No Man’s Sky Just Became A Desolate Space Horror Game

No Man’s Sky Just Became A Desolate Space Horror Game

It’s been about eight years since No Man’s Sky first launched and it continues to get updates that radically transform the game. Its latest update, Adrift, remains ambitious as it drops players into what Hello Games is calling “an abandoned universe” with no shops and no NPCs. You are the only intelligent life in the game’s latest expedition, making you truly alone in the universe.

When I think of No Man’s Sky, I often think of those early days just after it was released in 2016. Though the game was certainly blemished and lacking in features I’d come to expect, one of the greater aspects of No Man’s Sky was just how solitary and small you felt. As the game has evolved, so have its priorities, and over time the universe has grown dense with things to do, people to interact with, and stories to trace through the stars. There’s little wrong with that, and No Man’s Sky has become a more appealing game for it, but there’s something to be said for how infrequently you’re allowed to be all alone in the game anymore.

Adrift aims to fix that by providing an alternative universe where there is little else but you. There are still species of alien life abound in Adrift’s universe, but you are the only intelligent lifeform in it. According to Hello Games, “Removing other lifeforms means no shops, no trading, no shortcuts and no help, providing a very different survival experience.”

While players explore this new solitary universe, they can expect to come across abandoned and busted ships, including the new ghostly frigate called the Ship of the Damned, which looks appropriately haunted as hell. Initially planned solely as an expedition, which are limited-time events and challenges that start at a fixed point in No Man’s Sky, the update eventually ballooned in content, including a new Scuttler pet, a neat new starship called the Iron Vulture, and a new paint job, which are all unlocked upon completion of the expedition.

Adrift isn’t the first time No Man’s Sky has leaned into horror-adjacent experiences. Previous updates have expanded upon the game’s deep sea biomes, for example, which is always a terrifying prospect. No Man’s Sky has also introduced living ships which are just freaky, and the very same update that introduced abandoned frigates was unambiguous in its horror theme. Adrift just leans further into it than most, while also honing in on the unique loneliness that could only really be found in the earliest incarnations of the game.

Adrift will run for approximately the next seven weeks, giving players plenty of time to decide whether or not they want to go to space and get haunted. It sure has me contemplating whether I really want to jump back in or not, but this is the story of every No Man’s Sky update really. Ultimately though, No Man’s Sky’s continued success and experimentation only gets me more excited for the studio’s next game, Light No Fire, and its promise of a fully simulated planet.

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