After months of silence, Hello Games finally released new content for No Man’s Sky as the first step to “a longer journey.” The so-called “Foundation” update added new features such as new game modes, base-building, a farm system, and some visual tweaks.
There are now three tiers of difficulty to play the game. Normal Mode is the same balance of exploration and combat that was available from launch. If you prefer to have an even more relaxed approach to the game, you can choose Creative Mode, which involves building a base. (More on that later.) A new Survival Mode targets players seeking more of a challenge. Hello Games didn’t offer much in the way of specifics on how exactly Survival Mode ratchets the difficulty, but it did say that it has a “much more challenging endurance experience.”
Of course, this is just the tip of the iceberg that is the Foundation update. The main attraction is a new feature that allows you to construct your own base. As you travel from planet to planet, you will see abandoned bases on the surface. You can claim one of these structures and make it your new home. In addition to providing shelter, the base also works as a research center as you can hire specialists from space stations to discover new advancements in weapons, farming, and engineering. If you find that your base is better suited in another planet, you can take it apart to get a refund of the resources used and start anew.
Speaking of farms, it will be a crucial part of your base. You can use the plants grown in your Hydroponic Labs as resources. If you prefer to make money off of your flora, you can transport them to other parts of the galaxy with a massive freighter and sell them for money. Similar to your base, the freighter also has room for Hydroponic Labs, which means you have a mobile source of resources and money. However, the initial investment for a freighter seems to be expensive, so you’ll have to save up quite a bit of money before you’re able to fly it.
The new update also comes with new visual options such as motion blur and temporal anti-aliasing. There’s also the ability to construct more equipment as you explore unknown planets such as automated harvesters to gather resources, waypoints to mark interesting discoveries, and even save points, which is crucial for those playing on Survival mode.
Many players felt duped due to the lack of features that were initially promised by the studio, and more specifically its founder, Sean Murray. With this update, it seems that Hello Games wants to turn the page on its controversial launch.
In the nine weeks since then our small team has been hard at work on development, testing and certification for the Foundation Update. It won’t be our biggest update, but it is the start of something. Hello Games briefly addressed the controversy last Friday, when it teased the Foundation update.
"The discussion around No Man’s Sky since release has been intense and dramatic. We have been quiet, but we are listening and focusing on improving the game that our team loves and feels so passionately about.Positive or negative feedback, you have been heard and that will truly help to make this a better game for everyone.This update will be the first small step in a longer journey. We hope you can join us."
For a look at the update’s full features and patch notes, you can check out Hello Games’ website.