It’s no secret that No Man’s Sky has had a troubled lifespan. Releasing originally in June of 2016 with an insane amount of support, and fan furor. This was due to the promises made by Hello Games founder Sean Murray. Promises like an infinite universe, with limitless possibilities in said universe. One part of that promise was realized at release. That promise being an “infinite universe”. The game world is seemingly created right before the players eyes using a proprietary engine. Everything the player sees is procedurally generated, and it is admittedly impressive.
Unfortunately the latter part of that promise was left behind. The game suffered from a staggering lack of enjoyable tasks to complete. From farming resources, to travelling to new worlds, nothing ever feels like it goes beyond tired monotony. Not one part of the game feels as though it was really fleshed out. Instead you’re given a multitude of tasks, but nothing ever stands out as a truly worthwhile experience. Combat is a slog, mining is repetitive, space travel is an irritant. The only way to travel to new worlds, and new solar systems is to collect more resources. Thus creating a black hole for fun that circles the drain into stellar boredom.
Now more than a year after release Hello Games has dropped their most substantial update yet. Version 1.3 dubbed “Atlas Rises” looks to correct many of the shortfalls that plagued the original version of this incredibly ambitious title. There have been other decent updates to the game before 1.3, but none as revitalizing as Atlas Rises. Adding more than 30 hours of new content including the appearance of a new “interdimensional alien race”. Some of the other highlights include better visual quality with enhanced textures, space combat improvements, and better inventory management.
The biggest addition that I have yet to experience is the new limited co-operative aspect called “Joint Exploration”. While I haven’t had a chance to mess around with this component of the update just yet, it is pretty fascinating considering multiplayer content was teased very early on in the development of No Man’s Sky. Now it isn’t a true multiplayer experience, but you will be able to see other players as floating orbs of light, and will be able to communicate through proximity voice chat.
Considering this game was a pretty severe low point in the gaming sphere of 2016, Hello Games has really knocked it out of the park with this update. Showing not only the gaming industry at large, but the gaming community that they are in fact committed to giving players the game that was promised. I’ve always said that this game was plagued by publicity getting away from it. Meaning that the publicity for the game made it sound more lofty, and ambitious than in reality. This ultimately lead to upset fans, and buyers of the game. An understandable frustration to be sure, but seeing how much work is still being done on this title over a year later is truly impressive.
For more information about the update, and what it brings to the table go HERE