Samuel aims for the top in Hitman2.
In my collection of No Man’s Sky save files there’s one which is only three hours long. It is also my favorite save because it’s the one where I keep my ringed ocean planet. Before the Abyss update, Lowelwoyn Beta (now renamed Pip’s Ocean Paradise and shortened to PIPWORLD) wasn’t exactly interesting, but it was aesthetically pleasing. Now, thanks to Abyss it’s become fascinating. In an older set of screenshots, PIPWORLD’s ocean was not a thriving hub. Small plants dotted the ocean floor and infrequent shoals of fish hung like clouds in an otherwise empty expanse of Pacific blue.
Revisiting PIPWORLD, I splooshed into the water and found the ocean desert had vanished. The seabed now writhes with coils of minerals and sinuous rock formations which seem to have fallen out a Barbara Hepworth sculpture garden. Rumbles and roars let you know when strange pods are about to spit boiling water, and as I was scanning all the new fish a little crablike creature sauntered past.
Thing is, PIPWORLD is in a creative mode save file. It’s great for sightseeing, but it also smooths away the elements which anchor you in the world. Regardless of whether or not you like the resource and crafting loops, or the story, of No Man’s Sky, they give you reasons to move around and push you into new activities. I wanted an underwater base that I’d worked for, dammit!
Which is how I circled back to the other enormous update, NEXT. I played NEXT on a studio visit when
I wanted an underwater base that I’d worked for, dammit!
it was still at the preview stage. The devs who joined me in multiplayer behaved impeccably, sharing resources and working together to build a base. As such, it was barely recognizable as a multiplayer videogame experience.
Not so, my most recent multiplayer experience. I invited my partner to join me for fun and to build together. This was a lie and I fully intended to use him to distract the sentinels (planetside robopolice) which were furious with me.
Almost immediately there was hapless shooting, clumsy resource sharing, photo mode documentation of him running away in circles from an angry robot sentinel, several crash-landings and the inevitable failure of my system of navigation which uses identical base computers as planetary bookmarks.
When we finally found the right base computer we spent about 20 minutes searching for a spaceship I’d been trying to repair. It would be an upgrade of eight whole storage slots! Then we saw the spaceship-shaped hole in the middle of the quest area. The actual ship, for whatever reason, was nowhere to be found. I won’t tell you what I said at that moment because it’s probably too rude to repeat here. Let’s just say we used our terrain manipulators to express our displeasure in the rocky surface of that gap.
A chipper spacefish and friends.
Just add the Benny Hill music.
The uptick in ringed planets makes for great images.