Owners of the massively infinite space exploration sim No Man's Sky just got a ton of reasons to boot the controversial game up again. The "Foundation Update" released on Sunday (Nov. 27) adds two new gameplay modes, base building mechanics and more, as well as the promise of "things to come."
The PS4 and PC game was torn apart by critics and fans for what many saw as under-delivering after over-promising. The title offered little story and gameplay, instead presenting a somewhat tedious resource management system despite some jaw-dropping visuals.
So to answer those critics, developer Hello Games added two new gameplay modes, including Creative mode, which frees users from the game's limitations and allows for freer exploration. That mode will come in handy for those (like yours truly) who had trouble dealing with scarce resources. The studio says the new Survival mode, on the other hand, offers "a much more challenging endurance experience."
Beyond that, base building gives players a new objective: construct the interstellar dreamhouse of your space dreams. This mechanic seems similar to the home construction engine in Fallout 4, as you can recruit aliens to "help research new technology" that will likely be of use when you leave your base and venture out into space's cold abyss.
User-constructed bases will also prove helpful, as explorers can now farm valuable resources inside these locations. The update adds ten new plant types to the game, and users can harvest them to discover new elements.
Once you've saved up enough resources, you'll also get the option to purchase, summon and customize Freighters, the game's larger vessels. These ships offer another place to farm crops, as well as more storage for your resources and items, and existing No Man's Sky users know how easy it is to run out of room to store items.
Lastly, the Foundation Update provides some cosmetic fixes, including a quick access menu for finding the tools you need. Also, the update removes color tints that made on-screen menus harder to read, and it adds in-cockpit indicators to alert users of incoming space pirates.
The Foundation Update makes No Man's Sky a more compelling package than ever for first-time players, especially since you can currently nab the game for just $20 during Cyber Monday.
While these updates seemingly only give more depth to the resource-mining aspects of No Man's Sky, developer Hello Games notes it "is a foundation for things to come." We hope that those eventual updates will include new kinds of missions, and stories that take advantage of its rich, vibrant worlds.