If you are one of the few remaining owners of Hello Game’s space and planetary exploration game, No Man’s Sky, you can now get on and download the Foundation Update. This free update adds a great deal of new things to the game, mostly revolving around base building. While I truly loved No Man’s Sky upon release, originally scoring it 8.8 / 10, there is a lot that Hello Games needs to do to bring back fans. The Foundation Update is the first update of many, designed to give players the content that they were promised. Ultimately, Hello Games would like to use the Foundation Update to expand No Man’s Sky into the game that players were told it would be.
As I mentioned above, I adored No Man’s Sky when I was finally able to get my hands on it. Very few games have given me the sense of wonder that No Man’s Sky has. I enjoyed being thrown onto a random planet, given minimal instructions or directions, and expected to journey onward. For good and bad, it was a completely different game than I expected it to be.
The Foundation Update gives the promise that the ‘bad’ aspects of the game can be fixed. No Man’s Sky was by no means a terrible game. It was plagued by numerous disasters during development (including being completely redone after Hello Game’s offices were flooded) and aggressively over-marketed by both Hello Games and Sony. If Hello Games keeps communicating to fans and uses their feedback to improve their game, I think No Man’s Sky could regain some momentum in the gaming community. If Hello Games doesn’t listen to fans and restricts communications, or ceases them outright, No Man’s Sky will surely die.
I remain optimistic about No Man’s Sky’s future. After the disdain the game received from player who had been waiting on the game for years, it is understandable that the development team at Hello Games wanted to take some time and step out of the spotlight. It seems that they have used this time to reevaluate their game and plan a development road-map that is more in-line with the wants of their players. Base building changes the feeling of No Man’s Sky from ‘continue journeying onward without end’ to ‘maybe there is a place for me in this lonely universe’. It is a much more satisfying feeling to find a plot of land where you can begin to belong than it ever was to reach the center of the universe (Spoiler: because reaching the end of the game only to have it restart you end erase your progress does not really feel very conclusive or gratifying). Building a base, befriending aliens, and engaging in interstellar economics builds a great foundation for a game that could begin to offer us what we expected out of No Man’s Sky when it first release. And that is something that I am very excited about!