No Man’s Sky was one of the only good things about Spike’s terrible VGX Awards show which took place in December 2013. Since then it has slowly been gaining more momentum, and was recently announced as a timed exclusive for the PS4, with a later release on PC, and no mention of any other platform releases. So why is it so popular? Simple, it was announced as a fully 3D procedurally generated game with an open universe that nobody will ever be able to fully explore. That, combined with the fact that it does look insanely beautiful (see trailer below) led to a lot of people being excited about this game.
Now we look at WiLD. WiLD was announced very recently at Sony’s GamesCom press conference as a PlayStation 4 exclusive. In a similar fashion to No Man’s Sky, it has also gained a lot of attention with it’s trailer (watch below). This game is being hyped up as an open-world adventure from Rayman creator, Michel Ancel, and although it is not touted as being procedurally generated, the game is “based on experiencing new situations every time you play”, which sounds pretty damn similar.
So what’s the problem? Procedurally generated games have proven to work in titles like Don’t Starve, but my biggest worry about both these titles is that simple question that’s probably on most gamers’ minds, what is the point?
Neither game has explained clearly what the point of their game actually is, and how it will work. It sounds amazing to be able to explore the universe in No Man’s Sky, but why would you do it? Just to look at it? That’s not a game, that’s a technical demo. The same is true of WiLD, but as this was only recently announced, I’m willing to forgive them for leaving out a few details. I’m hopeful that Hello Games, and Wild Sheep will eventually explain the goals of their games, but at the moment, it’s hard to get excited by an idea.