A few years ago, Frontier released Elite Dangerous, an open-world space flight simulation game that has a 1:1 scale ratio of the Milky Way. Since then, it has experienced critical acclaim, with its latest expansion Elite Dangerous: Beyond getting nominated for “Evolving Game” during the 2019 British Academy Games Awards.
Currently, they’re gearing up to releasing its third expansion, the Elite Dangerous: Odyssey for PC on May 19, 2021. Its release for the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One is planned for autumn of the same year.
Bubble, trouble, and beyond
Elite Dangerous starts at the beginning of the 34th century wherein humanity travel through hyperspace and has colonized areas that are probably 400 light-years in radius beyond our solar system. The bulk of the human civilization lives in the Bubble, which is a sphere approximately 150 light-years radius around its center called the Sol. Humanity carries out its business in the Bubble such as exploration, politics, trade, piracy, bounty hunting, and war.
In Elite Dangerous, the Milky Way is scaled to a ratio of 1:1 to give the user an experience of the vastness of the galaxy. Beyond the Bubble lies many unexplored cultures, tools, and technologies left behind by an advanced civilization called the Guardians that existed millions of years ago, and its far-flung colonies such as Colonia, which is 22,000 light-years away from the Bubble. The Guardians’ left-overs, such as the Thargoids, are actively patrolled by the forces of their automated Sentinels.
Friend or foe
Elite Dangerous allows you to take control of your spacecraft in a “cut-throat” galaxy, offering massively multiplayer and single-player modes. Its open-world gameplay enables the exploration of an ever-evolving game narrative that is centered around the Milky Way, the spiral galaxy, and home to mother Earth. The PC Alpha for the Odyssey expansion started last March 29.
While playing the multi-player mode, some may know you as an ally or an enemy. Your actions will result in reactions from the environments of the galaxy. Each person’s story will influence the gaming experience, the rise and fall of the governments, the battles won and lost, and their own survival. Hence, you can either go solo on your journey or tag along some trustworthy commanders to engage in Elite Dangerous.
However, the choices will be “yours” and the reactions will be “theirs” in Elite Dangerous. One can start with a small starship and can upgrade as one completes missions to earn skill, knowledge, wealth, and power, to stand at par with the iconic “elites.” Securing a job “legitimate” in the universe might be a challenge, so, one can start off by trading. Others can consider not-so-legitimate professions such as assassination or bounty hunting jobs.
As long as there’s money flowing to the pilot’s account updating the professional tools, spaceships, space-suits, and weapons, won’t be challenging. You can even have your face and body as your gaming avatar.
The structure of the elite societies
Tech has always been revolutionizing the gaming industry and Elite Dangerous is no different. The game displays the current structure of our society in space, starting with the Federation as the oldest and the largest human power in the galaxy that is centered around Seoul.
Elite Dangerous has a vast conglomeration of corporations, where capitalism is thriving, with boundless wealth and crushing poverty. Its rival for over a hundred years is the Empire where ranks and roles are extremely stratified. The Emperor rules the senators, the patrons, the clients, and the citizens. Meanwhile, the Alliance is the third human power formed in the last century as an opposition to both the radical schools of thought. It offers a middle ground to both powers and considers freedom and self-determination as its founding principles.
You can choose your group and work to earn in Elite Dangerous. While exploring the vastness of the galaxy, you can also receive invitations from other inhabitants to join their group or make them a part of your journey. One such group is the Engineers who are secretive individuals who can skilfully modify or repair your weapons and ships, or can assist anyone “from explorer to combat specialist.”
When you roam the void of the universe you will have to make choices, trail your own blaze, take risks, or play it safe. The choices could be good or bad but can’t be right or wrong. Because as our universe, our societies are also complex and grey. The base game is available on Steam, the Epic Games Store, and the Frontier Store for £19.99.
YouTube: Elite Dangerous: Odyssey | The Road to Odyssey – PRE ALPHA: Mission Playthrough
Photo credit: The images used are owned by Frontier and have been provided for press usage.