Elite: Dangerous is finally nearing its official release of December 16th on PC.
Frontier Developments has marked the impending launch with a rather snazzy launch trailer, which you can see below. Sure, it’s CG and contains no actual gameplay – but when a trailer is this good, does it need to? Featuring plenty of whizz-bang, space-based dogfighting and a not-too-shabby soundtrack, the launch trailer is the perfect thing to get you in the mood for the game. It also made me wish I had dual joysticks and an Oculus Rift headset. Oh well, I guess I’ll just have to settle for a keyboard and mouse.
Elite Dangerous is the first instalment in the 30-year-old series since First Encounters in 1995. Featuring open-ended play, Elite first appeared on the BBC Micro back in 1984 and has proven hugely influential, effectively creating an entire genre and being the first genuine open-world, non-linear game in history. Its influence can be seen in games such as the X series, Wing Commander, and the upcoming No Man’s Sky and Star Citizen. Taking the role of a space-faring pilot, you’re tasked with making a name for yourself in a massive galaxy, whichever way you choose. Want to smuggle human cargo in deal in illegal drugs? You can do that. Want to play on the side of the angels and take down Pirates and over ne’er do wells? You can do that, too. Or perhaps you just want to be a merchant, trading spices and other goods between different sectors and amassing a fortune. Yep, you can do that.
New to Elite Dangerous is the aforementioned online play, with all players existing in the same persistent universe. Boldly, Frontier claims that the game encompasses the entire galaxy modeled at 1:1 scale, with over 150,000 systems taken directly from real-life astronomical data. In total, Frontier claims that the entire explorable universe in Elite: Dangerous is made up a staggering 400 billion star systems.
You thought Skyrim was big? Think again.
Although Dangerous is being released next week, a large number of features are planned to be added post-release – such as navigating space stations and exploring planets. Frontier boss David Braben has promised to continue adding new features and content throughout the game’s development, bringing it ever-closer to his vision of a seamless sci-fi universe with endless possibilities. At launch, the game will feature a large number of missions, deep combat based on a scientifically-accurate Newtonian physics model, and a massive galaxy to explore. Eventually, Braben has stated that he would like to include the ability for players to group together and pool their resources to control giant capital ships. Think the Starship Enterprise from Star Trek, only with a lot more shooty-shooty-bang-bang fun.
Check out the trailer below.