In 2019, No Man’s Sky is the water fight of games. When your water balloons are stacked high and your water gun is full it’s an absolute blast. But inevitably, you run out of liquid ammunition and have to pause for several minutes, soaking wet and shivering, while you operate a hose and refill your stores for the next round of fun. While the recent Beyond represents another significant step in the right direction for No Man’s Sky that improves itself in almost every area, the uninteresting harvesting and survival mechanics that underlie it all remain incredibly grindy and frequently mind-numbingly tedious. It often feels like it’s been made by two teams with opposing views on game design, who are each tugging at either side of it until eventually agreeing to meet in the middle or tear it in half.
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