You may have heard that some early copies of No Man’s Sky have gotten out, and that some folks were a bit disappointed with what seemed to be the final game. While I’ll once again reiterate that the impossibly huge expectations will leave would-be superfans with room for nothing but disappointment, it looks like a day one update will massively expand the game’s scope, scale, and features.
The headlining features are the "Three Paths" that you can follow through the game. Whether these are actually mapped paths, or skill trees, or story branches is unclear, but we do know one will be called the Atlas path, which is freshly rewritten for this update by both Sean Murray and James Swallow, a prolific sci-fi author whose credits include the modern Deus Ex titles.
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Beyond that, the universe generation algorithm has been altered with a slew of changes designed to present greater variety earlier in the game, and galaxies up to 10x larger. Creatures, planets, and atmospheres all have creature variety, ship inventories are expanded, the trading system has a more in-depth economy, animals have unique diets, balancing has been adjusted, exploits have been removed, and graphical features have smoothed out.
It’s a massive list of features, and that’s just a small sampling. You can read the full list of 1.03 changes. The strange part of all this is that the “update” would just be considered a series of base game features if not for the leaked copies of the game and the early footage. No Man’s Sky will officially release August 9 on PS4 and August 12 on PC.