No Man’s Sky is finally getting its most requested feature: multiplayer. Launching July 24th, the NEXT update brings with it the ability to team up with other players online, and explore, fight, and craft together to your hearts content. A game overshadowed by controversy, No Man’s Sky faced heavy criticism at launch for misleading marketing, a lack of promised features, and the notable absence of multiplayer. Players could not share the same world-space, their ships could not be seen, and their activity went unnoticed. In essence, No Man’s Sky was an almost literal title: a massive universe to explore and colonize, with no one to share it with. Now, almost two years later, the game may just realize the potential it had before launch.
Pilots can team up to build bases, capital ships, and fight against other factions; the update adds proper combat and interactions between players. In addition to the new multiplayer, there are many new features which will now complement it. Characters can be customized and the game can be played in both first and third person. Vehicles can zoom across alien terrain in all new competitive races. And players can now command a fleet of frigates out into the stars, with a modular customization system that allows ships that can take many different shapes and forms. Finally, base building has received a major upgrade, with build restrictions rescinded and many more parts added.
Graphics have also been improved; terrain generation has been fine-tuned, graphics have received upgrades, and planets should feel more varied and alive. Ringed planets finally make their debut as well, and new shaders for water and lighting will debut in the update. All-in-all, this is a meaty update for No Man’s Sky, one that looks very promising based on the trailer. Time will tell if it lives up to the hype or delivers another disappointment to fans of the space exploration genre.