behaviour from the Trump. It’s definitely for the best and we should all hope that No Man’s Sky gets no GOTY awards, for the sake of the American people.
Mexicans won’t build that wall, you will
As Trump continues to trick naïve Americans into believing that the wall between Mexico and the US will be paid for by Mexico (which actual cost is so inconsistently reported and constantly ballooning that I’m not comfortable saying an exact figure), anyone with half a brain knows that the wall will not be erected (at least not in full). The efforts behind Trump’s immigration plans will likely fall solely on the American tax-payer. The wall that they’re building is a metaphorical one, one that doesn’t reflect the values of all American people, and yet they all pay for the wall.
In No Man’s Sky, the ‘fun’ the game offers the player comes from the effort the player is willing to put in. It’s not an easy game to extract fun out of, and if that’s the case it breaks the definition of what is a ‘good game’. Just as Americans will be the ones building the wall of hostility towards the Mexico, the gamer has to build their own enjoyment when playing No Man’s Sky.
The surface is fake (tan)
Take a look at the official PS4 boxart for No Man’s Sky.
As we can clearly see, this is a gorgeous planet, perfectly encapsulating what the game is setting out to engage you with. Unfortunately, that’s just a 1 in 18 quintillion representation of the game. A lot of other planets are offputtingly coloured and lacking of any sort of vegetation. The same could be argued about Donald Trump. When President George Bush Senior banned broccoli from the White House and Air Force One, we saw the stance that the Republican Party takes on vegetation, and the off-putting colour is a pretty low reach.
The marketing for No Man’s Sky presented some amazing game that bursting with life, but not once in their media tour did they showcase a planet as bland as some that I have come across. Meanwhile, Trump’s media has shown a vibrant nominee, but what happens when he gets elected? No Man’s Sky, that’s bloody well what.
But before you leave just remember; in entertainment, nothing should be considered a ‘promise’. It’s a business. But for someone who is running to be the next President of the United States of America? They need to be honest. The Trump campaign has made many promises, but they can never promise to be honest. And a promise without honesty hurts more than just the promisor.
This piece is intended as satire and should be taken as such.