No other game is perhaps so universally lauded and yet so panned at the same time than No Man's Sky. When rumors of a game with procedurally generated worlds came about, the gaming crowd went nuts. Once released, its inherent problems unraveled, slowly but surely, revealing a game that disappointed expectations.
Released in August 2016, indie studio Hello Games's No Man's Sky bore a huge promise: a game with an open universe featuring 18 quintillion planets that have their own unique flora and fauna. Players could share the planets they discover with other players, sharing information about the terrain, inhabitants, and other life forms present. This worked for a time — until many found the game not so compelling and worse, repetitive.
A year later, now in its anniversary, No Man's Sky has received a huge update. Atlas Rises, the third major patch, is now available for PC and PlayStation 4 players. It sounds like the title's biggest patch yet, with multiplayer, 30 hours of story, new worlds, and a treasure trove of other things now added.
"This update marks the one year anniversary of No Man's Sky, and a lot has changed," said Hello Games in a blog post. "This is the next step on our journey."
Much of the new features came directly from community feedback. Players have long asked for the ability to salvage crashed freighters, fly close to the surface of a planet, and land without automatic ejection from the cockpit — all these are now possible with Atlas Rises.
No Man's Sky Atlas Rises Update: Multiplayer
Atlas Rises finally brings an early version of multiplayer capabilities, absent from the initial game. With this, players might see floating orbs nearby, which indicates the presence of other players in your proximity. You can talk to them via voice chat and explore the terrain together. As many as 16 players can join at a time.
Interactive elements are still limited, and Hello Games admits this. But it says this is an important first step "into the world of synchronous co-op in No Man's Sky."
No Man's Sky Atlas Rises Update: Story
One common complaint from players is the lack of content in No Man's Sky. Atlas Rises could change that.
"A mysterious new interdimensional race have appeared," said Hello Games. The new story content brings a "new context," a quest system, and a branching narrative — all amounting to 30 hours of new story content. Both the lore and interactions are doubled, explained Hello Games, and there'll be more to discover.
No Man's Sky Atlas Rises Update: Portals
Ancient portals can now be activated if you find them in No Man's Sky. You can revisit other planets, jump to a random planet, or go to other bases using them. You'll need to learn how to arrange glyphs in a certain order to go to a specific planet, though. Hello Games encourages the No Man's Sky community to share glyphs with each other.
No Man's Sky Atlas Rises Update: New Worlds
Hello Games said it improved the game's visual quality of the planetary biomes, leading to a more diverse set of planets you'll encounter. There are also new types of exotic planets to explore.
There's quite a lot to chew on, but suffice it to say that Hello Games isn't messing around with this new update. Perhaps it hopes to attract players once again after they've abandoned the game due to its lack of content. We have to wait until critics weigh in on this slew of changes, but it's already reassuring to see that Hello Games is attempting to redeem its controversial game.
Thoughts about the Atlas Rises update? Feel free to sound off in the comments section below!