Hitting Reset On No Man’s Sky

I was there with files preloaded, ready and raring to go, like a couple hundred thousand people, the day No Man’s Sky launched in 2016. That number surprised me, it surprised Hello Games too.

It became obvious fairly quickly there were issues with the game, particularly with that many people playing on day one concurrently; for me, it was mostly performance issues, even with a decent new PC I’d built a couple months earlier.

For the first few days, it was unplayable, the frame rate was unpredictable, it was giving me headaches. I was in denial, I wanted to love this game, I was ready for it to be the one. It was not the one.

After several weeks of trying new nVidia drivers, patches from Hello Games, tweaks from the community, about 14 hours in, I quit, it just wasn’t working for me, on any level, not just technically.

Vehicles for mining and exploring, just one of the post launch additions

Hello Games on the other hand, they have not given up on their creation, far from it.

Despite the continued avalanche of abuse they’ve faced since the game was released, they’ve been listening to their community, adding features, fixing bugs. Business as usual.

Here we are, a full twelve months down the line, a third major update has been released to coincide with the 1 year anniversary of the original release. It’s a pretty substantial update in its own right, but here’s a slice of what has changed across three major updates.

  • New game modes (Normal, Creative, Survival)
  • Base building, farming, deploying equipment in the field
  • Purchase freighters
  • Online base sharing, owning multiple ships
  • Numerous graphical enhancements, including high resolution textures, PS4 Pro support
  • Land vehicles, permadeath, photo mode
  • Procedural mission system, 30 hours of additional story content
  • Improvements to planetary biome variety and visual quality, new rare exotic planet types
  • Crashed freighters, terrain editing, portals, low flight, improved space combat
  • Joint exploration, wait what?

OK, now that is interesting. Multiplayer has always been a sore point with this game, many people believe it was promised but not delivered.

Personally I don’t remember either way, but I didn’t buy it for a co-op experience, although I would gladly try it.

Visualised by strange floating orbs, up to 16 players can see and communicate with one another, and explore the universe together.

While interaction with others is currently very limited, this is an important first step into the world of synchronous co-op in No Man’s Sky.

All of this, along with the passing of twelve months, has made me think, “Maybe it wouldn’t be so bad to start again?”

So start again I shall, heck, they even “reset the universe” for one of the patches, so I’m sure I can bring myself to start a new save and try to love this ugly duckling one more time.

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