People were not loving No Man’s Sky when it first released in late summer of last year. Hate might be a strong word, but the game currently rocks a slightly above average critical rating on places like Metacritic. But users’ ratings still tank. No doubt, the game’s many updates and patches did their share to earn the game some of its following back. But a year later, is it even worth it?
Among many of the game’s criticisms was a staggering lack of content. Or, more specifically, promised content missing from the game. Things like a fleshed out factions system, world variation, and most notably, multiplayer. Point is, the studio over-promised. The reasons for the game being gutted to the extent that is was are still unclear. But gradual patches show a dedication to making sure the game delivers on at least a handful of those promises. Patches such as the latest Update, 1.3, brings a slew of features with it.
Releasing earlier this week, Update 1.3 immediately makes some headway on those promises. Accompanying a graphics boost is the addition of new planetary biomes. The economy system got an overhaul, and a portal system is essentially introducing quick-travel. The game has more tools and equipment for the excavation element of the game. However, fans will certainly notice the biggest changes the update brings.
Update 1.3 brings with it a new campaign. Or, rather, additional content for the original one. In fact, it comes with 30+ hours of new story content. This is in the form of a new storyline revolving around mysterious, new aliens. The new storyline also promises more to actually do in-game. It brings new missions and objectives, salvage projects, and combat scenarios.
Along with the new storyline and other features is a very basic multiplayer feature. It’s still nowhere near the MMO-like experience that the game was toted as being early on. However, it is better than nothing. The current system is very limited, but Hello Games does evidently have plans to expand upon it to make a fully realized multiplayer experience. The system allows up to 16 players to join one another in joint explorations, though they still don’t see one another’s characters. Instead, they see “glitches” manifested as orbs on the screen. It’s a step.
Little by little, No Man’s Sky resembles the game people were promised. It may not live up to all the hype it built, but it may manage to impress in the end. Many other games have over-promised and crashed because of it. Perhaps No Man’s Sky can pull off a recovery.