No Man's Sky (PS4 Pro Review - With Update for the latest version)

Originally touted as an early PS4 title, it took a couple of years for No Man's Sky to finally arrive. When it did, there was an initial flurry of "Oohs" and "Ahhs" that very quickly turned into an angry torch-wielding mob claiming that the game had been mis-sold as something that it wasn't.

Most of the naysayers who demanded refunds on their copies, or that Sean Murray (head of Hello Games) be hung from the nearest lamppost were claiming that in interviews Sean had alluded to co-operative play or multiplayer. Something that was clearly not in the finished product. There were also claims that the game's ads on STEAM were misleading and that content shown in trailers was clearly not indicative of the final released version (which is why most of those trailers were clearly marked with "not final version" on them - hey who'd have thunk it eh!)

I was initially very impressed with No Man's Sky, mainly because it delivered exactly what I expected - and a lot of stuff I didn't. I expected a procedurally generated universe to play in, but I had not expected any sort of a story line or quest mode (in fact most of the early coverage of this game turned "What do you actually DO in it?" into a bit of a standing joke).

The Planet Gajaranopf Bikhov - Mostly known across the universe for being made entirely of Gecko ca-ca
Weirdly I was well and truly drawn in despite the game being extremely grindy and repetitive.

Now No Man's Sky has had its first significant update, which has changed the entire game considerably. Along with the standard mode that I've been playing for a few months there's a new 'expert survival' mode offering a tougher challenge, and also a creative mode that lets you go to town with one of the most important additions to the game.

Base building. Yes, now you can stake out your claim on your pretty coloured planet, mine some resources and start building a modular base a la Fallout 4 (though with a considerably nicer UI to place your elements with).

Creative mode is a godsend for folk like me who really don't want the effort of grinding through the game for every scrap of plutonium, carbon or steel. You have infinite resources (within the boundaries of what the game is actually capable of) and can really go to down creating some crazy stuff.

At its core, the game is largely unchanged. It looks gorgeous though I couldn't really see any PS4 Pro enhancements (I doubt there have been any). This first free major update is the first of many, and several gamers still interested enough in No Man's Sky are wondering just what's going to happen with it next.

Off the back of the update, even a few of the naysayers have dived back in to enjoy the prospect of setting up huge space-going freighters to shuttle resources around, or just build a base in the shape of a dick.

Yeah because Plutonium is sold in every dime store in the future, I guess. 
As much as I did begin to get a bit sick and tired of the endless cycle of travel, mine, hyperdrive to next system I once again found myself starting the game from scratch with a fresh save and enjoying it, just as I have done many times with Minecraft and other resource-gathering titles.

It's nowhere near my game of the year but nor is it the terrible travesty some of the more foaming-at-the-mouth game forumites would have you believe.

In space, nobody can hear you moan on and on and on and on that there's no multiplayer. 

Hookability: Initially quite a high level of addiction as you struggle to mine enough resources to establish yourself in the game a bit more.

Lastability: Still way too much grinding but with the new game modes you've now got three times the  challenge - and not a whiff of DLC costs (god, don't you wish more games were like this?)

Playability: Never ever had a problem with this game as far as being able to pick it up and get straight into it goes. Wonderful looking for the most part, plays like a dream in space and on planets. Still one hell of an achievement for a tiny team.

Overall: A fascinating game just got more interesting still, and we can only guess what Hello Games have in store for future updates (some folk have reverse engineered the game code and found land vehicles in there so I've got my fingers crossed that ends up panning out).


Popular Posts