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Can 'No Man's Sky' Redeem Itself With Its Third Free Update? (engadget.com) 107

An anonymous reader quotes Engadget's new article on No Man's Sky: Developer Hello Games has gone some way to giving the people what they've wanted Friday with the third major update since the title's launch. "Atlas Rises" (aka update 1.3) adds the beginnings of real-time multiplayer to the space exploration game, though admittedly, "interaction with others is currently very limited." Thanks to the update, up to 16 players can now exist together in the same space. Fellow pilots will appear as floating blue orbs moving about the terrain, and proximity-based voice chat will allow players to plan their next jump together. That's pretty much it, but Hello Games calls it "an important first step into the world of synchronous co-op in No Man's Sky."

Meeting up with other explorers should be a bit easier with the new portal system, which allows players to travel between planets instantly, including to random worlds. Taking a leaf out of Stargate lore, activating a sequence of glyphs on portals can designate specific exit points. Hello Games hopes the community will band together to create something of a database of glyph sequences... There's 30 hours of new storyline gameplay and a new mission system that lets you pick up all kinds of different odd jobs from a forever-updating list. Star systems now are now graded with "wealth, economy and conflict levels," giving you more information on desirable destinations (depending on what you're after). There's a new class of ships, new exotic planet types and a new "interdimensional race" to contend with. Terrain editing is now possible provided you have the appropriate Multi-Tool enhancement, and crashed freighters on the surface of planets serve as new scavenging hotspots... to its credit, Hello Games continues to push massive, free updates for the title, such that the game is now very different to what it was initially.

The game has been heavily discounted to promote the update, and Saturday it became Amazon's #12 best-selling PS4 game -- and one of Steam's top 100 most-played games.

Can 'No Man's Sky' Redeem Itself With Its Third Free Update?

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  • easy question (Score:1, Insightful)

    by sucko ( 257144 )

    no.

    • Re:easy question (Score:4, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 13, 2017 @08:21PM (#55005147)

      In fact this latest update has made the game even worse. I was starting to get to get into the exploration with the addition of the foundation and pathfinder updates, but Atlas Rising introduces instability (as in the game crashes a lot more), severely reduced performance (as if it wasn't bad enough already) and they have reset the entire universe _again_ (spend many hours finding that perfect planet, completing the base missions and building a nice base? well too fucking bad because it's all been changed up and wiped out.)

      And what did they add? Some more text and redundant missions to over-explain all of the details to the less mentally capable. I thought the story they had for Atlas, Polo and Nada was just fine as it was and it left you with a lot to think about, not only in the game but existentially. Now they feel the need to spell everything out and beat you over the head with it.

      They also supposedly improved the graphics, but I haven't seen any sign of that. So far stuff either looks the same, a bit worse or absolutely ridiculous (see neon-glow techno planets). This was something that nobody asked for and did nothing but make the game run like shit...I mean even more than it already did.

      They added a clunky portal system (on top of the previous teleportation system) that lets you jump to random points in the galaxy if you know a specific code to enter into alien rotary telephone dials. As far as I know, it only works for destinations within the galaxy you are currently in, so no back-tracking to Euclid for example.

      Oh and they added "multi-player". If you happen to run into up to a whopping 16 other players, you will see a floating ball of light which you can't interact with in any way other than talking to them. Terraforming, planetary deformation, building bases, combat, etc. cannot be seen by or joined in on by other players in realtime.

      There is still no way to move your base, a ton of materials have been made obsolete, all base personnel must be recruited again, the galaxy is still not seamlessly open and free roam (something Elite and Elite II did decades ago on a single floppy disk), there are still no planets of different sizes or composition (ie. gas giants, ice giants, brown dwarfs), every star system still has a starbase present and every planet still has pre-existing buildings on them.

      Some of the diehard shills will tell you to just start the whole game over, but fuck that. I've already put in hundreds of hours getting and building all of my stuff. There is no way I'm going to repeat all of that to end up with gear that isn't as good as what I've already got.

    • Is it "no" because NMS never needed to redeem itself, except in the eyes of the over-hyped?

      I played the original release. It was a fun game, though fairly shallow. I enjoyed my time with it. I'm also enjoying these updates, and revisiting the game when these updates are released. For me, the answer is "no" as well.

  • $24 on steam (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    That's probably about where it belongs. It was never a $60 game. Still, game is basically dead after all the shit that's happened.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      With that low price and the amount of effort they're putting in to make the game better, I'm willing to give it a chance.

  • Interest for the game has completely waned. I suspect the people that wanted to player game have long since moved onto others, and are now too bitter to come back to it.

    Like Street Fighter 5, these updates have come too late to entice players back.

    • So you say interest is based on hype, not on content ?
      I certainly hope not.

    • Or, you know.... We still play it. It's a great game and it always was.
    • I've picked up NMS now for the first time after Steam reviews went from Mostly Negative to Mostly Positive after the latest update. I'm really interested and keen to try it out now. Like most, I was very excited for this game, but unlike most, I didn't but into the hype, I never preorder and always wait for reviews before making a purchase.
      That's really the only way to go people.

  • Free update!? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Daimanta ( 1140543 ) on Sunday August 13, 2017 @01:46PM (#55003395) Journal

    The kind of thought that needs to connect the word 'free' to the word 'update' is so damaged by the current gaming environment that any logical output will be at best a matter of chance, akin a monkey randomly typing a copy of Shakespeare.

    • by Jeremi ( 14640 )

      The kind of thought that needs to connect the word 'free' to the word 'update' is so damaged by the current gaming environment that any logical output will be at best a matter of chance, akin a monkey randomly typing a copy of Shakespeare.

      You'd think so; I wish someone would tell VMWare that, as their product (Fusion) keeps urging me to update to the new version, then when I click OK they ask me to enter a credit card number to pay the $50 upgrade fee. Since all I want is a program just like the version I have now except without the crashing, $50 seems a bit steep.

  • Free updates? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Why is it that every update No Mans Sky releases listed as a "Free update?" This seems to be insinuating that at some point they will charge for their bug fixes / patches? I'm glad they are adding new features and items to the game to get it closer to what they hyped to be, but they got a lot of gull acting like they could sell these patches.

    I'll admit I just bought the game because it finally went on sale on Steam, as I wasn't going to pay $60 for it, but $20 was fine. Its fun, but it has a limited shelf l

    • I am not sure if you remember The Elder Scrolls 3: Morrowind. It had paid for expansions that not only added content, the developers added a neat modification to the journal. The journal of the original game was organized by keywords while the new one is organized by quests. The first one was fairly difficult to follow, as you had to remember a lot of things for whatever thing you wanted to achieve. In my opinion, the journal system had to be fixed in order to make the game enjoyable. But the change to the
    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      It doesn't say if they fixed things like the UI, that was awful. And from what I understand it still doesn't have the proper multiplayer that people expected.

      • It wasn't that bad... The "pouch" size was a bit too small... which could lead to the tedium of moving things to and from the site you are working on....

        I of course only paid $18 for the game, so I'm getting my money's worth and then some. But I can see by your sig that explaining that YMMV and this sort of thing is subjective is an uphill battle.

  • Redeem what ? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Thanatiel ( 445743 )

    I loved the first instance of the game (played about 30 hours).
    This update made me restart a new game.

    • I believe the consensus is that many people felt cheated after the hype train missed the station. Things like multiplayer were absent (it would have been OK if Sean Murray never mentioned anything like that), and from what I read a lot of people got bored after a few hours of doing the same chores again and again. If Sony had not been promoting the game as heavily as it did, nobody would have cared.

      The thing of this slashdot topic is, Hello Games, a development house of around 10 persons, is putting a lot

  • But I wasn't interested at all when it released. Big media circle jerk. I bought it this Friday post-patch and have loved the experience. Best not let your expectations get away from you.
  • I've been rather enjoying the new DLC things in Sniper Elite 4.

    Go back and play No Man's Sky? No, I prefer having fun.

  • Well... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by XSportSeeker ( 4641865 ) on Sunday August 13, 2017 @02:25PM (#55003591)

    For new players, sure? It's finally delivering most of what was advertised.
    For the fans who bought this early on and were probably the most enthused about the game? I imagine there's pretty much no redemption route for them.
    It's less redemption and more disaster mitigation at this point...

    • The features are irrelevant. With ~500 players online at a time what are the odds of finding someone? This was more relevant when 200000 people were playing.

      To their credit they have ignited the fire in the hearts of a whole 18000 fans this weekend according to the status.

      Abysmal.

    • Wrong. I bought it shortly after launch. I still play it, and will continue to play it. All I hear is whining. Go play CoD.
  • by Noishkel ( 3464121 ) on Sunday August 13, 2017 @02:54PM (#55003707)
    For all the, admitted well deserved, hate everyone is laying at the feet of this game at least the developer didn't just abandon it. Many gaming studies gladly cut their losses well beyond this point. But yet the developer keeps doing their best to work on the game. And that's enough to drop the $24 on a copy of it on GOG and try it out.
    • Much of that can be laid at Hello Game's feet. Their handling of the post-release shit storm was utterly and completely inept. I sometimes wonder if they were bound by some contractual agreement which forced them into complete and total radio silence.

      If at any point they had come out and said, "Guys, we know we kinda screwed up and the whole situation sucks, but ..." and gave even a shallow explanation for themselves the whole thing might have just blown over. Instead, they hunkered down in their fallout

  • by MrKevvy ( 85565 ) on Sunday August 13, 2017 @03:00PM (#55003737)

    Direct link [gog.com]

    DRM-free as always. Just downloaded from there and looking forward to trying it.

  • by Daltorak ( 122403 ) on Sunday August 13, 2017 @03:14PM (#55003783)

    I know a lot of people have already checked out because they didn't like being sold a bill of goods. I totally understand those people. But for the rest of us who just want good games to play and don't care about the release-time controversy, it's looks like there's a better future coming. Hello Games has now added three major elements that were never announced or even hinted at prior to the original release: Land vehicles, base building, and now terraforming. Were these planned all along? Maybe, maybe not, but it's clear that more content and features will continue to be released.

    For all we know, NMS will become a continually-evolving game like Eve Online, Elite: Dangerous, or even Starbound.

    • it's looks like there's a better future coming

      Yep. Multiplayer is a much sought after feature now that there's only some 500 people still playing.

      The people bored out of their mind by this piece of over hyped shit are unlikely to be excited by driving in a car.

  • NMS V3.0 (Score:3, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 13, 2017 @03:32PM (#55003891)

    Now with over 80% of the content we promised at launch...

    • by Jeremi ( 14640 )

      Now with over 80% of the content we promised at launch...

      It's one of the developer's classic blunders: telling the marketing department what you imagine the product will be able do, eventually. No matter how many disclaimers you include, they will hear "eventually" as "guaranteed to be complete, polished, and bug-free in time for the v1.0 release", and will tell the world that.

  • At this price point, ($59 on Steam), No Man's Sky cannot redeem itself.

    It's like the old saying, "Fool me once, shame on me. Fool me twice and I'm not gonna buy your fucking game until you drop the price and maybe not even then because you jackoffs have been promising shit and not delivering all along."

    At least I think that's how the saying goes.

    • How do you get that angry about a fucking game? Especially one with as much promise as NMS? Fuck I got a good 40 hours out of it in it's initial state, now I'm enjoying the hell out of the new update with the PS4 version. And I look forward to what's coming next, I love space games and I own them all pretty much. X, Elite Dangerous, Freespace, NMS, Star Citizen, Noctis.....etc and I love NMS. You people throwing a tantrum over the hype train sound like children. I got fucked by the SSE support when it laun
      • How do you get that angry about a fucking game? Especially one with as much promise as NMS?

        By "promise", do you mean,"features the devs have promised but have never delivered"?

        The game has been in development since around 2011, and it's been funded by people who believed the promises. Kickstarter, Early Access, Beta, and then a disappointing release. All at (or well above) full price.

        No Man's Sky is the poster boy for devs who believe the world owes them a living whether or not they get the job done. Plu

        • It's not bad on the PS4. And it's cheap-cheap. For those of us who dislike windows with a passion, it's a good alternative, and I think the interface works well with the dualshock.

        • by deek ( 22697 )

          Huh? Since when did NMS do a Kickstarter, Early Access, and Beta? Also, basic development started 2012, with a small group of four, and they didn't start ramping up development until 2014.

          Also, by "promise", do you mean talking about features that are in development? Sean's big mistake was not prefacing all his interviews with "game is still being developed; we don't actually know the final state at release". He unfortunately set expectations (not promises), some of which were not met.

          No Man's Sky has b

          • Huh? Since when did NMS do a Kickstarter, Early Access, and Beta? Also, basic development started 2012, with a small group of four, and they didn't start ramping up development until 2014.

            You're right. I'm wrong. I was thinking of a different game that didn't deliver on developers' promises. There are so many it's hard to keep them straight.

            • Bullshit, you were just jumping on the hate bandwagon. That's what everyone does on the internet. You can't possibly be confused about what No Mans Sky is, I don't buy it. Stop the hate, Everyone is so god damn negative. It's an awesome game and it's only going to keep getting better, and we need games like this so the technology can progress.
    • I bought it for $26 CAD (~20 USD) last night. Who buys off Steam when it isn't on sale?

      • I bought it for $26 CAD (~20 USD) last night. Who buys off Steam when it isn't on sale?

        May I ask where you bought it for $20? That seems an appropriate price.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    More like Duke Nukem Neverever!

  • Prices of any item going vertical is a pretty big sign the market has succumbed to irrational exuberance.

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