This is a short and sweet impressions post. I’ll post a proper write up after I’ve spent more time exploring and trying things out.
Last night, at long last, Frontier Developments dropped the Elite: Dangerous Horizons expansion. It’s marquee feature is the ability to seamlessly land on airless planets, from space to surface. It’s a feature I’ve always wanted in space games and the closest I ever got to that was Evochron Mercenary.
Planetary landings are integrated perfectly with the Elite‘s method of simulation. You fly in real close via Super Cruise, drop into orbital flight, and then shift to glide flight as you near the surface of the planet. Landing involves searching for a smooth, flat-ish surface to park the vessel and the ship’s computer will let you know if the area is acceptable. Upon touchdown, you can then zip along the surface using a vehicle called an SRV. Unfortunately, the transition between cockpit to SRV is obstructed by a fade to black. A shame but it doesn’t hurt anything in the long run.
You’ll be able to scour planet surfaces for resources, dock at cities, and engage in combat. But it’s a lot more fun to put the SRV through its paces, riding off cliffs and firing the glide rockets to jump craters and canyons.
It’s awesome. it’s crazy, and it’s magical. I can’t wait to start taking pictures!