‘No Man’s Sky’ update brings sentient robots and freighter-to-freighter combat

Has there ever been a game like No Man’s Sky? It was dead on arrival when it launched seven years ago, but developer Hello Games has methodically updated the title, adding new features, steadily increasing its popularity and eventually surpassing the lofty expectations for the game’s original release. To that end, there’s already been three fairly beefy updates this year alone, but get ready for a fourth. The developer just dropped No Man’s Sky: Echos to commemorate the seventh anniversary of everyone’s favorite space sim.

The update brings some nifty new gameplay elements, like a race of sentient robots that promise “rich, new story content” and the ability to create your own robot avatar for battles and resource collection. Count on plenty of robot-centric missions and all kinds of affiliated resources to collect and use for building projects.

Space combat also gets an overhaul here, with an emphasis on “huge space battles” with pirate freighters. With Echos, freighters are able square up against other freighters for the first time, leading to some truly nasty and epic space-based encounters. There’s also new mechanics for defending fleets from pirates.

Those are the two big highlights, but the update doesn’t stop there. Players can now find and trade scrap weapons, including the just-released Atlas weapon. There’s also a new holographic museum that lets you display your favorite discoveries in your base for other players to visit.

Beyond gameplay elements, Echos fixes bugs and improves “rendering quality, stability and performance.” PSVR2 players get a graphics boost via foveated rendering and Switch players get anti-aliasing for crisper visuals in both handheld and docked mode.

Of course, there’s likely a reason Hello Games is releasing this update now, at the end of August. No Man’s Sky has never really had any competition in the “fly around the universe and goof around” genre, but Bethesda’s Starfield launches on September 6.

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