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Game review: No Man's Sky Next on Xbox One reaches for the stars



No Man's Sky Next (XO) – A Big Jump for Hello Games

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No matter how much it will evolve over time No Man's Sky will always go down as one of the biggest disappointments in gaming history, however you look at it is mainly the fault of the developer Hello Games, but some guilty parties must also go to Sony to attack them and to players who have not recognized the warning signals.The idea of ​​an entire procedurally generated galaxy has always been too good to be true the entertainment that the original publ The 2016 release had a frustratingly short half-life.

But to Hello Games & # 39; credit they have stayed and since then we have added new features and updates for free. The highlight is the "Next" update, which also coincides with the first appearance of the game on the Xbox One. This review is for all versions as soon as they receive the update, although playing on the Xbox One X means you can experience it with the highest PS performance of modern consoles.

The end result is undoubtedly an improvement, but we do not think Hello Games would pretend that the game has reached its full potential. No matter how many new features and enhancements the update offers – and there's a lot – there's almost no change to the underlying gameplay loop, and that will be a problem for both new and old players.

One of the big mistakes in the first marketing of No Man's Sky was not clear what a game it was before the start. There were no practical previews and everything was very vague about what you actually do in the game. The superficial answer to this question is "not much" and it is true that No Man's Sky is often superficial and repetitive in terms of traditional gameplay. And yet, despite their many and obvious mistakes, the experience can be quite convincing.

The simplest description for No Man's Sky is a space dealer in the style of the original elite with elements of survival games such as Rust or Don & # 39 ;. Starve. You start the game after you crash your spaceship without knowing who you are and how you got there. The various updates have tried to add a more structured story element to the game, but finding the center of the galaxy and learning the secrets of the mysterious extraterrestrial intelligence called Atlas remains a vague goal.

You now receive specific subquests, some of which are part of the story path, some of which are just odd jobs for the various alien species you encounter along the way. There are more of them now, but sticking four or five to one trading post does not really make the galaxy more alive than if it was just one. It's an improvement, but it's indicative of the other changes that are technically a step forward but are not really addressing the basic issues.

To get anywhere in No One's Heaven, you need resources: to generate the fuel needed to travel between stars and the other systems in your ship, as well as your space suit and multi-tool (combi-unit, resource-collector and Scanner). You are also free to sell the accumulated resources to trading posts and space stations for a hopefully healthy profit. Unlike most other survival games, your hunger is not a problem, but if your suit's ability to compensate for extreme temperatures or toxic atmospheres is not maintained, the effect is the same.

One of the main problems with the original version was the lack of storage space you had for resources and equipment, and this is one of many problems that have since been recognized and addressed. But even here, the problem is only mitigated rather than eliminated, and a lack of storage space as the biggest obstacle to exploring the unknown is a fundamentally uninteresting problem.

No Man's Sky Next (XO) – a galaxy of adventure

If you're not intentionally encouraging, the fight is over quite rarely, and when walking, it is almost exclusively based on the mysterious Guardian robots that patrol every planet, when you cause too much damage by mining or other general destruction. The gun game is very shallow and not at all exciting, but the space combat is more interesting. Your weapons are always a bit pennant, but the controls are good and the dog fight is tense and enjoyable as you are almost always outnumbered.

It helps that death only means going back to the place where you died and picking up your lost inventory, but in any case, No Man's Sky is not a difficult game. It's too laid back for that. But for exploration to be the primary source of entertainment, there must be a real variety of things to see and do along the way. And unfortunately that is still not the case.

Thanks to the excellent art direction, No Man's Sky can sometimes offer breathtaking views and graphic fidelity has definitely improved since the launch. Landscapes are now denser with details and clouds hover realistically above your head (or over your cockpit when you land). But there are still a lot of problems with the obvious dipping of objects and it quickly becomes clear that as different as some planets look, they are basically all identical.

Flora and fauna may vary visually, but they are all thinly mined resource mines, and despite all the randomly generated dinosaurs, alien dragons, and weird insects, none of them has any of their own artificial intelligence and is little more than background details. Even the secret space stations and mysterious monoliths can be quickly calculated, both in form and in the only vaguely useful secrets they offer.

Ultimately the Biggest Improvement over the Original In addition to the new third-person camera option, there are a small selection of options that can be used to automate your resource collection especially the huge freighters, which you can put together to a whole fleet and send to wait. But not only do you need tens of hours to get them, it's also a bit like someone else in Call Of Duty doing the filming for you, because that means you have little interest otherwise.

You can build bases wherever you like, even underwater, and there are different surface crafts, but strangely enough, that seems to contradict the goal of reaching the center of the galaxy. What's more tempting is the new multiplayer options. Hello Games warned that it was a pretty straightforward implementation, and that it really is not friends to introduce new gameplay elements with friends when you're bored.

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The multiplayer also seems to increase the likelihood of graphics flaws, although these and some unfortunate performance issues are also apparent when playing alone. So analyzing a person's sky is always vaguely unfair because the technology behind generating a galaxy of billions on billions of planets is so impressive.

No Man's Sky is basically the best foundation for a game that has ever existed, everything that was built on it was a shaky shed. Two years later, and it's a relatively spacious bungalow, but still not near the sprawling mansion of science fiction miracles that everyone hoped would be. In terms of potential, the sky remains the limit, but most of your greater hopes and expectations are brought to earth very quickly.



No Man's Sky Next

In short: The updates have brought a significant improvement, But even after two years, the huge scope and ambition only serves to hide how simple and repetitive that is Gameplay is.

Pros: Enormous game world is a joy to explore, even if you know all the tricks. Competent space combat. Multiplayer, freighter and third-person view are welcome. Excellent art design

Disadvantages: Very repetitive main game loop that requires little skill and provides too little excitement. Faulty implementation of aliens, intelligent and others. Many minor bugs and performance issues

Score: 7/10

Formats: Xbox One (Revised), PlayStation 4 and PC
Price: £ 39.99
Publisher: Hello Games
Developer: Hello Games
Release date: July 24, 2018
Age Rating: 7

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