Thursday, December 2, 2021

No Man’s Sky 3 years later is Amazing

No Man’s Sky had a incredibly rough launch, and for all of the right reasons. The biggest one being people being misinformed about what the game was capable of at launch. But that’s not what I’m here to talk about. What we are here for is the current state of the game.

And the current state of the game is a far cry from its 2016 launch. A vast amount of things have been added and fixed and the game is very enjoyable. The main ploy of the game is the same though, traveling through the universe hopping from star to star and collecting resources. But while the core of the game is the same, everything else is new. An actual story, real multiplayer, base building, a personal Fleet, vehicles other than your ship, and much more.

No Man's Sky Base Building
A Concrete Base in No Man’s Sky.

A New Narrative

We’ll start with the most apparent issue of No Man’s Sky at launch, there wasn’t much of a story at all. Now when you hop into your game, you will have a starting planet somewhere random in the universe, and you will get off the planet like normal. But now there’s a story after that about finding a lost traveler just like you, and this leads into multiple different quest lines that lead you to new places. You meet many story based NPCs who will give you info on the universe and what is exactly happening in it.

Now this isn’t the focus of No Man’s Sky, so the quest lines will only do so much in the game. But this is a massive improvement from the game’s launch and this definitely brings new life to the game and more of a reason to play it. The main quest line will bring you to a new area that many players will enjoy.

True Multiplayer

With the No Man’s Sky update 1.5 NEXT that Hello Games released in 2018, they added a lot to the game and made it more like what people were expecting at launch. The biggest part was that No Man’s Sky added complete multiplayer experiences. You can find people out on planets, in space stations, and my personal favorite thing they added since launch, the Space Anomaly. The Space Anomaly is a central hub area for other players that are traversing this universe just like you. In this hub you have players, a cosmetics store, important NPCs, and a community mission nexus.

The Nexus is a place where players can group up with random players and complete missions together such as building a base on a harsh planet together. These are very objective oriented and they are just the thing for those players who aren’t into open ended games. This makes No Man’s Sky way more accessible and even when you beat the game, these will still add hours of entertainment.

And just in case anyone was worried, the Cosmetics are not micro-transactions. They are a new currency that you earn just by playing, with it you can buy decorations for your base or freighter, new armor and helmets for your character, and many more things like that.

No Man's Sky Space Anomaly
Inside the shop section of the Space Anomaly.

Bases Galore

One of the things also added in the 1.5 update on No Man’s Sky was Base building and Freighters. The Freighters are a mobile base that you bring with you through the systems. And regular bases are buildings on planets that you construct and can link together with teleporters.

Base building is a little fidgety at times, sometimes things don’t fit where you’d like them to, but with the game not being very restrictive with building, that’s bound to happen. But the only limitations are your imagination and plans. Want to make a shed that only’s purpose is to keep you from dying from the heat? Go right ahead. Want to build a multilevel mansion that’s solar powered and has a landing pad for your ship? Absolutely.

And yes bases require energy, and there are 2 simple ways to get it, solar, and Bio-fuel. Bio-fuel is cheaper to craft but doesn’t last as long as solar and you need to refuel it with carbon. Though it does provide day round energy and lasts a pretty long while per charge. Solar when paired with batteries are the way to go though. Solar provides the same amount of energy during midday but only half in the morning or dusk. But get 2 or more solar panels and 2 batteries and you will have no issue with power since the batteries store energy.

Freighters are expensive merchant vessels that can store multiple ships of yours, allow you to buy frigates with crew for missions, and have their own storage. You can also build more storage on the ship and command consoles so you can send more ships you purchase out on missions. It becomes a whole new type of game when you get a freighter, but they are incredibly expensive so don’t expect to get them until a bit after you get your legs for traveling around the system.

No Man's Sky Statue
No Man’s Sky Atlas Statue

Since NEXT

Ever since NEXT, No Man’s Sky has only improved with more and more content. Exocraft, revamped graphics, VR, better underwater environments, Organic ships, better terrain editing systems, new biomes, and the list keeps going. There is so much to do and Hello Games has improved No Man’s Sky significantly.

Exocraft are vehicles that you can use to traverse planets more efficiently, a motor bike to jump chasms, a submarine for underwater exploration, and a buggy for general terrain. They also added a Mech Exocraft with a mounted mining laser and a super jump for long distance movement. These vehicles make traversal and exploration way easier and help you save on starship launch fuel. Now you don’t need to hop in your ship and fly over to where you want to go on the planet and it is way faster than walking.

There are new Exotic biomes like the Bubble planet. Exotic planets are ones that don’t belong to a specific biome like irradiated, cold, or hot, and are unique in design. They have unique Flora and Fauna, and generally have an abandoned base that you can take for yourself. The Bubble planet has sentient bubbles, the Beam planets have giant light geysers, and the Bone Spire planets have “Bone Crawlers” which are sentient.

And there are also living ships, these are ships that you get in and fly just like a regular ship but they are not machines, they are living creatures. It is probably one of the most bizarre additions to the game, leaning even more into science fantasy versus science fiction. But it doesn’t break immersion and can make you stand out a lot, they have their own organic technologies. They each have their own machine counterparts, so they function like any other ship.

No Man's Sky Flying in a Ship
Flying in a mechanical ship above a cold planet.

Conclusion

No Man’s Sky was a decent game at launch but didn’t deliver on what was promised and so people were upset. But since launch, Hello Games has improved it immensely. It continues to deliver consistent entertainment, rewarding gameplay, and the mystery of the universe around you will constantly draw your attention. I find myself losing hours in this game and constantly wanting to learn more about what’s going on.

No Man’s Sky is easily one of the best exploration based games that i have played to date. And while the game is still 60 USD on steam, I can firmly say that if you are a fan of exploration games or even survival games, this is absolutely worth the price.

Nathan Lambias
Amateur Writer and Reviewer. I enjoy a wide variety of game genres but my favorites are First Person Shooters, Role-playing games, and occasionally Puzzle games.

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