No Man’s Sky delves beneath the waves in The Abyss update, available today

Hello Games has revealed new details about its new update to No Man’s Sky, which launches today. Titled the Abyss, the update focusses on overhauling exploration and play within the oceans that cover many of No Man’s Sky’s procedurally generated planets.

“We wanted to focus on improving underwater, and also on some of the eerier elements of the game for Halloween,” Hello Games stated in a press release. “Oceans were always vast in size in No Man’s Sky, but are now a huge, deep part of our gameplay.”

The announcement was accompanied by a launch trailer, which you can view above, and shows off many of the substantial list of new features. First off, Hello Games has spruced up No Man’s Sky’s underwater biomes, increasing both the frequency and variety of underwater flora and fauna. Much like the survival sim Subnautica, the types of aquatic creature you encounter will vary depending upon the depth you are exploring at. Descend to the ocean floor, for example, and there’s a chance you will encounter “terrifying creatures”, such as the luminous eye-beast depicted in the trailer.

Furthermore, “several hours” of story has been added that focusses on underwater exploration. Titled “The Dreams of the Deep” this new questline will see players investigating the fate of a crew stranded by a freighter crash, while new underwater ruins will form the stage for a mystery about a lost soul. Plus, no self-respecting ocean is complete without shipwrecks, so expect to find remnants of interstellar vessels decorating the ocean floor.

Alongside new reasons to delve beneath No Man’s Sky’s waves, the Abyss update also offers new tools to do so. The update introduces “over a dozen” new base parts designed specifically for underwater habitats. This includes the “Marine Shelter”, which lets you escape from the pressure of the depths, as well as new glass corridors and “submersible view domes” that let you stand in your base and coo at the wonder of the aquatic world.

Lastly, Hello Games has expanded the roster of exocraft with a submarine. Known as the Nautilon, the submarine can be summoned to any ocean in the galaxy and docked at underwater buildings. Like all other exocraft in the game, in can be upgraded to perform specific functions such as mining, and most importantly can be customised, which means that yes, your submarine can be yellow.

The Abyss is freely available to download from today. You can read the full patch notes here, but it’s safe to say that The Abyss has got me yearning to venture back into space again after the impressive work done by Hello Games in the NEXT update. The end of the trailer states that this is “another step in the long journey" of No Man’s Sky, so it sounds like there’s plenty more to come from Sean Murray & co. Check out a few extra screenshots of the update below.