In the era of game services and the developed Internet, developers can constantly release updates and actively support their projects. Someone immediately achieves success and keeps the audience by releasing add-ons and major patches, losing popularity very slowly. Someone starts unsuccessfully, but does not stop there and continues to make changes and improvements. And someone is not lucky generally, and attempts to fix things lead to nothing.
In the second category usually fall large publishers and developers who have a large enough budget to support not too successful release. But small groups of indie studios sometimes boast the same tenacity. Including Hello Games released two years ago, the ambitious No Man’s Sky. And for twenty-four months, its employees have done everything possible to frustrated fans to forgive them for the many unfulfilled promises.
The biggest update the game received this summer — it is called No Man’s Sky NEXT and makes the simulator space wanderer many long-awaited changes. One of the main things is the support of the cooperative regime and the opportunity to meet other travelers in the boundless space. However, completely reshape the game mechanics developers did not — in many ways it remained the same as before, it just appeared much more features and freedom. And for someone it will be a plus, and someone will seem a reason to continue to ignore the game.
You still start passing on an unknown planet, repair your ship, get resources, use these resources to support life support systems, and then go into space and can fly in any direction. Someone’s journey will begin in a beautiful place where only occasionally it rains, and the rest of the time it is difficult to stop admiring the pretty plants and flooded with bright light plains. Other luck will pass by, and they have to survive in not the most pleasant conditions, with periodic storms and stormy winds.
And over time, you realize that the unfortunate “grind” Hello Games is not removed, it still lies at the heart of the game. Here you can not just run around the planet and consider the surroundings, as well as you can not just sit in a spaceship at any time and fly wherever your eyes look. You constantly need resources-to restore the suit, to protect against storms, to refuel the ship, to create tools, to use modifications of the multitool. Over time, these processes will not be so exhausting, but for too long here it is necessary to run around the planets and burn trees, bushes and stalagmites.
The monotonous filling of planets has not gone away-wherever you go, you will almost always find the same resources. Vegetation may look different, but for its destruction you get the same thing than scored inventory on the last fifty planets. The above-mentioned sandstorms, acid rains, radioactive storms and other weather phenomena do not differ from each other at all — they equally reduce the strength of the suit and end in a few seconds, and you can wait them out in any house or in a nearby cave.
If you can not get rid of the second problem in any way, there is a solution for the first. In one of the past updates in No Man’s Sky added several modes, among which there is “Creation”. This is a kind of creative mode in which you don’t have to worry about resources. You want to fix a broken ship with a dozen non-functioning parts? Just click on everything and repair. Want to place a base with lots of rooms, compartments, floors and stairs? Just choose what you want and put. There’s no problem with the suit, no fall damage, no need to think about fuel and everything.
Yes, in this mode the game becomes completely different and loses many elements. From surviving on the planets wanderer who appreciates any crumbs of resources and tries not to waste time, you turn into an ordinary traveler. But without Grinda personally, my game seemed much more fun. When developers talk about 18 quintillion planets, different from each other in appearance, flora and fauna, least of all want to stay in one place, long and painfully looking for resources, earning currency and engaged in trade. It’s hard to fight the urge to explore everything this giant universe has to offer.
The research process has become even more exciting than before. Being able to Board a ship, fly off one planet and land on another without any loading screens is as impressive as two years ago. But with the latest updates, these celestial bodies have become more beautiful and diverse — in NEXT, for example, introduced the planet, completely covered with water, and sit on them is problematic. The visual design is improved and the lighting is pleasing to the eye, and with a third person to walk in the middle of the previously unseen plants and creatures much more enjoyable.
The main goal of No Man’s Sky has not changed — to complete the game, you need to get to the center of the galaxy. However, for those who prefer to do quests, rather than entertain yourself, recently available full storyline with fun tasks, dialogues, a couple of interesting characters and learning some mechanics. At some point you will be asked to build a base, then forced to hire specialists for the terminals placed in different rooms, and then the hired creatures will also begin to fill you with orders. All this can be done as usual, and in the “Creation”, and to perform some quests to look for and collect all the stuff will have even in creative mode.
With the release of NEXT with the players removed all restrictions on the construction of the base. Although this element of the game runs counter to the main idea of No Man’s Sky (travel through star systems and search for the center of the Galaxy), you can ignore the global goal and engage in trade or construction within several systems, visiting only neighboring planets. Now you can design the base even under water — I placed my own on a small island in the middle of a huge sea, putting terminals on land and moving landing pads on the water, building under them fortifications and a couple of rooms. It turned out compact and cute, although the limit of perfection in this game, of course, no.
To deal with the design of the base more fun in the cooperative, and the latest update has added the ability to gather with three comrades in one session. You always see each other, you can interact, including gestures, and also transfer from a single game to joint improvements for the ship and various resources to transfer them to colleagues. For example, you play for a long time and have accumulated a lot of upgrades for the starship, and your partner flies on the “trough” without any modifications-you can help the poor fellow to make his ship steeper.
However, in multiplayer performance No Man’s Sky sometimes begins to limp. The sound will jam for a few seconds, the picture will freeze for a while, then the slowdown will become too noticeable. If you overdo it with the number of objects on the base, when you visit it, the game will turn into a slide show. On the other hand, if we take into account the scale of the universe and the size of each particular planet, we should not be surprised at the falling frame rate. After all, initially the game was not about a group of friends connecting dozens of rooms with corridors. This is just a nice addition, which is more or less well implemented. At first, the game also often flew in co-op mode, but a small patch fixed this bug.
Update No Man’s Sky NEXT does not change much formula No Man’s Sky two years ago, it only improves many of its elements and offers several major innovations. But basically the game was “grindylow” monotonous in terms of filling planets, and collections of resources. At the same time, an excellent creative mode is able to keep those who abandoned the project two years ago from TVs and monitors. No survival in this case will not be, as well as the extraction of resources, but in No Man’s Sky has always been much more interesting to travel from one star system to another, and not to sit in the inventory and burn the laser stones.