It's been seven years since Sean Murray sat down to write those few first lines of code, and two years since players were invited into the vast, but to some empty, universe of No Man's Sky.
Since then a lot has changed. The updates Foundation, Pathfinder and Atlas Rises added base building, owning freighters, survival, a creative mode, vehicles, permadeath, a 30-hour story, new biomes, and limited multiplayer. And now comes the biggest update to date, and it's called NEXT.
"One day I hope to reach a point where I feel No Man's Sky is "finished", but until then there's still so much more we want to do. More than any other update so far, NEXT has been important to our small team. It feels like a major landmark in the game's story and an appropriate point to bring it to the Xbox platform. But I know it's not the end of the journey, a journey which will be much more fun together," Sean Murray said in the press release.
NEXT will add near-unlimited base building, command of freighter armadas, a visual overhaul and full multiplayer, in addition to loads more. The combat and control system, exploration, UI, HUD, audio, planet generation, missions - everything is getting an update or overhaul.
In the overhauled multiplayer experience you can join forces with friends or strangers and explore the universe together, help each other survive, build and thrive, engage in epic space battles or create race tracks and challenge each other in exocraft races.
You can now play the game in the third person, both when you're planetside, and when you're aboard your ship.
Space visuals and planetary rings have been improved, as has terrain, textures and weather effects. Details have been added to ships, buildings and NPCs.
Unlimited Base Building
You can now build bigger and more complex bases on any planet, anywhere you like, and own several bases at the same time.
Build a fleet of ships and command them from your own freighter. Send the ships out to explore, or participate in challenging multiplayer missions.
Here's a few points from a very long list of patch notes that will give you an idea of how much work has been put into update 1.5 NEXT:
For more details, check out full patch notes here.