Gaming

No Man’s Sky review (switch)

Shot on Nintendo Switch (pinned)

Note. The arrival of the significant Waypoint 4.0 update is not yet available on Switch. We will update this review with our verdict on the matter and overall score as soon as possible. In the meantime, you can find our impressions from the Switch release to Waypoint below.


No Man’s Sky by Hello Games has come a long way. First unveiled at the VGX Awards back in 2013, the procedurally generated infinite space simulator was finally released – on a huge wave of hype – in August 2016. crying over what was advertised and promised during pre-launch, which could have made Peter Molyneux blush.

Yes, No Man’s Sky was No the all-encompassing miracle that we have been led to believe. It had procedurally generated planets, an “infinite” universe to play in, but there really wasn’t much to do in the first months after launch. There were also serious technical problems. At the time, the game didn’t play well on consoles, its procedurally generated aliens and environments were a bit silly, and as a result, the fury of what seemed to be the entire internet was laser-focused on Sean Murray and the small Hello team. Games. It became disgusting.

No Man's Sky Review - Screenshot 2 of 4
Shot on Nintendo Switch (handheld/without dock)

Fast forward to 2022, however, and perhaps there has never been a bigger or better comeback story in gaming history. The current No Man’s Sky is a testament to an indie studio that steadfastly refused to give up, took the hits, admitted its mistakes, hung its head, disconnected and focused on delivery – and it really worked. It ended up delivering on all the promises it made prior to release, and continued, and still continues, to deliver a lot more on top of that. What we have now is an amazing space exploration experience that lives up to the crazy pre-release hype. And now it’s on Switch.

Over the course of six years, numerous major updates have improved every aspect of what is on offer here. This tricky procedural generation has been tweaked, tweaked and improved to ensure that the level of diversity of planets, weather, native life and fauna makes exploration really exciting. It now feels like you are traveling through a universe that is actually full of endless possibilities as to what you will encounter when you land your ship on a planet. From weather, atmospheric hazards and changing plant and animal life to stunning views and intricate alien environments, you just never know what’s in store for you when you open your ship’s cockpit and the planets are now chock-full of gear and centenarians. lost artifacts to discover and sell as you upgrade every aspect of yourself and your trusty spaceship. Boring old gameplay loops are now a very distant memory indeed.

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Shot on Nintendo Switch (pinned)

The introductory section of the tutorial has been updated and improved, and is now a really helpful introduction to the core systems of the game, as well as helping you invest in subtle storytelling. There’s base building, improved economy systems, character creation, space combat, farming, alien settlements, procedurally generated missions, underwater exploration, land vehicles, portals… the list is long and comprehensive. In short, No Man’s Sky has become the game we all wanted it to be for the most part, but one question remains: can Hello Games take it all and put it on the Nintendo Switch in a playable state? We didn’t dare to believe it, but as it turned out, they just went and did it.

There may be visual sacrifices – a common thing on the Switch at the moment – and the initial load takes a little longer. Multiplayer hasn’t been implemented yet and you’ll have to wait a little longer for the upcoming Waypoint update (which was due at launch but is still undergoing Nintendo certification at the time of writing), but overall this is a port of No Man’s Sky that offers an absolutely flawless experience. an experience.

Even in areas we might expect and even accept here, some frame rate drops – launching from planets or launching our ship at warp speed to make our way to a distant location – the game holds up to a near-perfect 30fps. It’s really remarkable, and it makes the Switch’s transformation that we think sits on top of games like The Witcher 3, Alien Isolation, and DOOM as one of the very best ports we’ve ever seen on a console. something that just shouldn’t work, but absolutely does.

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Shot on Nintendo Switch (handheld/without dock)

Of course, there were victims – this is not ideal. The visuals are blurry in handheld mode – you can clearly see this in our screenshots – and the pop-ups are much more noticeable as you navigate the planet’s surface. However, No Man’s Sky’s graphical style, that bold, colorful, and massive aesthetic means that none of it matters as much as it could in another game. That little blur never stops you, everything is perfectly readable in the environment and you can nestle, explore, scavenge and build to your heart’s content without worrying about technical issues. What an achievement.

It’s also a game that absolutely sings like a portable game; we already feel like this will be our default way to play going forward, the perfect experience for long couch sessions or short bursts of travel. None of the sacrifices that Hello Games has made to make this game work well encroach on your enjoyment of the gameplay, and it all still looks pretty fantastic, even with the visuals set to their most basic settings.

Of course, we are still waiting for the release of this big Waypoint update. It’s just launched on other consoles, but the Switch is still a few days away, so we won’t rate this review just yet. Waypoint is the game’s biggest update, bringing many fundamental changes, additions, and gameplay improvements. Lots of things ahead: redesigned inventory management, new visuals in space and on the surface of planets, a “relaxed” game mode, survival tests, inventory filters, tree creation, dynamic difficulty settings, custom game options and much more. besides, that’s why we want to carefully examine all this before reaching a final verdict.

Conclusion

We’ll dive into Waypoint as soon as it arrives on Switch to test all of its new features and see how they improve core gameplay even further. But for now, fans of intergalactic travel can rest assured that if you’re thinking about heading aboard this particular space adventure at launch, there’s an ultra-robust Switch port waiting for you. Watch this space.




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