I was one of the people who was excited about the original release of No Man’s Sky. The endless universe with procedurally generated planets that you could name and other explorers could land on and see your finds. I dreamed of flying with my friends fighting aliens from other galaxies on an enormous scale! Alas the original release was a major flop and the promises made were nothing more than an idea Hello Games wanted to implement. Even the multiplayer wasn’t what we all expected. However now that No Man’s Sky has finally been released onto XBOX it comes with its latest free update “NEXT” so I have the privilege to review not just No Man’s Sky but No Man’s Sky Next and it really made me believe in Hello Games once more.
When you first open NMS you are met with a choice. Do you want to join a friend’s multiplayer or a random player’s universe or do you want to play solo? For my first play I wanted to try the game so I went solo however others could join my universe if they wanted. From there you could choose a few more options do you want to play survival? A different version of the game where you only have one life. I went for normal No Mans Sky and started my game. My first thought when my universe finally opened was that I was happy the game had a sort of story to start with. An actual path to follow so you can come to grips with the complicated game.
My ship had crashed and I needed to fix it to get off this planet I had found myself on. Already I was more engrossed than I had been the first time I played the game. The game also defaults with the third person locked on (you can change this if you want). I loved third person, being able to see what I looked like added a whole new aspect of the game including character customisation. You could change the way you looked in game and also how others saw you. After I had fixed my ship I was off to start my adventure. I built my first base but I didn’t have a star drive to get to another system… I was stuck in the system I had come to know and renamed as Red Dwarf.
I had named all the planets after characters from the Sci Fi sitcom. I wanted more however so I followed more mission to collect and build a star drive to journey further into the universe. The gameplay is good I enjoyed walking around planets and finding new species of creatures to collect credits. I enjoyed flying my ship around the planet searching for more elements that I needed to either replenish my thrusters or any other gear I had but also building new items. I jumped on the game one day to try this new “Full Multiplayer” Next was advertising. I saw my mate was playing and I joined his game. Already I could see his name and how far he was away on my screen. I loved this and decided it was my mission to find him and blow him up. He was very far away and I needed to build some new equipment to reach him. I did not succeed in the time I had. The game has a lot more in it than it did when it was first released.
I could spend a lot more time and not get bored easily. If I got bored searching planets I could go to a space station and check the missions board and do some missions. I could search for ancient objects and learn the language to different alien species. I could hunt down friends and blow them up for fun. The only thing I think this game needs is planet civilisations. You would expect some planets to be like planet earth with huge cities and towns on that you could explore. Why is every planet (although usually different colours) only have animals flying or running around? Where is the advanced evolved species apart from in space stations and small planet stations? All in all I enjoyed playing No Mans Sky Next even though the controls could be slightly confusing and hard to get your head around. It’s a great game with lots to do.
With Next comes updated colours and graphics. It is a beautiful game with amazing colours that really pop out at you when you are flying around. Dog fighting is amazing and the colours and frame rates don’t let you down. I don’t know whether or not it was because I’m on a 1st gen Xbox or whether or not it’s because I dropped my Xbox and it’s in a few pieces but still works but when entering planets atmospheres I get bad frame rate drops. I would like to hear from anyone on the Xbox one if this is the case with them? It didn’t really damage my experience with the game however. Apart from that nothing disappointed me with the graphics. I had always though No Mans Sky was beautiful but Next just made it better.
The music in this game is brilliant. 36daysofstatic composed most of the soundtrack and it is perfect. It certainly didn’t tear you away from what was happening in game it actually made it better. The Sound effects however mostly are good. But the generic sounds of flying creatures or the sounds of animals walking about are generally the same and repetitive. Yes the noise made me know what kind of creature was around but a little diversity would have been great. That being said it is a huge universe and perhaps I just haven’t discovered enough and there would be plenty of different audio soundbites that I haven’t heard yet. That’s the beauty of this game.
With No Mans Sky the possibilities are endless. When you turn on the game what adventure will you be taking? For instance one day I went mining underground for some copper ore. I found myself in a huge labyrinth of underground caverns and water. I got lost under the water after swimming for miles and died. Yes I died. But it was a cool exploration! Maybe I want to steal some poor aliens’ ship. Let’s go find one. Maybe I want to do some huge trading. The replay ability on this game is amazing and it will keep you coming back time and time again.
This game is not expensive at all. Yes people have been burnt by Hello Games and they just will not buy. Some have seen what they had done and just won’t give it a chance. I will tell you now give this game a chance. With the FREE updates NMS has had it has expanded this game into more of what they promised. It is a brilliant game right now and will continue to be updated and it can only get better.