Elite Dangerous sees players acting out their space-faring fantasies, allowing them to pioneer uncharted regions of space, diligently run trade routes to amass a fortune, or even hunt down pilots in high-octane space dogfights. Elite Dangerous is developed by Frontier Developments, and after spending some time in the game’s early Alpha test of its upcoming Odyssey expansion, it seems like Elite Dangerous is not only getting even bigger, but also crossing the threshold to become something that feels groundbreaking.
The Universe Gets Bigger
Any players at all familiar with Elite: Dangerous know just how much time players spend at stations. Before Horizons and now Odyssey, it’s all there was. Players have to go to space stations to refuel their ships, trade merchandise, purchase new pieces of equipment, and to do just about anything that doesn’t involve shooting something in your ship. Now, with the Odyssey expansion, players are able to get out of their ships and walk around every station in the game. There are a variety of different station interiors that help fill the universe with much needed life and help put a face to the various missions and factions that players interact with throughout the game.
Set Phasers to Kill
One of the largest additions in Odyssey is planet-surface fps combat. Like every system in Elite Dangerous, the sheer scope of the new addition can be staggering. There is a variety of weapons and suits to purchase and upgrade, many pieces of equipment to flesh out one’s loadout before heading into one of the many different types of missions. The scope only expands when players take on higher level missions with other players. There is little in the industry that can compare to the exhilarating feeling of playing a role in a larger assault on a fortress on the side of a planet. A few pilots on the ground in combat while another performs strafing runs above one’s head from their kitted out spaceship. It has an organic scale and chaos to it all that is only possible thanks to Elite Dangerous’ immense scale and lack of guard rails. It is an experience that is unrivalled in the industry thus far, and one that can be done dozens of times over due to the wide variety of mission types on offer.
Odyssey also brings an entirely new exploration activity to Elite Dangerous that lets players land on planets and explore to scan new fauna life forms and sell the data. It adds another layer to the already enthralling exploration experience in Elite Dangerous that sees players delving into uncharted sectors of space to map out the systems and attribute their name to them. Now, with the ability to land on those planets and explore their systems it makes exploring that much more exciting and varied. There are a lot of different planet climates and environments for players to come across, and there are some truly great vistas that players can come across on their travels.
Odyssey marks a huge milestone for Elite Dangerous. The addition of being able to get out of one’s ship is huge, and took an incredible amount of new systems and mechanics for the developers to pull it off. That makes one of the most exciting things about Odyssey whatever is coming next. With how far this game has come over its lifespan it seems that nothing is impossible. Odyssey brings the game into the next generation, a fully seamless experience allowing players to explore a vast universe from the interior of space stations all the way down to the surface of planets and everywhere in between. It is extremely impressive, and as the developers continue to iterate on and expand the systems it will only become more so.
Even before the Odyssey expansion Elite Dangerous was an extremely expansive experience that could soak up countless hours from a player, and it has only grown from there. For anyone interested in starting Elite Dangerous now, the game boasts an extremely friendly and helpful community that is always willing to lend a hand to new players. There is a steep learning curve that may be too demanding for some players, but one of the greatest things about Elite Dangerous is that it allows players to invest as much as they want into it, and it returns the favor appropriately.
Elite Dangerous: Odyssey will be available on PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One when it launches later this Spring.
Arron is a writer and video editor for But Why Tho? that is passionate about all things gaming, whether it be on a screen or table. When he isn’t writing for the site he’s either playing Dungeons & Dragons, watching arthouse movies, or trying to find someone to convince that the shooter Brink was ahead of its time.
March 20, 2023