Beyond, the new update for No Man's Sky just released so what's changed? Is it still worth getting into No Man's Sky? Let's find out.
In my No Man's Sky Next Review from last year, I was impressed that there were 4 modes: creative, normal, survival, and permadeath which accommodates for any kind of player. I was also impressed at the huge variety of things to do as well as the fantasy-like visual style. The most disappointing aspect was that planets are too similar with the same assets being used all over the place, especially on toxic planets. In retrospect, I didn't go out of my way to find the more exotic planets. I was also disappointed that the story didn't offer interesting gameplay and that survival mode isn't much of a challenge. Anyway, if you want to read my Next review before reading further then feel free because it mostly still holds true. Right now, it's time to go through the new features of No Man's Sky Beyond.
No Man's Sky now supports Steam VR and PlayStation VR. I don't have VR but it must be an immersive experience to see a universe in full 360° around you. VR users also have a unique set of controls and a 360° view of the ship's cockpit.
As someone who loves making bases, the base-building changes are one of the first things that I tried out. Now, you have to power your bases with sources like solar panels and electromagnetic generators. You also have to link up everything with power lines which is a cumbersome process. I have a base in survival mode that I made last year and I tried to power everything up but the doors don't open even when the rooms are powered because... oh, I don't know. Then, I made a new base in normal mode and I eventually got the hang of it. However, it still seems like you have to make way too many solar panels and it's annoying that you have to put in extra effort to power bases when you didn't have to before.
New tech trees
On the Space Anomaly, you can now trade buried technology for base blueprints. Previously, you had to trade them at the base computer and the blueprints became available in a predetermined order. Since you can now buy them in any order, that's certainly a welcome change.
New Space Anomaly
Nada and Polo have completely revamped the Space Anomaly. You can now make it appear anywhere in space at the press of a button and there are 12 new NPCs who provide various services such as technology vendors and there are even a few who give you the opportunity to earn nanites. At the Nexus, you can undertake simple missions with other players and earn various rewards. There's a large portal that you can visit other players' bases as well as your own with. Featured bases have been selected by the developers so you're sure to find lots of awesome bases through this system.
There are 3 kinds of planetary hotspots: deep mineral hotspots contain minerals like Magnetised Ferrite, gas hotspots have gaseous resources like Nitrogen, and electromagnetic hotspots can be tapped for a steady supply of electricity to power your base. I tried using supply pipes to transport resources to depots but sometimes, it doesn't work. After playing around in my base for a while, I think I know what's going on. Basically, Supply pipes can't be constructed outside the buildable area of your base which is about 350 units in each direction. The same goes for power lines as you need to have your electromagnetic hotspot very close to your base.
Animal riding, milking, and cooking
No Man's Sky Beyond allows you to tame animals by feeding them preferred food. You'll have to find common materials like Mordite and Faecium then put them in the nutrient processor to make the food. When you feed the animals, you'll get the option to ride them or harvest them for, uh, "berries". Anyway, you'll now find different ingredients on planetary surfaces and you can mix and match them in the nutrient processor to cook more than 300 new recipes. However, the rewards seem lackluster and you can only trade them for nanites or eat them to boost your life support in case you don't have enough oxygen for whatever reason.
There's a whole bunch of other nice quality of life changes so I'm going to go through them quickly here:
- There can now be 8 players in 1 session on console or 32 players on PC.
- You can hold up to 9999 of each basic resource but not in survival or permadeath modes.
- Sentinels attack players less often while mining but not in survival or permadeath.
- You can now ride exocrafts in first-person.
- All NPC dialogues were revisited and there are many new conversations on top of that.
- NPCs now appear sometimes on planet surfaces and they'll have unique dialogue.
- You can now choose categories of words to learn when aliens teach you their language. Plus, there are 700 new words.
- The discoveries page and the galaxy map have been revamped.
- There are new planetary charts sold on the Space Anomaly for finding manufacturing facilities, depots, and operation centers.
Ignoring the huge hassle of powering your base and how difficult it is to use the industrial hotspots, I still enjoyed all of the changes in No Man's Sky Beyond. There's quite a variety of them so if you're a long-time No Man's Sky player, I'm sure you'll find something to enjoy. However, be warned because if you have any old bases, it might take a while to power them all up.
- + Huge update with loads of new content
- + Tons of quality of life enhancements
- + Now features VR support
- - Industrial hotspots feel broken
- - Need to work to make your old bases functional again
- - Animal taming and cooking isn't rewarding