No Man’s Sky can get chilly, toxic, radioactive or robotic in its attempts to kill you

No Man's Sky survival mode

“But what do you do?” ask the masses. “All this stuff” answer No Man’s Sky developer Hello Games in their latest series of trailers. With just a couple of weeks left until release on August 9, or thereabouts depending on platform and region, we’ve been shown fighting, trading and exploring in NMS – now it’s time to survive.

If No Man’s Sky is as good as it looks, it should end up on our picks of the greatest space games.

It’s another minute-long montage of various planets, their creatures and NPCs, but with a slightly more deadly tone:

What’s very much confirmed here is that death is a serious possibility, and maybe quite common. If every few planets you encounter is naturally hostile in some way, or has enemies you can trigger by doing your space-archaelogy, you’ll be seeing quite a bit more of your ship or the nearest spaceport due to respawns. According to previous reports, you won’t lose any gear, but will lose resources and information gathered since your last Atlas upload – essentially save points that also work to map the galaxy.

It will also be interesting to see how the No Man’s Sky algorithm handles these adverse conditions when creating systems, start points and warp gates. There’s likely a simple check on a spawn point for a new player to make sure the nearest world(s) are habitable and won’t repeatedly kill them off. Equally, you’d want whole systems to be dangerous if there’s good reason for it – an extra large sun or nearby black hole, for example – making them especially valuable exploration areas.

We’ll find out exactly how all that works come release day. If all else fails, it will at least be a fantastic couple of weeks of discovery.