No Man’s Sky de­serv­ing of an­other chance

Wicklow People (West Edition) - - ENTERTAINM­ENT -

NO Man’s Sky has, to say the very least, had an ex­tremely rocky run since its re­lease, but that hasn’t stopped the de­vel­op­ers from des­per­ately at­tempt­ing to pull off a re­demp­tion arc of gar­gan­tuan pro­por­tions.

With the re­lease of No Man’s Sky Be­yond - a huge con­tent up­date for the game - they may have re­deemed them­selves some­what, though at the most fun­da­men­tal level No Man’s Sky still re­mains plagued by the same is­sues it has faced since the launch of the game.

De­spite many qual­ity of life im­prove­ments, No Man’s Sky is still lit­tered with too many mo­ments of pure te­dium. On top of that, it seems that the re­ward for the con­stant grind­ing of ma­te­ri­als is sim­ply just up­grades so that you can grind more ma­te­ri­als a lit­tle bit faster. The lack of any sort of au­to­mated ma­te­rial gath­er­ing is very dis­ap­point­ing, con­sid­er­ing how this of­ten vi­cious grind is one of the more bor­ing facets of the game.

Still, de­spite the ill-con­ceived foun­da­tions, there are many mo­ments of won­der and fun to be had in No Man’s Sky Be­yond. Trav­el­ling the stars in your tricked-out space­ship and seam­lessly tran­si­tion­ing through the at­mos­pheres of pro­ce­du­rally gen­er­ated, in­fin­itely di­verse plan­ets never gets so old that the game feels stale. The im­proved graph­ics and some­times gor­geous ter­raform­ing make for a vis­ually pleas­ing ex­pe­ri­ence that is un­ri­valled in the genre.

Al­though No Man’s Sky Be­yond’s game­play loop gen­er­ally con­sists of find­ing a new planet, al­most tear­ing your hair out in frus­tra­tion at the mind-numb­ingly te­dious ma­te­rial gath­er­ing, out­last­ing plan­e­tary storms and per­haps build­ing a base, then rins­ing and re­peat­ing, there still ex­ists a cer­tain charm to the game that is im­pos­si­ble to shake off, even af­ter hours and hours and pos­si­bly days of play­ing.

No Man’s Sky Be­yond is fi­nally com­ing close to the game that was promised by the tiny and in­fa­mous Hello Games stu­dio. The up­graded mul­ti­player is fi­nally on the level of what was promised by Sean Mur­ray in his var­i­ous di­a­tribes of ut­ter lies and the game­play is fi­nally some­where close to what was promised in the end­less de­vel­oper in­ter­views and game­play trail­ers.

No Man’s Sky may never have the fol­low­ing that it could have, and it may never re­build all those burned bridges, but the de­vel­op­ers have turned what could have been an ut­ter train­wreck into a labour of love, so maybe they do de­serve an­other chance.

De­spite ill-con­ceived foun­da­tions, there are many mo­ments of won­der and fun to be had in No Man’s Sky Be­yond.

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