When No Man’s Sky was released, I think it would be fair to say that it was seen as a step above disaster. Not only was the multiplayer component that was promised from the beginning a “lie” (I’m still not so sure Sean Murray, the creator and lead developer of Hello Games, misled people purposefully– it feels more to me like he just over-stretched on what he could deliver at the time with such a small development team), there was much less to do on the planets than many felt there should have been, and the game play loop was sparse. Slowly, but surely, Sean Murray and his team have been shifting perception about the game, and they have done so with nothing but hard work.
Tomorrow marks the release of yet another update for No Man’s Sky, entitled “Visions“. The last update, “The Abyss” was released only a few weeks ago and relied on an underwater theme. This time the focus is more on the variety of life that pervades each planet, the weather systems and some new connections with those, and the ability to become an archaeologist, if one so chooses. Who wouldn’t want to be an Intergalactic Indiana Jones, space-whip and all?
While digging up alien bones and crashed satellites sounds intriguing, the main aspect of the update is to create new biomes and planet types. This was done by expanding the range of colors, adding new alien types such as “carnivorous trap plants and bloated gas flora” and what the developer called “sentient minerals“.
For those who want to risk it, there will also be special crystals appearing in the worst storms on the most hazardous planets. They can be found by their luminescence, but only shine during the rough weather. And to entice those who may not feel courageous enough, they have added more intricate atmospherics, so now the player can see a beautiful rainbow as their character dies of exposure.
Finally, a community aspect is being administered, with certain unlocks occurring after reaching a shared goal. While there isn’t a lot of information on this part, it should give players a reason to continue after their own in-game needs are taken care of.
No Man’s Sky continues to expand its horizons in every way, and I have to commend the team at Hello Games for their incessant attempts to give the product that they promised so long ago. They may not have accomplished it with the initial release, but its finally beginning to feel like the exploration game that they had intended. And it won’t stop here, as Sean Murray has stated that Hello Games doesn’t “plan to finish evolving its vast universe any time soon.”
No Man’s Sky is now available on PS4, Xbox One and PC.