No Man’s Sky: Pathfinder Update Review


If you have read my original review of No Man’s Sky, then you probably know that I’m already an unashamed fanboy of this game. So far I’ve racked up 166 of hours playing this game (100 hours before the Foundation update and then it’s been nothing but Survival for me). As I mentioned previously, I saw Hello Games playing the long game with this one right from the start and it looks like I’ve been proven right.
I’d come off the game for a bit, played Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens to 100% completion and ironically loaded up No Man’s Sky the very day this update took place. So that was nice. Incidentally, the Lego game was decently fun and took me 33 hours to complete 100% everything.
This update sees the opportunity to further develop the bases with over double the components than before, the wireframes of which can be bought from a new live-in shopkeeper in your base. There’s also a new currency system to aid blueprint acquisition. Now, instead of randomly collecting blueprints you already have, or don’t need yet, all those sources, instead, give a number of Nanite Clusters. Spaceports now hold shopkeepers who will hold a random selection of blueprints (including known ones) and these can be purchased with these Nanite Clusters.
The other significant addition is the photo mode setting. This pauses the game and gives to a freely floating view (you still can’t see yourself) to set up some excellent shots free of all the HUD junk. You can even reposition the sun for day/night or sunsets or long shadows amongst other things. The range of movement is restricted to about a 100 yard radius (including up and down), but it does allow for a bit of exploration, particularly if you’re undercover waiting for a storm to pass and you need to know where the nearest platinum plant is so you can make another shielding shard. Also handy for taking photos of the faces of creatures that keep turning away from you, attacking you or running away.
It even works mid-drive and mid-flight so you can get your vehicle in action. I’m trying to get one mid-jump, not managed it at the time of writing. When I do, I’ll be sure to add it here:

EDIT: Since attempting this, there’s one issue I have with the camera setting. When you get the quick access bar ready to select the camera, by the time I’m in position, it’s gone again and the moment’s passed by the time I find the camera icon again (the quick access never starts where you left off, which is never the camera).
There’s also a new game setting: Permadeath. Like with Minecraft, this survival setting plays from scratch and when you die, that’s it. Game over man! Game over! Not tried this yet because of the next thing that’s been added:
CARS! Chicks dig the car.

I wasted no time in getting my wheels and, somehow, I love this game even more. It’s great just driving about, smashing through those otherwise impassable pillars of rock, getting impossibly whipped by those tentacles and doing awesome jumps. The environment has been made to be so much more accessible. Instead of having to hunt about looking for 200 plutonium every time you touch down, the cars use plutonium as a gradually consumable fuel. The only real problem is falling down crevices or holes. Then it’s the case of climbing out the vehicle and blasting a road out with the launcher or climbing out and summoning it to you.
So far there looks to be 3 types each of which can be outfitted with mining lasers, combat cannons, scanners and boosters:
– the lightly armed roamer – which you get first and has a small amount of cargo space. This is easily the best of the three, reasonably speeding, decent storage and manoeuvrable as hell.
– the slow mining truck – a bigger vehicle complete with mining laser and larger cargo space. So. Very. Slow. Also the mining laser is set at the top and cannot aim at objects on the ground unless you’re on a slope. The massive storage space is handy though.
– the fast scout – tiny cargo space but quick. Literally to be used as a runabout.
You do not need a base on a planet to have these vehicles. If you go to another planet, you just need to rebuild the vehicle pod and there it is, with the inventory intact from last time.
The denser rock formations (you know, those ones with the mushrooms coming out of it which take an age to mine and give a huge wodge of Iron) now gives a different resource and can only be mined with a vehicle’s mounted mining laser. Interestingly, resources that require advanced mining cannot be mined with the vehicles laser.
There are other changes too, but I’ll let you find those out for yourself.
This update has given loads of extra content, enough to keep me perfectly happy for hundreds of hours to come.
Okay, what did I like not so much?
1. There’s still an annoying bug that triggers when I get in my ship and take off too quick that makes it look like I’m driving from the back seat (Screenshot to be put here when I capture one). I can barely see where I’m going or shooting at.
2. Rebuilding a base on a new planet and building a workstation with an already hired alien causes an issue when I try to interact with the alien (message stating go and hire an alien from a station pops up…but I’m looking right at him!).
3. A life-form scanner for the car would be good. Normally when you hold down F, you get these green and red dots denoting lifeforms.
4. Concerning these red and green dots that denote lifeforms, how about 2 different symbols for identified species? Rather than just a green dot, how about a green leaf and a hunk of meat, that way you know if the species you’re looking at is suddenly going to come barrelling over the hill and bite your legs off.
5. Not sure about the empty crashed ships that I used to ‘acquire’ before stripping and regaining my original ship. Haven’t found one with a larger cargo space than what I’ve currently got to fully explore yet, but so far I’m a little concerned…I’ll update this bit when I’ve found out more.
6. The Transfer of goods between the ground vehicle inventory and your only seems to be via the ship. This could do with a little refining so that it’s clear what’s being transferred to where from where.

No Man’s Sky maintains its 5 out of 5 star rating from me. Keep those awesome updates coming.

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