You might have noticed this already by the number of pictures of alien planets your friends are posting to social media, but No Man's Sky, which was pretty boring at launch, received a huge update recently and is now officially good.
One of the cooler additions to No Man's Sky since launch is the addition of capital ships and frigates. In short, rather than zipping across the universe in just one ship, players can now own a Star Destroyer-type capital ship, which can recruit several smaller Firefly-style frigates that players can send on missions for money and resources.
Sometimes, ships suffer damage during their expeditions, and the only way to repair them is for the player to land on them and manually repair each component. It's an anachronistic little part of the game (the frigate can manage voyages across the galaxy but not replace its own damn spark plugs?), but it's fun to land on frigates to get a sense of how big they are. I've seen several people online say that, while hopping around the frigate, they accidently fell off of it and floated into space, where they quickly died of cold.
That's exactly what happened to Reddit user Rusylancer, but he turned his tragedy into a feat of extreme sports worthy of a Red Bull sponsorship. It reminded me a lot of Felix Baumgartner's free fall to earth from a stratospheric balloon 24 miles above the earth:
"My first thought was 'Man, I'm boned. Might as well save some time and reload my save,' but then I realized that my fleet was currently close to a planet, and I was falling toward it," he told me in a Reddit message. "I decided to ride it out and see if I could make it to the ground, even if the fall damage killed me."
The basic loop of No Man's Sky is that players have to collect resources in order to replenish their life support systems, refuel their ship, and build new technology to travel to new systems and collect more resources. Rusynlancer happened to have a lot of resources on him that allowed him to replenish his life support systems as they were quickly depleting during his fall to the planet.
"Then I hit the atmosphere and life support stopped draining. Got a lot of pretty views of the new cloud rendering tech (so beautiful, I wanna stick a spoon in it and eat it) and a couple minutes later I slammed into the side of a hill," he said. "I guess this solves the question of whether it's possible to die from fall damage in NMS: I only lost about 75% of my shields."
After he survived the fall, he recreated and recorded it, which is why we have amazing video evidence.
There are a lot of reasons to play No Man's Sky now, but the fact that players are still finding weird things like this in the game is a big one. Rusynlancer says that if you want to try this yourself, you should bring at least 500 units of oxygen for the ride.
"I really hope [developer Hello Games] doesn't patch this out," he said.