Hello Games isn’t finished with its frankly-astonishing No Man’s Sky turnaround. Today, the developer has announced another free update for the space exploration game that should make its procedurally-generated planets more varied and, by extension, fun to explore. Update 3.0, otherwise known as Origins, will introduce new procedurally-generated worlds with “more dramatic, awe-inspiring scenery,” according to a blog post. That means a wider color palette and the possibility of thick marshes and swamps, active volcanoes, tornadoes, meteor showers, ground-based firestorms, “vegetative growths” and sporadic bolts of lightning.
Hello Games has improved its weather system, too, so there’s a greater range between super-clear skies and horrifically-overcast days. It should provide a better backdrop as you venture toward new vault-like structures, abandoned settlements, or NPC traders who have landed on the surface.
That’s not all. Origins will add “never-before-seen” vegetation and alien creatures that can be observed or turned into strange snacks. Hello Games is also promising sandworms and winged creatures, including beetles and butterflies, that hover close to the ground. Aliens can also exhibit new behaviours and group up into larger herds than before. Some planets will even have “synthetic creatures” — no, not the drones that occasionally attack you — that look vaguely similar to the robots in Horizon Zero Dawn.
Menus have been updated, including the Analysis Visor, Discovery Page and teleporter interface, and new filters have been added to the photo mode. If you’re playing on a powerful gaming PC, you’ll also notice that the Ultra setting adds even more detail and draw distance to each planet.
Origins follows Desolation, an update which added spooky derelict freighters. Hello Games also introduced cross-play this year so that you can play with friends regardless of their platform or whether they’re wearing a virtual reality headset. All of these updates — and many, many more — have contributed to a remarkable comeback story. No Man’s Sky underwhelmed at launch back in 2016, in part because Hello Games and its marketing materials had set expectations extraordinarily high. The developer stuck with the project, though, and has slowly won back community support over the last four years. It’s now working on a smaller title called The Last Campfire and another “huge” but unannounced game.