A couple of years ago, I wrote about how No Man's Sky was the comeback story of the generation. At the time, No Man's Sky Beyond had just released. It was a major update that added VR support, multiplayer, and most importantly, the ability to tame animals. It was hard to see how the game could get even better.
It was hard to see how the game could get even better, but it has, becoming one of the best PS5 games today.
Fast forward to 2021. No Man's Sky's next-generation update on PS5 has been out for a few months and the game is booming. Worlds are fuller, cross-play was enabled, there's a limitless amount of planets to explore — well, 18 quintillion, but you get the picture. Its latest Companions update added the ability to fully adopt alien creatures and explore the universe with them, therefore fulfilling a lifelong dream. As someone who grew up wanting to become a paleontologist and watched Jurassic Park religiously, this is like a dream come true, becoming one of the best PS5 games you can play today with one update.
I know the alien creatures in No Man's Sky are diverse (some look like bugs!), but you can't convince me that a good chunk of them aren't just flat-out dinosaurs. Look at these pictures. Those are quantifiably dinosaurs. I even remember watching an early gameplay trailer and being awe-struck because a creature that was a dead ringer for a Brontosaurus was walking in front of the player.
So far I've adopted two new pets, both found on the paradise planet where my home base is located. All you need to do to tame them is approach and feed them pellets, which can be crafted for 60 Carbon. Then, it's just a matter of keeping them fed and happy (lots of head rubs and pats helps).
Not only can these creatures be bred and tamed, but as your companions, they can scan for resources, dig up artifacts, locate buildings, hunt enemies, provide torchlight, and deploy their own shoulder-mounter mining lasers. They even have their own personalities, responding to your actions and the actions of others in various ways.
You can tame two beasts right out of the gate, but to unlock the rest of your companion slots you need to spend 500 nanites each. Considering you can only keep six tamed creatures at a time, it's not a steep price. I know six may not seem like much, but you'd be surprised. Even just the two I started out with felt adequate. When you're on a strange planet riding an alien dinosaur, you don't tend to look on the bad side of things.
Quite possibly the best part of the Companions update is how you can breed and nurture your alien creatures. You can make your own baby Yoda that's probably a lot uglier but still somehow cute. Just look at what I made! I think it looks just like Grogu. Totally. Definitely. It's in the eyes.
As the update announcement puts it, "Baby creatures will inherit looks and traits from their parent — but they are never exactly the same! They will need your care as they grow from spawn to maturity." This is the type of freedom and creativity that should have been in No Man's Sky to begin with. It may have taken several years to get here, but I guess better late than never, right?
I haven't made it far enough to breed the creatures yet because of their gestation periods, but I'm excited to see what type of animals I can create. The new update features an Egg Sequencer that allows players to remix the genetic material of their growing eggs to produce one-of-a-kind new creatures. And if you happen to mix the wrong materials or overdose on some, then there may be some terrifying reconfigurations in the offspring.
This is straight out of Jurassic Park, and I couldn't be happier. Whatever dark magic Hello Games is cooking up in its studio to continually put out content updates like this, keep at it because it's working.
No Man's Sky is an incredible tale of perseverance that now lets everyone live out their dreams of creating their own Jurassic Park. If that doesn't appeal to you, there's still a host of other activities to sink your time into. There's no shortage of stuff to do. For me, personally, I'll be exploring the galaxy with my new dino buddies at my side.
Defying all logic considering its reception upon release, No Man's Sky just keeps getting better and better. It sure has come a long way from being a reviled PlayStation exclusive to a multiplatform darling.
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