No Man's Universe

No Man's Universe

I have a sneaking suspicion that the best video game science fiction plot last year was in No Man's Sky.

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Best science fiction plot... or just best concept? I haven't actually played it but it seems like the plot is a little light from everything I've read, to the point of can you even call it a plot?

Take for example Bioshock's plot; It was also wrapped around a similarly great concept (control). You don't realize what's going on at first, you're carried forward by the characters and the story... until you slam face first into that twist. And you're left thinking about it long after you've finished the game.

Everything I read and watched about this game left people confused or underwhelmed. After your description I'm more curious to pick the game up now but at the same time, if you can confuse the storyline for the tutorial... that's an issue. If it's going for a take on this simulation theory then it seems to have squandered it by presenting it in such a straight forward way.

Does it offer any kind of narrative on our lives? What does it say about our world if it IS a simulation? Am I supposed to feel sorry for the poor AI for being stuck in the simulation? Is that poor little AI I feel sorry for actually ME? No Man's Sky is missing the important part of having a great plot... the plot. All you've done is convince me that it's a massive missed opportunity.

If they tied this AI to our lives in some meaningful way maybe it would have landed better. Maybe compare each new planet to each new day we have or teach us to find the joy in the little things we do. Maybe take it the other way, a statement on how pointless our struggle is; an unimportant cog in a cold meaningless universe that might not even exist. I get leaving it up to the player to glean their own meaning, but at least ask the question, is it a universe of possibilities or just an inky black void of mostly nothingness?

Did this article just spoil the ending of "No Man's Sky" for people, like me, who had not yet finished it yet? WTF? You could at least put a line at the start that says "warning, spoilers"!

Not cool.

This article would be far more convincing if the concept of the universe being a simulation wasn't both better argued and made more interesting by video games, including ones that came before that paper was published.

Consider this: that paper was published in 2003 (I couldn't find the month). In february of that year

kimiyoribaka:
This article would be far more convincing if the concept of the universe being a simulation wasn't both better argued and made more interesting by video games, including ones that came before that paper was published.

Consider this: that paper was published in 2003 (I couldn't find the month). In february of that year

It's the logical conclusion of anyone who has ever played The Sims.

On a tangentially related note, the excellent JRPG Bravely Default has a truly brain melting ending in which

Shame that the game was total garboni, tho.

"Once it was clear that both chalices were poisoned," no. A hell of a lot of players wouldn't even bother with the chalices, killing the giant would be the first thing they try.

ima420r:
Did this article just spoil the ending of "No Man's Sky" for people, like me, who had not yet finished it yet? WTF? You could at least put a line at the start that says "warning, spoilers"!

Not cool.

You saw an article explicitly discussing a game's plot several months after release and thought "Hey, that'll be spoiler free!"?

Shocksplicer:

ima420r:
Did this article just spoil the ending of "No Man's Sky" for people, like me, who had not yet finished it yet? WTF? You could at least put a line at the start that says "warning, spoilers"!

Not cool.

You saw an article explicitly discussing a game's plot several months after release and thought "Hey, that'll be spoiler free!"?

To be honest, I thought it would be more about living in a virtual reality universe and less about the plot of "No Man's Sky". I suppose the game has been out a while now, and I may never actually finish it, but I'd still say a spoiler warning at the top would be a good idea.

09philj:

kimiyoribaka:
This article would be far more convincing if the concept of the universe being a simulation wasn't both better argued and made more interesting by video games, including ones that came before that paper was published.

Consider this: that paper was published in 2003 (I couldn't find the month). In february of that year

It's the logical conclusion of anyone who has ever played The Sims.

On a tangentially related note, the excellent JRPG Bravely Default has a truly brain melting ending in which

That's a good one. Kind of reminds me of Baten Kaitos: Eternal Wings and the Lost Ocean.

ok im actually interested in the game now haha

Yeah ... no.

Firstly the execution of that whole "storyline" is pretty horrific. Being a "good story," no less the "best science fiction story last year" requires more than an interesting concept. You actually have to execute on it in a way thats interesting and engaging and No Man's Sky is probably one of the least engaging the games ever made, and that whole story bit is so far on the periphery it might as well not even be there.

Secondly its barely even groundbreaking.
OMG! The game is actually just a game! Plot twist!
So the dude saw the Matrix at least once. Whatever.

Being weird and obtuse about your story doesn't make it profound.

If you want to see a sci-fi game that explores existential philosophy and actually does a good job of it - play Nier: Automata.

 

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