No Man’s Sky NEXT – First Impressions

Note: This turned out way longer than I anticipated. Skip to the last paragraph for the nutshell version.nms next banner

So here, as promised, is my initial impression and thoughts on the latest update to No Man’s Sky.

In typical major update fashion, I had some difficulty getting started. I ended up playing in windowed mode due to a cursor position issue. Cursor was locked in top left corner and trying to click anywhere on the screen forced the game to minimize. Neither clicking the icon on taskbar or alt-tab would restore cursor, just change focus back to the game and un-minimize it. Funnily enough keyboard worked fine.

Anyway, they said there was a new tutorial for the update so I figured I would start with a new game. I was not prepared, however. I was dropped in the middle of nowhere on a flat plain with no scanner and most of my elemental shielding already drained. The usual steps to repair the scanner are still there, but no ship or cover in sight. Thanks RNG, I love you too.

It’s also worth mentioning that all the elements have been changed as well. Ferrite dust, which replaced iron, was easy enough to find, but after scrambling around and taking a one way trip into and underground cave to avoid death I discovered that rocks in this cave give me Cobalt, not ferrite dust. Additionally, there are new plants in the cave that give off gas clouds that I need to avoid. Some weird egg things I didn’t touch.new materials.png

ship site.pngI finally got out, got my scanner going, got a waypoint for my ship, and made my way there. Same repairs as always, but with slightly different components. One required the usual signal booster to locate and one required a new device called a refinery. The complete version of these can be picked up and placed into your inventory. I like the refinery, I used it to turn ferrite dust into pure ferrite. Think I ran mine on carbon.

ringed planet.pngAfter my repairs I wanted to check out the new space station and character customization. I did find this cool ringed planet on my way there. I also neglected to take a picture of myself.

So, in the draft, I was not very nice towards the GoG platform, where I presumably used to own my copy of No Man’s Sky.  Due to the rather large number of people disappointed with the lack of multiplayer in the NEXT launch on GoG, they are temporarily offering refunds for this product out of their own pocket. This offer expires on the 29th, and I already went ahead and submitted a ticket. Now, I realize that like Steam, this is “wallet cash”, which is more like trading a game for an equivalent value of game(s).  It is really nice of them to do this and makes me much more likely to consider other purchases from them.

Overall I really like this update, even if I did ask for a refund. The UI is more polished, the materials make more sense, a vast amount of seemingly minor QoL changes, and there’s more overall depth. I’ll definitely be picking this up again, on Steam this time.

4 thoughts on “No Man’s Sky NEXT – First Impressions

  1. Thanks for posting this — MP issues on GoG aside it sounds like NEXT is great. I pre-ordered NMS for the PS4 and loved it right from launch; I’ve been a huge Hello Games apologist and they delivered something I enjoyed right from day one; the patches since have only improved it. Now I’m thinking about re-buying it on Steam for the PC…

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    1. Wow, I’m not alone. I didn’t pre-order, but NMS was exactly the game I expected to be at launch. Early in development they had been very specific about what kind of experience they were making. Unfortunately Shawn got a little excited and misspoke at a few key moments. Maybe I should write a post about my perspective now that it’s “okay” to like NMS again.

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  2. This is enticing me to pick it up (on Steam, of course). I’d been intrigued initially but after all the launch kerfuffles didn’t want to put down money on it. It seems like my kind of thing, though, from your write-up.

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    1. It’s a very chill survival sandbox sort of experience. Progression happens at whatever pace you want. The part I figured would turn most people off is the survival aspect. There’s a baseline level of “always gathering resources” that’s required to not die. I find the “normal” difficulty quite nice. I previously played in the “survival” difficulty due to save slot limitations that no longer exist. I did NOT find that to be a relaxing or calm experience, it was very brutal and demanding, requiring sometimes four times the resources for the same effect as normal.

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