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‘No Man’s Sky’ Is Patching In A Story This Week, A Year After Launch – Forbes

Hello Games

No Man’s Sky

I could have sworn that No Man’s Sky came out at least three years ago, but here we are on August 9th, exactly a year after it launched. I certainly did not think I’d be talking about this game a year later, but Hello Games’ Sean Murray has just announced another major content update for the game, 1.3, which will add in something the game has been missing since launch: a story.

Here’s the relevant passage from Murray’s recent announcement about what’s coming later this week:

“Update 1.3 will release this week and will be available for free to all No Man’s Sky players. We’re calling it Atlas Rises. It focuses on improving the central story of No Man’s Sky and adds the ability to quick travel between locations using portals. Patch notes will be made available shortly before the update goes live.”

Ahead of this update, No Man’s Sky was actually running a relatively involved ARG called “Waking Titan” that had cassette tapes being sent to players all over the world. If you missed this news, I certainly don’t blame you, and I’d be amazed if even 1% of No Man’s Sky players knew it was happening, but apparently it has something to do with the story component being added to the game.

I…genuinely don’t know what to make of No Man’s Sky at this point, nor Hello Games’ continued support for it. This is the third free update for the game, the first adding base-building, the second adding land vehicles and now this third one adding story and an upgraded portal system.

Hello Games

Photo: Hello Games

The game is acting like it’s in early access, fleshing itself out to a final product, but as we know, it launched at $60 game a year ago in a more-than-a-little-unfinished form. At this point I don’t know whether to admire Hello Games for putting their heads down and sticking with it, or wondering if they’ve lost their minds. This is not a game with any sort of ongoing revenue stream, either through microtransactions or paid DLC. It’s currently in the bargain bin of most game stores or heavily discounted online. This seems more about redeeming the name of Hello Games than anything, which may be a noble goal, but I feel like the vast majority of the public just flat-out isn’t listening or doesn’t care.

And I’m saying all this as one of the game’s biggest defenders. I really did get a great deal of enjoyment out of launch-era No Man’s Sky, despite its glaring problems, and I enjoyed at least the base-building update thereafter. But now, a year later, adding a story to a game that more or less had zero story from the start?  I’m skeptical, and frankly, I have more pressing stuff to play between the release of LawBreakers and my review copy of Agents of Mayhem. Even as someone who used to be a fan of No Man’s Sky, news of this update is barely on my radar, and I’m not sure if I’ll bother with it. But I’m curious, I’ll admit that.

I am not planning on holding the failings of No Man’s Sky against Hello Games forever, and I’d certainly be interested to see them working on a new project. But at this point, the key phrase there is “new project” and I’m not sure what continuing to add content to No Man’s Sky is accomplishing these days. Is the game already worth the $10-15 that it’s currently selling for? Yes, I’d easily recommend it at that price. Is this new content really changing anyone’s mind about it one way or the other? I honestly doubt it.

What a weird ride it’s been for this game, and it just keeps getting weirder.

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‘No Man’s Sky’ Is Patching In A Story This Week, A Year After Launch – Forbes

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