Great article Martin. It has totally removed my guilt for a) playing No Mans Sky and enjoying it and b) continuing to be a gamer now that I’m in my Forties. Completely agree with you. NMS is like playing Elite in the 80s but with all of the bells and whistles that we always knew we wanted.
I have, however, hit a bit of a brick wall with the game. It’s been an age since finding any kind of meaningful new technology and although I still find myself enjoying the grind for a bigger, better and badder star ship, the whole experience is losing it’s compulsion for me.
I’m not looking for loads of new features. Just a bit more depth in the storytelling and some visible changes when you upgrade your ship. Things that would give all this planet plundering some meaning.
When I think of games to compare NMS to, Journey comes to mind. Journey is a game that has even less to do that NMS and yet every action feels meaningful. Like you are racing towards some great reveal that will give the experience a sense of purpose.
Without that, you are essentially just blasting rocks in order to put pictures in squares.
That’s probably a bit harsh but I’d be interested in how much more you play, once you’ve exhausted all upgrade possibilities.
The hope is that Hello Games is beavering away on some exciting gameplay improvements that will make the whole experience that much deeper.