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No Man's Sky isn't going over well on Steam

UPDATE: User reviews now mostly positive, but technical difficulties remain.

UPDATE 14/08/2016 11.20pm: No Man's Sky's Steam reviews have flipped the script with nearly two-thirds of users now praising the game.

As of publishing, No Man's Sky has 19,450 positive Steam reviews and only 13,694 negative.

That's still a lot though. More damningly, all 10 of the user reviews voted "most helpful" have been negative.

Yet only a small portion of these were due to the game's litany of technical difficulties at launch. The lion's share seem to be from people who were able to play it properly and simply didn't like it. As we experienced in our lengthy No Man's Sky livestream, it's a marmite kind of game.

As of now, no update has been issued to the game, but Hello Games has tweeted a few suggestions and noted that it's "currently testing fixes for older AMD Phenom CPUs + more".

The uptick in positive reviews make sense given that it only takes a few minutes to determine if something won't run (or run unplayably poor) on one's rig, whereas forming an opinion of the full game takes time.

The tl;dr version: the game still has lots of technical issues, but the chances of it affecting you aren't quite as high as initially believed.

ORIGINAL STORY 12/08/2016 8.01pm: No Man's Sky's PC launch has been highly anticipated as patient players have waited an extra couple of days to play what would likely be the definitive version of the procedurally-generated space epic. After all, the PC version promised loads of customisation options missing from the PS4 release. Things like 4K resolution support, the ability to remove the HUD, and options to adjust the field of view.

And now that the PC version has been out for about two hours, much of that goodwill has soured as a majority of players are bumping up against a host of technical issues rendering the game unplayable in its current state.

As of publishing, user reviews on Steam are strongly negative with 2616 reviews slamming the game and only 1134 praising it.

Of course, it's hard to form a complete verdict on a game of No Man's Sky's magnitude in only an hour or two, but it only takes a few minutes to suss out whether the product is even playable on your PC. For many of these players, it wasn't.

"Unless you like setting the game to cap at 60 fps, yet still getting 30 fps, with stuttering more frustrating and irritating than Arma 3, I would stay away until things (hopefully) get better," wrote Steam user Direwolf-1 in the top-rated review. "Right now, performance is too bad for me to recommend at all.

"10 FPS on a GTX 980? No Man's Lag. DO NOT BUY" added Steam user Robo Hobo.

"Crashes on open every time. gg" thelordvalor stated.

Many more reported that the game would simply crash upon starting up.

Gamer Network's own John Bedford experienced similar issues. He then tried applying an update, but to little avail. "Still lurching between 12 and 50+ fps for me with little 'micro freezes' for want of a better description. Drivers are all up to date as far as I'm aware, as is the game client," he noted.

For its part, Hello Games' Sean Murray has addressed many of these issues on Twitter.

"Biggest issue reported so far is players without the Visual C++ Redist 2010. First PC patch released already! Update and restart if needed."

"Number two issue so far is players who have out of date GFX drivers, or none installed. Please install latest drivers from AMD and nVidia."

"Number three please make sure your GFX card is above the min spec. OpenGL 4.5 is required to play No Man's Sky."

Hello Games also recently noted that it's hired a QA team larger than the whole studio, so hopefully the problems people are having will be sorted promptly.

Technical issues aside, No Man's Sky has been a big hit at Eurogamer headquarters. Many of us have been spending much of our week exploring the cosmos and our Oli Welsh praised No Man's Sky in his review. "As it stands, it's flawed but completely intoxicating, a unique work of engineering art to lose yourself in," he said of Hello Games' mission to boldly go where no developer has gone before.

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No Man's Sky

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Jeffrey Matulef


Jeffrey Matulef is the best-dressed man in 1984.