The sci-fi vision of No Man's Sky is mostly exploration and excitement, about seeing what procedurally-generated wonders might be on the other side of the next jump. The 'Desolation' update, released today, adds a touch more sci-fi horror as it sends players into derelict and alien-infested spaceships. These procedurally-generated freighter wrecks adrift in space have new loot to salvage, a bit like Space Hulk but without the fascists. Here, watch this trailer to see some of the spookies you'll potentially meet.
Wrecks will be out there in space for you to discover, full of secrets to learn. Maybe aliens have infested it. Life support systems could be busted. Maybe the security system will try to murder you. But you might find data logs revealing the crews' procedurally-generated fates, as well as freighter tech to salvage for your capital ship and machines that can expand its inventory slots. You can stumble across ships by chance, detected by the radar when pootling around with your pulse drive, or buy the new Emergency Broadcast Receiver to seek them out. Just remember that it's always an option to not go in.
I thought that sounded a cool enough addition for an update by itself, then I kept scrolling down the Desolation Update page and it kept on going. The patch has a lot of other changes too.
You can build teleporters zooming you between bases, space stations, and your freighter. Combat is reworked with "with a focus on a faster-paced, more dynamic, and more satisfying combat experience" and new visual effects. New surveying and rescue multiplayer missions are in. Lighting is updated with new bloom, lens flare, and volumetric light sources. You can now repaint your freighter. Freighter storage can be accessed from the inventory screen. And more! See the update page for everything.
No Man's Sky is half-price on Steam for the next few days.
Disclosure: An old pal works at Hello.