No Man’s Sky, the name alone is enough to start arguments among friends. Whether it was intended to be a zen experience about exploration, or an epic ‘open space’ game, the initial audience response was lackluster, especially considering the hype it had built by offering a free roaming experience featuring billions of worlds.
The game offered no direction, essentially crashing you on an alien planet and telling you ‘go get em buddy’. Over the last year they released two updates, designed primarily at improving the quality of life of the players, though many have said too little too late.
“The Foundation” update offered base building, farming, new game modes and a load of great new systems for playing.
“The Pathfinder” update brought vehicles ultra nice graphics and the ability to share bases online, including the use of the Steam Workshop.
And now, one year after release, they have put out the “Atlas Rises” update. With Atlas Rises developer Hello Games has finally put a focus on the story of No Man’s Sky. A New race to interact with and over 30 hours of new story content adds a lot to be sure, but thankfully they also decided to flesh out details that had been present in the Vanilla version of the game, such as the abandoned building filled with pulsing mold. Of course that’s just the appetizer round, beyond the story components Hello Games added a whole slew of features including;
- Solar System Socio-Economic status that effects trading and piracy.
- New biomes and planet types.
- A mission board to help give direction and distraction.
- A robust trading economy.
- More in depth analysis visor with more details about the planet, animals and plants to discover. (and higher rewards)
You can read the full patch notes here.
So with all of this new content, essentially turning No Man’s Sky into a brand new game, how is the community reacting? Well, it’s mixed. “Great start, but still a ways to go.” “My Base is still bugged, can’t progress on the mind arc because I relocated my Base =/ should I just start over?” and “what about all the money i lost paying for cargo upgrades that i didnt receive?”
We’ve seen comments about the patch completing wiping out people’s progress in the game, and still the same complaint of “After playing through all the content there is nothing to do”. Perhaps most telling, is that within a week there have been two more patches, Patch 1.32 being particularly sizable, to fix issues that Atlas Rises brought with it.
At the end of the day however, there are literally hundreds of new positive reviews on Steam since the release of Atlas Rises, and Hello Games seems to be doing everything it can to deliver an amazing experience, even if they’re coming at it more piecemeal than the community would have liked.