Here’s a tour of my base (for the time being) and my freighter, and little bit of a video review.
More of a review and screenshots after the break!
I liked playing No Man’s Sky … for the most part. When it first came out, it was nice to explore new planets, and the Atlas story was interesting, but eventually everything … petered out. I had gone through the Atlas story line (with nary a cutscene to give the “ending” a little punch) and had maxed out my suit and ship. I even had a ship I liked better than anything else I had found before.
But, eventually, there was nothing compelling me towards the next planet, much less the next “goal” of reaching the center of the galaxy. The minor differences in the planets faded and all I could see was another red planet, or another crab creature that may or may not want to kill me.
To a large extent, there still isn’t. However, as of the Foundations Update (version 1.10), things … look a little more interesting. There’s base building and freighter ownership (which you can build a small base in there as well). They regenerated the universe and rejiggered the planet generation rules. They’ve added more to the economy – there’s more to collect and grow and make. From any space station, you can teleport back to your base … and then back to that station to continue your journey. You can leave messages for other players.
It got me playing again.
They’ve even added in two new game modes you can play separately from the normal one: “Creative”, which removes resource collection/costs, and “Survival”, where there’s always something trying to kill you, and kill you quickly. My “Survival” experience involves a cold planet where staying outside in the day time was death within three minutes if I didn’t take steps to prevent it, and I started at a small clearing with a tiny building that was six minutes away from my crashed ship. It took me hours of hiding in caves (some of which I had to make out of Heredium mounds) and walking (not running, which uses energy much faster) just to make it to the ship … only to find that I had to walk all over the place just to find the resources to get my ship airborne.
That’s not to say there aren’t issues; but clear bugs were quickly patched. There’s still no multiplayer (but I don’t care about that), and the economy isn’t grounded in any way: You can make and sell certain resources en masse and it doesn’t change the prices of those resources at all. In fact, not everything is for sale … but you can sell almost anything. Base building is subject (in normal mode) to a “complexity limit” that, when you run into it mid-design, can be quite frustrating.
The game for new players would be a little more lengthy – there are planets with few resources and no buildings; and crashed ships are correspondingly rare as well (meaning upgrading your ship can be a daunting task). And playing a little survival mode (where I have really no suit or weapon upgrades) reminds me just how cushy I have it in normal mode (where I have everything). In normal mode, I have no worries about landing anywhere to collect a resource or visit a monolith or ruins. In survival, the take off costs have me passing anything that either doesn’t give me a free take off or doesn’t have a pile of Plutonium that I can see from the air.
And (happily so) there are players out there that have gotten themselves into situations in survival mode that they can’t get out of without starting all over again.
Have I again gotten to the point where I look for single planet systems roughly 1600 ly (actually 400 but that’s NMS math for you) closer to the center? Yes. Do mind landing on them and taking a look around? No. I’m not there just to name the planet and the system; I’ll see what kind of planet it is; what resources might be on it that I might be short on for the next time I want to build/make something. Maybe I’ll call my freighter in and work on my money-making scheme, so that I can eventually afford a bigger freighter and maybe even a new ship when I stumble across one. And then I’ll jump a little closer to the center … just 160,000 light-years to go …
And the No Man’s Sky subreddit is no longer the cess-pool of negativity it was before the update. There’s enough in the Foundations Update after months of silence from the developer that people have some faith that things, which are now “good”, will just get better. And it was a free update. So do people think the game is now worth the $60 they paid for it? Probably not. But it’s very possible that before too long, it could be …