Frontier Developments has today announced the launch of the Elite Dangerous: Horizons beta test for PC. Elite Dangerous: Horizons is a new set of major gameplay expansions for the space exploration game Elite Dangerous.
Elite Dangerous: Horizons‘ first expansion will be ‘Planetary Landings’, finally allowing players to enter the atmosphere of planets, and explore their surfaces. Frontier Developments says the worlds are 1:1 scale. Players will be able to discover valuable resources, experience combat encounters, raid bases and scout crash sites on the surface of planets.
To help with exploring planets, a new vehicle is also being added to the game, the Scarab SRV wheeled vehicle.
“‘Planetary Landings’ in Elite Dangerous is the closest most of us will ever come to visiting other worlds, and it’s just the beginning of Horizons’ new season of gameplay expansions,” Frontier Developments CEO David Braben said. “There is so much new gameplay to experience, new things to discover, and new ways to bring our amazing community together. It’s also a great technical achievement for our incredible team, using cutting edge technology to create realistic simulated worlds and add to the enormous depth and richness of the Elite Dangerous galaxy.”
Once ‘Planetary Landings’ launches this Holiday (no specific date has been announced), Frontier Developments will begin working on further expansions in 2016, including new missions, ships, Close Quarter Combat arenas. The team will also be working to implement new gameplay features such as loot and crafting, multicrew which will allow players to assume roles aboard the same ship, and ship-launched fighters.
All Elite Dangerous and Elite Dangerous: Horizons player will retain their progress and continue to play on the same server together to avoid separating the player base.
Beta access to Elite Dangerous: Horizons will cost £49.99 (€67.99, $74.99), and also includes full access to every Elite Dangerous: Horizons expansion through the season.
However, if you wait until Elite Dangerous: Horizons launches, the game will cost £39.99 (€49.99, $59.99). Either edition can be purchased at the game’s official website.
Existing Elite Dangerous players who pre-order either of the above editions will receive a £10 (€14, $15) loyalty discount off the retail price and unlock an exclusive ‘Cobra Mk IV’ spacecraft in Elite Dangerous: Horizons.
Elite Dangerous was released on PC in April, and on Xbox One in June. However, the Elite Dangerous: Horizons expansion has only been announced for PC at the time of writing.