When it comes to survival style games, often the only direction you are given is that you want to explore. You walk around until you find a new resource, then try to work out all the ways you can use it, before moving on or finding out you can build things that require resources you haven’t seen before.
It is a pretty compelling gameplay loop, but sometimes you want something a little more structured. Astroneer’s latest content update went live yesterday and it adds several quality of life improvements, but it also reworked the power system and gave players missions to do.
The missions help give you an idea of what to do next, as well as how to do it, with a nice nudge towards getting your base up and running and where to go to discover certain resources. As you complete missions more of them unlock, meaning you won’t be told to build something super advanced right off the bat.
All of these missions come with rewards that really kickstart the beginning of the game. Rewards can include researching things for you, as well as giving you items or bytes to spend on your research of choice.
I started a game last night and I had a vehicle and was exploring in record time, finding working tech and resources to drag back home and goodies to research.
The power system has also been overhauled so that you can see what each item either generates, consumes or stores, rather than going by gut feel. There are even larger solar and wind power units, which sounds like a great way to start off a new base somewhere else.
The compass now shows more information, and has a better representation of distance to your Shelters and Beacons. Hopefully this means I won’t ever get lost again on a long ride out into the unknown.