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    No Man’s Sky’s 17th free content update adds bustling, task-filled settlements / ArsTechnica · Wednesday, 1 September, 2021 - 13:00 · 1 minute

Can you believe it has been five years since the gaming Internet first lost its mind about No Man's Sky ? The ambitious game launched in 2016 with a seemingly infinite galaxy and clearly finite mechanical systems—a beautiful portal to interactive zen, yes, but arguably not what salivating fans had imagined in the hype-filled run-up .

But if you've booted the game in the years since, you may have noticed that it is a massively different gaming proposition than its August 2016 incarnation. With free update after free update, the game has grown to something beyond its initial pitches—and today, it grows further still with its... hold on, let me carry the one... seventeenth free content update.

18 quintillion planets, 17 updates

This 17th dump of content, dubbed No Man's Sky: Frontiers , will arrive on all versions of the game (including VR) shortly after this story goes live. Now, the game's procedurally generated planets will include a bunch of procedurally generated towns, villages, and settlements. As you take off and land on the game's estimated 18 quintillion planets, you'll now find miniature towns dotting their landscapes, each full of townspeople who hail from the game's various races, milling about a variety of endlessly remixed building types.

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    No Man’s Sky confirms Mass Effect crossover, adds iconic Normandy SR-1 to fleet / ArsTechnica · Friday, 21 May, 2021 - 13:00 · 1 minute

We at Ars Technica love crossover events in every pop-culture format, but they're arguably the best in video games, since they let fans settle playground arguments regarding which superhero or mascot could win in a fight. Still, that affection doesn't mean Ars must keep up with every single "dream" announcement about third-party characters in games like Super Smash Bros. Ultimate , Soulcalibur VI , Tekken 7 , Mortal Kombat 11 , Samurai Shodown , Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid , and so on. We love them! Bring them on! But most IP crossovers don't warrant a headline. (Sorry, John "two games in one year" Rambo .)

In today's case, I've made an exception.

The latest update to No Man's Sky , which goes live sometime today, unlocks a very familiar spaceship inside NMS 's nearly infinite universe: the SSV Normandy SR-1, lifted from the first Mass Effect game. Yes, that's the SR-1, not the eventual SR-2. ( Tali would approve .) While Normandy doesn't come with a handy Mako for players to drop onto Hello Games' 18 quintillion planets , it does include an incredible S rating (seen in the above gallery). As far as No Man's Sky frigates go, the SR-1 is SR-number-one.

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