No Man's Sky PC Performance Review
Published: 14th August 2016 | Source: No Man's Sky | Price: |
If there were one single sentence that summed up our experience with No Man's Sky, it would be "wait, this isn't early access?". While the concept behind No Man's Sky is interesting and exploring new worlds can be a lot of fun the game is let down by a lot of repetitive elements and the frequent performance issues will be a major turn off for PC users.
While playing and testing this game we experienced crashes while starting the game, crashes during gameplay and regular performance issues that at times paused the game for almost a whole second before resuming normal play. Alongside this, we experienced frequent hitching where the game would shutter at around 10FPS, making the game a pain to play at times.
Judging this game as a full release No Man's Sky is a farce on PC, though with the plans of future content from Hello Games such as base building and space trucking (goods transport) elements the game may improve a lot over time. It is plain to see that this game is an early access title that is being marketed as a full £39.99 game release, to say the least, the game is not worth such a high price on PC at this time.
As some of you may know Sony has no Early Access program for PlayStation, forcing No Man's Sky to be "officially released" rather than be published in an early access form. If it were an early access game these kinds of performance issues on PC would be somewhat acceptable, but as a full-on release at this price point, No Man's Sky is simply not worth the money.
The PC version of No Man's Sky suffers from several major issues from exceptionally high CPU utilisation to sub-par performance on both AMD and Nvidia powered systems. On AMD GPUs No Man's Sky performs much worse than their Nvidia made counterparts, so much so that an R9 Fury X is easily overpowered by a GTX 1060.
Controls wise the PC version of No Man's Sky is basic at best, requiring prolonged button presses rather than simple clicks and uses a relatively complicated menu and inventory system. One other thing to note is that No Man's Sky never tells you how to play the game, lacking any necessary button prompts and even fails to tell players how to exit conversations with traders and other intelligent life.
One thing that we would love to see in No Man's Sky in the future is Vulkan support, as not only should it be able to give greater CPU and GPU utilisation if used correctly but also give us another opportunity to see exactly what the new graphical API is capable off. Hello Games should undoubtedly work on the PC version's other issues before trying to move the game over to this new API, but it would be something that would be great to see in the medium-long term.
To put things simply the PC version of No Man's Sky could have used a lot of extra development time, as frankly PC gamers deserve better when they pay £39.99 for a game on release day. I would not go as far as to say that No Man's Sky is as bad of a PC port as Batman Arkham Knight, but it is certainly a contender for "biggest launch day disaster".
All in all No Man's Sky is a fully released game that should be treated by gamers as an early access title. At launch expect to have performance issues and simply put gamers should not need to spend £39.99 for a game that is not only unfinished but also crammed full of bugs.
We do not recommend that any gamer buys No Man's Sky in its current state and recommend gamers who wish to purchase the game regardless to keep in mind their retailer's refund policy if they experience any issues.
If Hello Games implements any major performance patches for the game we will be happy to retest this game, but for now No Man's Sky is not a game that we can recommend.