Diary Day 1:
So today I jumped back into No Mans Sky after months away from the game. I like many people were excited for the game originally and while I did enjoy my time with it, it left me with little desire to return after the initial thrill wore off. The switch off point for me was after saving and saving money, making countless trips from 1 planet rich with gold to the Galactic equivalent of ‘Cash for Gold’, I finally had enough money for a big Ship. I waited and waited in the space station until the right one came along and boom, here it was, my very own ship bought with hard work. But now what? Saving for that ship had become my game and now I had completed that It turned out I had nothing left to do. Realistically I was never going to get to the centre of the unaversive or complete the Red Atlas journey or whatever it was. So what now? He simple answer was the off button.
On occasion the sense of wonder would grab me again and I would switch on for all of 10 minutes before remembering why I switched off.
But with the big update that Hello Games has put out, in addition to the updates of base building and land vehicles over the last few months I bravely decided to give it another go and see if it would get its hooks into me in the way I always wanted it to.
At first it was very much same old same old. I still did not really know what to do, where to go, or why to bother. But after a bit of time just trying to keep playing and recall the various systems Something interesting and NARRATIVE did happen. Suddenly after one hyperspace jump I received a transmission that opened up a new quest in my log. The addition of a quest log page is such a welcome addition to a game that just didn’t bother to remind you what you were doing. So many before I would have had to write down what it was I need to do, but now I don’t have to. So long scraps of paper.
I followed this little quest chain for a while and it led me to a couple of interesting spots and shed some light on your place in this universe, although in typical No Mans Sky fashion this light is very cryptic. But it has intrigued me, far more than simply trying to gather enough fuel to fly along the dotted lines shown to me on the map.
One location I visited actually had the legendary mythic creatures that we all wanted to find on a planet. DINOSAURS (Check out the gallery at the bottom of the page for some pictures). I couldn’t believe what I was seeing, they were huge and Dinosaur looking and bright GREEN. One had crazy spines on its back, another had what I can only describe as a weird dinosaur style parrot head.
I decided this land of the dinosaurs was a good a place as any to set up my new base.
The base building is fun……. Best of all is the portal system added to my base that allows me to continue searching ever inward in the universe if I want while easily being able to return to my base and its local solar system. This helps is feel like YOUR base, not just a temporary thing added to help pad out the lack of features from the vanilla No Mans Sky.
Different aspects of your base are handled by different NPC aliens, each who set you little quests to move your project along. I loved doing these and improving my base.
The only negative is when you need to find a specific material, it is just as painful to hunt down as it always has been. This led to several tedious hours searching planets for blue platinum plants and bulbous cave plants to name just a couple of things you will need to find.
But when I returned from my arduous search, more often than not I had a sense of progression and achievement, and then was swiftly moved on to which material I needed next. This is where the familiar feel of – urgh more of the same again- came into effect. But in fairness this was a good 6-7-hour play session.
To break up this arduous fetch quest life my adventurer was living I decided to try the new ‘missions’ that come with the new update. Simply go to a space station and find the mission vender. Some are irritating fetch quests – one had me seek out copper in an area where the copper could only be found inside Iron, in batches of 2 yet I needed 250 …sigh….
However, some are more interesting, such as exterminate some wildlife, hunt some predators, courier some wanted cargo with the threat of pirates. Take off after a bounty on a notorious smuggler, the selection was small but a welcome addition to the game if only to help break the monotony of rock blasting.
Distraction over I returned to my Land of Dinosaurs and got stuck into the new ground vehicles.
This is my biggest complaint so far and that’s why I’ve saved it for last.
So far…. They suck…..
I have only unlocked the first vehicle (although I have unlocked the schematic for the 2nd) and it just is not fun. Its slow, this is a problem when it is used for travelling to waypoints instead of flying. More often than not I gave up and flew. On the occasion where I needed my vehicle such as when destroying a sentinel depot, I was frustrated to find that I could not fly and call in my vehicle as it was ‘too far away’. Meaning you have to drive to these locations. What took me 35 seconds in the air, took 9 minutes on the ground. Not counting the times I drove into caves or lakes accidently and had to jetpack out and recall my vehicle.
Another issue is the game often does no load quick enough on a standard PS4 when I was driving. There would be no wildlife ahead of me or rocks, until suddenly there they are in front of my headlights getting mowed down through no fault of my own. Texture pop in is highly visible – now this is understandable in a procedurally generated game when flying across vast distances so quickly, but just driving along shouldn’t be too fast for the game to think.
These are my first impressions of No Mans Sky after months away and 3 updates to come to grips with. So far I am very much enjoying my time although as mentioned the old tiring aspects are still there, but I have other things to do now so that’s cool.
I will push forward on my journey through the universe and see what more can be uncovered and report back right here. So for more on No Mans Sky 1.3 Atlas Rises make sure you drop me a follow at the bottom of the page.
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And be sure to comment with your thoughts on the game? have you gone back to it? are you thinking about it? if not why not?