Later this week, Hello Games will release their third major update in as many years, No Man’s Sky BEYOND. The update will add VR support and install new MMO functionality, including a shared social space, into the core gameplay.
Last year, No Man’s Sky NEXT brought the game to Xbox One and I played dozens of hours of it before moving away. With this update, I’m hoping to get back into universe-exploring hi-jinks. Here’s what I’m hoping for from No Man’s Sky BEYOND.
A sense of community
It would be really neat if, with BEYOND, the sense of community that players have scrounged together on their own was solidified and recognized in-game. Groups like the Galactic Hub Project have spent years since No Man’s Sky’s release working on ways to make the game more collaborative and community-based, and if we had a way to recognize that group and others like it for their hard work, I think it would be appreciated.
In addition to that, having shared missions and essentially creating (to steal a term from Destiny) fireteams to complete those missions would help show that Hello Games’ push to make the game more MMO-like is serious.
I actually redownloaded No Man’s Sky in anticipation of the BEYOND update. After starting on a cold, yet resource-rich world, I was tasked with tracking down a signal that would progress the story. If you’ve played No Man’s Sky, you know which mission this is. I landed on a lovely planet — and was almost instantly killed by some passing predators.
I’ve encountered some other similar difficulty barriers in No Man’s Sky, and it’s been a barrier to enjoyment for me. I don’t want Hello Games to get rid of this stuff by any means — some of my frustration is at my own lack of skill in some areas, after all — but it would be nice to see some of the difficulty dialed down and gradually raised back up over time. Give us a little bit more of a curve.
And now, we must talk about the Sony-sized elephant in the room, one that Destiny developer Bungie only recently bargained for and won: cross-play.
No Man’s Sky would benefit so much from cross-play. Being able to play with other galactic explorers regardless of their platform would only strengthen the MMO components. And not to reduce to the current-year argument needlessly, but hell — it’s 2019. Everything is integrated with everything else. Let’s let games that are meant to be played by everyone truly be played by everyone. It just makes sense.