by Marko Susimetsä
previewed on PC
Bring on the Danger!
She watched from a safe distance as the police Vipers attacked the pirate ships. The explosions of the ships that had only moments earlier threatened to blow her ship to kingdom come were a satisfying sight, but she forced herself to turn her eyes away and concentrate on what she needed to do. She knew that once the police were done with the pirates, they would certainly turn their attention to her ship and that could not be allowed to happen...
The universe of Elite: Dangerous will allow you to travel the universe, trade and smuggle goods, hunt pirates or be one, perform missions for the navies of any of the three main powers or just equip your ship for long-distance travel and head out there to explore the galaxy far away from the bothersome humanity.
The game has undergone through furious development over the past six months and although the release is still at least another 8 months in the future, lots of information has already been shared with the game’s eager fans.
Elite: Dangerous will remain familiar from the previous game in the series: Frontier: First Encounters. We will have the three main human factions – The Federation, The Empire and The Alliance – each with their unique characteristics politically, artistically and sociologically. The Federation is patriotic and capitalistic, centered on the Sol system and Mars. The people are materialistic and their desires are greatly affected by the brands and companies that they support. The Empire’s homeworld is Achenar and their society is very status-oriented and people flaunt their wealth and titles if they have them. They also value honour and are willing to enter into voluntary slavery rather than be in debt to someone. The Alliance, or rather the Independent Alliance, is less culturally coherent as it is composed of relatively independent and culturally varied systems. Their main aim is to band together to support each other against the oppressive force of the other two factions. They value cultural diversity and uphold softer values than their Federal and Imperial brethren.
At the time the game begins, in the year 3300, humanity is experiencing a great wave of expansion. This is the result of a very recent advance in hyperspace technology that allows near-instantaneous travel between star systems instead of the several days for each jump that it took before. Naturally, this means that the faction navies can respond to danger faster and the protection of the faction systems is easier than ever before. This naturally makes expansion to new systems more lucrative. But while this expansion provides an economic boost for the factions and the adventurous explorers and settlers, it also attracts the attention of pirates and other corrupted elements.
Various kinds of spacecraft are an important part of the Elite games and Elite: Dangerous promises to expand the amount of ships that the players can pilot even further, although at the initial launch there will only be a limited selection available. The Imperial ships are grand and flamboyant with curved lines and sharp edges. They may not always be the most effective at what they do, but they will certainly impress the other space travelers. The Federation ships are more functional, almost verging on dull insofar as beauty is concerned, but efficient. The Alliance ships are a mixed bag of self-manufactured ships and ships acquired from the other factions.