7 Reasons No Man's Sky Should Be Considered For Game Of The Year 2016

Quell the hate, Hello Games did a lot of things remarkably well.

No Mans Sky
Hello Games

There's being raked over the coals, and then there's face-planting the embers yourself before the whole world starts piling on, cheering and fist-pumping the ensuing chaos as you're struggling for air.

Such a description is apt for No Man's Sky's wet fart of a game launch; one that since - and for almost four months after - has resulted in both director Sean Murray and Hello Games remaining completely silent, enduring seas of hatred and accusations of false advertising as the game didn't live up to the expectations of a hyped-up populace - or the many statements Murray himself had made beforehand.

So back to the drawing board they went, emerging with a staggering amount of changes, fixes and fan-requests intended to restore consumer faith in what No Man's Sky 'is', hopefully providing the basis to look at the game overall, instead of focussing on the negativity.

That said, is No Man's Sky one of 2016's finest games? Well, weirdly, if you'll just hold those pitchforks by your sides for a second, I'll explain.


7. A Genuinely Original, Innovative Premise

no man's sky
Hello Games

You need only look to the candidates for this year's Game Awards to get a feel for how stagnant and over-reliant on formulas the industry is right now. The nominations for GOTY are DOOM, Inside, Overwatch, Titanfall 2 and Uncharted 4: A Thief's End - otherwise known as, "three first-person shooters, another Uncharted and a physics-based platformer."

Now, they're immaculate games, I'll make that clear, but as for being creations that feel as though they could only have been made on new hardware, or ones that push the industry forward? We're far from that distinction.

Over to No Man's Sky, and its base idea of procedurally-generating an entire universe of content had genuinely never been done before, and certainly not to this scale. Elements of first-person shooting, survival and crafting are in there too, but as it's constantly twinned with this universe-sized sense of scope, you're forever dwarfed by the possibilities of level design alone.

For better or worse, Hello Games proving you can generate this much content to such a proficient degree at all is something other developers can learn from, and that alone is worth celebrating.

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Gaming Editor
Gaming Editor

Gaming Editor at WhatCulture. Wields shovels, rests at bonfires, fights evil clones, brews decoctions. Will have your lunch on Rocket League.