No Man's Sky update pushes game to top of the Steam charts

midian182

TechSpot Editor
Staff member

Back in 2016, the anticipation over No Man’s Sky was so high that developer Hello Games received death threats when a seven-week delay was announced. The game proved very popular upon launch, hitting over 212,000 concurrent players on Steam, but that number dropped drastically as people found it failed to match its pre-release videos and lacked important elements such as multiplayer.

While not everyone hated the game, many felt they had been lied to over what it offered. A slew of buyers started demanding refunds, while the UK’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) received 23 complaints that the “game content was not as depicted or described.” The fallout led to Valve banning bullshots from its Steam listings, and No Man’s Sky was regularly mocked on social media. Just over one month after it arrived, concurrent player numbers fell to fewer than 1000.

But despite the setback, Hello Games and its founder, Sean Murray, never gave up on No Man’s Sky, releasing several updates (Foundation, Path Finder, and Atlas Rises) that improved the game by adding elements such as base building and land vehicles. But it was last week’s fourth and biggest update, Next, that changed everything.

With so many new features and graphical overhauls, Next has turned No Man’s Sky into the game people were expecting in 2016. Additionally, what is arguably the most critical aspect has now been fully implemented: multiplayer. The update has seen NMS climb to the top of the Steam charts and is currently the seventh most popular game on the platform, with 90,651 concurrent players today (at the time of writing). Moreover, Steam reviews have moved from Mixed to Very Positive, with 82 percent of user reviews in the last 30 days being positive.

It’s been quite a journey for No Man’s Sky, one that proves how persistence and perseverance can pay off in the end.

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Kobal222

TS Rookie
Does it actually run any better though. It isn't the most optimised game I have played on PC the past few years.....
That is most definitely true I have a pretty beefy setup and I lowered the graphics to medium to see if I would see any difference but I still get 35-45 fps when there is a lot of actions going on/lot of plants and fauna + sentinels at the same type. I play on a 1920 1080 monitor so I should be able to have a constant 60 fps at least wich is what I get when I am on barren worlds or worlds wit a lot to medium fauna density. Also attacking sentinels of high wanted level cause my game to become unstable with all the carcass of the walkers and stuff. There is still place for improvement at this level but its definitely better than launch I think from what I heard. Have a nice day :)
 
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kapital98

TS Guru
It'll be back to obscurity in another month.
Do you really think so, it would be a shame I think if it happenned.
They will have to constantly release new gimmick updates to keep people interested or they will quickly fade into irrelevancy again.
It's been near the top of the charts for a long time. In the 20-40 range. Which is still pretty impressive considering almost every PC game ever made is on Steam.

I played the game on PS4 after the second major patch. It's great. Repetative after about 10 hours but great. I can only imagine how good it is now. Meanwhile, my wife paid $60 for the PC edition on launch day, it performed dismally, she couldn't get her money back, and refuses to ever listen to good news regarding NMS.

It's a rare gem in the gaming community. Hello Games could have (and probably should have) cut their losses and ran. Instead they kept working at it and have made a solid game. [The $30 price point is where it should stay IMO as well. I never got why they allowed the console versions to be cheap ~$25 games while having the PC edition stuck at $60 for over a year.]
 

Sausagemeat

TS Maniac
Does it actually run any better though. It isn't the most optimised game I have played on PC the past few years.....
No not really. I recently bought it again after refunding my original copy. The game has improved greatly but the frame rate is just as bad as it was in the first place. It’s playable and as I only paid £20 for it I’m not going to complain too much. Be nice if we could get 60fps though, hopefully it will come.
 

Ravey

TS Addict
I gave in and bought myself a copy after peer pressure from my best mate. It's a very pretty game... but still way to "crafty" for my liking.. I have spent more time trying to figure out how the crafting system works than I have actually exploring planets. Maybe it's a slow learning curve to start but for me, alarm bells start ringing when I see mention of spending time farming.

That been said, exploring was fun. One of the early training missions had me skulking around a derelict freighter where I found some kind of "unstable gel" in buried storage pods... when I sold those at the market, I got a big chunk of units. Oh and I can walk around bird watching too! now if only there was trainspotting....

Some aspects of multiplayer still need work. Mostly on the voice chat side, A few options to adjust microphone volume levels for individual players would be nice...
 
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ShagnWagn

TS Evangelist
Does it actually run any better though. It isn't the most optimised game I have played on PC the past few years.....
That is most definitely true I have a pretty beefy setup and I lowered the graphics to medium to see if I would see any difference but I still get 35-45 fps when there is a lot of actions going on/lot of plants and fauna + sentinels at the same type. I play on a 1920 1080 monitor so I should be able to have a constant 60 fps at least wich is what I get when I am on barren worlds or worlds wit a lot to medium fauna density. Also attacking sentinels of high wanted level cause my game to become unstable with all the carcass of the walkers and stuff. There is still place for improvement at this level but its definitely better than launch I think from what I heard. Have a nice day :)
But can it play Crysis?
 

ghostf1re

TS Guru
So I played the game at launch for about 10 hours and again after this update for another 10. The game performs great now. The only hitches I get is when entering or exiting the atmosphere and it's only for a second. The game looks nice and the 3rd person addition is cool as well.

The gameplay is exactly the same from what I remember at launch. The addition of actual coop is fun, but it's really glitchy. First they make the person joining your game start a new game if they aren't in the same system as you, which is really annoying. Sometimes when a player is in your game, your HUD will show them in a location that they aren't in and it never goes away until they log out of the game. It's really annoying when you are a little spread out.

The game is honestly just as boring as it was when it came out. The quests are essentially all the same and when you do get into space fights, it's hit or miss. Sometimes you get swarmed in such a way that you can't win, sometimes you just face a single fighter and it's over in just a minute or so. It's just either annoying or just not really exciting. If you already own it, install it and check it out. If you don't, I wouldn't recommend spending the money to try it out.
 

roberthi

TS Addict
And...why? Because people are stupid. Don't encourage developer behavior like we've witnessed here, by rewarding them in the end despite the deceptions.
 

PcePce

TS Enthusiast
The problem is--it's just not a good game. Credit to them for trying, and it's undoubtedly better for the updates, but it's still not worth buying.

It's surviving based upon the original hype, controversy, and constant publicity it receives for attracting attention to whomever makes articles/videos about it.

But ultimately, it's just a bad/mediocre game, and that's all that matters in the long run.
 

PcePce

TS Enthusiast
Just an update for anyone who finds this: Under 3 months after this article, the game is back down to 3,700 players average in the last 30 days, not even in the top 100 on Steam.

The reviews are back to "Mixed", both recently and overall. A single reactionary spurt of positive reviews by people who wish this game was good can only do so much.
 

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