Hello Games’ eternally evolving space exploration adventure game, No Man’s Sky, continues its universe-like expansion next month with the release of its next major update. “BEYOND,” the follow-up to last year’s “NEXT” expansion, launches for all platforms on Wednesday, August 14. As with all of No Man’s Sky‘s previous updates, Beyond will be free of charge for anyone who owns the game.
“Beyond will contain three major updates rolled into one larger free release,” according to today’s announcement. “These changes are a mix of features we’ve been dreaming of for a while, and a reaction to how we have seen folks playing since the release of NEXT.” Of those three major updates, two have been announced: Expanded multiplayer features, and VR support on PC and PlayStation VR.
Originally announced last March as No Man’s Sky Online, the actual details of this new multiplayer update remain a mystery. No Man’s Sky has had multiplayer for a while, of course, but this new update promises “a radical new social and multiplayer experience” beyond what is already in the game. What that actually means is anybody’s guess, as Hello Games has remained extremely tight-lipped since the update was announced.
As for the VR update, No Man’s Sky VR promises an experience much more involved than “hey you can look at the inside of your ship.” You can look at the inside of your ship, granted, but you can also do everything else in the game from the comfort of your own headset. Flying through space; collecting materials; terraforming the world; meeting new creatures both sentient and otherwise — all of this is at your fingertips.
“Everything is frightening and gorgeous in equal measure, shining a light on the incomprehensible size of the universe, the planets, the space rocks, the ship, yourself,” said Jess Conditt of Engadget, who spent some time with the new mode earlier this year. Sounds like a real heck of a thing!
Beyond’s third major component remains unknown for the time being, though further details are reportedly forthcoming. Overall, Hello Games founder Sean Murray says this is the studio’s “most ambitious” update yet, which is quite a statement considering the size of last year’s Next expansion.
Released in late July of 2018, Next added real-time multiplayer to No Man’s Sky, along with character customization for the first time. Restrictions on base building were changed to allow player-built bases anywhere on a planet, including underwater. Next also made bases persistent across every instance of the universe, meaning that other players could see them if they visited that location, which was not the case previously.
An intricate “fleet” management system was also added, which allowed the player to collect and manage NPC ships that could be sent on various types of missions. Finally, the game’s procedural generation engine was adjusted to allow for more interesting planets. At the time, Hello Games said that Next was the closest the game had ever been to the team’s original vision.
If Beyond ends up being an even bigger deal than all that, consider our interest piqued.