No Man's Sky's New Update Makes The Game Much More Grounded

No Man's Sky is getting better. The game that left so many people feeling burned back in August may still not live up to the prior months of hype, but yesterday's patch makes big changes that anchor the game by finally allowing players to build a home among the cosmos.

When No Man's Sky came out back in August, it was easy to feel lost. The game was vast but shallow, and it didn't give players much to hold onto. There were few tangible goals beyond crafting more jet fuel. The more planets one uncovered, the less each discovery seemed to matter.

The "Foundation Update," as the the developers at Hello Games call it, was pushed out to PS4 and PC players on Sunday. It is the first substantial update, arriving after several months of total silence from the game's developers. Their first major update is a whopper. You can read the full patch notes here, though the term "patch" doesn't quite feel like the right word. You can watch a video rundown from the developers here.

Most notably, the Foundation Update adds a full base-building system, along with the ability to construct permanent navigation waypoints on planet surfaces and freighters that you can buy and bring with you from system to system.

It also gives you three different game modes: the standard way we've been playing, a challenging survival mode where resources are limited and you're expected to die over and over, and a free creation mode where you don't have to worry about resources or money.

I spent a few hours yesterday playing the updated game on PC, and am impressed so far. I've mostly spent time playing my existing game in standard mode, though I spent long enough in survival and creation modes to get a sense of what they're about.

You'll have to start a new game to try those new modes, and given that I'd become attached to the planets I've discovered and named, I mostly wanted to stick with my existing game.

Above all else, the Foundation Update adds anchors to a game that often felt so ephemeral that it might float away. When I reviewed No Man's Sky, I found that it was a hard game to like.

My progress in exploring the universe rarely felt satisfying and permanent. I numbered my planets as I named them. I kept from travelling too far. I backtracked. I stood still. Even then, as hard as I held on, it often felt like my toehold in this infinite galaxy was moments from crumbling away.

After the update, you can have a real, honest-to-god home base. After you make one, it identifies a planet as your home planet. You can drop waypoints and navigate back to them from the far reaches of space. Those additions offset the existential looseness that No Man's Sky had at launch. No longer do your adventures feel written in sand — you can now plant a flag that even the stiffest tide won't wash away.

After a few hours with the update, here's what I've found.

Resources seem more scarce across the board. Several times in the few hours I played, I found myself marooned on a planet without enough Plutonium for my ship to take off. This almost never happened to me before, and it seems that resources are far more limited and spread out even in normal mode.

I get the sense there's some plutonium on every planet, but it's much harder to find, which so far has helped every planet feel more distinct. No longer will you land and immediately see the same fields of blue, red, and gold resources. You're gonna have to hunt for them. It slows down the pace of the game, but I don't mind that so far.

Above: The new UI quickbar.

The tweaks to the UI are nice. No Man's Sky still has a weird user interface, but you can now access a quickbar that lets you charge up your various pieces of gear without retreating to the inventory menu. This makes it easier to, say, recharge your starship shields in the middle of a dogfight with pirates, and saves time when your multi-tool or hazmat suit run out of juice.

I've noticed some other, smaller tweaks as well — for instance, you can now scan individual planets, which gets you a report on what resources you can find there. You can also make the HUD all but disappear with the touch of a button. All good things.

The melee + jump boost still works. Yes, you can still time your melee attack straight into a jump in order to lunge forward and skip across a planet's surface. Yes, it's still one of the most weirdly satisfying, cobbled-together video game moves of 2016. Thanks, Hello Games, for not removing it.

You can keep playing during the Journey Milestone screen. It is now possible to interact with the game while the letterboxed "Journey Milestone Complete" notification is in progress. Thank god.

Some of my planets have changed. I talked a lot about Moon Drago, Greenpeace and the Cube Forest in my review, and it was interesting to return to those planets after the patch. I found that several of them had changed. Farmville still has a lot of animals, but I could no longer find Ted Cruz among them. I can't locate a few of my planets, though I could just not be looking in the right place.

Most noticeably, the Cube Forest has completely changed. That planet was covered in Vortex Cubes, which let me mindlessly farm them and make huge profits early in the game. After the patch, the planet has been nerfed. It's now a barren wasteland.

Above: The Cube Forest back when I played in August. Mmm, so many cubes.

Above: The Cube Forest now, after the update. Totally barren, not a cube in sight.

It could be that Hello Games has nerfed planets like The Cube Forest, since their comparative wealth led players to farm them to the exclusion of other, more enjoyable activities until they broke the economy. If that's the case, I understand the change, even as I'll miss that planet dearly.

Survival mode is definitely difficult. I died almost immediately after setting out from my starting area. This isn't really what I want from No Man's Sky, but it's certainly a more engaging and demanding way to play. It forced me to rely on more of my toolkit, and to use the newly craftable tech like save points and signal boosters, which help you save your progress and find resource depots. I have a feeling some players will really like survival mode.

Creative Mode is another nice option. It's also nice that there's a mode that lets you freely buy, upgrade, and craft whatever you want. You also don't have to worry about getting killed by anything.

That makes it much easier to quickly upgrade your ship and storage, and to get started right away on base building. I like the balance of the standard mode best, but at first glance creative mode seems like a good counterpart to survival mode.

The base building tool is surprisingly easy to use. I'm not a big fan of most of No Man's Sky's interface or interaction tools, so I was surprised by how much I like the base crafting tool. It's a lot easier to use than, say, the jacked-up settlement crafting in Fallout 4, though crafting itself is much here simpler than in that game. Once you've claimed a suitable base, you simply select the addition you want to make from the quickbar, place it, and press "A." Deleting additions is just as easy.

The new teleporters are handy. Every base has a teleporter that allows you to jump out to your system's space station, where you can trade and recruit workers to staff your base as it expands. The teleporter is one more nice quality of life improvement that greatly reduces the time it takes to get a base up and running.

It's the sort of extra feature that embodies how the Foundation Update goes beyond what it might have been. I can easily imagine a version of this update that made us constantly fly back and forth between our base and a space station; it's nice that Hello Games took the time to add this feature.

Freighters are expensive. The first freighter I found warped into my system as I mined a nearby asteroid field. (Finally, those fleets of large cruisers are more than window dressing.) It was pretty cool to fly aboard a non-space station vessel in orbit and make my way around.

When I found the pilot, they said I could buy their services for seven million credits. Damn! If they hadn't nerfed The Cube Forest I could've come up with that in less than an hour, but it's gonna take me quite a while longer now. Something to shoot for, I guess.

You can send messages out into the abyss. At any point you can make a communications station, which lets you write a short sentence and send it out to other players. I'm a big fan of this idea, and hope the developers continue to add this kind of passive, asynchronous multiplayer stuff to the game. I don't really need to explore a planet alongside a friend, but it's nice to know they're out there.

It looks a bit nicer. This is a little thing, but the new antialiasing method makes the game look noticeably cleaner to me, at least on PC. The lines on space station interiors are improved, with fewer jaggies. I also like the new motion blur effect, though I'm sure plenty won't like it. In general, the game looks a tad sharper than it did.

Aliens now hang out in groups. This might be my favourite little change, but you'll now find groups of aliens hanging out on space stations. Some of them are the garbled encounters you had in the game at launch, others are workers you can recruit for your bases. It's nice to see aliens hanging out and socialising, and makes the game feel a surprising amount less lonely.

The Foundation Update is a more complete, far-reaching addition than I was expecting, particularly given Hello Games' radio silence since August. It makes me hopeful about the future of No Man's Sky, given that Hello Games describes it as "the first of many free updates." My sense after a few hours is that while it adds depth and allows players to anchor their game with a new degree of permanence, the Foundation Update will ultimately fall short of remedying the broad, shallow aimlessness that left so many cold back when No Man's Sky came out.

I also sense that that this game's overarching lack of focus couldn't have been addressed or "fixed" by any one addition or patch. If this update is anything to go by, No Man's Sky may gradually become fortified over time as Hello Games adds more systems, features, and modes. It's a confident step forward. Hopefully the first of many.


Comments

    With a bunch of games releasing why even bother going back? Why should we, the lack of communication from the devs is enough to turn me off.

      If you've got an hour to burn, why not go for a cruise around a solar system? NMS is at its best when it is played casually.

      Why should we demand that the devs communicate? They're obviously busy working to make the game better. Let them do their job, and your reward will be a better game, rather than a bunch of words.

      Thanks HG for putting more into your game. I, for one, appreciate the effort, and look forward to future updates.

      Last edited 29/11/16 1:22 pm

        I'll admit the new update is fantastic and a hell of a lot better than anything I expected to show up.

        As far as "Why should we demand that the devs communicate?" though, well we can't really 'demand' anything but as good as this update might be, the fact is they're still selling the game (to new customers) on the same lies they always have been (their website/steam page have not changed) and they still have not given any apology/explanation for that.

        Having a lot of new content doesn't suddenly make it ok that they lied (and continue to lie) to sell the game and ignore all complaints on the fact.
        It's like paying for a petrol engine car only to find out it's actually electric, sure it still drives but that hardly makes it an ok deal. Then the dealer throws in some car mats and a new CD player, I mean that's nice but it doesn't fix the original problem....

          There's lies, damned lies, and then there's internet commentary. ;)

          Maybe I'm different in that I didn't pay too much attention to what was said about the game before release, but I'm finding it difficult to pick up all these lies that people talk about.

          I've just gone to the Hello Game website, and one lie I picked up on was they describe the game as "forthcoming". Poor updating, I suppose.

          Just visited the No Man's Sky website. OK, they say their game is set in an infinite procedurally generated universe. That's patently not true. 18 quintillion is not infinite. Another point they make is that every mistake can see you lose everything. Not from what I've played of the game. They do have that one screenshot of a bronosaurus type creature, which is nothing like what I've seen in the game, though to be fair, I haven't visited every planet.

          I dunno. I'm not convinced that this is all that much of a problem. Perhaps you can help enlighten me about these untruths that Hello Games have spread on their websites.

          Not sure about you, but when I buy a car, I generally read up on the reviews. You did read the reviews before buying this game, didn't you?

            I think when you're splitting the difference between 18 quintillion and infinite, you're splitting far too many things :)

            For me it's more things like "every star is the light of a distant sun, each orbited by planets filled with life, and you can go to any of them you choose." which would be true if the game was the universe simulation it was supposed to be but it's not, it's a bunch (well a ton) of small boxes with a set of stationary planets and a rotating painting on the outside.
            Or "Fly smoothly from deep space to planetary surfaces with no loading screens" except you can't even get into deep space as you're stuck in a loading screen :(

            Other things like multiplayer are a bit more iffy as they haven't been mentioned officially since launch - Sean Murray's twitter doesn't really count as official - though many still get annoyed that those things haven't been addressed at all.

            Realistically the car example probably wasn't the best as most people don't get excited about buying one on release day but it's not like it took a long time to figure out NMS didn't have rotating planets, suns, actual space, etc. With that said though, I did still enjoy the game which is why I still have it to try out the new update - though my enjoyment of it doesn't stop me thinking Hello Games should address the fact that the game they sold wasn't quite the one they advertised.

            Never looked at their game through the steam store I take it?

            Maybe I can help, since you are having trouble.
            Once you strip away the conflation, the emotion and hyperbole, it's very simple.

            Consumers felt misled by Hello Games and reacted by seeking refunds.
            Many retailers released statements that they would not be giving refunds outside their agreed policy times, but many continued to receive refunds well outside the usual 7 day grace period (Nearly a month myself) by simply proving they were misled.
            As mentioned, once you strip away the nonsense, it's easy to prove.

            HG went silent, copped a mass refund, earned the anger of people and find themselves involved in a consumer affairs investigation in the old UK.
            Meanwhile, we see Valve making clear steps to protect itself from a problem it deemed serious enough to move on, misleading marketing.
            (It's kind of a win win :D)

            It's great that some people love the game still, but people will also, justifiably, be annoyed.

            PEACE!

            Last edited 29/11/16 8:48 pm

              Thanks. Yeah, I get that people are upset at HG for showing them ideas for the game that weren't in the release. What really amazes me is how outraged people got over the smallest of details. For example, not being able to see another player. Oh my god the anger displayed by some people because they couldn't see another player in-game. It wasn't even close to the point of the game, yet people latched onto this like it sucked all meaning from the experience.

              I'm not absolving HG of blame. Their communication was shoddy, and they really needed to reset people's expectations before release. That's their fault. They're not good with PR, and only through the grace of Sony marketing were they able to gain such awareness for their project in the first place. Their PR inexperience is what put them in this position in the first place.

              Still, the anger, incense, and accusations of lies by many gamers ... it goes way beyond reasonable behaviour. If I was outside of the gaming community, and saw that kind of behaviour, I would label game culture as incredibly immature. Perhaps it is, and we as a gaming collective still need more time before we can be considered a mature and refined group. I'm confident it'll happen eventually though; we're a smart bunch. Must be all the games we play. Good exercise for the mind.

                It's not really up to you to decide what's important or not for other people. If someone bought the game because it was strongly implied it would be multiplayer (right down to the 'online multiplayer' logo being printed on game boxes in some regions) and then it wasn't, they have every right to be incensed - they were lied to and that lie led them to make a purchase they otherwise wouldn't have made.

                False advertising is a serious thing, and a crime. It's dealt with very firmly in most other industries, it seems to be only video games and movies where fans argue that blatant deception should be overlooked because of the mysterious black-box workings of "the development cycle".

                As a developer with game industry experience myself, that's a crock of shit. There's nothing functional stopping a company telling its customers when a feature changes or is dropped. HG had ample opportunity to tell people that simulation elements in the game were dropped but they didn't. They had ample opportunity to tell people multiplayer had been dropped but they didn't. They knew weeks before the game launched that they had removed those features because they weren't on the gold master, but they told nobody.

                That's wilful deception, not "oh we're new lol sorry", and they absolutely should not get a free pass for it. Sure, a small number of people took their upset too far with death threats, but that doesn't give HG a free pass, it doesn't make their deception go away and it certainly doesn't shift the narrative from "game company deceives customers" to "oh look more crazy childish gamers" as you seem to be doing.

                  Back up a little. Try to recall that I said "I'm not absolving HG of blame". Unfortunately, you're so focused on crucifying HG, that you can't seem to see anything else. Not in the least that I'm _not_ talking about HG's woeful communication. That shows how immature HG is as a gaming company. I'm talking about the woeful reaction by the community. The accusations of lies, the incredible outrage, over small details that were not a focus of the game in the first place.

                  Why are we, as a gaming community, so incensed about missing features that were mentioned nearly a year before release? Features that aren't even remotely related to intended gameplay. Remember, I'm not talking about HG's lack of communication about said missing features, which I agree was very poor on their part. I'm talking about the significant community reaction on parts of the game that are, well, insignificant. This is immature behaviour. Do you not agree on this?

                  @deek

                  I'm not interested in crucifying anyone, I'm explaining to you why your view of the community's sentiment is off the mark. They're accused of lying because they did, over details that absolutely were the focus of the game. There were countless articles around launch summarising all of the features HG advertised that were core to the "explore a living, functioning galaxy" purpose of the game that were never delivered. and I wrote more than a few posts myself explaining to people what was lied about and why they were lies and not wishful fan thinking, and I don't care to write them out again but they're out there if you want to research why things are the way they are.

                  Some people took things too far, I agree. But some people aren't "the community", they don't represent the community and it's not reasonable for you to paint the community by the actions of a select minority. If a gamer decided to go on a shooting spree you wouldn't point a finger at the gaming community as a whole, you'd acknowledge them as individuals acting on their own.

                  The same applies here. I'm a member of this community, I never issued death threats or went on raging rampages. I was bothered by HG's behaviour and I called it out for what I see it to be. Nothing has changed in the way they're approaching things, they still haven't acknowledged or apologised for misleading people, and they think silence is an appropriate response when people are upset that they did something wrong, so I continue to call them out. It's not anger or incense that has fuelled this, just an interest in not allowing them to sweep what they did under the rug as though it never happened. I think most people have a fairly reasoned critical view on the situation and don't deserve to be typecast by the actions of the lunatic fringe.

                  Last edited 30/11/16 1:07 pm

                  Good reply. It's probably true that, as namiwakiru points out, it's a vocal minority that I'm basing my observations on. Damn large vocal minority, though. ;)

                  I still have a problem with the use of the word "lie", as I believe HG were sincere at the time they talked about said features. Every time I hear that word from someone critical of the game, it just feels like it's being used completely incorrectly.

                  I certainly agree that HG did mislead the community by not communicating what features were not going to be in the final release of the game. An apology would be appropriate from them, and who knows, may eventually happen once they've got enough courage to peek out from under their shell.

                The thought of not knowing when or if you'd ever bump into another player was probably the coolest 'feature' that was left out. That's probably the only reason I got the game. After I found out you couldn't ever see anyone else I stopped playing. So yep, to some people it's a big deal.

                They are merely a vocal minority and an easy target for blame and focus.
                I have seen the same behaviour from those who blindly defend, labelling those with genuine and mature criticisms, as entitled and toxic.

                But as I said, the reality is different in that the industry was shaken and moves were made to change questionable practices in some areas.
                Valves decision to bring marketing in line with product isn't influenced by an over dramatic gamers, but from a need to protect themselves from the developers whose products they sell.

      I think the lack of communication is due to the trolls and people harassing them out there. Personally I don't blame them and I'm happy that they are working on improving the game instead of dealing with the social side of things.

        It's not. They can easily issue one way statements that only address the serious issues. The reality is that they sold a game to a lot of people that was less than what they promised/implied. There was no easy way to say anything without addressing that in some way so they chose to say nothing. That's totally understandable, I'd probably hide too, but it's not a matter of them being too busy or under attack. They went from chatterboxes to dead silent the second it got difficult.
        I'm not suggesting that makes them monsters or that it validates every complaint but it's pretty clear why they stopped talking.

          Hiding and not responding to trolls are two different things in my opinion. They got their heads down, bums up and worked to solve it...

            In my opinion they did both. It's not a one man operation. Responding at least once wouldn't have significantly impact progress on this patch. Even in the highly unlikely event it put the entire time back one week their customers deserved a response. They didn't have to address the people complaining individually or face to face. They already had all the communication channels set up. The only reason they didn't respond is because they didn't want to.

            They hid from their fans and trolls alike, which only strengthened the trolls by giving them total control. I'm not saying they're monsters but this was hardly a heroic stand against the trolls. The trolls are just a convenient group of bad guys that make Hello Games look good.

      Er because people like the game? you know those people who weren't slighted by all the negativity, those people who paid money and got exactly what they paid for (by waiting for the game to launch and judge it for what it is, not what it failed to be based on expectations and hype).

      Some people refused to get involved in all that "OMG the devs lied to me, they are off my Christmas card list and *insert all kinds of empty threats*". Sure some of their reasoning is sound and i understand the lack of communication. But come on, if I got upset at everyone who lied, or deceived or put themselves first, or didnt say what I wanted them to, I never speak speak to anyone in life.

      I am just as upset over some of the NMS stuff as the next person, but I am more over the mass hate this game STILL endures, even after this long. Its out of scale with the games sins. Especially when some cant even understand that some gamers bought their game and are happy with it.

      Last edited 29/11/16 1:52 pm

        I am more over the mass hate this game STILL endures, even after this long. Its out of scale with the games sins.

        I think this is probably the easiest part to understand. The game still endures criticism because the devs still haven't addressed the problems that produced that criticism in the first place. Crazed people aside, the majority of dissatisfied people were normal, reasonable people who felt deceived/ripped off and expressed themselves calmly, and HG's ongoing silence has been completely disrespectful to those people's issues. They owe an explanation at the very least, if not an apology, but they've given nothing. Silence is not a way to avoid criticism, it just prolongs it, and for me personally I will absolutely condemn a developer who thinks this is an acceptable way to treat customers.

          giving how much hate gamers can generate in other games when they do talk, it makes no difference. I remember the time the Destiny devs put a wrong number on their patch notes which was counter what someone else said... it was the greatest gaming crime of the week. Some screamed because they were remaining silent, some screamed because it was a nerf and others thought it was a buff. Others screamed because they DID talk, what they said was lie, or the patch notes lied. it was somehow part of a activision grand conspiracy but ultimately it was just two people in two separate officers not talking to each other. Happens every day in life all over the world. but for some they thought is should how bad Destiny was being run. One little miscommunication lead to weeks of hate. personalised against the staffers. Sigh. And so it went on. Game devs can never win. I personally dont like the way these guys have handled things, but guess what, they are just game developers, not leaders of the free world. Their sins are not as life destroying as some want to make it.

          I am not denying that NMS has issues but the amount of hate generating is out of odds with its sin. Because so much of the noise arent really disgruntled players but a 'rent a crowd'. It happens all the time times these days, with movies, big tv show, games and the like. Something becomes the whipping boy and then its stacks on. All good points the legitimate players have get lost amid this huge wall of hate. it happens every day these days.

          Last edited 30/11/16 1:13 pm

            When you say it doesn't make a difference, you seem to be taking the actions of nutjobs and projecting that onto the entire gaming community. It does make a difference, not to the jackasses who flip out over every little thing, but to the millions of average gamers who make up the bulk of the customer base. I agree that trying to cater for the fringe is a losing game, but the moderate majority certainly should be catered to, and many people in that middle 90% were (and are) unhappy with the way HG has handled things.

            If they were communicating honestly, the fringe would be pissed off with them but the majority would appreciate it. By being silent, the fringe is still pissed off with them but so are a lot of people in the middle too. One of those choices is clearly better than the other.

            It's only at odds with its sin, because you say so and refuse to entertain any other idea or point of view to the contrary.
            You turn straight to the perceived mass hate regardless of what anyone says.

            Even in the recent Kotaku stories surrounding NMS, very few people posted toxic comments compared to the much more practical discussions going on.
            Despite this, nearly every response from you continues to bog itself down in hyperbole.

              bogged down in hyperbole? are you living with your eyes shut. all there ever is these days is mass hate everywhere. it doesnt matter whether it is NMS (games) or the BvS (movies) backlash or hell even American and Australian politics there is a mass culture of negativity and hate, across all digital sources. That doesnt mean amid all that white noise there arent honest peoples opinions, both good and bad. (thats not the first time I have said that but you have conveniently missed them).

              NMS is still a narky punchline to joke. Somewhat deserved, somewhat not. Just because you dont notice the mass culture of hate online, doesnt mean its not there... have a look at any single ABC news post on Facebook,

                I don't miss it, I just don't pretend it's representative of the greater online community.
                What I see are a vocal and emotional few, trolling, baiting, reacting, venting, conflating and arguing.

                Just because we can identify empty toxicity in nearly every element online (and yes, some serious toxicity) it's not mass hate, just more easily collated and given false life as a faceless entity.
                That entity makes the perfect banner to rally to, or monster to pitchfork. (And almost always has nothing to do with the issue itself)

                Take NMS, purely a matter of marketing practices.
                Yet for some reason, people seem hell bent on attaching their own flags and scream about online hate, reviews, preorders and the like.

                Always symptoms, never cause.
                (Though this time the cause has rattled the industry)

                Last edited 01/12/16 12:46 am

      If you already own the game, why wouldn't you? You're not doing the devs a favour by playing it, you're having (potentially) a good time and getting your money's worth from a game that many felt was lacking during launch.

      Not every gamer has the cash to splash at every new game that comes out. NMS was the last game I picked up close to launch and it'll be the last one I can justify until Persona 5 comes out due to a combination of budgeting and trying to get through my back log (mainly backlog).

      Uck, this replay is going on too long, and it looks like I am far more passionate than I really am, it's just the thought that "newer = better" always gets stuck in my craw.

      Valve survive despite doing retarded things and then quickly lowering the cone of silence. Why wouldn't other devs try it?

        When Valve has done illegal things (as HG did), people have been very critical of them too. The fact they ignored consumer laws regarding refunds until the EU and Australia put formal legal pressure on them was very widely attacked. As consumers we should be firmly (and calmly) critical of any company who treats us illegally, otherwise we set an industry precedent that it's okay to treat us like shit.

    I've said this several times now and I'll say it again. Nowadays it is nuts to buy a game on release date. I mean, I am thankful for all the people who do, as the devs and publishers need that big influx of money afforded by novelty and that hardly can ever be regained again. But any savvy player should by now know that almost no game is anywhere near completion at release. Better to wait a few months and then jump in and enjoy the polished, feature-rich game it always had the potential to be, rather than souring oneself with a first bad impression and a tedious wait for improvements.

      almost no game is anywhere near completion at release.
      What? Do you exclusively play Early Access games or something (because that doesn't really count as 'release'). I'd have said the opposite, most games are complete at release, needing bugfixes or having post-launch DLC/expansions doesn't really count as 'incomplete.'

      I mean let's just do a quick search of some recent games and I'll bold all the incomplete ones....
      Final Fantasy XV, Planet Coaster, Pokemon Sun/Moon, Dishonored 2, Roller Coaster Tycoon World, Watch Dogs 2 (I think, haven't played it), Dragon Ball XV 2, Titanfall 2, Call of Duty 53k, Battlefied 201, Skyrim remastered, etc...

      So the only one I'd really class as 'incomplete' at launch was an early access game that was released to early to compete with Planet Coaster. I'd call that the exception, not the majority.

        How many games nowadays have Day 1 patches? FFXV has an 8GB Day 1 patch. How is that finished?

        Also , Watch Dogs 2 was entirely missing the multiplayer component at launch. The whole mode.

        "Incomplete" doesn't only have to refer to missing features, it can also refer to games that are shoddily optimised at launch. It's indicative of either rushing for release, or just a bad port overall. Dishonored 2 ran like absolute balls on PC, and still does to an extent.

        I wouldn't go so far as to say "almost no game", but it is increasingly common.

          Day one patches have nothing to do with the completeness of a game at launch. They exist because gold masters are made 1-2 months prior to release and that time can and should be spent continuing to make improvements. Games are orders of magnitude more complex today than they were a decade ago and the prospect of being able to ensure everything is flawless at launch is essentially no longer possible on AAA-scale titles.

          Simpler games (like indie titles) don't usually need day one patches, but consumer demand is much more heavily slanted towarrds AAA complexity, early patching is essentially the price paid for that preference of scale.

          That's not excusing companies that have outright failed at their pre-release responsibilities. Arkham Knight was absolutely developer failure, and missing features that devs failed to tell customers about are inexcusable (side note: Watch Dogs 2 had multiplayer at launch, the only part that wasn't working was seamless multiplayer, and it wasn't working because it was broken, not because it was deliberately omitted). But bad performance at launch is a risk of AAA titles that just can't be mitigated 100%.

        Just saying but Skyrim was barely functional at launch originally. Remastered has been a disaster for pc too.

        Dont mind me.

          Skyrim was buggy as hell but I still would've called it a complete game - just a complete one with a lot of issues.
          Also, really?? They screwed up a remaster launch? Sigh Bethesda... really need to hire another tester or something >_

            Personally these days I don't consider anything that has a season pass 'complete' (meaning 95 percent of games lol)

            And yeah its buggy. Basically Bethesda need to get rid of that ancient ass engine. Even though they say its brand new, it isn't, it's still got old-ass legacy code in there. They should dump it and use the Unreal 4 engine.

            Well, my use of the word "complete" is meant to signify "fully functional", so no. The fact that you didn't even know half of the issues plaguing the list of games you mentioned shows that you were answering out of your beliefs rather than facts.

            The industry is doing very well nevertheless. It doesn't need you blindly defending it.

          Remastered has been a disaster for pc too.
          Disaster on PC? According to who exactly?

          Anyone I know who's played it says the same thing... It performs better than the original does and looks better at the same time. I'm having the exact same impressions playing it myself.

          The biggest complaint I've seen from reviewers is basically being disappointed because it's still the same game. Not sure what people expected. That said I feel like the real issue is that a great many people expect the world for nothing these days, which is something no game developer can ever deliver on.

          I got exactly what I expected from it, and I got it absolutely free due to owning the original... And I expect a great many others on PC did also.

          Last edited 30/11/16 2:57 am

            The audio in the PC version is worse than the PS4 version and the original version, as it's compressed and comes in at a lower bitrate. This is not just an 'audiophile' thing, this is noticeable too for people just generally listening. I've got both editions, I've heard the audio, it's very, very true.

            http://www.kotaku.com.au/2016/10/skyrim-special-edition-on-xbox-one-pc-has-worse-audio-than-the-original/

            While over on consoles, the game is still janky, for a game running five years later on exceedingly superior hardware I gotta agree this is shockingly true, as we've got this on console too (xbo).

            http://www.kotaku.com.au/2016/11/skyrim-special-editionis-too-janky/

            For a 'Remastered' edition to be released and face problems such as framerate and *worsened* audio, this absolutely is a disaster. It still faces an abundance of the original issues that Skyrim faced when it was released in terms of character bugs, world glitches etc. Save corruptions, random crashes and freezes are still constantly reported (check forums), NPC's getting stuck on world objects and not being able to complete pathways for quests, disappearing weaponry (sigh ffs Bethesda get your shit together you've had *five years*)... the list goes on. These were issues present in the original version and most of these ended up *fixed*. Remastered means made better, not cheapened and made worse. We PC players who had the game previously are just lucky we got it for free.

            Last edited 30/11/16 7:25 am

              I think you're being overly dramatic calling it a disaster. The audio issue was a build error that Bethesda acknowledged and fixed in a patch five days after release. I haven't seen any reports of framerate problems but considering the engine has been completely overhauled and is more computationally intensive, it doesn't surprise me that consoles would struggle. It's no secret that current gen console hardware is noticeably underpowered compared to PC, where the game performs very well in my experience.

              Bugs happen in any game, the official forums are a terrible source for determining how many people are being affected and you can't make a comparison with the original game based on a few dozen threads. I'm not saying the launch was flawless by any means (Bethesda is actually a pretty small company considering the titles they make) but it's a far cry from a "disaster".

                Not at all 'overly dramatic', the game runs, it just doesn't run very well. Is it worthy of being called 'remastered'? Not particularly. It's not a noticeable step up from the previous version in any way. If you've got the other DLC and the main game do you actually benefit in any real way? Not particularly. Is there any real advance in tech with it? No. Which is a true pity. We look at true remasters, Banjo Kazooie, Resident Evil, Secret of Monkey Island, they're worthy of the title. This? This is just a mediocre repackaging at best. But, I guess I should buy into the hype and go all fanboy just because it's Skyrim huh? Nah.

                  None of what you said is accurate.

                  Is it worthy of being called remastered? It's a remastered edition, so yes, of course it is. The other games you compare to are much older so their remastering is more obvious, but it's clear that the remastered Skyrim improves on visuals across the board. But that's a moot point anyway since it's called the Skyrim Special Edition, not Remastered.

                  Is it a noticeable step up in any way? Yes, in several ways. The engine is now 64-bit which opens up a lot of doors previously closed to modding. It significantly improves chunk LOD loading and graphically it is a clear upgrade over the original game, including redone textures (almost all with resolution increases) and foliage across the board.

                  Is there any real advance in tech with it? Absolutely. The new engine supports volumetric fog and god rays, SSR, dynamic DOF, longer LOD ranges and native 4K resolution support. The 64-bit engine significantly reduces limits previously encountered in the modding scene, meaning mods can do more and have more resources to work with.

                  If you've got the other DLC and the main game, do you benefit in any real way? Of course, for the reasons given above. If you've already got the original game and DLC, the special edition is free so not only do you get the benefits, you pay nothing at all for them. I don't know anyone who would complain about that.

                  Nobody's expecting you to buy into hype or go fanboy, but you're doing exactly that in the opposite direction by being overly critical and ignoring the advances that are being offered. The Skyrim special edition is free for people who already own the game and DLCs, and costs less than the original game and DLCs for people who don't have it yet. It includes several improvements, both graphically and under the hood. You can call that all mediocre if you like, but by no stretch of the imagination could it be called a disaster.

                  But, I guess I should buy into the hype and go all fanboy just because it's Skyrim huh?
                  Instead of going the polar opposite and hating 'just because'?

                  As that really seems like what is going on here... I couldn't give two shits about defending Bethesda, but you're acting like the Skyrim remaster is the worst thing ever released on PC.

      It doesn't matter how many times you say it, the legal obligations in retail and the subject of third party reviews are two different things.

        I sincerely have no idea what is your point or how it relates to what I said.

    I'm really looking forward to playing NMS. I think people just didn't realise that the initial release was really just an "Early Access" release... and these patches are just the game moving towards a more "Actual Release" version. Maybe after the next patch or two, it'll be at the stage where they should have actually released it...

      To be fair, the issue is it was sold as a full release and at a price to boot, which I'm willing to bet was down to the Sony involvement.

      I almost guarantee if it was a PC-only release, it would've been launched as an Early Access title and people wouldn't be quite as upset, as missing features at launch is the nature of that kind of game.

        Exactly - it was totally a marketing bungle by Sony pressuring Hello Games to release it as a "full product" before it was actually ready! Bummer, huh!

    Good to see this game improving! I never had any bad opinions of NMS and I've been playing it on and off since release.

    Sean Murray and hello games need to reduce the price to $20 so its inline with other Early Access games. Because thats what NMS essentially is.

    Utterly love this new update (I really enjoyed the original game too) but it's come at an awful time post Weekend sales and FF15's release, so don't have time to truly enjoy it just yet.

    It does seem to have separate save files for each mode, but only one. I renamed the save folder of my old game (NMS old) so it didn't get overwritten.

    Started a new game in normal mode to see what it was like from scratch and agree it's looking and playing a whole lot better. And nice to have a few more aliens to interact with. Creative mode was useful for working out the mechanics of base building. Haven't tried survival mode yet (not sure I will).

    Last edited 29/11/16 8:24 pm

    All I want now is some kind of vehicle to drive around and I'm done..

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