Wildly ambitious interplanetary adventure "No Man's Sky" is setting off in a new direction with its latest update.
[No Man's Sky - Living Ship Update trailer: youtu.be/k5wzbvvEU4I]
A new type of biological, sentient spaceship, a new series of story missions, and some mysterious space encounters await players of PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC game "No Man's Sky," thanks to the latest update.
The Living Ships update, launched February 19, adds dozens of procedurally generated variations on a new style of squidlike starship, developer Hello Games has announced.
Those ships herald an influx of organic technologies for players to acquaint themselves with, as well as a series of interlinked missions that tell the origin story of these unusual entities.
Players can also collect the core materials needed to assemble a Void Egg and grow their own living ship.
In addition, there are mysterious space objects and strange new lifeforms to encounter, each leading to rewards or to more dangerous encounters.
Prior to "No Man's Sky", the independent studio was known for arcade stunt racer "Joe Danger" before its spacefaring vision caught on.
During development, Hello was rocked by flash floods that damaged offices, equipment, and overall progress; at release in 2016, "No Man's Sky" was famously lacking in several key features.
Despite the vocal backlash and critical dissatisfaction, the commercial success of "NMS" meant that Hello Games was able to move to a larger office space, expand its staffing, and continue improving the base game through several large, free updates.
By the time of its fourth major update in 2018, which coincided with an "NMS" expansion from PlayStation 4 and PC onto Xbox One, general impressions were far more positive, the game much more closely conforming to initial expectations.
Now, February 2019's Living Ships marks the beginning of a new update cadence.
You might have noticed since Beyond we've been experimenting with something new - regular feature updates every month or so, along with community missions and new content every week— Sean Murray (@NoMansSky) February 19, 2020
"You might have noticed since Beyond [in August 2019] we've been experimenting with something new - regular feature updates every month or so, along with community missions and new content every week", studio boss Sean Murray wrote on Twitter.
Previous updates had been many months apart, but the new pace allows the "NMS" team to release content "as soon as we're able" while working on "more radical things longer term in the background."
"This January had more players on all platforms than any previous year, with longer, more varied sessions too. Hopefully folks will be excited about what we're up to next whatever form it takes."