Wow, for once I’m talking about No Man’s Sky with a more positive attitude… And I’ve got to say, this latest update really has made this game so much more than what it was previously. Hey there guys and gals it’s Clarice here with my recent thoughts and feelings on the new No Mans Sky NEXT update!

Let’s begin our space odyssey back in August 2016 where we got our hands on an indie title called No Man’s Sky… And if you haven’t been living under a rock, you would know just how disappointed and furious we all were at the blatant lies and deception that Hello Games brought to us, and boy were we salty, but, somewhere, there was a ray of hope; initially, Hello Games kept to their promise that all updates will be free, and each update brought us closer to the game that we were initially promised but none of the updates so far brought us a complete game changer; sure they were fun, but nothing that screamed ‘amazing’ until now. Ladies and gentleman I bring you the NEXT patch, and holy shit this is what we were waiting for, well we are still missing some features here and there but I will get on to that shortly.

So how was the NEXT update advertised? A full multiplayer experience and near unlimited base building on every type of terrain (Including underwater bases), taking on freighter missions together and fight side by side or as enemies in ‘epic space battles’. It doesn’t stop there however; when booting up the game after months of neglect you’ll notice that not only are there improved visuals making for a much more pleasant and beautiful experience, but when it comes to resources and gathering, Hello Games have completely revamped the crafting system, balancing out issues that once made the game super easy now, instead making the game more of a challenge to not only build but to even sufficiently charge your multitool; to some this was a bit too much of a drastic change but for me it provides a challenge and to make sure you explore the planet and gather and manage your inventory a lot more suvicently and intelligently. For me personally I felt that No Man’s Sky was far too easy and you could, within a few hours, have all your vehicles fully upgraded, a fully decked-out multitool and exosuit, as well as easily finding bigger and better ships through distressed signals.

Instead now when finding upgrades or crashed ships not only do you have to repair the damaged items but also repair the slots in order to upgrade and add new components and enhancements to said device. My first ship I found was a fairly decent size of around 20-ish slots, however, unlike in the past where you could just keep finding ships over and over again until you have a ship with maximum slots, with this ship over a half of those slots were broken and needed a lot of materials to repair the slots such as technology modules, chromatic metals, and many other parts – As I was so early in the game to just buy these materials out right was near impossible as I had little to no currency, so it stops you in your tracks and forces you to scavenge and grind to repair that epic ship you just found, as it should be. The same can be said for the Multitool as some that are found or given can contain damaged slots which means, you guessed it, more grinding. Nothing in No Man’s Sky is now handed to you on a plate, you have to work for it, scavenge for it, fight for it and this, in return, makes for a much more satisfying experience and you feel like you have accomplished something within the game (Something the base game sorely lacked).

Now let’s move on to the feature we’ve all been dying for – Multiplayer. Yes, it is finally here, a feature that was promised has finally arrived and for the most part, it’s pretty good… Nothing specular, might I add, but it’s a start – A base to build from. In a previous patch there was some form of multiplayer added in the form of discoverable orbs, whichl were other players that you saw and effectively did nothing; kind of disappointing! However, now in NEXT you are able to explore and play with others… Well I say others, really I mean those in your party – Unfortunately this is not an open server where you can interact with everyone and everything, rather it’s a party of up to 4 players exploring planets and working together, so the ‘epic space battles’ that they mentioned prior won’t be between you and other players, but moreso you and your three buddies verses NPCs. The battles you and your friends can do are, admittedly, pretty boring. After death, a player will just respawn somewhere random in the local area (Or even local system) and can prove to be a pain to meet up and gather the players’ lost resources; really it’s not worth it to wage mass intergalactic war, but that being said, working together and building up your bases is extremely fun, and me and my partner are both enjoying it… That is if we play together – Our bases seem to only spawn once the other is in the server, once another base builder is in then POOF their base appears with terrible pop in effect, and is kind of funny to watch but can be very annoying; due to this we tend to only play together as we can’t build on eachother’s bases unless the other person is there.

That being said, now that there is multiplayer you are able to customize your character and look like the alien you were born to be; currently I look like a fish mixed with a cat… A catfish if you will, and since you have the ability to have an actual character model, you can now experience this game in third person mode which I am a huge fan of, and haven’t played in first person since the new update. Seeing my character interacting with the world and just how derpy I look just brings joy to me and really immerses me in the game’s universe. There are a couple of emotes you can do, but nothing special and I found I barely use them as they’re kind of a pain to navigate to, and breaks you out of your immersion, but hey, that’s just me. The whole multiplayer experience has brought to life this game and although it still needs a lot of improvement, I feel as this is a foundation that Hello Games can build upon.

Before I go, there are some issues I would like to address; although this game has hugely improved and overall has become a reignited success, I personally still feel burned by how Hello Games dealt with the situation initially, and went quiet for all that time; yes this game has improved, but Hello Games are still missing some core features that got me and many others excited – This is mainly to do with the creatures and animals that inhabit the planets, as it still feels like the same old No Man’s Sky when it comes to the procedurally generated creatures and planets; although yes there is pretty much an unlimited amount of possibilities that you can encounter, they all look very similar as the beasts you find are usually the same height and size, whereas we were promised gigantic sand worms and dinosaur-looking creatures with rich and bountiful environments fit with a thriving ecosystem and food chain, we’re still lacking that – Sure you see creatures attacking one another but it’s moreso a headbutt or small bite and they’re down – Nothing really impressive still. Although there is one creature that scares the living crap out of me that has been recently added… You ever see the Whispering Eggs surrounding derelict bases? Curious as to what they are? Well what emerges is horrifying and actually scared me the first time around – They’re what the game calls ‘Biological Horrors’ and it lives up to the name; when you unleash them run for the hills and don’t look back. Oh but don’t forget to collect their eggs, they’re worth a fortune.

Overall this game to this day is still throwing curve balls at my opinions, and I’ve only just scratched the surface of this update. The whole experience as a whole has been a blast and I cannot wait to get back onto No Man’s Sky and experience more of what this update has in store… Saying this, there are still many updates that will be needed to form No Man’s Sky into the game we were originally promised, but, for now, this is the perfect time to hop on back and start a new journey as a Wanderer, finding the centre of the universe and all it’s mysteries (Spoilers, there’s still nothing there).

In this current state I happily award No Man’s Sky’s NEXT Update a well-respected 7.9 / 10; not quite 8 but it is sure as hell an improvement and can only get better from here, surely.

7.9 / 10
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