No Man's Sky is amazing now!

No Man's Sky is amazing now!

You should definitely give it a try

 I feel obliged to start this article by saying that No Man's Sky was clearly overpromised and underdelivered, and that Hello Games seriously dropped the ball. However, it's been over a year, Hello Games has pushed out three very big updates, and the game as it stands right now is immensely playable, and very fun. 

The most recent update 1.3 "Atlas Rises" was released last month. It included a completely revamped story with 30 additional hours of content, overhauled combat and flying systems, new biomes, a lot of UI improvements, crashed ships to salvage on planets, and more.

I have been curious to try No Man's Sky since the (disastrously failed) launch, but I never quite managed to get around to it until now. In hindsight, I'm glad it took me so long to get to this game, because it's AMAZING.

Hello Games has removed a lot of the initial friction of the game. For example, inventory management (which was a huge hassle in the early version of the game) is simple and intuitive, and it's easy to unlock extra inventory slots. 

As you play through the introductory fumbling phase of the game, you gradually unlock abilities and items which have a meaningful impact on gameplay. This feeling that you're slowly climbing up the ladder of gameplay gives a structure to what could otherwise be a "Now what?" situation. 

For example, it took me a while to work out how to find a building location I could claim. Once I did, I set about building corridors and rooms, and placing research stations here and there. Each base comes with a teleporter, and after making three warp jumps, you unlock a teleport link between your home base and up to 4 space stations. Each of these individual steps was a "Hurray!" moment, and at each one, you could see the next "Hurray!" moment on the horizon.

The biggest surprise to me so far is how much I enjoy being able to rename things. If you are the first person to discover a planet, creature, or plant (and you probably will be), you have a chance to rename and upload it to the Atlas. Any other player who comes across it will see the name, and that you are the one who named it. I don't know why I find this thought so rewarding, but I really do.

No Man's Sky does an excellent job of capturing your attention and keeping that momentum going. There are reportedly 18 quintillion planets, although so far I have explored only 10.