The Atlas Rises update for No Man's Sky looks like the first major leap towards the game that Hello Games kept promising shortly before launch. Additional story content, a procedural mission system and the first glimpses of multiplayer are now part of the game.
The third update to No Man's Sky titled Atlas Rises has arrived for PC and PlayStation 4. Atlas Rises contains the first multiplayer elements added to the game. Up to 16 players will be able to see each other and communicate when in the same area.
Well, not exactly see each other. Nearby players are shown as a glowing orb, but the disembodied spheres can be contacted with VOIP. More interactivity will be added in future updates.
The update adds an Ancient Portal system that works pretty much like a Stargate. Specific portal have addresses and can take the player to a random or any previously visited location. The portals tie into the changes and additions to the story as well.
Atlas Rise comes with a new 30-hour campaign to go with the inclusion of procedurally generated missions.
Most of the changes and new content seem to be aimed at the multiplayer and providing players with things to actually do. Both of these things were among the most heavily criticised during the game's launch.
Hello Games have posted a full summary of the update. This is the third major free update that the studio has released in relative silence and more are likely on their way.