No Man's Sky "Next" Graphics Update Comparison
The Next update includes some welcome visual enhancements.
The big new update for No Man's Sky, dubbed Next, makes a large number of changes and additions. At least on paper, it's a dramatic overhaul for numerous areas. While these new mechanics and gameplay elements--along with multiplayer--are the most exciting components of the free update, developer Hello Games has also given the game a pretty nice visual makeover.
As detailed in a blog post outlining all of the changes and patch notes, Hello shows how it has improved the graphics of No Man's Sky. This includes "massively improved draw distance," allowing you to see further into the horizon, and "new dynamic tessellation [that] enable detailed terrain height maps without sacrificing performance." The latter won't necessarily be available to everyone, as Hello notes that "tessellation will be rolling out in parity to all platforms that can support it very soon."
Although Hello lumps them in with the visual improvements, some of these changes are more than just visual enhancements. For instance, while it says the surfaces of planets "look more interesting and representative from orbit," the actual geography can now be different, too. Hello says that it's improved "planetary terrain generation [to] create more varied alien environments, featuring higher mountains and more navigable cave systems."
You can see some comparison images above and below (use the slider tool to see how things looked before and after the update). The changes also extend to out space, where you'll find asteroid rings around planets, among other improvements.
The need for a visual overhaul is not what held No Man's Sky back, and we'll be diving in to see how the gameplay additions stack up. But this is all a welcome addition to what's looking like a very nice set of changes for a free update.
GameSpot may get a commission from retail offers.