Update: The bug that occasionally left archaeologists floating or getting stuck in walls has now been fixed. It's safe to explore again.
Original story: Heaven's Vault, the moon-hopping archaeological adventure, finally has a decent fast travel option thanks to an update. It went live yesterday, and as well as letting you skip the game's few dull bits, it also makes searching for ruins a little easier and improves your robo-butler's navigation skills.
Between exploring ancient palaces and graveyards, you need to sail across the nebula, riding on ethereal cosmic rivers. It's kind of lovely, but also pretty boring. There's not much to do on these rivers, and they can be a chore to navigate thanks to clunky controls. But you can now sidestep that by letting Six take the helm after you've plotted a course.
Previously, fast travel was only possible between a few locations. While in your ship, you could choose to rest and let Six take over, but sometimes you'd be dumped in the river without the option, while limited locations made it only occasionally handy. Now, you can fast travel whenever you want, as long as it's down a river you've already explored.
When you're in your ship, travelling down your plotted course, you'll quickly be given the option to hand control over to Six. He'll immediately take you to your destination, unless it's somewhere you've never been. In that case, he'll take you as far as you've explored, and then you'll get control again. This means you won't miss all the banter on board the ship, and you'll be able to find optional ruins to loot.
I'm finding it a big improvement. I've adored the adventure so far, and I get the sense that I'm nearing the end, but much of the time spent navigating the rivers has felt like a waste. Once you've gone down a river, there's not much reason to do it again. But now I'm getting straight to the good bits, and no longer sighing when it's time to leave a moon and head back to the ship.
Unfortunately, the update introduced a new bug that can occasionally leave you standing in mid-air or getting stuck under stairs. I contacted Inkle last night and was told a fix was in the works, and if you do fall foul of this bug, send your save file to firstname.lastname@example.org and they'll dig you out.
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Fraser is the UK online editor and has actually met The Internet in person. With over a decade of experience, he's been around the block a few times, serving as a freelancer, news editor and prolific reviewer. Strategy games have been a 30-year-long obsession, from tiny RTSs to sprawling political sims, and he never turns down the chance to rave about Total War or Crusader Kings. He's also been known to set up shop in the latest MMO and likes to wind down with an endlessly deep, systemic RPG. These days, when he's not editing, he can usually be found writing features that are 1,000 words too long or talking about his dog.