The big No Man’s Sky Halloween update has brought a touch of Dune to Hello Games’ epic space sim, with this week’s Expedition 4: Emergence adding giant sandworms to the mix – as well as the ability to ride them.
One thing is certain: there aren’t enough Dune games. Despite being the template for the entire RTS genre and a huge influence on many other gaming genres too, the last notable game based on Frank Herbert’s space opera was Emperor: Battle For Dune over twenty years ago. Funcom, the creator of Conan Exiles, is currently working on a Dune survival MMO to tie in with the movies – but that’s still a ways away.
Now developer Hello Games has decided to readdress the balance and has brought Dune to its own space epic in the Halloween “Emergence” update. The latest Expedition adds a proper narrative – for the first time – set on the barren world of Wasan, where the player has to investigate the colossal Titan Worms and the involvement of the worm-worshipping native cult.
It’s unlikely to be a coincidence that No Man’s Sky has received a very Dune-like update so close to the launch of the new Dune movie. Nevertheless, it’s the giant sandworms that are the real draw here, and they’re not just limited to Wasan. There are many different types to be found throughout No Man’s Sky, and players are even able to keep smaller ones as pets – and to ride them too, most importantly.
It’s not the only time Hello Games has referenced other big sci-fi franchises in No Man’s Sky, either. A previous Expedition turned out to be a big Mass Effect Easter egg, and the game has recently got settlements similar to Star Wars’ Mos Eisley spaceport. Even more scary than sandworms, however, is having No Man’s Sky creator Sean Murray’s face on everything.