So I've sunk about 30 hours into No Man's Sky since it's release. The gap between plays is widening, which worries me. The undeniable draw to explore is beginning to wane. Why is the desire to discover new planets fading away?
In short, once you've discover your fifteenth planet with mountains, water, and dino-esque creatures, you begin to notice a lack of variety. Sure this mushroom is slightly more plump or a different color than the fabulous fungi you found 5 warp jumps back, but it's still a mushroom.
That's the problem. There are far too many mushrooms in space, and I have no idea why or how that happened. I also don't know why water/liquid is pretty much seemingly decided on a random hue slider. I don't know what causes big animals, asshole animals, 6-legged animals.... killer jumping cupcakes. Nothing really makes sense. Conditions don't seem to generate unique life. It just feels ...random. But not completely random; there are clear boundaries, and that is why planets mostly look the same. That is why, as an exploration style player, the burning internal desire to put on my Jacques Cousteau beanie fades into a realization that there's nothing new for me to find out there.
The appeal of this title, for me, was that I could land on a planet that was generated procedurally that no one has ever seen before. I could land on a planet that had giant floating twinkies that ate humans out of plastic wrap. Or maybe an indigenous species comprised of the same compounds that makes up ear wax, shaped like a California raisin, with enslaved iguanas that they/it ride around on.
But sadly I keep getting cupcakes and some Pokemon looking dinosaurs. And don't get me started on Pokemon Go.
I'm not suggesting that there's not tons to do for other types of players. It's a huge sandbox to play in with crafting and quests. I think OCD players would probably either get a huge ass high by the idea of infinite discoveries, or they might simply explode into millions of pieces in excitment/horror. I can see Minecraft type of players flourishing. But I need exploration. I need to venture into the unknown. As it is now, the universe is simply too simple.