The ongoing saga of No Man’s Sky has been a fascinating one to follow since the game’s launch in 2016. Pegged as the ultimate sandbox prior to release, the procedurally generated universe of the game failed to grab gamers (myself included), and the backlash was swift. In the months since, developer Hello Games has continued to build upon the game with massive content updates, and the biggest once yet will finally arrive next week.

On Tuesday, Hello Games founder Sean Murray announced that No Man’s Sky NEXT (unveiled in March) will arrive on PS4, PC, and (for the very first time) Xbox One on July 24th. As was previously revealed, the update will include the long-awaited multiplayer that fans of the game have been clamoring for — but that’s not all.

The full trailer below highlights many of the changes and additions, but you can see a more extensive list below:

New Multiplayer Mode:

  • Team up with a small group of friends to explore the universe together, or joined with random travellers online
  • Help friends stay alive, or prey on others to survive
  • Build shelter or complex colonies together to share with your team
  • Fight as a pirate or a wingman in epic space battles with friends and enemies
  • Race exocraft across weird alien terrains, creating race tracks and trails to share online

Extensive Visual Overhaul:

  • Play in third or first person, both on-foot and in ship
  • Gaze on planetary rings and improved space visuals that make space more beautiful than ever
  • Explore dramatically improved planetary terrain generation, ground textures, water and clouds that bring the environment to life
  • Enjoy significantly more detail added to ships, NPCs and buildings

Unlimited Base Building:

  • Build bases anywhere on any planet, with hundreds of new base parts added to the game
  • Create bigger and better bases than ever before, with dramatically increased base building complexity and size limits
  • Architect and own multiple bases

Command Freighters:

  • Assemble and upgrade a fleet of frigates and command them from the bridge of your freighter
  • Send your fleet out to into the universe or deploy them to help you as you explore a specific system
  • Build a truly custom capital ship with improved freighter base building
  • Invite your friends aboard and take on challenging multiplayer missions from the Galactic Commision Station on your bridge

The sheer number of game-changing mechanics and features that are being added in NEXT are hard to even wrap your head around. This almost sounds like a new game, or at least an expansion about the size as the current game. The highlights are clearly the addition of multiplayer and the option to play the entire game from a third-person point of view, but I’m most excited to see how the game changes visually after the update.

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