After two months of radio silence Hello Games has dropped the first free major content update for No Man’s Sky, available to download now. We found out the other day the Foundation Update was on its way, but now Hello Games has pushed it and revealed the full contents. Those who dubbed the controversial space epic ‘Early Access in disguise’ will have more fuel to stoke the fire because there’s absolutely heaps thrown into the mix here. Base-building is the big new feature, letting players craft their own home on an abandoned lump of rocks, dust, and copious supplies of Heridium, somewhere out there in the deep, dark, depths of space.
From the looks of the pictures they can get pretty big as well, even housing alien lifeforms to look after it for you. They can be recruited to handle farming, engineering, weapons and science. The base can then be equipped with a teleporter that lets you hop back there at will. It’s also expandable with storage containers so you need never run out of Plutonium again. Once you’ve somehow rinsed a planet of its resources you can pack up the entire base, get the resources refunded, and build it somewhere else.
Farming is a little more basic than it at first sounds, although from the looks of things it’s a neat addition. You can cultivate crops outdoors depending on the biome of the planet, grow them indoors in your base, or even on your own space freighter. They’re joined by ten new plant types with exclusive new resource elements.
Oh, did I say Space Freighter just then? Mmm, you can purchase (for what sounds like a considerable cost) huge frigates which can be customised and extended in much the same way bases are. You can also send harvested resources straight there from the surface of a planet, freeing up your inventory.
Joining the base-building are two new modes, Creative and Survival, along with the standard Normal mode. In Creative there are no limits, letting you explore the universe at will and construct a base of FPS crippling size. In Survival mode the gloves are off. Environmental effects are much more damaging and resources are limited. You must battle every day just to survive.
To help you on your way with this players can now build vital tools while out and about. Provided they have the materials of course. Save points can be built. Automated harvesters can gather resources. Communications Terminals can let you leave messages for other players.
Along with all this Hello Games says there’s dozens of new bits of gear and components to built, new rare resources, a revamped UI and additional graphical effects. The No Man’s Sky update 1.1 patch notes are huge and exhaustive, giving us the impression that the last two months of silence have been spent working on a solid NMS update rather than hiding away. Is it a case of too little too late though? I wasn’t a huge fan of the base game but if they can continue adding sizable content updates such as this then I’m tempted to give it one more chance.