Last month, space exploration craft 'em up No Man's Sky launched its new "expeditions" game mode. Expeditions are limited time adventures though, so the first one has come to a close and the second one, called Beachhead, has launched today. I've definitely not landed on a beach though. This second expedition has stranded me, and everyone else, a long and frozen walk away from our ships. This should get interesting.
If you'd missed their introduction, No Man's Sky's expeditions are a bit like what we've all gotten used to calling content "seasons" in other games. They're limited-time and have rewards to earn by completing goals, you see. I also keep wanting to liken them to Path Of Exile's challenge leagues, because they force you to start a new character with particular constraints.
I dropped in on No Man's Sky's first expedition last month and found it to be a neat idea. Every player begins at the same point in the universe, meaning I loaded in surrounded by a handful of other players with fresh characters while we all worked out how to get our broken ships off an unknown planet. The goals for the expedition seemed like pretty basic stuff, though each "phase" of the expedition came with more difficult goals.
I've also loaded up the second expedition, out of curiousity, and let me tell you this one is not a walk in the park. The "Beachhead" expedition has loaded everyone onto the frozen, barren Tibertant Alpha. I happened to be a 12 minute walk from my ship carrying a damaged scanner, and I suspect others will find themselves in a similar situation. Just getting to my ship is going to be a bigger challenge than it was in that first season.
The goals for each of the expedition's five phases seem to have a more definite theme to them as well, whereas the innagural expedition felt a bit like a tutorial. The first phase of the trip asks you to get to your ship and leave the planet, among other things. After that though, you're encouraged to do a bit of exploring. Phase three includes goals for visiting planets with different climates while phase four involves learning words in the language of other species. By phase five, the goals themselves are actually encrypted and unreadable.
Beachhead, as befits its name, definitely seems like more of a challenge than the initial expedition. Not only that, but you've only got two weeks to play it, according to the game mode selection when starting a new save. I think a nice timed challenge sounds grand though.
Hello Games have posted their Beachhead patch notes with a few additional bug fixes and updates.