Hello Games previously announced that 2019's major update, No Man's Sky Beyond, would be launching free on August 14th. Now they have a brief sizzle trailer a few days before the update drops. This trailer shows off a few of the major things they're adding with this update, such as the implementation of VR and the expanded multiplayer component. It looks like the game might even have some kind of online hub for friends to meet up in.
It's cool that Hello Games is still pouring so much effort into their passion project. What began as basically a broken alpha upon release in 2016 is a much more complete game with a ton of content. It's clear that Sean Murray and his team really love what they've built over years of difficult development. I'm just not sure if Beyond will fix the one persistent issue that has plagued No Man's Sky since the beginning: grind.
I've given the game numerous second chances but it eventually kills my enthusiasm every time, and it all comes down to grind. The sheer quantity of arduous, survival game busywork you have to do to get the smallest thing done in this game is pretty demoralizing. It always ends up feeling like a time-waster mobile game, which is disappointing because the potential here is astounding.
The massive galaxies and now the cooperative multiplayer possibilities are tantalizing, but there's so much of what amounts to scrubbing the floors between the beginning and "boldly go." Warping between solar systems in your personal star destroyer sounds awesome, but not so much after you realize you'll essentially spend dozens of hours mining space rocks to pay the vile gangster Pizza the Hutt the "one million space bucks!" you owe him. It doesn't help that some basic resource and economy re-balancing could fix all this, and make the material and money systems a little more sane.
I'll probably dip into Beyond and give it a try, just as I did for Foundation, Pathfinder, and Next. But after sinking a lot of time into No Man's Sky with little to show for it, I'm not holding my breath.