No Man’s Sky Beyond for PlayStation VR: First Impressions
The release of the Beyond update means that No Man’s Sky can finally be experienced through virtual reality. During Sony’s premiere State of Play livestream, Hello Games announced that the PlayStation support for the game will be arriving this summer. It’s here finally, giving users an opportunity to immerse themselves in the game like never before.
The Beyond update comes with massive patch notes. The No Man’s Sky Beyond update not only delivers multiplayer and virtual reality support, there are also a plethora of new features included as well as quality of life updates. Key amongst these is that it incorporates the ability to tame, mount or milk the alien creatures.
About No Man’s Sky
No Man’s Sky has gone through a pretty rough development period and it is now that it is finally receiving a general acceptance and good reviews from the user community. During its initial launch, the game did not live up to the hype and ambition. But it has grown better and better with every subsequent update.
The game immerses players onto a procedurally-generated universe that has more than 18 quintillion planets. Once immersed into this universe, players can do pretty much whatever they like.
No Man’s Sky has been developed around the themes of exploration, combat and survival. Every planet in the game has its own unique ecosystem, local flora, alien lifeforms as well as minerals that the player can harvest to build new items for base building. These can also to earn in-game currency.
The game has gotten considerably better over the years
Despite the disappointment and hitches during its initial release, No Man’s Sky has grown into a very impressive VR game. It now has proper multiplayer support and the base-building mechanics has expanded considerably. There is lots of new flora and fauna along with a better trade system. Last summer, Hello Games released a huge NEXT update and it is this that turned things around and transformed No Man’s Sky into the impressive game that it is now.
What’s included in the Beyond Update?
The new update is quite immense and will include lots of new content and features. The Beyond update actually includes three major updates that have been rolled into one single release. One of the promises that Hello Games convincingly delivered on is that of a radical new social and multiplayer experience. Thanks to this, players throughout the world are now empowered to meet and play together. The Beyond update is Hello Games’ most ambitious expansion to date, exceeding even the NEXT update that surpassed the expectations of the user community.
The main highlights of the Beyond update include the following:-
• Virtual reality support
• Expanded multiplayer
• New social hub
• Creature hiding
• New story content including revisions in the missions and tutorials
• Greatly expanded inventory limitations
• Technology trees for blueprints
• Improved base-building
• New flora, recipes, fauna, materials and much more.
• Starship enhancements
• New traveler NPCs
What’s included in the PSVR Support?
Hello Games has promised to offer full virtual reality integration for the entire game. This will include a retroactive compatibility with the past expansions. Virtual reality players will be able to play smoothly with non-VR players. They will also be able to export their old saves into virtual reality. The Beyond update also includes complete head and hand tracking that has been incorporated to make the game more intuitive, immersive and tactile.
The virtual reality version of the game can be played with a DualShock 4 or PlayStation Move Controllers.
Despite the significant improvements, some posts on Reddit seem to suggest that the game is not running as smoothly as expected. Even on PC VR, some players have reported a low or unstable image refresh rate in spite of the relatively good hardware.
Shutting down the graphics settings may improve the performance for some users:
Hello Games responded to the complaints by releasing an experimental patch that helps optimize and fix the errors encountered so far.
On PlayStation VR
Graphically, the PC VR version is of much better quality than the PlayStation VR version. The images have much better resolution and are sharper. Check out the following comparison video for further insight.
Artificial Movement Without Fine Adjustments
Players can move normally or via teleportation. Rotations are also possible either in degrees or step-wise. The degree rotations cannot be fine-tuned. The movements seem a bit rough and are not as flawless as many players would hope for.
If you have a sensitive stomach, you can activate the tunnel vision. This, too, cannot be fine-tuned. The game involves a lot of flying and floating so if you are the kind to suffer from motion sickness, it may not be ideal for you. If your friend has it, try it out first and see if it suits before you decide to make a purchase.
Interactions are through hands rather than buttons
You can use your hands in No Man’s Sky thanks to the Move Controller. You can bring out this tool by grasping behind the right shoulder. To mine the raw materials in No Man’s Sky, you simply have to aim and then push the trigger. Players don’t have to stoop to pick up the plants; they just have to target the flora and then perform a pulling motion as if they are grabbing and plucking them from the ground.
You will also interact with the mechanical objects such as the mini-refinery or your own spaceship in the same way. To get out of the spaceship, simply pull up the cockpit disc using your hands, These hands-on interaction forms make the game more immersive.
The spaceship is operated manually using joystick and throttle. Some users have reported an inaccurate or haggard spaceship control which could partly be attributed to the spatial tracking of the Move controller. But inaccurate control could also be due to the inexperience of the player. We will continue monitoring feedback from users to see if this haggard control is something that most are experiencing.
Players can open the game menus by pointing with their right hand to the left hand. A navigable augmented reality display will subsequently appear. This offers users a more immersive experience than the simple press of a button. But it is also a convenient control as the Move controllers do not have many buttons.
Apart from the spaceship control issues, the virtual reality impression of No Man’s Sky generally makes a great impression. On the PS4, however, you will have to contend with weaker graphics. You get far much better graphics with the Rift S.
Overall, the PSVR version is still flawless although compared to the 2D version, you will have to grapple with blurry or pixelated pictures. There is a graphic smear that is just too apparent and which spoils the immersive experience.
Apart from the virtual reality implementation, you will also love No Man’s Sky as a game so spending on this is definitely worthwhile.
You can purchase the game on the PlayStation Store for $50 but it is currently available at a reduced price of $25.