You've done it. Thanks to all the meticulous building, test launches, orbital insertions, and suicide burns, you've managed to land a giant hunk of metal on another planet.
What do you do now?
Wonder no more. Now you can jump out of the command pod and start exploring the new world in your sleek space-suit. Before venturing off, you may want to take a moment at the base of the grand vessel you've just landed, look up at it through your own eyes...and bask in its glory. The next thing you'll likely bask in will be the explosion you've just caused by toppling it all over with the new grappling hook.
We think the astronauts will provide some key interaction opportunities that were missing in the game, and given the second highest suggestion, it looks you thought so too.
In addition to causing general mayhem with the grappling hook, you can use them for practical purposes as well. The grappling hook's tether works as a useful tool to manipulate objects like this, this and, these.
No space suit would be complete without a jetpack, and yours comes standard with one. It's loaded with four gimbaling RCS nozzles which, when cranked up to maximum thrust provides just enough power to get you off the ground on Droo. You do have a limited supply of fuel, however. Luckily, your tether is not only astonishingly strong, but somehow also hollow and can be used to siphon fuel from crafts that you've grappled to.
You'll no-doubt be busy running around, but everyone needs to rest their legs now and then, so we've given you chairs to kick back in while flying to the next landing spot, or roaming around in a rover. We didn't want you to get too lazy while perched on your throne, however, so you are able to continue piloting your craft whilst in the chair. The grappling hook is also at your disposal while seated, which can result in some spectacular crashes if you decide to plant a tether down while you're skimming along the ground at 100mph.
The chairs are pretty comfy, but it's doubtful you'll want to fly millions of miles across the solar system in one while strapped to the side a rocket. To that end, we've retro-fitted the command pod's to have crew-compartments which astronauts can board for long trips.
Unlike many controllable characters in games, the astronauts are physically simulated. Being physically simulated means the astronauts will react realistically to forces and torques. They'll orbit just like everything else, and can be pushed, pulled, shot out of an improvised cannon, knocked over by a passing wing-tip, etc. On the other hand, it also means it is harder to have the animations match the movement with 100% precision, so you will see some "sliding" where the feet don't quite match the astronaut's direction of movement. Given the nature of the game, and how important physics interactions are, we felt that having the astronaut interact seamlessly with the environment should be a primary goal. We all hope you have fun exploring those environments with them!
This update has a lot more than just astronauts, though. It has some highly requested features such as this, a camera that can actually go underwater, some really nice Vizzy improvements, and a lot more, including many bug fixes. The update should be available now on Steam, iOS, and Android. Like usual, it may take some time for it to be delivered to your device.
Make sure to check out the full release notes for a list of all features/bugs in this release.
For those who beta-tested, the release notes since the last beta are here.
And, to those wondering what happened with the iOS beta release, for some odd reason we were able to get the final version approved before the beta. It is strange, but we just rolled with it.