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Gamers corner: No one promised great things at the center of the galaxy. September 10, 2016

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

This amused me. The news that some gamers aren’t so gone on No Man’s Sky. I love the idea of NMS, a large open game world set in a universe where one explores etc. And yet, alarm bells went off in my mind when it was apparent how limited the interactions could be. So I’m not entirely unsympathetic or unsurprised by the following:

Fan disappointment is equally big, it turns out. Now that the game—which came out in early August—is actually available, most of that pre-release fervor has died down, leaving nothing so much as an angry hangover in its wake. The frustration is understandable: Though those almost endless worlds are pockmarked with countless points of interest, traversing them can be an oceanically dull experience. In a largely favorable write up for the Ringer, Ben Lindbergh writes, “The environments, so striking and varied from afar, reveal their seams and sameness upon closer inspection.” Similarly, Hudson observes, “The vastness and variation of the game inevitably make it, at times, mundane; when the possibilities are nigh-limitless, they can’t all be interesting.”

I actually get the idea one could sink 50 or 70 hours into and want a refund. God knows a lot of games are pretty samey, to put it mildly, level after level of corridors and so on that are all but indistinguishable from one another. The media hype around NMS has been extraordinarily great.

Still got to say I love this comment BTL…

No one promised great things at the center of the galaxy.

Indeed not. Still demo’s seem rarer these days than hens teeth, though, in fairness, prices of games – at least on the Apple AppStore seem to be a lot cheaper than they used to be. Particularly if you’re willing to wait. But hey, who waits these days?

I’ve mentioned before, the best game I can think of would be something along the lines of the one described in Iain Bank’s Complicity – a sort of Civilisation on steroids crossed with… well who knows, an FPS of some sort. Sadly it doesn’t exist in reality, even now, twenty odd years later.

But then hype in computer games is nothing new. Indeed those who read game magazines might ponder the thought that reviews and articles are often closer to aspirational poetry than to any solid analyses of the merits or otherwise of individuals games. I think being in the Mac OS back in the day was no harm in that way. So few games got ported over that there were lower expectations as to how good they’d be. And in fairness they’d be fine in the main. Civilisation I’ve waxed lyric about before. Always been a flight sim fan and F/A-18 was pretty damn good (though I think I’ve referenced before the truly awful Fly, a near unusable flight sim for the Mac from around 2000).

Now most everything I’d want is ported to the Mac but where’s the time or the incentive? They’re so effing time intensive. So I’m rarely caught by computer games these days. I’ve played the KSP space programme simulator and enjoyed it, thought it’s a bit too much like work sometimes. Call of Duty I’ve played most iterations, though Black Ops isn’t fully supported on Mac – this may not be a bad thing. I found it kind of repetitive.

Years ago, in the late 90s I had a demo of an early iteration of Deus Ex which involved running around the Statue of Liberty and firing sedative tipped arrows at your opponents – part of a vast conspiracy against democracy and (I was never entirely clear on this point) most of the human race. I always enjoyed the fact it offered non-lethal ways to take down people.

I kept an eye on it subsequently, up to the point of managing to get a resale version of Deus Ex: Human Revolution on the PS3 some years ago. I enjoyed it but I’m no great fan of the PS3 controller, or indeed the PS3 in totality (though there is a certain joy to be found in driving around in GTAIV… just driving… very fast, and robbing motorbikes… and driving some more… and robbing cars… and driving). More recently I was able to get the MacOS version very cheaply. And away I’ve gone. if my posts here begin to dip in frequency you’ll know why.

I still like the idea you can play it in a non-lethal approach. And while some of the cut scenes are a bit annoying there is something genuinely entertaining about finding oneself out on the streets of a future Chicago, or is it Detroit, on a muddily rainy night with a monorail swooshing past.

Now that’s a future to enjoy!


1. gendjinn - September 10, 2016

Never came across Bolo on the mac? Still the best computer game I’ll ever play.


WorldbyStorm - September 10, 2016

I haven’t gendjinn but ill go looking now!


gendjinn - September 10, 2016

Took a look around to see what’s out there and it’s pretty much all gone except for really poor intro, the wiki and OBHP.

The game died in the early 00s.

Ahh nostalgia, the young don’t know nothing 🙂


WorldbyStorm - September 10, 2016

Ain’t that the truth


2. yourcousin - September 10, 2016

This might be of interest to folks.


3. EWI - September 10, 2016

I played Deus Ex (I think to completion) back when it first released. Ultimately, a depressing vision of self-inflicted atrocities in the future from human biological and technological experimentation.

I was a gamer. Deus Ex, Civilisation, Homeworld, Total War, I’ve played them all. I’ve come to the belief, long since, that it’s a curse, rather than a marvel, of the modern age, and an ultimately futile way to spend your life.


yourcousin - September 10, 2016

I used to play a lot of video games prior to my son’s birth. Even when he was a baby I would play a lot. Once he became cognizant I cut WAY back. I just upgraded to a PS4 for Fallout 4 which I beat once and haven’t touched since then. Games can be a fun past time, but like anything else, especially technology should be done in moderation.


WorldbyStorm - September 11, 2016

I’m more than half with you both. I think there’s way too much time spent on games – I despair when I see kids playing them. I don’t think before starting back into that iteration of Deus Ex that I’ve played a game solidly since Call of Duty, which was at least five years ago. And that would be the longest time away from them. I just haven’t been able to get into more recent versions of Civ, etc. That said I’ve found it oddly relaxing, sort of problem solving. Illusory of course and any book worth its salt will be better but still relaxing. But one thing I notice is that I”m a lot more disciplined. I’ll play it for half an hour or forty five minutes a day and leave it at that.


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