It has officially been two years since No Man’s Sky originally released on the PC and PlayStation 4. Everyone in the gaming industry knows how that went, in case you didn’t you can check out my original review for the game here. Much has changed since the launch of the game two years ago though. No Man’s Sky has went through a plethora of updates that have changed the landscape of the game, literally. The biggest of these updates was the most recent NEXT update, which was rolled out on the Xbox One as a whole game, finally bringing the experience to Xbox One owners. Players that already owned the game on PlayStation 4 and PC received an update that brought the original game up to the NEXT update.
Now, this is the first time I have played since the original launch back in 2016, so I am not sure what I experienced was part of NEXT or one of the previous updates. Regardless, I am going to talk about the game in its current state as I played it. Upon starting a new game I was given some difficulty choices, similar to other survival games in this vein. I went with the normal difficulty as that is what I have played before. Similar to the original launch, I was dropped onto a random planet looking for my ship. This time around, I had to look for my ship instead of it being right next to me. There were actual story elements as to why I was here and what my goal was. The planet I was placed on was an extremely radioactive planet that showed me no mercy while looking for my ship. I probably died about three times before finding my ship because of radiation and lack of resources. The Sentinel presence on my planet was very aggressive as well, so mining resources was something I had to do in minimal spurts.
No Man’s Sky NEXT gives you quests to complete as part of a main quest line which eventually leads you off of your first planet. I found that if I left a planet with a Sentinel warning level, I was pursued in space by enemy ships. Space combat was something I didn’t experience with the past game, so it was pretty exciting. My ship is pretty basic so I didn’t have many options in terms of firepower, though I was able to destroy the enemy ships and proceed to the next planet. The next planet I landed on was a lush desert planet filled with cactus like plants, burrowing animals and blistering heat. This is exactly what I was looking for in this game. With the graphical updates made to the game, these planets feel new and full of life. You can also change your POV to third person this time around which essentially makes it an entirely new experience.
Honestly I can’t think of a whole lot of negative things to say about this game. I was able to play with a friend of mine and the experience was about the same, with a friend. It was nice to traverse a planet with a buddy of mine with only minor glitches. There have been times when I have had Sentinels randomly pop up in front of me while mining, which ruins that experience. I was able to experience something new and horrifying as well. I was on a lifeless planet, so I thought, when I came across an egg. I tried to zap the egg with my mining laser and I was attacked by a swarm of terrifying moon creatures. I was able to stave off these ravenous creatures until the swarm ended.
This time was the first time I was able to mess around with the base building introduced a few updates ago as well. The base building in No Man’s Sky NEXT is some of my favorite base building in any survival game. It’s smart and it feels as good as it looks to craft. The overall experience I have had with this game has been a positive one. The beauty of the planets has me hungry for more exploration. Getting credits is pretty simple this time around as well, since I was able to make over 200k credits in a short period of time to save up for a new flashy ship. I feel like I am just scratching the surface of what NEXT has to offer and I am excited to dump more time into it. I applaud Hello Games for what they have done with this title since launch, they have completely turned my opinion around, bravo guys!
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Review Statement: The copy of this game was supplied by the developer for the Xbox One for this review.