Elite Dangerous: Odyssey
As I landed on a planet and stepped outside in Elite Dangerous’s new DLC, titled Odyssey, it dawned on me just how far the series has come. The first Elite game was produced back in 1984 by David Braben and Ian Bell and sported white lines against a black backdrop for graphics (although it did have basic colors for it small spaceship console at the bottom of the screen).
Elite was a genre-defining game that inspired the likes of EVE Online, Freelancer, the X series, and many others. So, it was great to see the title that started it all come back when it debuted back in 2015. However, since that time many space trading/fighting games have morphed into the next logical conclusion—the ability to leave the cockpit and stretch gives gamers the ability to stretch their “space legs.”
In games like Star Citizen, Dual Universe, and Empyrion-Galactic Survival, you could finally get out of spaceships and walk around on planets and space stations. Elite Dangerous: Odyssey is Frontier Developments’ answer to the call to reclaim the throne.
Elite Dangerous: Odyssey has carefully rolled four Alpha build stages so far and received great feedback on how it should be (the final version) implemented when it finally debuts on May 19th. You can walk around in spaceports and take on some missions. Of course, exploration is still a key facet of the Elite experience but now you can do it from a first-person perspective.
It’s important to note that the entire game has received a prettified makeover—graphically speaking. The new lighting effects are one of the visual upgrades that I first noticed and make the game more immersive. There are some frame drops here and there, which is to be expected for such a massive game in its Alpha state.
The initial space station you start off in is quite lively. There are all sorts of shady characters offering even shadier missions to you. Being a stealth guy, I chose a couple of the missions that required sneaking into a compound and either stealing an item or sabotaging something. What’s really cool is that I even had the ability to disable a base’s power source and watch the subsequent pandemonium ensue.
When I did get discovered, Elite Dangerous: Odyssey’s combat system is reminiscent of a Division title, or more recently, Cyberpunk 2077. In other words, there’s lots of pew-pewing at enemies with your guns and watching them soak up rounds like sponges. I’m more into first-person shooters that have much more unforgiving combat, so hopefully, they’ll change that aspect in the final version.
Things could get very tense when you encounter other players online. There’s a good mix of people—everything from nice folks eager to help you learn more about the game, to shoot-on-sight types ala the hyper-toxic experience that is Rust (I have a love/hate relationship with that game). There is a team deathmatch-like 12v12 mode where you can square off against other players (and AI enemies) but it feels like more of a mode for the less patient gamers out there and not entirely my thing (but I understand its appeal).
Overall though, Elite Dangerous: Odyssey looks to be a massive step in the right direction. It strikes me a more hard science fiction version of Empyrion-Galactic Survival or No Man’s Sky and is much better looking to boot. I’ll be back around to give my review after the DLC goes live in May.
Elite: Dangerous has some great graphics so you’ll need a pretty beefy gaming PC or gaming laptop in order to play it at a decent framerate. Therefore, you may just want to invest in a superior gaming rig:
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