Atlas Rising

There is an incredible amount to love in the latest update to No Man’s Sky. It’s taken a year, but the game finally lives up to most of the promises that were made pre-launch.

Kudos have to go to Hello Games for sticking with it despite all the issues and finally getting the game to a good place. I really wish they had just waited the year and released this as the day one experience. It would have blown people away and avoid a lot of trouble.

I liked No Man’s Sky from the start, it was a fun, relaxing game that was something different. It did have issue, a criminal lack of content, some bugs, and quite a few unfulfilled promises. Now it has a story, a fleshed out sandbox, and just a ton of ‘stuff’ to do. It’s now a full game as well as a fun tech demo.

I’m interested to see if Hello Games takes this any further. I’d be happy enough if they left it at this. They’ve done more than I thought they would, and at somepoint they need to move on to new things.

I’m sad to see Contador retire, even if it seems like the right time. No one else in the current generation has the same aggressive, attacking style as Contador. Even when he was on the back foot he would bring a race to life.

Destiny 2 Beta

I didn’t spend a huge amount of time with the beta, but I got enough time in to form some opinions. In general, I liked it. It’s more Destiny and that is ultimately what I want, but I do have some quibbles. 

Positives: 

  • The story mission was fantastic. It was paced well and having NPCs actually join you in the fight made the work feel much more alive. 
  • The game looks gorgeous, with a big improvement in the graphics over Destiny 1.
  • The stirke was one of the best we’ve seen, with varied environments, and an interesting three stage boss.
  • Slowing time to kill in PVP is great, increasing the thought required in combat and putting the focus on skill with shooting. 
  • I like the new player skills, like he Titan Wall. They add more variety without being overpowered. 

Negatives:

  • I’m not sold on the changes to load out. It feels like it decreases the variety, and some of the power weapons feel weak. Although there was a certain charm to rocking two hand cannons and hot swapping when you ran dry. 
  • Skills and supers don’t recharge fast enough! I grant they need to be slowed down from the ability spam that we saw in D1, but I think they have gone too far. 
  • Guns feel a little weak in PVP, with the strike boss especially taking a long time to burn down if you picked the wrong load out. 

I’m confident that Bungie will sort most of this out in the next few months before release. The core is still great, its just some balancing that still needs to be done.