Hello Games have released the recently announced Path Finder update for their procedurally generated space exploration game No Man's Sky. This update builds upon the features introduced in the Foundation Update released a couple of months ago. That update added base building to the game, allowing players to establish their own base on a distant planet.
Hello Games have released a new video showcasing the new mechanics and features players get to tinker around with in version 1.2, which is now live as a free update.
The Path Finder update adds a new permadeath mode to No Man's Sky, giving death in this game another layer of finality. If you manage to make it through the new and improved survival mode and the permadeath mode, you will be awarded a few new trophies.
Players on the PlayStation 4 Pro will enjoy increased visual fidelity and frame rate stability with this update, improving the lighting system and patching in HDR support in 4K. PC players are also given more graphics options to tweak.
Another new addition coming to No Man's Sky in this update are planetary vehicles you can use to explore the many planets more efficiently than before, making venturing out into the wilds less of a slog. These large cars are capable of traversing any terrain the game throws at you and can scan for nearby buildings. There are 3 unique vehicles you can build (the versatile Roamer, the huge Colossus, and the quick Nomad) each with their own strengths and weaknesses. These exocrafts can be used to play time trials made by other players, which is also a new feature introduced in patch 1.2.
In addition to the ability to own more than one starship, you will now be able to acquire ships falling in 4 broad categories:
- Shuttles: all-rounders that aren't necessarily bad, but they're not great at anything either.
- Fighters: exactly what it says on the tin. These ships are perfect for fights in space.
- Haulers: these huge ships have very little in the way of weapons, but compensates that with large cargo holds you can use to ferry goods from station to station.
- Explorer: these ships possess the greatest warp range of any starship in the game and will get you where you want to go faster than the other ships.
When you're out and about you will also run into more aliens who have new items for sale on a rotating stock filled with blueprints that you can buy with a new form of currency: Nanite Clusters. This item is used to buy your upgrades and can be found in abandoned locations and crates. Becoming best buds with the alien lifeforms is paramount since they only sell their best stuff to their allies. You can improve your relationships with dialogue and giving them gifts. The Vy'keen offer up new upgrades for your Multi-Tool and the Vex sell improvements for your exosuit.
The Multi-Tool system also has been reworked, dividing the different weapons up in 4 categories:
- Pistol: good enough to keep you alive, moderately okay at mining resources.
- Rifle: purely for fighting the sometimes hostile wildlife and the Sentinels.
- Experimental: These weapons can scan the environment, making it easier to grab the stuff you want.
- Alien: These Multi-Tools contain rare alien technology that gives you even more boosts.
Both your ship's weapons and your Multi-Tool can be upgraded to become better at doing what you need them to do. These upgrades fall into yet another few new categories:
- Scatter Blaster: for close-range encounters. Can damage multiple enemies like a shotgun would.
- Pulse Spitter: mid-range, has an advantage over fast-moving targets.
- Blaze Javelin: No Man's Sky's version of a sniper rifle.
- Cyclotron Ballista: a hard-hitting ball of "charged particles".
- Positron Ejector: a weapon that sends out high damage in a wide cone.
- Infra-Knife Accelerator: a sustained spree of rapid lasers.
Bases built by other players will now show up on planets you visit, and you can leave notes for other players to find if they happen to stumble on your sci-fi domicile. On PC, sharing buildings can now be done via Steam Workshop, which has been integrated into No Man's Sky. Base builders everywhere can now add more variety to their bases with 40 new customization items and you're able to change the building material of buildings as well.
And for those that don't really enjoy the game's (still somewhat stiff) mechanics, you can now compose and save screenshots in the new photo mode. This mode allows you to change the time of day, pause the game to set up the shot and muck about with the lighting system to get your new desktop wallpaper. Any screenshot you make can be shared with the No Man's Sky community. Yes, there are filters.
The Discovery menu, which allows you to rename your discoveries to various obscenities because this is the internet, will now show your home planet on the galaxy map so it's easy to find your way back. This menu now also has additional details on the atmosphere, wildlife, and terrain so you can prepare for your next scavenging hunt. You can now also mark previously visited planets with a waypoint.
While you can read the full patch notes here, but here is a brief summary of some of the smaller changes:
- You can now skip the black bars you get when you reach a milestone, making one of the game's most annoying features a thing of the past. I wouldn't have minded the option to switch them off entirely, though.
- Text speed has been increased.
- A mission log has been added that allow you to more easily track your objectives.
- Flight in lower atmospheres has been adjusted and improved.
- Everything, from your ships to your exocrafts to your freighters to your bases can be renamed to whatever you like.
Quick TakeIt's good to see the team led by the polarizing Sean Murray making an honest attempt at rebuilding bridges with the (understandably) upset fanbase. For all people's suspicions of them running off with the considerable profit, the UK-based developer has shown a willingness to listen to their community with the last 2 updates. It's just a damn shame that the game got released before it was done at a price point that implies a certain level of quality. Still, I'm looking forward to seeing where they're going to take this.
What do you think of the Path Finder update? If you played it yet: what's been your experience? Let us know in the comment section down below!