I hope I don't get griefed in No Man's Sky NEXT
Next week, No Man's Sky NEXT launches on PS4, PC, and Xbox One.
It has a new publisher in 505 Games, and a ton of new features that are a free update for existing PC and PS4 owners.
It's also adding full "proper" multiplayer to the game for the first time, in addition to the largely asynchronous features the game already had.
What worries me is that it's now possible to attack other players.
OPT IN? OR MANDATORY?
Part of what I enjoy about No Man's Sky is the vast emptiness of it all. There's no denying that it'd be fun to explore the universe with friends, but hopefully I can turn that off and explore the game by myself still.
The always-connected nature of the game's server system has me doubting it.
"You can help friends to stay alive, or prey on others to survive."
That sounds bad, to me. The use of the language prey on others seems to intentionally suggest that players should try and kill each other to take each other's things.
I don't usually have fun in that sort of environment.
If my No Man's Sky experience is now going to involve watching my back for a random guy with a way bigger gun who can come along and shoot me and take all my things...that ruins 90 percent of the fun I had with the game.
No Man's Sky is at its best when it creates feelings of isolation, exploration, and discovery. I don't need HaxxorMan69 killing me while I ponder the nature of the universe.
Hopefully this type of play is opt-in, because then I'll have no issues with it. I guess we'll find out next week?
OTHER GOOD STUFF
The game is getting a third person camera. That's cool! I don't know how often I'll use it...I almost never use the equivalent mode in Bethesda's games, but it's nice to have the option and hopefully this means there will be more player avatar customization.
Hello Games has also overhauled the procedural texturing system to draw more detail into the game's environments and ship models. The result is a game that looks darn close to that original concept video they've taken so much flak about over the years.
I'm startled that the game continues to receive visual improvements. I thought the original version looked totally decent, especially considering that most of the game's visual elements are rendered with voxels and procedural textures. When it got its big lighting overhaul a few updates ago, I was startled at how it looked like an entirely new game. This new update is bringing another significant leap to the graphics, and that's kinda cool.
I'm also looking forward to seeing how the game performs on Xbox One X. The PC version took a bit of a performance hit around the time of that lighting update that it's never totally recovered from. Hopefully this new update brings new optimizations.
Hello Games has stuck with No Man's Sky when they could have just launched straight into a sequel, or licensing out their engine to other small companies wanting to make huge games on a lower budget. It's commendable that they've stuck by their creation and continued to expand its universe.
They've added a much better story. They've totally overhauled the visuals. And they've finally added the multiplayer mode that "Everyone" wanted...I just hope it doesn't mean I'll get killed all the time.