It has been a mixed bag of emotions that have surrounded No Man’s Sky following the year of its release. The game had a solid foundation but in many places appeared to lack some depth and with the way it was portrayed a lot of players felt as if they were not getting what was promised. Hello Games have been busy this past year, releasing Update 1.3 entitled Atlas Rises, which takes the game one step closer to being amazing.
Atlas Rises addresses one of the main complaints with No Man’s Sky surrounding the story and hollow feel of the universe. A new story has been added, implementing over 30 hours of narrative and lore as you attempt to discover the mysteries of the Atlas. There is also a new mission board that is constantly generating new missions for players to undertake, increased depth in farming and mining as well as changes to space ‘dogfighting’. The story and additional quests do not force players along with a meticulously planned series of objectives, but instead, lead explorers into new discoveries.
No Man’s Sky appealed to players for its massive open universe in which you can discover exotic items and forge your own exploratory legend among the stars. The improvements brought in the Atlas Rises update serve to add a little more depth to the empty universe that will keep inviting players back for more especially when you consider the terraforming. What’s that you ask? Well No Man’s Sky will allow for a greater manipulation of the world around you to create unique and impressive bases and other structures, or if you really just want to blow the world apart, you can do that too.
However, one of the biggest things that Hello Games have implemented is the beginnings of an interactive multiplayer, which is something No Man’s Sky has needed for some time. It has been relegated to a simple system where other players are represented by glowing green or blue orbs. So far, all you can do is explore the world with those orbs but Hello Games have stated that it is an important first step into multiplayer capability. Players have dreamed for a long time, of roaming new worlds alongside their friends and complete strangers they stumble upon in this rich world.
The world has also seen a slight overhaul with the increased biome variety and the chance to discover unique new exotic biomes. Not to mention there is the possibility to discover crashed freighters that you can salvage material from as well as a series of portals enabling you to travel from planet to planet, eliminating a lot of the repetitive grind at times.
But has No Man’s Sky taken the first step into becoming the game we all wished it was when it released? To answer it quickly – yes. You feel as if the universe is more alive to a greater degree and that it has more depth to it that was lacking at launch. The addition of differing star systems having varying degrees of economy, wealth and conflict adds a bit more danger and complexity that will influence whether or not you attempt to explore the planet, while the deeper level of interstellar trading makes your exploration feel meaningful. If I am going to spend hours upon hours exploring and collecting, I damn well be getting paid for it.
No Man’s Sky had an initial rocky start but Atlas Rises and the previous free updates, show that Hello Games have not given up on the game and that they are constantly improving and listening to player feedback. No Man’s Sky will only get better from here.