NMS Frontiers

Three Video Games with Building/Creation

Adventures are fun, travelling across a sprawling map to explore deep caverns, or the lofty heights of mountains. Even the blocky adventures of the legendary game: Minecraft (https://www.minecraft.net/en-us) have enthralled lots of age groups since the game launched way back in 2009 as Minecraft Classic.

Traveling to new Biomes, new places, and so on have kept us going and going into this blocky world past zombies, skeletons, and creepers.

Yet, Minecraft isn’t the only game in town, it has a lot of clones and it has a lot of games that have been inspired by it.

So today, I wanted to look at three games that have a focus on building and exploration in various ways, and are not Minecraft Clones at all.

Blood & Sand – Conan Exiles DLC

Conan: Exiles is set in the Exiled Lands and brimming with the atmosphere of Sword & Sorcery, the famous barbarian of Robert E. Howard’s creation. Now Howard was problematic as we’ve said in the past (https://exilednews.com/2021/08/25/modiphius-and-chaosium-profit-from-white-supremacists-there-we-said-it/) – but the single player/multiplayer/MMO-style adventure game from Funcom (https://www.conanexiles.com) has a lot of focus on making a clan, and building up your clan’s home base.

This is one of the reasons I’ve included it here. It has a strong adventure focus, exploration of ancient and mysterious sites, a story that is told through lore and dialogue as well as base creation. Exiles (and Siptah – the expansion) gives you all the tools you need to make a fortress or a small camp, slowly unlocking the parts and things you need over time as you play. Eventually you can field a small army of Thralls as well as tamed animals, as well as ride mounts into battle.

Conan: Exiles also has a great destruction physics, to go along with the giant god avatars you can summon at End Game, and the war machines you can build.

Space, with engineering and stuff

Space Engineers: Originally released on Early Access in 2013, Space Engineers was a PC only game until a couple of years ago when it launched on Xbox bringing in a whole new generation of gamers to the sandbox creation engineering that marks this game as a mix of Minecraft and Kerbal Space Program.

https://www.spaceengineersgame.com

Space Engineers has two modes of play Survival and Creative, in Survival you have various power/energy/hydrogen/oxygen needs that need to be maintained and you often land on a world with nothing more than an escape pod, a bunch of dwindling power, and your hand tools. A welder, grinder, and drill.

From here you can use the game’s progression system to unlock the parts (blocks) you need to create bases, rovers, ships, and more. With an emphasis on engineering, it has a bigger learning curve than the last game on my list, but offers a real feeling of accomplishment when you make something that flies for the first time.

Space Engineers allows for solo play, multiplayer hosted games, and games on dedicated servers. It also allows for Crossplay between Xbox and PC as long as the server supports it.

Space Engineers has recently reached the 1.200 (Warfare 2: Broadside) update and Keen Software have promised even more to come. It’s the perfect game if you want to challenge yourself and build complex drills to mine even more resources, or explore that distant Alien Planet by making your own jump capable star ship. It’s included in the list due to the exploration and base building, ship and rover building aspects, as well as the story focused DLC (Frostbite).

No Man’s Sky: Frontiers Planetary Settlement

No Man’s Sky: The final game on my list started out as a basic space exploration game, by a small company in the UK. No Man’s Sky launched in 2016 and it was pretty simple as things go, yet not without a certain charm I always felt. Yet the critics and a lot of gamers panned it, and cited promises made by Hello Games and Sony marketing, since this was a Playstation and PC exclusive.

Hello Games did not bury their head in the sand with the game, and a quick trip to their site: https://www.nomanssky.com/ shows just how far this one has come since launch. Sean Murray and his team set about sorting out the problems, releasing fixes, and then they added free updates in what became a whirlwind (for a small dev) of content over the last years since launch. From the Foundation (Base building) to the Frontiers (Player owned NPC filled settlements) the game has gone from strength to strength.

I’ve included it here since it has a story, a focus on exploration, can be played solo, multiplayer, and base creation is some of the best in a game of this kind, with 100s of base parts and a few systems you can use to automate certain elements of the game. Not as complex as Space Engineers at all, it relies on assembling pre-built parts into the configurations you desire.

No Man’s Sky allows you to own a freighter as well, which you can also make into a custom base and is continually updated with new content even now. Here on that freighter, you can store your star ships and create a hydroponic farm to help you gain the money you need to purchase all the things you require.

There you have it, three different games which all have building involved in some way, shape, or form. Our of all these three, No Man’s Sky offers the most immediate access for the player and potentially many more hours of enjoyment depending on your technical wants – if you want to make all the ships yourself, then it really is Space Engineers.

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