No Man’s Sky Next – Is it better now?

#NoMansSkyNEXT – Finally an update to No Man’s Sky, that apparently makes it enjoyable to play, No Man’s Sky now has multiplayer, but is all of that able to save a game that has recieved the kind of backlash, that No Man’s Sky recieved?

So I played No Man’s Sky back in the day. It wasn’t my favourite gaming experience that I ever had but I surely hoped that this time – after the No Man’s Sky Next Update – and after a many people told me that now it was an O.K. game and that now I could in fact play it and have a good time, I was ready to give it one more shot.

What’s new?

No Man’s Sky has multiplayer now and added character customization. On top of that everything is supposed to look better and you can even enjoy upgraded fighting mechanics with against other ships. None of these things relate to complaints I had about the game back in 2016, when I payed 60€ for my copy. And still, No Man’s Sky mainly focuses on exploring the gigantic oversized universe and exploring its planets which have little to no differentiation when you really look at it.

One thing, I’ll admit right away: The soundtrack is absolutely fantastic and beautifully ethereal and scenic, I thought that in 2016 and I still think that now, the score is that one thing that I really enjoy in this gaming experience.

Something that they did not get rid of and that used to piss me off ridiculously is the enormously long waiting times when you go from planet to planet just to explore. I have to wait up to 3 minutes to go from planet to planet, depending on how far away my destination is. And that’s boring. Nobody likes to go on a long drive. They could just as well put in a 3 minute loading screen but that wouldn’t have been recieved well.

What’s the point of exploring, if there’s so little to explore?

Now, frankly, I do really enjoy exploration games and I tend to branch out in Open World games to just do basically nothing and just pick plants or something. But it No Man’s Sky that is completely devoid of fun. Because still, about 80% of the gameplay is just mindlessly grinding for resources just to keep your life support system up. At some point you advance to mindlessly grinding for resources to upgrade your tools, your exosuit and your spaceship but what is the point in doing that, when you’re just going to go on grinding for stuff.

As No Man’s Sky is pretty bereft of some sort of purpose for you being there (except for you just exploring everything) it feels so empty as a game all together. There is a vague hint of a story, but it’s only given to you through written dialogue with some geometrical shapes. And no story is really graspable in the universe, you seem to have no point in existing. The environments aren’t giving you any storyesque vibes as well, it’s just colour coordinated planets and slightly different flora and fauna. So the environment design doesn’t really tell a story besides serving to give you a hint about the biohazard type that you will have to face.

Salt levels are high when you look at the price

When you look at No Man’s Sky, it’s hard to disregard the enormous price tag. It used to be 60 € on release day and by now (2 years later) it’s still a whopping 40 € at most places.

Trust me, I love an indie game, that’s not necessarily perfect but has some great thought put into it, a good presentation, a wonderful soundtrack or follows some awesome ideas, that are executed well. So, technically, No Man’s Sky should have been right up my alley, but it falls short by so many points that do taint my gaming experience. I am honestly disappointed, that it still, even with all the new updates, is a game that I don’t enjoy. The main feeling I have is jealousy for everyone who enjoys this game. It feels like there is an awesome game but just out of reach, it’s frustrating.

For me, it’s still the same Minecraft-Spore-Space Game mixed with the bad parts of the Destiny games.

Opinions on video games just vary so greatly, that you definitely have to go and see for yourself if #NoMan’sSkyNext is something that you might get a kick out of. For me I wish it was like that