Frontier Developments have been forced to delay the launch of Elite Dangerous: Odyssey, the next major expansion for their galaxy-sized space sim.
Pitched as an “early 2021” release at The Game Awards, the UK company’s plans have been affected once more by the ongoing pandemic, and they’ve had to modify their development roadmap. The PC release of Odyssey is now planned for late spring, while the PS4 and Xbox One counterpart will now only arrive in autumn.
The ongoing impact of the pandemic however, including the renewed lockdowns in 2021, continues to put added pressure on our teams and ultimately our development timeline. We have therefore had to make the difficult decision to make some adjustments and changes to our existing development roadmap. […]
We would like to sincerely apologise to all of our community. We know you have been waiting patiently and how disappointing and frustrating this must be.
While the expected timeframes on the roadmap have obviously been changed, the overall plan remains largely the same. That means that there will be an Alpha test in early spring, during with PC players will be able to get involved early. This will take a phased approach, bringing new features and systems online bit by bit and enabling Frontier to tweak and modify the game based on community feedback. Elite Dangerous: Odyssey Deluxe Alpha and Lifetime Expansion Pass holders will get access to this release.
Odyssey promises major changes to the game’s rendition of the Milky Way, enabling players to set foot on planets for the first time. It will also be bringing newly enhanced rock and ice planets. Rocky planets will now be covered in more realistic canyons, ridges and barren seas, while ice planets bring with them the risk of cryovulcanism. However, across the board, your interactions with planets will be transformed.
Planets will be able to have light atmospheres, tapping into data that Frontier already had for each planet and now presenting it to players. They will also be able to play host to buildings and settlements that are on a “human scale” compared to the scope and size of the planetary bodies that they’re built upon.
There will be new flora, which has all been designed to be a blend of recognisable to us as plants, and seem plausible while remaining alien. A new sampling tool will let you extract genetic data that can then be traded for rewards at starports. Sounds just a little bit No Man’s Sky, in my opinion, but these days that’s no bad thing!
But the real focus is in letting you truly appreciate the scale of the first time. They want to capture the “Neil Armstrong moment” of stepping outside of your space ship for the first time, beholding just how big your craft is, and feel the cold void of space through hearing the breathing of your character in their space suit.
Source: press release