On September 23rd, No Man’s Sky Origins (v3.0) was released to much fanfare. This year’s biggest update to Hello Games’ space exploration / survival tile originally released in 2016, Origins is on the scale of previous major updates such as Beyond, NEXT, and Atlas Rises. And, as has been the case with every No Man’s Sky update (13 major updates in all), the Origins update is available to players free of charge.
What I, and many other players that have been in the game’s universe since day one, wanted most from Hello Games was an update to the game’s variation and diversity. With Origins, this is what we received.
In an IGN interview video, Hello Games chief Sean Murray explains what Origins is all about, and what it means to the studio.
The fundamental thing is that we have this universe that we built, like, four years ago and we released it and we said that thing of, “even we don’t know what’s out there.” But it was true to an extent, right? We didn’t know the kind of planets people were going to start up on and — and then actually that hasn’t been true for the last four years for us. We have a ever evolving game but that universe has been reasonably static, right? The same terrains and biomes and worlds out there to explore. We’ve kind-of calmed them down, actually. We’ve removed some of the craziness [in Atlas Rises and, to a much larger extent, NEXT]. And Origins is kind-of — yes it’s another update — but it’s kind-of a new start for us in some ways. And we wanted to get that across. That this isn’t just — this isn’t an end, it isn’t just, “here is an update with some more content in.” It’s something quite fundamental for us.
We’re adding more diversity, more variation to that universe, which is something we haven’t really done that much. But also, we’re adding, like, literal new planets and bursting them into the universe…
Technically what’s possible now, kind-of wasn’t possible for us before before. So you have really tall mountains, multiple-kilometer tall mountains, chasms, deeper oceans, deeper caves, crazier terrain — things that we wanted people to have that feeling of freshness in the universe.
My personal experience in Origins has been extremely positive. The first world I landed on was a fiery hellscape full of singed trees, active volcanoes, and aptly named “Wall of Flame” storm surges. It was so unlike anything I had seen in the game before that I was compelled to setup a base, “Hell’s Front Porch,” so that I might easily return and experience its torments whenever the mood strikes me. Other worlds I soon encountered contained mountains and chasms on a scale that dwarfed any terrain I had observed previously. I saw worlds that throbbed with bioluminescence as night descended, furious electric storms, terrific meteor showers, gigantic new archival structures, and a wide variety of new life forms, not all of which were biological. Not every world was so radically transformed by this update, but most of those that retained their overall characteristics were still changed in subtle ways. The improved variation can easily be felt.
The new vistas and creatures I was encountering as I began to explore the Origins universe drove me to begin recording video clips of many of these worlds (in addition to the in-game photos I take as part of my regular gameplay). I have assembled a portion of what I captured during my first three weeks in Origins into a short video that I share here for those interested in seeing a bit of the new universe, as one Traveller has experienced it. And, based on glimpses of other players’ shared screenshots and videos, it’s clear that there is much more out there for me to encounter still. (Obviously a video of this sort may prove to be a spoiler for anyone exploring Origins and wanting to meet every sight anew.)
Hello Games’ release of the No Man’s Sky Origins update has gone a long way towards injecting new life into the game and instilling within it a new sense that there’s something unexpected waiting just around the next corner.