Is No Man’s Sky’s Steam Page Guilty of False Advertising?

No Man’s Sky has proven to be yet another cautionary tale against pre-ordering games, with many feeling disappointed that it did not turn out exactly as they had hoped. In a generation of hyperbolic ads and overenthusiastic sales pitches in the games industry, it’s always advisable to wait until reviews surface before throwing down your cash on the latest release, with No Man’s Sky hammering home that point after not living up to what we’d been shown in pre-release trailers.

However, it’s arguable that even following its launch, the game is still being misrepresented on its official Steam page. The two trailers currently used on the Steam Store are both from 2014, with neither correctly representing the final product. Here’s the video you’ll currently be met with when you search for the game on the platform:

Though we’ve unfortunately come to expect games being downgraded from the time between their initial unveiling to their day of release, No Man’s Sky‘s debut trailer being held up as an example of the current game’s quality is thoroughly misleading, considering it includes a number of features that aren’t present in the retail version of the game.

Then there’s its description on Steam which, again, isn’t wholly accurate when it comes to describing the game. Under the section of the blurb titled ‘Find Your Own Destiny,’ it reads: “Will you be a fighter, preying on the weak and taking their riches, or taking out pirates for their bounties? Power is yours if you upgrade your ship for speed and weaponry.” Though this would lead you to believe that you can successfully pursue an entire career as an intergalactic bounty hunter, in reality there isn’t really an option to do so. Sure, you can choose to shoot down other ships, but this isn’t really a select path you can embark upon. You don’t “prey upon the weak,” but rather shoot at a ship and then have a horde of sentries angrily crowd around you.

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Then there’s the description’s closing paragraph, which reads: “Trade convoys travel between stars, factions vie for territory, pirates hunt the unwary, and the police are ever watching. Every other player lives in the same galaxy, and you can choose to share your discoveries with them on a map that spans known space. Perhaps you will see the results of their actions as well as your own…”

Firstly, there’s no visual indication that trade convoys travel between stars. Unlike the early trailers which depicted huge fleets of spacecraft hurtling along a star system together, in actuality these ships hang motionless in space. Secondly, as far as I’m aware there is no evidence of factions vying for territory in the game. There are three species in No Man’s Sky – the Gek, Vy’Keen and Korvax – but they keep themselves to themselves and you only really encounter them at trading posts, space stations and certain buildings. There is no physical evidence of them vying for territory against one another, so regardless of what this description suggests, don’t expect inter-species warfare to break out during your playthrough.

Lastly, the implication that you will see the actions of other players is something that has been severely downplayed by Hello Games themselves, who have stated that the game should not be viewed as a multiplayer experience, and that there is an incredibly slim chance that you’ll bump into another player. The suggestion that you’ll see the results of other players’ actions would indicate that you can make a major impact upon No Man’s Sky‘s universe, when in reality that isn’t the case. 

Though it’s arguable that very few people will actually read a game’s description on Steam prior to purchasing it (and those with access to Steam will likely have already read reviews or seen evidence that the game no longer looks like its original trailers), it’s still questionable that this footage and misleading description has remained on No Man’s Sky‘s store page post-launch.