Since its launch in 2016, there have been several important and defining updates for No Man’s Sky. 2018 saw the release of the massive ‘Next’ expansion alongside a new Xbox release, while 2020’s ‘Origins’ update essentially doubled the game’s variety. on October 7, the team at Hello Games decided to use the launch as a chance to update some of the seemingly smaller – but still important – aspects of No Man’s Sky for its 4.0 update, which will affect all platforms.
“What we want to do is focus on some of the fundamentals,” said Sean Murray of Hello Games. The edge. “It’s nice to kind of dig into that aspect of things and make the game enjoyable for new players and for returning players. Really tidy up your house and then bring visitors in.
This means that October 7 will mark two milestones, starting with the launch of No Man’s Sky on the switch. This isn’t the first time the game has technically been playable on a handheld, as it’s one of the most popular games on the Steam Deck. In fact, this success on Valve’s handheld has helped Murray better understand the appeal of playing the game on the go. “I’ve always been a bit, not skeptical, but I’ve been curious,” he says of the game’s introduction to Switch. “I wasn’t sure it would be suitable for mobile gaming, and doing Steam Deck made me click.”
“I didn’t know if it would be suitable for mobile gaming.”
One of his concerns was technical: it was not clear whether the whole No Man’s SkyThe vast procedurally generated universe and all the many updates released since launch would fit on the Switch. Initially, the team thought they should create a separate branch; Switch players would be in one universe while everyone else was playing in another. This turned out not to be the case. “You can go find a tree on PlayStation 5 and then somehow go there on Switch and find the same tree,” he says.
That said, the Switch version is launching with a few notable omissions. The Switch port won’t have multiplayer at launch, nor the alien colonies that were first introduced in 2021. “The focus was on gameplay and performance,” Murray says of deciding what to include in the Switch version,” and to make sure we delivered something that was as close to its console brethren as humanly possible. These features may be introduced in a future update, and Murray says the team will take a close look how Switch players experience the game to decide what to focus on when it comes to future changes.
Elsewhere, the 4.0 update isn’t full of new content – so don’t expect any weird new additions like space whales – but rather a series of significant quality-of-life changes designed to make it easier the task for new and returning players to get into the game. The save system has been changed, for example, to make it easier to enter and exit short game sessions (which should be ideal for the Switch). Murray also says that the inventory system has been overhauled and in-game logs have been simplified to make finding new stuff easier. and what you have done recently in the game. (The pace of updates in No Man’s Sky means it can often be overwhelming to come back to after an extended absence from the game.) There will also be a new “relaxed” mode that will reminisce about survival elements for a less stressful experience.
Murray notes that while major expansions have been significant, the biggest change for No Man’s Sky was when the Hello team started pushing constant updates rather than saving everything for one big launch. “It changed our fundamental interaction with the community,” he says. “Seeing the reaction and then allowing ourselves to adapt to that was a motivation for the team.”
“I’m still working on the assumption that it’s too good to be true.”
The major question, of course, is how long this can last. Hello Games has more titles in the works, and after six years of updates, it’s not unfair to think they might be fed up. No Man’s Skythe vast universe. Instead, Murray says he feels “really lucky” to be able to continue working on something that has clicked with so many players. And the future of No Man’s Sky depends not only on this community, but also on the team that makes it happen.
Murray explains that the development of the game will continue “as long as these two things are true: the team loves doing it and has ideas that they are passionate about, and the players are receptive and excited.” He adds that “I’m still working on the assumption that it’s too good to be true and that the concert will take place next year.”
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