Hello Games' ever-evolving space sim No Man's Sky is expanding once more, this time setting its sights on the likes of Aliens to strike fear into the hearts of space explorers everywhere. Its latest free expansion, the Desolation Update, is out today on PC, Xbox One, and PS4, and adds ominous abandoned capital ships for brave adventurers and their chums to raid and pillage.
Once the Desolation Update is installed, No Man's Sky players will be able to set out in search of these sinister vessels - either alone or, perhaps more wisely, with friends in tow - in order to breach their airlocks and explore the shadowy, perilous corridors within.
Interior layouts are procedurally generated, and Hello Games warns that explorers venturing into their depths will need to contend with the likes of hazardous spillage, scrambled defence systems, and malfunctioning environment controls. And if they're very unlucky, they might well encounter hostile alien lifeforms too.
Although the crews of these capital ships are long gone, Hello Games says visitors will still find traces of their former occupants through ships logs which offer a mix of procedurally generated text and hand-crafted entries, enabling players to piece together each vessel's unique stories.
There's also valuable salvage to find along the way, including upgrades for players' own capital ship that can't be obtained elsewhere. Hello Games notes this technology will reflect the ship it was found on, serving as a memento of the tribulations overcome to acquire it.
"Being a small dot amongst the stars can bring a sense of awe and wonder, but we've always wanted to explore a little more those feelings of fear and dread that come from being alone in the depths of space," explains Hello Games of the Desolation Update. "Terror in the face of the unknown, or the dawning realisation that you're treading in the footsteps of those who met a lonely end at the edge of the universe - it's a rich science fiction tradition, and one not really touched on in No Man's Sky - until now."
In order to make hostile alien encounters more enjoyable, and to provide "a faster, more dynamic combat experience", Hello Games has made numerous improvements and balance changes to weapons and enemies. Full details - alongside news of lighting improvements, enhanced Nexus missions, and more - are provided in the Desolation Update patch notes.
No Man's Sky's Desolation Update is scheduled to roll out across Xbox One, PS4, and PC today. Hello Games says it has "several more significant releases planned for the year".