No Man's Sky: the review of the new Xbox One version

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Valery Aloyants
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The arrival of the long-awaited Next update coincides with that of No Man's Sky on Xbox One, long awaited on a platform that has been excluded for two years from the exploration of the imaginary developed by Hello Games. Today, four updates away, the people of the Microsoft console can finally embark on their intergalactic journey into a universe profoundly changed from launch to today, enriched by the building foundations of the update. Foundation, the specializations for the ships of Path Finder and the more structured and richer universe, also thanks to 30 hours of narration, of Rise of the Atlas. All seasoned with new filters, technological refinements, planetary vehicles and, of course, the news of Next, at the center of our new review of the PC version, which include multiplayer support, third-person view, more refined interface, more articulated crafting, news for the foundations and the important promise of a future of transparent communications, regular updates and in-game events.

No Man's Sky: a profoundly changed title

No Man's Sky is a hybrid between space simulator and survival born in the sign of the exploration of an immense universe generated in a completely way procedural. And it is from the complex automatic creation of the planets that the magic of the work Hello Games springs forth, a title that thrives on the amazement of the player who at each landing is faced with a new planet, with its specific environmental conditions and full of outposts, relics, mysteries and strange races to discover. Each new destination is a leap in the dark, each new game a different universe of colors. But there are some fixed points, however designed to enhance the concept of travel but immovable such as the subtle but still welcome narrative component and the reputation system that determines the interactions with the three alien races and with the three guilds. And we can make friends by taking care of them missions, in this case automatically generated, obtaining at the same time nanites to be exchanged for projects and with the updates and with the articulation of the galactic economy, of the types of ships and of crafting. We are far, mind you, from the complexity of dynamic and interconnected universes like that of Elite: Dangerous, but the illusion holds and that's enough while we enjoy the news of the latest update that include third-person view, some improvements to the flight model planetarium, dynamic clouds, increasingly breathtaking views, more credible planets, larger stations, complex base building and new management dynamics that include the management of a fleet.

All seasoned with that multiplayer support which has finally become part of the No Man's Sky universe allowing us to invite friends or participate in random matches to laser-laser other players or face challenges in company. However, elements to structure it are missing, such as the effective sharing of missions, which we hope will arrive in the future, or PvP dynamics, which we will never see, even if it is not the case to make a drama of it. The multiplayer, among other things on consoles bound to the need to be subscribed to Gold and Plus, is certainly not the only relevant novelty of the new update. Among the substantial innovations of Next we find the review of crafting which makes things more structured and a little more complex. In fact, more and more tools are needed to access certain resources, but the necessary technologies, such as the land manipulator, are immediately available and the possibility of building bases on each planet allows us to bring all the comforts closer to us, without the need to leave the planet. or traverse it to find commercial terminals or non-player characters. Nonetheless, the stations are larger and more populated, with several aliens that can speed up our understanding of languages ​​in exchange for credits (in the world of No Man's Sky called units) or other items. In addition, certain technologies still need to be chased between stations and anomalies, which keeps alive the need to explore every corner of the universe to discover increasingly varied planets that now include more awake, larger, variegated and picturesque creatures.

Xbox One achievements

Of the thousand objective points offered by No Man's Sky, most are predictably linked to the exploratory dimension that includes the scanning of alien species, the distance covered on foot, that covered in flight, the words learned and the alien encounters. Obtaining them, it goes without saying, is almost exclusively a matter of time, especially in the case of the arrival at the center of the galaxy in permadeath mode, although there are some prizes for those who do not mind eliminating enemies and testing their survival skills.

Merits, limits and technical issues

No Man's Sky, we said, it has many limits, and in a few lines we will talk about it more in depth, but the first thirty hours, it is good to put it in black and white, are those that remain etched in the memory. Breathtaking panoramas, continuous discoveries, futuristic technologies, acid storms and sudden escapes culminate in a first explosive journey to the stars, a heart-pounding dive into a universe full of mysterious space stations, unimaginable planets, alien languages ​​to learn and trade exchanges with other pilots passing through the hangars of the huge space stations. The intensity of the experience is tangible and also lives on the visuals of a graphic engine that certainly does not scream a miracle but thanks to an excellent design work, able to return glimpses with an extraordinarily alien aftertaste, it gives us memorable suggestions, able to drag our soul and body among the stars. And so does the plot, slender but effective in putting ourselves in the shoes of an intergalactic explorer, to which are added the increasingly complex crafting and the construction of the bases that after four updates provides hundreds of pieces to be placed also on the deck of our frigate and, with Next, in the depths of the sea. The things to do, also thanks to the two survival modes and multiplayer, are really many, even if sooner or later something begins to be felt that breaks the repetitiveness of a universe that, as we said, is not as complex as it appears. . There are fixed rules, in fact, to guide the economy, while the variety of planets, excluding climatic conditions, is a mere question of resources and aesthetics. And when these elements become evident the attention inexorably slips on limits which include a basic combat system and a flying experience unmatched to that of other simulators.

Both factors, it is clear, do not compromise the exploratory experience, with the flight system that is still quite convincing and fun, but the difficulty of getting rid of the planetary sentinels (part of a sort of preservation police) and the continuous arrival of pirate ships often put us in front of small ordeals that we would have gladly avoided. And this is also why we trust in promise Murray of continuous news that we hope will include the customization of commands on the console and greater optimization, even if from the point of view of performance the Microsoft console is doing better than we would have believed. Xbox One you have to settle for 1600x900 resolution while PS4 arrives at native 1080p, but the rendering between the two consoles is not so dissimilar thanks to the excellent quality of graphic effects and textures. And there is no need to complain about the framerate either, except for some slowdown in space which, however, does not translate into a freeze like on PC, with a rather constant 30fps that are not to be taken for granted given the capricious engine of No Man's Sky. Engine that on Xbox One X arrives at native 4K against that of PS4 Pro, even exceeding 30fps with the synchronization unlocked. Better to keep it active, however, given the important drops in framerate that also occur when passing fromUltra HD of the Quality mode at 1440p of that Performance, even if in this case the count of images per second rises to 60. All wrapped up in the splendid soundtrack that PC and PS4 users already know and without which the journey into the universe of No Man's Sky would lose a lot of its magic.


Digital Delivery Xbox Store Price 49,99 €


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No Man's Sky is an intense sensory journey to discover a universe of shapes and colors, a dive into an ocean of shades enriched by two years of updates that have partially sacrificed the entirety of this vision but have helped to compensate for the limits of a scenario that is victim of the intrinsic limits of an approach almost entirely devoted to procedural generation. It is no coincidence that the specter of frustrating repetition remains, so much so that we hope that future updates will also enhance the plot, cooperative multiplayer and combat, but the version recently arrived on Xbox One still represents an excellent level experience, light years ahead of it. to the title that hit the market in 2016.


  • Immense, evocative and increasingly articulated
  • Xbox One users get straight to the evolved version with full Xbox One X support
  • Real planets to explore to the rhythm of an amazing soundtrack
  • The complication of crafting can run counter to the pleasure of exploration
  • The graphic rendering does not justify the heaviness of the engine
  • Thin storyline and multiplayer support lacking any real structure
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