To say that No Man's Sky has ended up being a disappointment is one hell of an understatement, and as I've mentioned in my review it is in need of numerous content patches before it can even be considered a finished game. And while the upcoming Foundation Update might not bring with it enough new content to fix all of No Man's Sky's issues, it at the very least marks the beginning of a long and arduous trip towards something greater.
Once the Foundation Update finally arrives, most likely today given the wording in the announcement, it will bring with it "the foundation of base building", but also lay the groundwork for future updates. Since there are very few details available right now, allow me to show you the full announcement message so that you can at least understand what Hello Games is planning:
"This week Hello Games will be releasing an update to No Man’s Sky. We’re calling it The Foundation Update, because we have added the foundations of base building, and also because this is putting in place a foundation for things to come.
Detailed patch notes will follow, and release will be soon.
Coming from five years of intense development, immediately after No Man’s Sky released the team spent six weeks updating the game with 7 patches across both platforms (the last of these was 1.09 on Sept 24th which you can read about here). These fixed many of the most common or critical bugs and issues post-release.
In the nine weeks since then our small team has been hard at work on development, testing and certification for the Foundation Update. It won’t be our biggest update, but it is the start of something.
The discussion around No Man’s Sky since release has been intense and dramatic. We have been quiet, but we are listening and focusing on improving the game that our team loves and feels so passionately about.
Positive or negative feedback, you have been heard and that will truly help to make this a better game for everyone.
This update will be the first small step in a longer journey. We hope you can join us."
While I really don't want to keep kicking No Man's Sky given that its already curled up on the floor, I have to wonder if adding base building is really the smartest use of developer time right now. I mean, there is almost no reason to explore the universe, the ships all pilot exactly the same and are completely boring, there is never a lack of resources so you're never actually "surviving", and top it all off, there are constant pop-ins which means that you can't even enjoy the scenery when you do find an interesting world.
So how exactly does base building go towards fixing any of those issues? If anything, I have a feeling it will only exaggerate them given that you are constantly pushed onward, so there's never much of a reason to settle down on generic planet #581 in order to construct your base. But who knows, Hello Games have spent the past couple of months working on this update, so it might just something far more brilliant than I could ever think of. I certainly hope so because No Man's Sky is an intriguing little concept, its just that the current execution is severely lacking, but this is something that can eventually patched - if the developers are willing to go the distance.