For a game that promised much, at first No Man’s Sky really failed to deliver. Developer Hello Games was shot into the spotlight by an unprecedented amount of media attention after Sony showcased it at E3 2014, and soon fans flocked to preorder the space exploration game that advertised itself as having limitless playability, unlimited places to discover, and a vast procedurally-generated universe to explore.

However, upon release, players were upset to discover that many of the features that were promised, such as multiplayer, exploration, and a journey to the center of the universe had much less breadth than promised, or were not in the game at all. In addition, there were some serious performance issues and game-breaking bugs. The conglomeration of all these factors left many players feeling disappointed, angry, and even cheated.

Unlike other game companies that have overpromised and underdelivered, however, Hello Games has worked hard since the game’s release to rectify complaints and issues that players have presented. Finally, 1 year since the game’s August 2016 launch, they have pushed out a major content patch in the Atlas Rises 1.3 update that has many players saying this is the game they felt No Man’s Sky was meant to be.


Though No Man’s Sky had mostly negative reviews on Steam prior to the 1.3 update, since the patch reviews have been much more positive. Screenshot by Muneeb

Below are excerpts of recent reviews of No Man’s Sky by players on Steam:

1.0 = No way.
1.1 = Hmm.
1.2 = Getting there.
1.3 = This is how the game should have released.
1.4 = I’m very excited to see what comes next.


Now Atlas Rises came out, I find myself READING to LEARN things about the LORE. I want to keep exploring because planets have CLASSES now. I fell into a cave that was filled with water. I flew over giant oceans and huge continents, and I haven’t even ventured outside a starting solar system yet.

With each update, the game becomes more like a first person Starbound and I LOVE IT.


Looking through Hello Games’ patch notes, it’s easy to see why. Update 1.3 boasts 30 hours of story gameplay, a huge graphical overhaul, more and more interesting NPCs, planetary systems with increased complexity, better trade, an improved mission system, improvements to dogfighting, randomly generated lootable crash sites, and much more.

The massive update seems to have reinvigorated players with the hunger for exploration and discovery that they felt at the game’s launch, with many reporting never-before-seen biomes, flora, fauna, and structures on new planets.

Here Youtuber Mac Foraday found a planet full of strange floating obelisk-like crystals.

Sony Pony found an eerie planet full of bubbles.

Mac Foraday posted an video in which he gleefully uses the game’s new portals for the first time.

And perhaps the biggest draw for players will be the sort of half-measure placeholder for true multiplayer. Players still can’t interact with each other, but they can see when other players are around them represented by floating orbs, as seen here in this gif from the patch notes:

Here’s what Hello Games had to say about multiplayer:

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…VOIP (Voice over IP) allows proximity based voice chat with other nearby explorers.

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Though it had a rocky start, No Man’s Sky seems to be going in a direction that players love, thanks to its developers’ hard work to turn the game into the experience they promised from the start. With players already elated with the current state of the game and more updates in the works, it’s no surprise that many are eager to see what comes next.