No Man's Sky's Latest Update Makes Everything New

Screenshot: No Man’s Sky

Playing No Man’s Sky after the latest big update is like landing on completely foreign terrain.

I didn’t know what to expect in Next, today’s much-anticipated No Man’s Sky update. Past updates have added or overhauled features, but the game still felt familiar. Not so with this one.

Next brings true multiplayer to No Man’s Sky, but it also brings a huge graphical overhaul, unlimited base building, character customisation and a third person mode, as well as several small but welcome quality of life improvements.

It feels like everything has changed for the better. Crafting is simplified, inventory management is much easier, exploring the galaxy is full of new delights. I liked the game at launch, but I considered it an acquired taste. Now I can’t imagine anyone not loving it.

Even if you’ve been playing this entire time, every new moment in this update feels like a new discovery. Adjusting to the new recipes for things like warp cells and fuel can take a moment, but I got the hang of it quickly.

I sold off my outdated technology to buy a new ship, which I didn’t need, but I wanted something new to see the overhauled planets for the first time. It was worth it. I didn’t realise how much of a difference clouds would make, but entering into a new planet by coming through a cloud barrier enhances the anticipation before you land.

Screenshot: No Man’s Sky

And once you get there, there’s just more stuff to do. Maybe I’ve just been lucky, but every time I’ve landed so far, even on nuclear planets, there were plenty of weird rocks, aliens and plants to scan.

As always, these planets are beautiful, but the graphical overhaul has made the terrain feel less craggy and random. I’m still sad that I had to leave the one tropical planet I found with Earth-like grass and trees, but the boiling rain really made it hard to stay.

Some of the new recipes for crafting now include an additional step in which you have to refine some minerals in order to use them. Rather than being tedious, this opened me up for more exploration.

I wasn’t just looking for the one mineral I needed and then hopping in my ship—I also had to find what I needed to craft a refiner, then go find some fuel for it, then find the mineral I needed, and then refine it.

It’s so easy to get lost in this scavenging now, which is impressive because I found it pretty easy to get lost in No Man’s Sky to begin with.

The refiner also makes a really satisfying gurgling noise. (Screenshot: No Man’s Sky)

What especially made all the new features shine was when Kotaku video producer Paul Tamayo dropped into my planet for a visit. It was incredibly easy—he just friended me on PlayStation and selected to join my game from the start menu. I heard him in my headset immediately, turned around, and he was there.

It was so simple and so magical to hear him react to the toxic planet I had found myself on. As a boiling monsoon raged at us, we strategised about where to head next, where to find the minerals we needed, and just marvelled at the beauty of space.

While exploring with Paul, we got into a dogfight with some NPCs. He had a more manoeuvrable ship and was able to pick them off handily. Once we got the signal that all the pirates were gone, I noticed I was still being shot at. I dodged and weaved to get out of the line of fire.

The attacker definitely wasn’t one of the pirates from before, and Paul and I wondered if maybe it was another player. By the time we shot them down, we still hadn’t been able to figure it out. We still don’t know. It feels incredible to have that little unsolved mystery.

I have already played dozens of hours of No Man’s Sky. I actually hadn’t picked it up in a while, in favour of other newer games. After spending a few hours in it today, I can already see this game devouring my life again. Apologies to anyone that I’ve made plans with. You can meet me in the stars.


Comments

    I genuinely enjoyed NMS when it first came out because needed that sort of game with no end goal. Just wander around & do things.

    Haven't played it in ages because of other games but this makes me want to get back into it all again.

      You definitely should. The Atlas Rising update really brought the game to where it needed to be. I'm pretty excited to start it all again this afternoon so I can play with my wife.

        I played the Atlas Rising update for a bit but didn't have time to get deep into it unfortunately due to life & other things.

      What @neurotic said. The game has developed into something MUCH closer to what people dreamed about, to the point its probably nitpicking to find differences now.

      The free reign is still there if you want it, but theres also a story to follow, again, if you want to. Its worth following, it gives some sense of direction without tieing you to too many specific targets, and helps get a few key techs and recipes.

      The bases alone are well worth it, if only to have a place to call home, but the portals (think Stargate) also add a good layer to the game, making long distance travel that much easier. Again, if you want to.

      I hope I don't have to find a new base though. I found a wonderful spot on an Earth like planet (similar to Gita's I think, with boiling rain), overlooking a lovely little lake. Will be fun with the new changes to build into the hillside behind it, or maybe put a landing platform out over the water.

        Yep! I'm super keen about the build anywhere feature. I thought it was pretty shit to only be able to build in a specific area. I'm super incredibly excited.

          I went back to the game a couple of months back, only to remember I'd built my initial base on an ice covered cesspit of a planet. It was there, just because.

          So as I went around doing various missions, I kept an eye out for a better option. Earth like planet came along, I plonked down a thingy to scan for a base, and when I found it, it was perfect. You really couldn't pick a nicer looking spot for a base.

          So if I keep it (and theres no reason to think I wont), then expanding on whats really just a basic plan at the moment will be great. Only worry is about how a couple of changes in one of the big patches got a few rooms out of alignment on the ice planet. Not a biggie though, its not that big a base.

            Given that it's currently #1 on top selling, and the reviews have seen a 200% positive increase. I think this update is going to be amazing.

            Just 2 more hours until I can play it!

    If I'd known it would eventually become something close to the original promise, I would've picked up two copies on PC instead of one cheap copy on PS4 a few weeks back.

    I'm wishing on a star, here, but any chance of PC/PS4 crossplay?

      It's currently $30 ($40 AUD) on Steam if that's an consolation!

        $80 to play multi in a game we already own?

        Too rich for my blood!

    Being an avid Xbox player, I didn't get the chance to personally experience No Man's Sky. I had to watch the preview showcase on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, read reviews, watch Twitch streams or YouTube videos and accept returns/refunds or trade ins in my big yellow store.

    Some days, I laughed and some, I felt sorry. This game started the downward spiral of the video game industry in this generation. The big Loot Box controversy came next and the people were not happy. I know, more returns, more refunds.

    Now with all these changes, I'm still on the fence and I will wait for reviews, YouTube videos and for people if/when/ever they decide to stream the game on Twitch before deciding to purchase such a product.

    I haven't played for a while as I've had other games and the addition of PSVR, but I am so hyped to jump back in to see the changes. I spent the other night relearning the basics and selling the last of my valuable inventory in preparation. Can't wait to get home!

      Well I’ve jumped on and am rather confused. A lot has changed! Considering starting a new game to learn all the new stuff. Which i don’t mind.

    Most of my tech/upgrades are obsolete and need to be replaced by new upgrades, my freighter is empty and my base has to be reclaimed off a terminal ... somewhere.

    Have they polished the player movement at all? The coolest move, the rocket jump, was always a bit of a secret. I'd love to think it's been made more prominent. It made it much easier to get around.

      Seems pretty similar. Unbelievably (unless I’ve missed it) they’ve stuck with the right stick click to sprint.

    Just been playing it.
    Some weird things like how clunky the movement feels but it's not more like they are trying to give weight to your body since you can have a 3rd person view.
    A few bugs here & there as well.
    Ship to ship combat is as bad as always.
    Plus the controls aren't very intuitive: such as the flight controls not being flipped & having the run function on R3 rather than L3 with no way to change it.

    The core still remains the same & the graphical improvements do make a big difference, even though the gaudy colours on the NPCs is very off putting.

      You can invert the flight controls in the options.

        Found that out from someone on FB but the option isn't in the control option menu but the general option menu.

        The menus still need a huge redesign.

    Actually looking forward to going home and having a look. Is there a limit on vertical building? Space viewing platform? :O

    my home planet "planet 8 bit" is gone all together. not in my discoveries. no sign of the planet what so ever. while the update is well welcomed they seem to fuck over current players with every update. oh well time to find a new planet what was truly unique.

    An awesome update ! Say goodbye to many more hours amongst the stars.
    Love the new space stations.
    Got shot down 5 minutes into the update before I could upgrade/repair my ship :-)
    Expect some patches to come through for PS4, mine's crashed twice already & some NPC dialogue doesn't appear, replaced by what seems to be a reference to the required file/command in a database somewhere..

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