No Man’s Sky is a game that has been a topic of discussion since its initial release back in 2016.

Although surrounded by harsh waves of controversy and complaints, developer Hello Games did not let the response they garnered after launch hinder the company, instead they took that feedback and now here we are, with No Man’s Sky NEXT.

No Man’s Sky NEXT is a massive update that takes the base of the title and expands on it with updated graphics, new elements such as multiplayer, near-unlimited base building, the option to play in third or first person and so much more. With that being said, these new features aren’t the only area where the developer excels, this instead lies deeper beyond the surface featured in their perseverance and will to deliver on their vision of No Man’s Sky.

With the added multiplayer feature, this opens the doors to a whole new world of fresh and top notch gameplay. Teaming up with friends cultivates a richness to the experience, whether you are simply exploring together to find resources in order to survive a baron and harmful planet; or using expressive gestures and building bases which further acts as a way to share and interact with the rest of the No Man’s Sky community.

But, let's talk about the in game journey.

When beginning the game I found myself on a planet that was not very forgiving; riddled with vicious plants, scarce supplies and more than any an environment that had a radiation level that should be deemed as illegal. This showcased more than anything that this new journey posed its clear challenges. Challenges aside, moments after starting the search for the materials I would need in order to start the process of fixing my ship, I was hooked.

The game is interesting, still allowing explorers to create a catalog of information based on different species of animals, plants and elements that reside on each different planet. Although the gathering of resources seems like it takes a large chunk of time, this is really were the survival aspect of things can be seen because there’s never a moment, even when caught up in a serene view where you don’t need to be paying attention to how much the planet is taking its toll on your character.

This is another in game aspect that I rather enjoyed, that and realizing that accidentally falling down a deep cavernous hole had the same outcome on my ever decaying radiation protection as going inside of my ship did (this saved my life, literally).

With exploring the universe also came the missions which subsequently lead you towards new and unknown planets. Although the flying distance sometimes felt as if the destination was going to remain in the distance forever (something I found entertaining), the reward that lay at the end of that very well hidden rainbow was one of satisfaction, sometimes with items that somehow always connected to the bigger picture.

Overall the experience was enjoyable and even as the forces of each planets environment contributed challenge, the game in a sense was relaxing to play, because let’s face it, there’s nothing like drifting through endless space to an ambient soundtrack to relax you, no matter how stressed out you may be.

I really think that Hello Games approached their relaunch extremely well, and in the end, they have re-released a quality product that can be viewed as clearly extending out the original release that we played back in 2016, also aligning itself with what was advertised in the first few previews provided of the game. Including the new features and total overhaul, I give this game and the developer props, I definitely know that I’ll be coming back to this title to log in more hours on various occasions.

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