Multiplayer content is finally coming to No Man’s Sky, a feature which was among the many famously promised at launch but never delivered upon. Now, developer Hello Games have detailed the next significant patch that will overhaul many of the game’s existing systems, as well as adding some new ones. The update will be available for free download on all systems on which No Man’s Sky is playable, and will drop on July 24th. Known only as update “Next”, the patch hopes to introduce enough new content to give longtime players a reason to come back – now, with the added ability to bring someone else in with them.
Hello Games’ recent interview with Gamespot helped shed some light on the update’s more exact details. According to the developer, the multiplayer feature set of the game will be massive and very comprehensive, including a large focus on character customization that has not yet been seen in the game.
“You can build tiny shelters or complex colonies that are shared for all players. Fight as a pirate or a wingman in epic space battles with friends and enemies. Race exocraft across weird alien terrains, creating race tracks and trails to share online. The character customization allows you to personalize your appearance.”
– Hello Games
The update will also add a third-person perspective option, which was likely decided upon once Hello Games realized that developing a multiplayer portion would force them to build all the player animations from an outside perspective anyway. In addition, there’s a host of upgrades to the title’s graphical engine and mapping software, which improves the density of wildlife and foliage on planet surfaces and adds new rings to the outsides of certain worlds to put some diversity in your tiny trillion planet universe.
But even more impressive is the brand-new ability to take command of a massive capital ship. You do this by amassing the resources and constructing a crew of smaller ships, and then gain the ability to send your fleet to distant worlds where they can then assist you in your exploration missions.
There are also a few improvements to the game’s base-building systems, which were added in a previous title update. The systems have been slightly adjusted, new base building parts have been added, players can now build more complex bases with fewer restrictions and are no longer limited to constructing only a single base on any given planet.
Although No Man’s Sky’s initial release was marred with instances where the content in the game’s advertising material did not come close to matching up with the final product, development team Hello Games have, over the series of four massive title updates, greatly deepened the game experience. These updates convey a continuing passion to eventually craft the gaming experience that was promised at launch, and from the progress that has been made so far, they may eventually live up to that promise. For such a small team, this large of a project will clearly take them quite a while, but they’ve been able to keep producing free content while keeping the lights on so far, so maybe they’ve got some ongoing deal with a publisher or company to continue support for the game.
It’s not often in gaming that a game released to poor public reception manages to turn itself around during its lifespan, but we hope that No Man’s Sky will eventually become one of those success stories.