No Man’s Sky is a unique experience. It started out as a rushed project that failed to stick the landing with a myriad of promises made by a bright-eyed, optimistic and talented team. It brought to light the issue of many studios releasing buggy, unfinished products with plans to fix them in patches It became a success story. It then rose above that bullshit like a majestic, space-faring Phoenix emerging from the glittering ashes of a thousand stars. See, Hello Games didn’t just improve things and apologize. Hell, they didn’t simply deliver all the promised features that were missing on release. They gave us everything they ever promised and so very much more.
Frontiers is the seventeenth generous free update for No Man’s Sky. If you’re unfamiliar with how Hello Games rolls out updates, they kinda go nuts with the content, to put it mildly. Most updates have been expansion level in scope. Many added fun new mechanics, vehicles, and missions. Some completely overhaul the graphics making the game look so much better and different that I had an existential crisis when I booted the game up after an update I didn’t remember downloading. Some were so memorable that they make me use run-on sentences to describe them. ALL of them have been free.
Frontiers come with a few quality of life upgrades, nice graphical and performance stuff for current-gen but I still won’t believe in a PS5 until I see one in person.
The biggest offering from the Frontiers update is the Settlement mechanic. Upon entering the orbit of a planet, you’ll likely get a distress call from a settlement on a planet in the system you are currently in. You go, mess up some sentinels, and Boom! You’re a freakin mayor now. Good job! From here you can upgrade the colony, defend it from sentinel attacks, make town orders and solve disputes. It adds a touch of deeper life to the planets.
Is it fun? From what I’ve gotten to play, yes! It moves at a slow pace. As in, add a resource, wait for stage one of construction to complete for two real-world hours, repeat. *Edit: Thanks to a day two patch, this wait time has been significantly decreased. 20 minutes, baby!* Plus, you can’t build until a request pops up. So, slow burn, but when the only complaint is “I want more of it.”, that’s not too bad.
Frontiers is just another reason to pick up this massive, immersion game. It is truly rare in multi-player online games to find something truly unique, that you can say is one of a kind and yours. With a universe so massive, I’m still discovering things more than I am finding things that others have discovered. This update simply adds to the nearly endless content that No Man’s Sky has on offer.
For me, this game provides some deep-ass escapism. Throw on some music (Above the Clouds by Gang Starr and Inspectah Deck is my go-to) blast off and go do whatever you want. Discover and survey planets and their flora and fauna, grow crops on a base you built, or just go bumbling through black holes to see where you end up.
If you play No Man’s Sky, then you’re probably already settling arguments between angry Gek settlers and pumping sweet, sweet resources into a marketplace. If you have yet to try this game, now is the best time. Seventeen massive updates later, No Man’s Sky has become a must-play; one of the most memorable gaming experiences I’ve ever had. Do yourself a favor and give the game a look, if you haven’t. Maybe I’ll see you up there.
Till next time, Space Cowboy.
All screenshots used in the article were taken by me via the PS4. I also made the stupid gif. Banner logo courtesy of Hello Games who also owns No Man’s Sky.