Elite Dangerous: Odyssey, the newest expansion for the galaxy-spanning MMO, will let players finally walk and explore alien worlds on foot.
Frontier Developments has revealed a new trailer for their galaxy-spanning first-person MMO’s latest expansion, Elite Dangerous: Odyssey. Previously, players of Elite Dangerous were stuck viewing the galaxy from the cockpit of their ships but now, with Odyssey, they will finally be able to disembark and explore strange new worlds on their own two feet. Frontier’s mission with this new expansion is to give every player a “Neil Armstrong” moment when stepping forth onto a brand new planet, and so far, Odyssey seems to deliver.
I had a chance to sit down and speak with Odyssey‘s Principle Designer Gareth Hughes and Art Director Jonathan Bottone about the upcoming expansion, and what you can expect from these explorable planets. Odyssey has been in development for a couple of years now, changing and evolving into what it is today. Adopting a mathematical and scientific recreation approach like the rest of Elite Dangerous, the thousands of planets that you will be able to explore on foot have all been created with the help of scientific measurements and data. The designers have taken into account aspects such as temperature and composition of the planet and its atmosphere, along with developing fauna that would be reasonable for those specific ecosystems.
You will encounter worlds of icy tundras, rocky and mountainous vistas, barren deserts, and more. Equipped with a multi-tool, you will be able to scan and sample the native plants of these undiscovered countries, adding them to your logbook and submitting them for different awards. During the reveal, the developers did tease there would be more in store for explorers to do on the planets but they are staying mum on those details for now, with more announcements and reveals coming soon.
One aspect that may be a bit disappointing to hear is that at this time, Odyssey will not include any sort of lifeforms to discover or large bodies of water. Since the worlds that can be explored will mostly have thin atmospheres, they don’t have the minimum scientific requirements to sustain large oceans or lakes, the developers explained to me. While it’s a bummer I won’t be able to dive into alien seas to find crazy looking space-fish, it’s understandable. Fingers crossed though that somewhere down the line we’ll get that chance.
While I haven’t personally played Elite Dangerous before, the idea of being able to fly around its to-scale version of the Milky Way, scientifically recreated in digital space, is enticing. Odyssey won’t let you explore every planet on foot, but there will still be “thousands” that are explorable to players. If everything goes according to plan, Elite Dangerous players will be able to snag the Odyssey expansion early next year, launching simultaneously on PC, PS4, and Xbox One.
Until Odyssey’s launch, be sure to check out the “Road to Odyssey” developer diary series, with the first installment “One Giant Leap” available today. This first entry dives in and sheds more light into the exploration aspects on these atmospheric planets and the brand new tech that is behind them.
Elite Dangerous is currently available for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.