Thanks to immersive technology, the idea of actually being inside a spaceship and zipping about the cosmos, getting into everything from minor scrapes to full-pitched space battles as you go about your adventures throughout the stars is something of a reality.
It’s a popular one too, and even established titles are still looking into the possibilities of adding virtual reality (VR) support, as seen earlier this week with No Man’s Sky.
One name that always springs to mind when discussing space adventures – and one we’ve talked about many times in the past here on VRFocus – is Elite Dangerous. Developed by the team at UK-based studio Frontier Developments and supporting both the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, Elite Dangerous sees you take on the role of a starship pilot trying to carve out a living for themselves in a galaxy not known for its ability to be generous nor forgiving.
The team have now revealed a new trailer for the forthcoming fourth chapter of Elite Dangerous: Beyond, which will bring to an end the third season of content for the title. Chapter Four will bring with it a number of improvements to visual components, background simulation within the title and other in-game changes. These changes will, according to Frontier, see Chapter Four become the largest update to Elite Dangerous in 2018 and will among other things “make exploration feel more meaningful, making the results more satisfying and rewarding”.
Appropriately enough for the fourth chapter, a four week Beta period beginning on October 30th will be available for all PC players of both Elite Dangerous and Elite Dangerous: Horizons. Whilst PlayStation 4 players and those on XBox one will get to play they will do so at a date as yet unconfirmed. Key changes listed are as follows:
A new Analysis Mode, with the improved Exploration Discovery Scanner and Detailed Discovery Scanner, is a game-changing, brand new way for all Commanders to explore the galaxy. After an initial scan of the system, players will then be able to tune their scanners to find stellar bodies and other phenomena. Unidentified Signal Sources and conflict zones will also appear, allowing players to easily track down interesting or important things within the system. Not only is this new system a more realistic, satisfying and engaging exploration experience, but also provides players with the freedom to make more informed decisions on where to look next, and be ultimately better rewarded for time spent exploring. Commanders will now have probes that can be arced onto planetary surfaces, and planetary rings, to map them in detail, locate points of interest and leave their mark on the galaxy in a new way.
Asteroid belts and planetary rings are about to get very busy. New tools and mechanics will provide a fresh, exciting and lucrative mining experience for all Elite Dangerous Commanders. Using new exploration mechanics, miners can investigate rings to locate the best spots to start their mining sessions. With the right amount of skill and expertise, Commanders can create an awesome asteroid detonation before sweeping up the spoils.
Squadrons is a new way of uniting like-minded Commanders in Elite Dangerous. Players will be able to take part in Community Goals together and compete for top spots, and bragging rights, in weekly leader boards. New communication tools such as in-game chat channels and a new web portal, give players the freedom to manage their Squadron and collectively blaze their trail across the galaxy.
You can check out the newly released introduction trailer below to get an idea of just some of the changes players might expect. VRFocus will bring you more news about the Beta as Frontier reveals things.