The official Elite Dangerous YouTube account today released a trailer, featuring pre-alpha footage, announcing Odyssey, a likely new Season for the sci-fi title. At this point it’s not clear whether Odyssey will be a seasonal DLC as we’ve seen with Beyond and Horizons previously, or an entirely stand alone release. Either way, it’s worth pointing out that while there is some fact in the article, the majority of what you’ll see here (and elsewhere online) is packed with speculation.
After a brief stint as the latest video on the official Elite YouTube, the Odyssey trailer was pulled, or switched to private. Of course, as you may have seen on Facebook, forums and elsewhere, eagle-eyed viewers did manage to snag themselves a copy of the video. For me, it’s exciting stuff. The entire Elite community has been speculating on what the Next Era might bring, and of course one of the main theories was that Space Legs (Elite Feet for the civilised among us) was top of the pile.
[EDIT: Since publication, Frontier have confirmed and released the video]
Within the trailer, we see two commanders in distinctly different space suits descend to a barren rocky world. Departing their iconic Cobra, the pair advance through the deserted world before arriving at a landing pad with an Anaconda on close approach.
It does seem to put to rest one other theory, that another element of the New Era gameplay might be atmospheric landings. Of course, the lack of atmosphere could simply mean that (to use the Frontier tagline) they have nothing to announce on that at this time. Absence of evidence is of course not evidence of absence.
The trailer runs for just around a minute, and contains in-engine footage of our favourite space flight sim. Remember of course that this engine also powers Frontier’s other titles such as Jurassic World Evolution and Planet Zoo. Titles with plenty of lush vegetation and wildlife. All in all, it doesn’t really contain much. while it’s clear that this wasn’t meant for release just yet, it also seems very much in the arena of Teaser territory.
A Working Theory
While it really doesn’t give much away, the one vibe I pick up from the new footage is that Odyssey may well bring some form of story or campaign to Elite. This is one thing which players have been looking for in the title for some time, and the in game articles for GalNet and the background galactic story never quite seemed to fill that need. As well as being promised an “epic journey”, this would correlate with narrative writers being pulled from GalNet stories, in order to provide a working narrative for a single player or co-op campaign.
And what a thought that would be. One of the greatest concerns that commanders seem to have with Elite Feet (Space Legs for us proles) is that there needs to be something tangible to do with it. In fact, this has been a concern for Frontier themselves I am certain. There’s no point in going through with the thousands of man-hour development if there’s nothing to do when you get ambulatory. Providing a narrative adventure within the title seems to tick a lot of the boxes here, and it’s definitely something I’d say was likely.
A Speculative Conclusion
While this is all hearty speculation of course, I do think it’s a genuine possibility for the title, and one thing which I am really excited about. With thousands of hours game time, and more ships than I can shake a stick at, I do understand why folks can become bored of Elite. While it’s not happened to me (still obsessed with shiny things) many commanders I know have put in weeks of time in game, and have essentially completed the title.
As well as providing a more streamlined and integrated tutorial for new players, a narrative through Elite would give veterans of the game something to return to. In addition, further DLCs could see Frontier adding on a limitless amount of new narrative content. Who knows, a story may even lead us to Raxxla.
Since publication Frontier have fully confirmed the release, and shared a little more information on Odyssey over here. They’ve given the following information on the release, as well as promising more coming as we move towards launch.
One Giant Leap
See the galaxy like never before. Touch down on breathtaking planets powered by stunning new tech, soak in suns rising over unforgettable vistas, discover outposts and settlements, and explore with unrestricted freedom.
Forge Your Own Path
Take on a wide variety of contracts and play your way, from diplomacy and commerce to lethal stealth and all-out combat. Diverse settings, objectives, and NPCs offer endless mission variety and a near infinite amount of content to enjoy.
Assemble Your Crew
Social hubs spread throughout the galaxy give Commanders the ideal place to plan their next move. Form alliances, procure services, and even find expert support in highly coveted Engineers. These public outposts also help you acquire and upgrade weapons and gear to perfect your playing style.
The Sphere of Combat
Experience intense first-person combat, kit out your character with an array of weapons and gear, and coordinate with teammates to master a multi-layered, deep, tactical environment where Commanders, SRVs and Starships converge.