Wake up, and smell the radioactive planetary atmosphere. No Man’s Sky has sprung a sort-of-surprise update on everyone, unleashing its grand 1.1 “Foundation” Update this morning with only a few days warning.
Two days ago, we got an official statement for the first time in months from the Hello Games team about a coming update that was fairly vague, but was said to focus on base-building, one of many features lost in the development cycle of No Man’s Sky. Today, we hear once again from Sean Murray himself, revealing that the update is already live, and Hello Games has published an absolutely massive document detailing the most major changes to the game.
I had a hunch that whenever Hello Games did resurface with an update, it would be big, and even as a “foundational” update, what Update 1.1 contains is very significant all the same. Given what the team was able to accomplish in a few weeks with their day one patch, in a few months they have added some pretty enormous new features to the game.
I couldn’t possibly hope to replicate the document here, but here are some of the highlights:
- There are now three game modes, Normal, with normal difficulty and resources costs, Creative, where everything is free and you can do whatever you want, and Survival, which makes planets more hazardous and enemies more dangerous. They use separate save files.
- Base-building now exists and yes, you can build more elaborate structures than what is currently in the game. You can recruit aliens to help run different sections of your base from farming to weapons development. You can also fast travel to your home base/home planet from any star system’s space station.
- You can now buy huge freighters, customize their interiors and use them to haul huge quantities of materials. They can be summoned from anywhere, meaning you will always have access to them, much like your home base, although they come to you.
- Lots of UI improvements like quick menus to do things like refill your mining laser. Also, products now stack in groups of five, which really helps with inventory space.
- There’s now a photo mode. Thank the lord.
And this is the “small” update for the game, paving the way for larger ones. I have to admit I’m impressed. Obviously all of this should be taken with a grain of salt, as it will take a while to discover just how these things work in practice, and if there are any big bugs or glitches that come with this new patch.
One thing I haven’t seen in these patch notes is any indication that new, creative stuff has been done with planets or wildlife, and really, all of this is just a lot of new stuff to spend currency on, so I’m a little disappointed there. I do wonder, though, if in Survival mode there might be some badass new enemies lurking, but it’s too early to see if that’s the case yet. However, the notes do mention that there are now more “lush” planets and less “dead” planets in the game, so that’s a good start.
I’m going to be diving into this update all day today to try and extract what I can out of it. I’m planning on using my existing save to try and earn all this stuff the “right” way, but if that’s taking too long, I may jump into “everything’s free” Creative Mode to go full Minecraft and just see what sort of crazy stuff I can cook up.
Despite how many vitriol there is surrounding No Man’s Sky, I do believe fans are genuinely curious to see how the game attempts to right the ship. It absolutely may be too late for that to happen, but judging by what kind of response I get on any NMS article, fan interest is certainly there, for better or worse. And after all, millions of people own copies of the game that are just sitting around, so hey, why not try this elaborate free update?
Hopefully No Man’s Sky can actually make a significant, transformative leap into a game closer to what was promised years ago. If this is just a first step, and it actually goes well, I’m cautiously optimistic about what could be on the horizon.
I’m heading back out into space, and check back for my findings as I figure out how to make the most of this update.
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