In the eternal words of Joni Mitchell, this is how we pave paradise and put up a parking lot. No Man's Sky has received all kinds of praise for being something new and unique in the gaming world. It doesn't happen too often, but somebody out there is trying to shake things up! I know. Crazy, right?
However, for all these great new ideas, No Man's Sky still needs to sell copies, meaning it might have to have traditional multiplayer to keep dragging people back in for more pointless death matches rather than the excitement of exploration, I guess. There's no better way to limit your design of a perfectly randomized universe than to slam players down in a fight to the death, right? Well, maybe the maps will be randomly generated. Maybe not. Hello Games founder Sean Murray isn't saying anything more.
"There is this thing, which I'm not going to talk about now," he says in an interview with Gamespot, "that is a plan for multiplayer and for people to have a more traditional multiplayer experience within the game, and that's something that we'll deal with down the line that is exciting but that is not what's core to the game right now."
I could just be overreacting, especially if it is not the "core" of what they are trying to do, but jamming multiplayer into this game sounds a lot like the Journey Rocket Death Match April Fools joke a while back. Not only is it out of place, but the game's genuine mutliplayer elements sound a lot like Journey too. On your trip to the center of your randomized universe, there might be a friendly face here and there.
"You can cross paths with other players. That's just not a core component of the game. You're not going out and seeking [other players] out or whatever, but it's lovely to play and just see a little touch of, you know, playing with other people. You and your friends — you know, we're doing the worst possible thing, probably — we're gonna fling you out really far apart."
Sounds brilliant and just what I want. As little intrusion from the outside world as possible, but you know, acknowledgement that I'm not totally alone out there. Very Demon's Souls-ish. I can't think of a worse way to shatter that illusion than "traditional multiplayer." Just, don't let it be too intrusive or drain on resources, please.
No Man's Sky will be released for the PlayStation 4. It was one of our most anticipated games after E3 this year, and the threat of traditional multiplayer is not going to change that.