No Man's Sky has really been a point of contention for a lot of gamers, and with Hello Games maintaining radio silence for a long time, gamers had assume this game was a simple case of cut and run, with the developers taking our money and then moving on without due support.
It appears the devs might be proving us wrong however. Recently, Hello Games broke their silence to announce the Foundation update, which will add base building and other functionality. Today, that update has gone live. Lets go over some of the major changes in this update:
This update adds three new game modes: Normal, Survival, and Creative. Normal is the game you are already familiar with, Survival adds increased difficulty through resources availability, more dangerous worlds, and more aggressive creatures, meaning each move you make will have to be coordinated to make sure you do not die, and Creative is very much in the vein of the Minecraft game mode of the same name. You are given unlimited resources and invincibility to build whatever your heart desires, though you cannot gain achievements/trophies.
Resources now have another use, as they can be used to build equipment and devices to do things automatically for the player. For example, you can construct an auto-miner which you deploy onto a deposit of resources, which will automatically mine down the resources and collect it, avoiding the grind of having to mine it yourself. Another device allows you to permanently set custom waypoints, a great navigational tool for marking points of interest on planets.
Star Systems & Planets
Biomes and star system specific resources have now been added, meaning that certain star systems might hold the most lucrative and useful of elements that cannot be found anywhere else. Biomes will also give some personality to planets, meaning that they won't be so dull, and instead will have certain places with extreme weathers, rain, snow etc. You can now also find completely dead planets. In a similar fashion to Dead Moons, these planets will have absolutely no life and no structures, but could be rich with untouched resources. The algorithm for terrain generation has also been altered to allow more diverse and unique terrian generation, again, meaning the planets you visit will be more and more unique in their terrain.
Planets can now also be scanned before landing on them, meaning that if you're looking for a particularly rare form of fuel, or perhaps precious metal, you can tell if this planet has them before landing on it, a great streamlining feature for the intrepid explorer.
Players can now claim home planets and build their own homes upon these planets, allowing a deeper level of personalization and customization, as well as a place to call your own in the vast expanse of space. This of course adds new objects such as windows, ladders, automatic doors etc which will all be usable in the construction of your humble abode. When inside your house, you will be protected from all outside hazards. Construction seems simple and easy, using a snapping function to allow easy modification of existing player-built structures, and also avoiding any annoying clipping and misalignment issues.
Whilst inside your home, you can cultivate plants, perform weapon and resource research, and more, meaning your house is more than just a place to rest your head, but a base of operations for all over your adventures. You can now recruit aliens from orbital space stations. All of these will have new and interesting job types, allowing them to research new weapons, upgrades etc for you. Terminus Teleporters allow you to fast travel between your homestead and Space Stations, meaning you can easily and quickly trade with vendors.
Purchasable freighters are now in the game, meaning you can finally fulfil your dream of becoming an interstellar trader. These freighters will be extremely expensive, but can be summoned from anywhere in the galaxy, and will provide very valuable research and resource benefits. Furthermore, traders can use freighters to transport their goods from one star system to another, to ensure they are always haggling the best price for their valuable cargo. On board, these freighters can be customized using the same base building feature as houses, making each freighter unique to its owner. You can also hire a crew, develop hydroponic labs, build cargo holds and more to stay on top of the trading game.
UI & Graphical Improvements
There is now a new user UI which adds a quick-access menu, allowing you to quickly and easily access your mining beam, boltcaster, plasma grenade launcher and more.
No Man's Sky now has added motion blur to induce the feeling of speed. This is especially evident in spaceship and interstellar travel. The game also have a new Temporal Anti-Aliasing filter, which will remove some of the unsightly sharp edges that have tainted the otherwise impressive graphics before.
Overall, there is a lot in this update, and the trailer insists there are many more free updates to come. Hello Games have definitely made mistakes, but perhaps this path will see that they are finally forgiven by a community that feels cheated. The Foundation update is live now.