Under the Sea!
Do I like it better, down where it’s wetter? Mrm… Too early to say!
It’s certainly a new exploratory experience for me in No Man’s Sky. I don’t often go the route of playing with the Exocraft when I play No Man’s Sky, let alone the Nautilon (submarine). So the fact that the Polestar Expedition makes deploying the submarine and using it (on at least a couple of occasions now) really goes to show what I was talking about earlier — that No Man’s Sky expeditions really do shake up the normal flow of progression and encourage alternate styles of play.
Looking backwards through time by way of No Man’s Sky updates, The Abyss Update focusing on underwater play was actually a pretty early one. It came out in October 2018. I imagine it has been updated along the way with some of the other biome and visual enhancement-focused patches — but this was the biggun.
Since then, I’ve barely scratched the surface- er, well, under the surface of what has been added. I haven’t found the lost bases down there or unfurled any of the deep sea stories.
That doesn’t stop me from having
complaints constructive criticisms, though. Although one rises above all the others:
It isn’t deep enough.
And I don’t mean the systems involved this time. I know that has been a common critique of mine against No Man’s Sky, but this time I really just mean the depth of the water! Generally speaking, the sea bed is only ~20-25 units deep. The farthest down I’ve seen possible is ~90-95 units deep after stepping off a polar shelf for one Polestar Expedition’s third rendevous point. That made me curious enough to go Google it, and it seems that’s about as far down as it goes with perhaps some rare (and small) instances of 120 units.
To give that a little context, 20-25 units feels plenty deep when it’s just you and your suit. But you can do it- you can get down there and spend some time down there before you have to either find an oxygen source down below or head back to the surface. I… don’t think you’d make it to 90 units deep on your own. At least, certainly not without a specific focus on Aeration Exosuit upgrades at least.
But, hop in a Nautilon, and maximum depth feels like nothing at all.
Besides the novelty factor, there is no reason to build a more permanent base beneath the waves.
Now… I realise this is an entirely unfair comparison before I even make it. But Subnautica has spoiled me in this regard. The depth progression and just how terrifyingly far down it could reach will forever be seared into memory. No Man’s Sky does not hold up well in this comparison. Going back to the start of this paragraph, though — I absolutely get that the whole game of Subnautica was built around, and for, that very progression. It didn’t exactly let me lift off in a spaceship and make interstellar (let alone intergalactic) jumps now, did it?
Still… I can’t help but wish we could go down a little bit further. Into the twilight below, where the only light is that which you bring with you.