Game review: No Man's Sky Beyond, PS4/PC, 8/10
No Man's Sky has, to say the very least, had an extremely rocky run since its release, but that hasn't stopped the developers from desperately attempting to pull off a redemption arc of gargantuan proportions.
With the release of No Man's Sky Beyond - a huge content update for the game - they may have redeemed themselves somewhat, though at the most fundamental level No Man's Sky still remains plagued by the same issues it has faced since the launch of the game.
Despite many quality of life improvements, No Man's Sky is still littered with too many moments of pure tedium. On top of that, it seems that the reward for the constant grinding of materials is simply just upgrades so that you can grind more materials a little bit faster. The lack of any sort of automated material gathering is very disappointing, considering how this often vicious grind is one of the more boring facets of the game.
Still, despite the ill-conceived foundations, there are many moments of wonder and fun to be had in No Man's Sky Beyond. Travelling the stars in your tricked-out spaceship and seamlessly transitioning through the atmospheres of procedurally generated, infinitely diverse planets never gets so old that the game feels stale. The improved graphics and sometimes gorgeous terraforming make for a visually pleasing experience that is unrivalled in the genre.
Although No Man's Sky Beyond's gameplay loop generally consists of finding a new planet, almost tearing your hair out in frustration at the mind-numbingly tedious material gathering, outlasting planetary storms and perhaps building a base, then rinsing and repeating, there still exists a certain charm to the game that is impossible to shake off, even after hours and hours and possibly days of playing.
No Man's Sky Beyond is finally coming close to the game that was promised by the tiny and infamous Hello Games studio. The upgraded multiplayer is finally on the level of what was promised by Sean Murray in his various diatribes of utter lies and the gameplay is finally somewhere close to what was promised in the endless developer interviews and gameplay trailers.
No Man's Sky may never have the following that it could have, and it may never rebuild all those burned bridges, but the developers have turned what could have been an utter trainwreck into a labour of love, so maybe they do deserve another chance.