No Man’s Sky – NEXT

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Everyone has an opinion about No Man’s Sky.

A lot of people hate it, some people are indifferent, and some people as passionate about the game. In fact haters will join live streams of No Man’s Sky just to slag the game off. Some people join and say “is this game any good?”, and some join and say “oh man I am glad you’re streaming this, I love it”. The response to the second question, oft answered by my friend chadwhynot is this: “If you didn’t like the game when it was first released, you wont like it now. If you liked it but got bored, there is more content and you wont be so bored now”.

Let’s recap what happened. Sean Murray from Hello Games said some stuff about a game. Some of it misconstrued, some of it not. However, people had high expectations of the game and when it was released a lot of people were understandably disappointed that the stuff they wanted was not in the game. A small community grew who are passionate about the game, and they made some of that stuff happen themselves through community, modding and various other means. Over time, Hello Games released updates which put in some of the functionality/gameplay that was missing (basic multiplayer, ground vehicles, base building, working portals etc), and this kept the community happy, and wanting more.

People didn’t know why the game didn’t have this stuff in it. Recently an old interview surfaced in which Sean had said that Sony (who fronted the money for the game) had been trying to change the game and make it into something different than what Hello Games had wanted. So they took the chance to release it as it was. Sean Murray said “Look, we’re not good at talking to people. We have to stop talking to people and just make the game how we want it” – and so they did (and notably, many of the updates were stuff that the community implemented themselves, which is cool).

Since then, Hello Games has embarked on a massive ARG prior to the release of Atlas Rises. They used codes and puzzles on websites, live drops, paid time slots on radio stations and shows (including Howard Stern’s show). One really cool one is where people had to meet an actor in New York, they followed the person back to a room which was full of clues, and they had 30 mins to solve it. Something like 100 people went through this. Later on they released special Atlas passes (Atlas Passes (up to v3) are part of the in game) which they mailed out to people in snail mail (I got one!).

Recently the ARG kicked off again, with speculation of a new update. Eventually a tweet from Sean Murray confirmed that there would be an update called NEXT due on Jul 24. Slowly now through the ARG and a media conference they have released some details. What we know so far is (and this isn’t comprehensive): It will be available on Xbox. There is something going on with V/are (wear) VR gear. Ringed planets and full multiplayer support. 4 Player squads suggested, new ships, and community “cities” from tiny outposts to ones spanning multiple systems are also mentioned as well as the ability to fight alone or with friends in planetary and space battles.

One of the biggest bits of news that has got people excited is the release of player models for 3rd person, through the ARG.

It all looks very exciting, as there is much more information to come. Streamers, Redditters, game detectives all pouring over the clues that Hello Games have been leaving all over the internet.

Everyone has an opinion on No Man’s Sky. My opinion is that no matter what you think about No Man’s Sky and Sean Murray, they have, and they are delivering on what they promised their small community of believers. If you like the style of game, and stopped playing because you felt ripped off or felt lied to, perhaps it is time to let go, and give Hello Games another chance.

– Geoff Gummer

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