When Hello Games teased big things coming with No Man's Sky's Path Finder update, it wasn't joking around. The studio has taken the wraps off the upgrade, and there's a lot more than what was hinted at. For one thing, there are multiple ground vehicles (exocraft in NMS lingo) -- you can travel across vast landscapes in a speedy hovercraft, the previously leaked buggy or a "lumbering" but capacious cargo hauler. You can even participate in custom-built races when you're done exploring.
This is also a major improvement if you have high-end gaming hardware. PS4 Pro owners will get 4K rendering and subtler graphics improvements (such as delta color compression and automatic depth buffer decompression). Hello is also promising gamers higher-resolution textures, an HDR mode and more accurate lighting effects. And if you have to show off this visual refresh, there's a dedicated photo mode that lets you change the time of day, cloud cover and filters to achieve the effect you're looking for.
Most of the other additions are nuts-and-bolts improvements. You can now own multiple spaceships and store them in a freighter. There are ships with specializations, too, in case you want a fighter to deal with pirates or a hauler to carry resources. A Permadeath mode, as the name suggests, ends your game if you meet an untimely fate. Also, you can share your bases with others -- you no longer have to take screenshots or capture video to show your sweet setup. This is crucial to racing (you can try to beat others' split times if they have circuits), and adds a much-needed social element to a game whose early multiplayer plans never really panned out.
As with the Foundation Update, Path Finder isn't likely to have you racing to buy a copy of No Man's Sky if you weren't already sold on the concept. However, it's clearly a far meatier game than it was on launch. This could keep you playing if you're an avid fan, or give you a reason to come back if your copy of the game has been gathering dust.
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