Last week, No Man’s Sky released the long-awaited Foundation Update. It came out of the blue and took a number of people by surprise.
I know that in the back of my mind somewhere, I had filed away that bases and other improvements were coming to No Man’s Sky. But as the hype and ire faded away, other games took my interest and I stopped looking for the promised update. I did, however, leave the game installed on my PC just in case.
Looks like it was a good thing that I did, because I was able to install the update and jump into the new content straight up.
Well, more or less.
One of the most talked about new features comes in the form of new modes. This update brought two new options – creative mode and survival mode. Any previous game you started remains as a normal mode.
This effectively gives you three save files and three different ways to play the game. I personally have no interest in a survival mode — the life support on my suit is annoying enough without more complexities. However, I’ve heard a lot of praise from people who were looking for this kind of difficulty in the game at launch. People are having fun with the challenge, and that’s a good thing.
There was praise for other parts of the update. Namely, more varied planet structure. We’re seeing more variety in formations, like true mountains and beaches now. I’ve stumbled upon a world with a true desert. These are nice changes, though I still wish for multi-biome planets one day.
Others praise the improved graphics of the game. I’m not quite sure what they’re talking about, because the game was always pretty looking to me. Though, I just may not see what they’re seeing due to a aging graphics card. Something has changed, because I get a warning now when I start up the game that says my card isn’t up to snuff. It still plays just fine, though.
Because I was rusty with the game’s controls, I decided to start over in a creative mode game. I hoped this would refresh my memory in a gentler mode… and it did. In fact, it started me out right next to a potential uninhabited outpost, which means I could make a base there.
I guess it was a good spot, and in retrospect, I probably should have taken it because you can always move base locations later. Or so I’ve heard.
But not having a chance to explore, and seeing it was a semi-desert “barren” world (though it had plenty of flora and fauna), I set off for greener pastures. It did have some pretty neat floating structures, though.
I soon discovered that creative mode was truly creative mode. Your life support doesn’t go down at all, except in the case you run across a toxic or such environment. Your suit, weapon and ship upgrades cost no money at all.
At first, this was pretty cool. But after a few effortless ship upgrades, I realized this mean that money was worth nothing, which took a lot of the challenge out of the game. As far as a creative mode, I guess it was doing its job well enough.
I visited a flourishing green planet that I really fell in love with, but I couldn’t find an option to build a base on it. I know that you scan a planet to find a uninhabited outpost, and only those spots are able to support a base. I don’t know if every planet has that option, or if it’s just one per system or what. If so, that would be pretty crazy.
One way or another, that outpost limitation was enough for me to put the creative game down. I had found a world where I wanted to build my base, but I couldn’t do it. That was frustrating.
I might do some research on outposts and bases eventually and go back once I know more… maybe. Instead, I decided to pick up my old save and see if I had any more luck. It was a bit of a bummer when you got everything for free.
Going back to normal mode after creative mode was a bit of a jolt. I’d forgotten how annoying it was to have to stop and feed your life support suit and fuel your ship all the time. In fact, I spent more time doing that than I did actually making progress on what I wanted to do — find a nice planet to build a base.
On top of that, I had some terrible luck in the quality of the star systems I found. I left the system I was in only to find an equally inhospitable system right behind it. The problem was, I needed to get the materials to make fuel to warp again. But either the world didn’t have the materials, there were frenzied sentinels, or the world itself was so hostile I couldn’t remain there very long.
I did a planet scan and found an uninhabited outpost on a really craptastic planet. After that, my scans didn’t show me any more options. Again, I don’t know if this is by design, or if I’m missing the jist of it. But there’s no way I want to make my base on a green slime planet of doom.
I left it off at this point, but I do plan on returning to it again this week sometime when I find the time. And time is what this game gobbles up by the score.
I really do want to find a base and learn about the building tools. They look well-done, though I know that there are limitations in place, especially on the console version.
I just have to find a world that I want to live on first!
Update! I did some research and found out how to build a base on any world. Here’s a guide for it!