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No Man’s Sky Expeditions First Impressions

No Man’s Sky Expeditions First Impressions

No Man’s Sky released in August of 2016 and in the five years that followed they have added a total of 15 free updates for the game. Every single one has moved the game further and further in a direction of more expansive, meaningful, and creative gameplay. No Man’s Sky Expeditions offers a completely fresh and new way to play the game. Seasonal content is becoming more popular in on-going live service type games, and Hello Games seemingly took great notes from Diablo 3 and other games in this vein. Is this the beginning of an endless trajectory for No Man’s Sky?

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A concise slice

Something about No Man’s Sky always pulls me back in. The mystery, the size, even the colors and simple plant life. But starting over from scratch after a long stretch or break can be a bit of a drag. You know all the early steps, and going through them can take the fun out of “jumping back in”.

Expeditions takes that early game experience, and shrinks it down, quite a bit, and creates a very nice runway into what feels like a seasonal character. In a matter of 2 hours I was off planet, two or three systems of warp away, and building my very first base computer.

This is a great way to give people the No Man’s Sky experience, with short, medium, and long term goals, spread out across a 2 month period. New players should consider going through the main game early tutorials, because Expeditions expects you to have a lot of basic knowledge you will simply lack if you have never played No Man’s Sky.

The Diablo Effect

Since Diablo 3 just started Season 23, I could not help but notice a lot of similarities to how they approach seasons. Just the other night my wife and I were working on bounties, leveling up the blacksmith, and a host of other mini-quests and objectives.

The sense of meaning behind even the most basic or common behavior attached to rewards, currency, and needed materials was a great feeling in No Man’s Sky. At first I was like, “oh a big long checklist” but then the rewards started pouring in, and I was hooked on the loop.

And when I see the long tail rewards of a golden ship, other cosmetic items, and dope new jetpack that I can take over into my main save or transfer to other saves, I feel just enough urgency to want to make sure I complete everything before the 2 months is up. This is on going end game done right.

Another Minecraft

At this point, after 5 years of love and passion from Hello Games poured into 15 free updates, and No Man’s Sky still being the 9th most paid for game globally on Steam, I can’t see this game stopping anytime soon. And with how they build the playground and systems underneath? The possibilities are honestly endless.

No Man’s Sky is setup to be another on going staple game like Minecraft, where communities and creative types can discover and make seemingly whatever they want. And with a seasonal push to always jump back in, grind, and earn new rewards and cosmetics for your experience? A perfect on going recipe for relevancy.

My only concern, at this point, is subsidization of a game with no microtransactions and no cost associated with any of the 15 free updates. Obviously they are making money, and one would hope that the continued purchases of the base game is enough to keep things going for a long time. I for one would be open to other monetization if Hello Games feels its needed, but after 5 years they don’t seem to want that.

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