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The phrase "game changer" gets thrown around a lot. Admit it. It's so overused to almost be meaningless now. When we were thinking about how to describe No Man's Sky: Beyond for the PlayStation VR we were hesitant. But it actually applies here. This IS a legit game changer. For real.
There's been plenty of hype about virtual reality gaming in the past couple of years. It's coming! It's coming! Gonna be insane!! Well, we held off until last year, then we picked up a PlayStation VR gaming system. It wasn't bad. Kinda fun! Some titles were better than others. Beat Saber was a blast we reviewed here months ago. But as good a time as it was, it wasn't anything close to what virtual reality gaming could be. You know, the Ready Player One type stuff.
Them along comes No Man's Sky: Beyond. KABLAM!! Winner, winner, chicken dinner! We were blown away!! We had played the first version of No Man's Sky and were kind of let down. Like a lot of others, we felt we were promised way more than the game delivered. And they promised a lot!
No Man's Sky: Beyond is the exact opposite of that. Very low expectations and the payoff is huge! In our opinion it's the high water mark for VR gaming. There's nothing else that comes close. Is it perfect? No. Do I really care? No. I'm having too much damn fun!
Little recap: No Man's Sky is a computer generated galaxy. When you "land" on a planet the game generates the terrain. They are all random and unique. You can map out planets and explore, or you can make your way to the center of the galaxy and uncover the "mystery." (Won't get into that here). The first version of the game kinda fell flat because it all kinda felt random and plodding. You start on a planet and have to fix your suit. To fix your suit you have to mine for resources. You have to then fix your ship by mining for resources and creating materials. Then you start exploring only to find out about all the other shit you need to keep mining/exploring. Rinse and repeat. Blah.
However...the developers hit upon something wonderful: The game is making all the terrain for a player each time they land. Why not let them explore in VR instead of traditional 2D? There it is. Let's do that!
The games developers, Hello Games, have done an outstanding job with this one. (We should mention that No Man's Sky: Beyond is a free upgrade to the existing game. Go get you some!) The VR gameplay is fantastic. We mean that in every sense of the word. When you get into your ship and literally hold the throttle in one hand and the "stick" in the other, it's awesome. When you launch and can see outside the cockpit, it's fantastic! This is what the promise of VR gaming is. I give zero shits about mining, but I will do whatever I have to, to keep my ship flight ready. It's that much fun.
We've thrown in a link to the trailer. You won't come close to getting the feel of actual VR gameplay but you will have an idea. Now, can you run? No. You still need a button for that. That's gonna be a big problem for game designers to solve. But for right now, Just using my hands to open a hatch and actually "fly" my ship around the galaxy is an absolute game changer!
This is the new benchmark for VR gaming. It's beautiful. You can completely immerse in the reality. There are no loading screens. It's smooth. And the galaxy is unique and the size of a flippin' galaxy! Ha! All I want to do is fly around and explore!
Mark the date on your calendar. Because today is the day that Hello Games changed gaming forever. Go play No Man's Sky: Beyond on the PlayStation VR.
-- The Mgmt