Like most people, I too was pulled in by the hype for this game when it was announced and even went as far as to pre-order it (something I never do), completely ready to become an intrepid explorer in the wilds of space. I was pumped to side with one of the possible factions or go it alone as a pirate, in large scale space conflict mixed with Star Trek-esque planetside exploring. It burned like hell that all these features were barely even skin deep and the game did not deliver on many of the promised features. Two years on though, it refuses to die.
To play complete devil's advocate, as much as I was angry at the time and still to this day feel lied to, you have to give props to Hello Games for doubling down and putting the work in to deliver the game as it should have been. Now, two years on, the game which was a Playstation exclusive at the time, is coming to Xbox with a HUGE update entitled NEXT on day one. This update to the game adds many demanded features, including a true multiplayer. Space suddenly doesn't feel so lonely.
Over the course of these LONG two years, as the fan base began to bleed away in angry clusters, Hello Games has released three, soon to be four, updates to fix the main complaints that gamers, including myself, had. The Foundation update brought Base Building and Farming (as well as many other features related to making the game a little less frustrating with travel and resource management). The Path Finder update added drive-able vehicles and graphical improvements whilst Atlas Rises delivered on the promise of more story with 30 hours of narrative content including an updated quest system and improvements to trading.
Atlas Rises was the tipping point, it was well received and brought a lot of players, including disgruntled ones, back into the fold. Hello Games CEO Sean Murray stated on the No Mans Sky site::
We called our upcoming update “NEXT”, because it’s an important next step on a longer journey for us and the community. It will be our biggest update so far, and something we’ve been working ridiculously hard on. This will be free to existing players, and we’ll continue to support No Man’s Sky in this way for the foreseeable future. No Man’s Sky is also coming to Xbox One, which has long been hotly requested by patient Xbox fans. The Xbox version will come with Foundation, Pathfinder, Atlas Rises and NEXT from day-one, in 4K and HDR for Xbox One X.
The update is due to be delivered on all platforms on July 24th. In a recent interview reported on by The Verge, Sean Murray said, in regards to NEXT's multiplayer:
You’ll be able to explore the universe with your friends, or bump into random travellers. You can help friends to stay alive, or prey on others to survive. Your group can build anything from tiny shelters to complex colonies spanning planets, and everything is shared online for others to visit. Fight as a pirate or a wingman in epic space battles with friends and enemies. Race exocraft across weird alien terrains, creating race tracks or maybe just scenic trails to share online.
Whether this new Cooperative feature will be a game mode unto itself or part of the main game, working like the Creative and Survival game modes work, is yet to be seen, but I'm looking forward to see how this plays out. If you'd have told me a month after release that I'd be willingly considering jumping back in my No Mans Sky cockpit I'd have laughed scornfully. I don't mind being proved wrong, Hello Games deserve at least a second chance from me, they've kept on tinkering and improving upon this project and every update they have provided for free. It's that kind of commitment that's to be admired. What do you think of No Mans Sky and how it has progressed since launch? Will you be hopping back in? Comment below or tweet us @ghoulishent.
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