Mixed or average reviews - based on 96 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 41 out of 96
  2. Negative: 1 out of 96
Buy On
  1. 100
    No game, film, book or otherwise has been more effectively in capturing what the experience of exploring the universe must be. Lonely, hostile and unforgiving, Hello Game’s effort works so hard to reject the convention on how games are made that it’s easy to understand why people expecting something more traditional might come away disappointed.
  2. Aug 23, 2016
    No Man's Sky is an incredible experience, and completely different than everything else that I've ever played.
  3. Aug 21, 2016
    No Man’s Sky is currently a great game, and it has the potential to be a truly amazing one.
  4. Aug 18, 2016
    This game is unique, unbelievable big and extremely well made. Although the game is good, it must be said that it is not a game for everyone. If you enjoy a storyline that leads you step by step, then this game is not for you.
  5. Aug 17, 2016
    The act of playing the game isn't without its problems, as far as the tedium of having to pay for and fuel your ship and suit is concerned, and yet it's all in aid of enabling us to have an experience unlike anything a game has ever delivered, or one that we're ever likely to see again. This is the first game to ever make players truly feel as if they can boldly go where no one has ever gone before.
  6. Aug 12, 2016
    No Man’s Sky is no doubt a magnificent feat in game development. I am left humbled by all that I have seen and intend on continuing my journey in an attempt to see as much as possible, well aware I will never see it all. Space has its hooks in me and I don’t think I’ll ever want them to relinquish their hold.
  7. 90
    If you’ve ever dreamed of being a cosmonaut, of starting with practically nothing and amassing a fortune, of becoming a notorious space pirate, or had any other of the countless sci-fi fantasies out there, this is probably the game for you. Now, those fantasies might not play out exactly as you’d have hoped in No Man’s Sky, but this is a game that begs those who put in the time to come back just once more and see what lies just over the horizon. If this game is right for you, you won’t be able to put the controller down.
  8. Aug 11, 2016
    No Man's Sky isn't a game for everyone, but it's one hell of a game. A love letter from every sci-fi reader to their everlasting fantasies.
  9. Aug 9, 2016
    Even if a hundred or more hours from now No Man’s Sky wears out its welcome, I’ll be grateful and still somewhat awestruck by what a tiny team of developers rejiggering decades-old design ideas managed to pull off.
  10. Aug 15, 2016
    This is the experience of playing No Man’s Sky, a series of recurring structures that overlap and intersect, a surprisingly knowable collection of repeatable actions.
  11. Aug 28, 2016
    No Man's Sky is not only a marvel but also a disappointment in some respects. Nonetheless, it's a very ambitious and powerful title with quite a bit of grinding thrown into the mix.
  12. Aug 18, 2016
    No Man's Sky is a totally new experience. All Hello Games' promises are in the final game. The original soundtrack is awesome. It's a spectacular journey across the universe.
  13. Aug 13, 2016
    No Man’s Sky is the fulfilled promise that had been made by Hello Games a year ago. We face an infinite universe and a very well-developed and deep story, even though the gameplay mechanics could have been more elaborate.
  14. May 8, 2020
    While I’m sure developer Hello Games is still tweaking things and perhaps even creating more content for No Man’s Sky, the current state of affairs is a strong one. This galactic opus still offers an infinite amount of content for those who want to lose themselves among the stars, but now also contains a concrete throughline that will satisfy a wider array of players. It can be irritating at times, but it’s also full of stunning moments and the satisfaction of building a virtual life among the stars. Four years after launch, it’s finally a journey worth taking.
  15. Playstation Official Magazine UK
    Sep 26, 2016
    Postcard-worthy space tourism, best dipped in and out of in short spells to avoid mechanical frustrations. It's an otherworldly achievement of an insane scale, with tons of genuinely special moments to offer - but also an acquired taste. [Oct 2016, p.72]
  16. Sep 10, 2016
    Ultimately, the way you play No Man’s Sky is going to have as much of an impact on how much you enjoy it as the quality of the game itself. Hello Games has talked about this being a ‘chill’ game and has questioned whether it should have made heading to the centre of the universe an objective at all since it distracts from the more fulfilling approach of simply being and existing in this world. If the old adage that the journey rather than the destination is what has worth holds true for you then you should find much to admire.
  17. Aug 17, 2016
    It brings a relaxing gameplay design that is geared more towards exploration, rather than sci-fi action. In addition to exploration, it has a healthy crafting system, an interesting monetary structure that adds extra motivation, and an endless amount of adventures and secrets to uncover along the way.
  18. It’s not perfect, but No Man’s Sky is as much – and probably a lot more – than we had any right expect from such an ambitious game made by such a tiny team.
  19. Aug 16, 2016
    Sean Murray and the team at Hello Games promised us a huge, open universe in which we could live out our dreams of being interstellar explorers. And they pretty much delivered – think about how amazing that is.
  20. Aug 16, 2016
    Speaking as a fan of a more relaxed paced games, as an owner and backer of both Elite: Dangerous and Star Citizen and as a wannabe Minecraft survival-mode architect, I find it incredibly easy to look past No Man’s Sky’s admittedly rough exterior and see the brightly shining diamond beneath and I think I’m going to playing it for a long time.
  21. Aug 15, 2016
    No Man's Sky is about cutting your own path through a galaxy teeming with possibilities. It is a playground in which to let loose the human urge to explore and discover, supported by a deep crafting system that keeps players engaged in their journey. Improvements could be made, new features could add greater depth, but Hello Games' achievement here is nothing short of incredible.
  22. Aug 15, 2016
    No Man’s Sky is one of the most unique games we have ever reviewed. Sure, it lacks variation, and it can be really frustrating at times. But it’s also a wonderful experience that offers countless hours of exploration, stunning landscapes and a world that never stops surprising us.
  23. Aug 15, 2016
    No Man’s Sky is an unforgettable adventure, one plagued by lack of direction and lack of meat. It brings about one of the most incredible worlds ever seen in a video game, but it doesn’t always take advantage of that. Despite the issues, No Man’s Sky is a milestone in video game development.
  24. Aug 13, 2016
    Its scale and sense of isolation is special. The procedural nature imbues everything in the game with a sense of life that other, better-crafted games can’t match. And it nails the emergent storytelling that I want from a survival game.
  25. Aug 12, 2016
    No Man's Sky has no real flaws (except the star maps, really a disaster), but many limitations, but often due to his youth. It seems now clear that the objective of Sean Murray is to create another phenomenon a la Minecraft. The designer has already announced the arrival of terrestrial resources, the ability to build our own bases, even larger ships. Moreover, in a similar game structure you can add anything, including new variables, new land, new formulas to make things even more varied and surprising. No Man's Sky is not only gameplay, but there is something more, and that something is hidden in each of us.
  26. Aug 12, 2016
    Hello Games has created a gorgeously realised, constantly regenerating universe for players to get lost in, where the incredible journey trumps the destination.
  27. Aug 11, 2016
    There's a famous quote from mountaineer George Mallory, when he was asked why he would want to climb Mount Everest: "Because it's there." If that answer strikes you as profound and beautiful, go buy No Man's Sky. If it seems dumb and unsatisfying, go play something else.
  28. Aug 9, 2016
    No Man’s Sky is a fundamentally simple game; one that’s flawed, slow, and where the moment-to-moment activities are sometimes even... boring. But its intoxicatingly rare attitude towards pure discovery create a game that’s captivating unlike any other.
  29. Aug 11, 2016
    There are wonders indeed to be found in the No Man's Sky universe, but not everybody will be willing to put in the time and effort needed to discover them. This game is a technical marvel that patient, detail-oriented gamers will love. As-is, however, it demands a bit more time than it deserves. The universe is vast, but your inventory is small, and not everybody is going to want to make the long trudge necessary to become a galactic superstar.
  30. Games Master UK
    Oct 3, 2016
    Procedurally-generated infinity is a wondrous thing - but it's also strangely samey. [Oct 2006, p.64]
  31. Aug 21, 2016
    Endless universe, endless grind. Quite a fascinating ride at the start, which unfortunately turns into a bit of a drag through sheer repetition as the hours stack up.
  32. Aug 17, 2016
    No Man’s Sky rarely reaches beyond its vibrant world-building efforts to provide satisfying gameplay and story. Over dozens of hours of play, I couldn’t escape the sensation that I was playing one impossibly immense side mission, and I kept waiting for the real game to start.
  33. Aug 16, 2016
    Hello Games' procedural dream is becoming a reality, but we'll probably need to wait months/years to see the process completed.
  34. Aug 15, 2016
    While it has some problems and may not be for everyone, Hello Games should be commended for pouring all their effort into such an ambitious project and launching an end product that fulfilled their vision.
  35. 75
    It’s flawed in some fundamental, if fixable, ways, but No Man’s Sky has a dreamlike allure for those who can sink their teeth into its space-faring expanses. A memorable game, if not quite what it could be.
  36. Aug 15, 2016
    No Man's Sky is a huge universe created by Hello Games, and gives players the opportunity to explore and live it the way they want. It isn't a game for everyone, maybe only few will enjoy it for what it truly is, and it comes also with some technical issues, due probably to its procedural essence. There is no specific purpose in No Man's Sky, every player will find his own and will simply enjoy the journey, not the destination.
  37. Aug 14, 2016
    A game that can be loved beyond its problems, and that can be hated despite its triumphs. A game looking for a player looking for something different, quiet, relaxed with a big and refreshing focus on exploration beyond anything else.
  38. Aug 12, 2016
    No Man's Sky is a very interesting concept, and it definitely works until it starts getting repetitive. The ground it is built upon is amazing, but so far there are many questions that remain unanswered, so make sure you understand what the game has to offer before buying it.
  39. Aug 12, 2016
    Fluent space exploration videogames' dream comes true. No Man's Sky is an experiment that has its flaws when it comes to design, and you must always fight the randomness of its concept. Its creators made something unique and with unfathomable vastness. Probably, with a bigger team, with a bigger budget and with more ideas when it comes to variety in gameplay mechanics, we would be talking about a true revolution in this kind of entertainment.
  40. Aug 12, 2016
    The planets are amazing and the game has fabulous moments, but several gameplay flaws keep it away from becoming a masterpiece.
  41. Aug 8, 2016
    A great exploration game, but beyond the wow factor of infinite travel and discovering unique creatures and planets, there is little else to really do.
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  1. Aug 9, 2016
    Its voxel-based, procedurally generated engine is an incredible template for more systems, content, and performance tweaks. Until then, the game's title is true: this isn't yet a sky any man (or woman) should bother claiming.
  2. Oct 19, 2016
    The first time I played No Man’s Sky, I moved forward too fast. The second time, I stood still. Now, I’m ready to set out again, anchored by the things I’ll leave behind.
  3. Aug 25, 2016
    Above all else, it requires a proper commitment of time. It’s as much a hobby as it is a game: an activity that requires patience, diligence, and the capacity to be awed by sights that are quietly profound. The experience won’t suit every temperament, but to give up on an entire universe for inspiring awe too infrequently or for not inspiring the specific awe you’d prefer would be like abandoning bird-watching after a single hour without an exciting specimen.
  4. Aug 9, 2016
    For all this, for all of its pretentiousness, for all of its own flaws, No Man’s Sky rightly deserves a place in a modern art museum. Like a home with doors that may never open, begging us to ponder what lies beyond, No Man’s Sky is an unanswerable question, but one I’m glad I asked.
User Score

Generally unfavorable reviews- based on 5270 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Aug 9, 2016
    You just feel like Captain Kirk with your starship, "explore strange new worlds; to seek out new life and new civilisations; to boldly goYou just feel like Captain Kirk with your starship, "explore strange new worlds; to seek out new life and new civilisations; to boldly go where no man has gone before." I freaking love this game ! Full Review »
  2. Aug 9, 2016
    No Man's Sky seems like an exhilarating idea on paper, but the final execution is very lackluster. It doesn't take very long before theNo Man's Sky seems like an exhilarating idea on paper, but the final execution is very lackluster. It doesn't take very long before the gameplay gets stale and repetitive. While the size of the game may certainly be impressive, it doesn't mean much if it No Man's Sky doesn't offer much to keep you entertained with the game. If you really want to pick the game up, I'd recommend waiting for a price drop, but otherwise, I would skip it. Full Review »
  3. Aug 9, 2016
    Rather poor, lazy and generic survival elements covered up by shallow and boring exploration. The game certainly is pretty when you'reRather poor, lazy and generic survival elements covered up by shallow and boring exploration. The game certainly is pretty when you're ignoring the various graphical bugs. But aside from gorgeous music and selectively gorgeous visuals, the game doesn't have much to offer.

    Your super limited inventory space (even after upgrades) makes exploration a chore that you simply can't partake in as you'll have almost no inventory space to spare when you factor in upgrades and resources for just maintaining your redundant hazard and life support meters. Your best hope while exploring is finding some super boring wildlife that simply runs away when you get near it, or looking at plants that look like slightly different than real world counterparts (trees, cacti etc.). Its also not very fun discovering planets, wildlife or plants when you have no one to show off too or share your 500th meaningless discovery with. Discovering things doesn't feel fun, isn't rewarding or worthwhile, so why bother exploring?

    What about survival elements? Well you have a health bar that refuses to empty (read: its impossible to die this game is so easy) and lazy, generic "Life support & Hazard suit" gauges that depletes based on planetary conditions. The way to refill the gauges is simply using the super common resources found all around you. So survival is a non-issue at all times, and death doesn't set you back at all. Where's the tension and fear of the unknown when you essentially know nothing will harm you, and even if something does harm you odds are it won't do much of anything? It all seems very tacked on, as if Hello Games realized that the bland exploration caused by proceduraly generated planets would be boring if they didn't tack on various gameplay elements. Problem is, those elements don't enhance the game, its just frustrating.

    Further adding to the list of faults is the combat. With poor aiming mechanics and lackluster enemy variety and design, there is no depth. On foot combat offer very little in the way of challenge or fun, and ship combat doesn't really change much at all. Fighting enemy starships is a tedious "blown one up blown em all up" affair, and outside of pirates occasionally trying to blow you out of the sky,you'll probably forget your ship even has guns attached to it.

    The trade and economy system are lackluster. Galaxies have different values for items, but with such limited space and no way of knowing what the next galaxy's trade rates are, keeping your selling items (indicating by green boxes) in-between trips is sort of impossible when you're always bleeding for inventory room. Trading with NPCs is sort of pointless as well, seeing as how they all behave the same way and you always get the feeling like you're paying or losing out on trades to get next to no benefit. Whenever you walk up to any trade ships you encounter, the flavor text for what the interaction is like may change, but your options are still “Trade for ship or stop talking to this person”. When you finally go into the trade screen, you may think to yourself that you're going to get to bargain, or offer your valuables in exchange for the trader's valuables that can be used to craft upgrades or something. But no, its a black and white “Buy at this one set price or don't bother talking to me”. The whole trading, buying and selling system has about as much depth and is about as interesting as NES RPGs like the original Final Fantasy.

    The sense of discovery is lost here. What you discover isn't interesting and never feels worth discovering. Alien life is boring and dull, and you can't share your discoveries with them or any of the other players. What good is it that I discovered this galaxy when all of maybe 10 NPCs inhabit it, and no other human player will likely ever get to witness it or use my discoveries to aid in their survival there? Exploration proves fruitless, as the randomized planets lack the setpieces and gorgeous handcrafted vistas that such brilliant exploration games like Abzu, Shadow of Colossus, Flower or Journey have provided in the past or present. Combat is dull, survival feels like I'm babysitting some constantly depleting bars rather than using my wits to outsmart the universe, and the economy system is about as generic and uninteresting as any other game's despite its shallow attempts at depth or intrigue.

    In short, if all you want from a game is pretty scenery and can handle the worst pop-up you've ever seen in a game as well as lifeless planets with no personality, than by all means pick this up, you can take some wonderful screenshots for your desktop. But if you're looking for absolutely any substance in your exploration or interactions with the universe, or hope to discover some truly breathtaking moments on par with the aforementioned exploration games, I recommend looking to the upcoming Abzu, or the August PS+ game Rebel Galaxy for your exploration or space trader/pirate needs.
    Full Review »