It would be fair to say that No Man’s Sky didn’t receive the warmest of receptions when it launched back in 2016. Some players, of course, and I count myself among them, were mesmerised by its serenely nomadic spirit and infinite toy box of procedural wonders – while others were expecting something more.
Fleeing from the tsunami wave of animosity that followed, Hello Games retreated into the shadows and set down the path of what may be gaming’s greatest redemption story. Now, three years and eight massive updates later, the No Man’s Sky that once was and the No Man’s Sky that is now are very different beasts.
Base building came first, followed by some wonderfully buoyant vehicles for spirited planetary exploration, then freighters (sort of portable-bases-meet-flying-garages), active solo and procedural questing, passive squad missions, improved flight and combat, cooking, farming, hydroponics, archaeology, electricity based logic systems, third-person perspective, VR support (both wonderfully tactile and, presently, rather unrefined), and plenty more.