In its third major update since its release, No Man’s Sky adds a wealth of new content, including a new story and the foundations of multiplayer.
Released yesterday, ‘Atlas Rises’ is quite the doozy of an update for the massive space exploration game. Among its most prominent features is the addition of “30 hours” of new story content, which include “double the lore and interactions of the existing game,” as proclaimed on the update’s official page. The update teases the appearance of an unknown and new interdimensional race, prompting the player to discover the truth behind some of the game’s more vexing questions, such as the role of the Sentinels or the Abandoned Building logs.
While the introduction of story content breathes new purpose into the universe of No Man’s Sky, many more minor changes grant its worlds greater depth and substance. The visual quality of most planets has been improved, as well as expanded to include more exotic planetary types.
New missions and NPC guilds have been added to space stations, allowing the play to complete tasks to earn increasingly better rewards. Crashed freighters have been added on planets, offering a new avenue of exploration and loot for players. On top of this many of the game’s interfaces have been updated to appear sleeker and to include more relevant information.
Probably one of the showier minor updates is the addition of the terrain-editing enhancement for the Multi-Tool, which allows the player to literally sculpt the environment.
Atlas Rises also enables those previously-defunct portals to work. Reminiscent of the stargates of the TV series of the same name, the portals of No Man’s Sky open a wormhole to specific planets based on the specific code entered using a series of glyphs. It’s essentially a means of fast-travel, though one needs to know the combination to reach their destination.
Ship combat is also said to be significantly more elegant. Enemy AI has been improved alongside ship maneuverability, increasing dog-fighting skill caps. And with the addition of low-flight assist, in-atmosphere ship battles are a little more… workable. New and better ship types have been added as well, available for purchase from their NPC owners.
Finally, the foundations of multiplayer are said to be laid out in this update, something initially promised with the launch of the game. Described as “glitches in the simulation,” players can find up to 16 floating orbs at any one time, with these orbs representing other players simultaneously exploring the same environment.
Players can interact with each other in this form via voice chat, but the actions of any individual player will not affect another yet. The official Atlas Rises page tells us that, while these current interactions are quite limited, “this is an important first step into the world of synchronous co-op in No Man’s Sky.”
It’s unknown at this point what future updates might hold for No Man’s Sky, but it would seem that the massive overhaul of Atlas Rises is a step in the right direction towards accomplishing some of developer Hello Games’ as-yet unfulfilled promises.
For a more detailed look at the patch notes of Atlas Rises, visit the official page here.
Otherwise, watch the video summation below: