“No Man’s Sky” reinvents itself on Switch: verdict

The famous space exploration game now offers a multiplayer mode and wide open spaces.

For who would not have frequented No Man’s Sky from its controversial launch in the summer of 2016the discovery of what it has become in the meantime, for example on the occasion of its arrival on the Switch in October, is surprising.

In six years, no less than twenty major and nevertheless free updates with evocative names (“Foundation”, “Abyss”, “Expeditions”…) have succeeded, which have radically transformed the gaming experience. With one objective: to bring it closer to the promises made by their creators – or to what many had imagined while listening to them.

An heir to the European tradition of space exploration games

In the beginning was a somewhat crazy project: that of giving birth to a universe made up of billions of planets. And even billions of billions thanks to the algorithms of the British studio Hello Games allowing them to be produced by the machine according to many parameters, without each world having to be drawn by hand. In 2016, all that was there, but finding themselves let loose in this immensity may have put some people off, as if disappointed that in this willingly cryptic space and with sparse objectives, no one hears them screaming, laughing or talking. annoy.

I have to say that No Man’s Sky, heir to the fine European tradition of space exploration games (Elite, Captain Blood’s Ark…), itself nourished by literary science fiction, was part of the intersection of two quite opposite playful families from the start. On the one hand, that of serious simulation tending towards the total game: construction, trade, combat, resource management…

On the other, the incitement to dreamy wandering, eyes wide open and, from one moment to the next, the mind focused on the smallest details or a little elsewhere, which we find more in impressionist works like Journey Where Proteus. The big bet No Man’s Sky, today more than yesterday, is to be both at the same time.

Picturesque aliens are sure to contact you

“You are not alone”, the space adventurer is heard thinking about his next destination (and assessing if his ship has enough fuel to get there). This is the biggest change between the No Man’s Sky of 2022 and that of 2016, and not only because the title of Hello Games now has a real multi-player mode.

You are not alone because the universe is very inhabited, picturesque aliens are bound to contact you and even other (real) humans can be crossed here and there. And then, if you don’t know what to do, we have plenty of ideas for you.

No Man’s Sky would he have taken the great leap from the quasi-emptiness indifferent to our presence towards the temple of hyperactivity? Not quite. Following one of the fashions of the time, he opted instead for the à la carte experience: the mechanisms, the systems and the missions are there and it’s up to us to do what we want with them – as in Minecraft, say, or in The Sims, Fortnite, GTA Online… With, always preserved, the possibility of opting as much as in the past for the play truant.

No Man’s Sky (Hello Games), on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S and Windows. Available on Switch on October 7.

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