At least half of the joy of No Man’s Sky is soaking in its strange alien landscapes that its algorithms have generated for you. I reckon that sightseeing should be all the more impressive in virtual reality. During a Sony live-stream, Hello Games unveiled one more feature of their upcoming free expansion, Beyond – full VR support. Players with existing saves can put on a pair of space-goggles and immediately go virtual, and even play with other people online whether or not they have expensive headsets, too. Take a look at the new VR mode with its new, tactile controls below.
I’m a little surprised to see them so committed to adapting the game’s controls to VR here. While perhaps not as practical or efficient as just using a gamepad or keyboard/mouse, you get to fly your ship with virtual stick and throttle, gripped with virtual hands. Those virtual hands are always visible when wandering around planet-side too. You can press buttons on your multitool to switch modes on it, or reach behind you to stow it in your backpack. A little exhausting after hours of space exploration, but I can see it making for some interesting space-pioneer moments.
I’m still waiting until the next generation (or scoring a deal on a cheap-ish Oculus Rift S) to pick up a VR headset for myself, but I’m always happy to see more games patching in support. By the time I pick up on my own hardware, I’ll be spoilt for choice, with dozens of VR-ready games. Intriguingly, this isn’t even the end of the Beyond news – according to Hello Games in their announcement, they’re not yet done unveiling stuff for the expansion. The update will include a “third major feature” that they’re not quite ready to show, with the first being large-scale multiplayer.
The free No Man’s Sky update, Beyond is due sometime this summer. The game itself is currently half price on Steam, bringing it down to £19.99/€27.49/$30.