No Man's Sky Next takes the 2016 original and blows it up to epic proportions as part of a huge free update.
No Man's Sky Next is the long-overdue relaunch of one of 2016's simultaneously over-hyped and underappreciated gaming gems – No Man's Sky.
Developed by Hello Games and then blown out of all proportion by rabid fans buying into marketing hype, the 2016 spacefaring adventure saw you explore new worlds and gather resources as you made your way closer to the centre of the universe. In time, that journey became tiresome, dragging on for far too long because there simply just wasn't enough to be doing to keep you busy.
However, over the course of updates, No Man's Sky became something completely different. Instead of simply being a space exploration game, it became one of colonisation and trade. It became a settlement simulator and weaved in a narrative that tied together why you were exploring your way to the centre of the universe across these desolate planets.
No Man's Sky Next is the culmination of these updates. It's arguably the game that No Man's Sky was intended to be on launch. It's also the first time Hello Games' title will land on Xbox One, with full support for Xbox One X. There's a lot of content as part of No Man's Sky Next, so much so it's really more than a simple update, it's an overhaul. We tear down the key points for you below and you can read our original No Man's Sky review on the next page.
No Man's Sky Next features: What's different this time around?
For No Man's Sky Next, Hello Games has overhauled almost every single aspect of the original game. There's a long list of updates to get through, and some of these are simply quality-of-life updates rather than new systems. However, it's clear that their effect on gameplay will be massive compared to the title that launched two years ago.
In short, here's a bullet-point list of what you can expect in No Man's Sky Next update:
- Brand-new visuals, with improved lighting and fidelity to provide a layer of realism
- Multiplayer now exists, allowing you to team up with others to explore a planet, race, build bases or engage in space combat and quests
- Now possible to cross paths with other players while exploring
- New terrain generation system to create both more diverse and more believable planets in a solar system
- Underwater base building
- No longer fixed to specified locations when building a base
- Can build multiple bases across multiple planets with an increase in complexity and size limits
- "Hundreds" of new base parts now available
- Build and command a fleet of frigates for trade and combat
- Tweaking of balances around opening hours and item generation
No Man's Sky Next updates: Will Hello Games keep updating?
As No Man's Sky Next feels like how the Hello Games team wanted the original title to launch, some are wondering if they'll now just step back and be done with the game going forward. According to company head Sean Murray, the team will still be doling out updates but this time on a more regular basis.
Instead of the mega updates that came to No Man's Sky in occasional chunks, the team want to be continually tweaking and refining what No Man's Sky Next is instead of dropping a load of features at once. If this works, you should see a game that never stops improving and adding content for the next year or two.