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Elite Dangerous: Odyssey Release Date, Trailer, And Gameplay - What We Know So Far

Ever since it launched in 2014, Elite Dangerous has given players total freedom to explore a scale Milky Way galaxy from the comfort of their very own spaceship. The MMO has given players the opportunity to carve out their corner of the universe, form alliances with galactic government, bounty hunt rogue entities, or even scam other players.

However, one thing that players could not do was exit the vehicles that they used to travel through the universe. While the 2015 Elite Dangerous: Horizons expansion added basic planetary exploration through land rovers, players remained unable to interact with those settlements or physically step onto the surface of the planet they were exploring. The game's new expansion, Elite Dangerous: Odyssey, seeks to change that, finally letting them explore parts of the galaxy on foot.

Thanks to some new details revealed during GamesRadar's Future Games Show, gamers now have a better idea of when to expect Elite Dangerous: Odyssey and what they will be able to do when it arrives. Here's is everything we know about Elite Dangerous: Odyssey's release date, trailer, and gameplay.

What is the release date for Elite Dangerous: Odyssey?

The arrival date for Elite Dangerous: Odyssey has been in flux almost since Frontier Developments announced it in 2020. The expansion was initially expected to launch on all major platforms in Spring 2021. However, later in 2020, the developer delivered some bad news for fans: Frontier Developments made an official announcement pushing back the arrival time on all systems and staggering the PC and console releases by several months.

In that same update, Frontier Developments stated that PC players would receive access to the game first, with an Alpha build arriving for PC in early spring of 2021 and the full release later in the same season. The game will not arrive on PlayStation 4 or Xbox One until the fall of 2021.

While the developer has yet to announce an exact release date for any system, lead designer Gareth Hughes reaffirmed the company's commitment to delivering the game within the established time frames during the Future Games Show. He also gave a concrete date for the start of the Alpha for PC players – March 29.

Is there a trailer for Elite Dangerous: Odyssey?

Frontier Developments has released two trailers for Elite Dangerous: Odyssey, both of which use in-game footage to demonstrate what the ambitious expansion plans to bring to the table. In addition, lead developer Gareth Hughes narrated a third trailer at the Future Games Show.

The first of these was the announcement trailer that arrived in June 2020, when Frontier Developments broke the news that the expansion was on the way. This brief trailer, barely more than a minute long, offered a preliminary glance at what players could expect, showing two characters crossing a barren desert world and surveying a small spaceport. The second short trailer, set to "Space Oddity" by David Bowie, showed additional features such as land vehicles, base exploration, and first-person combat.

The Future Games Show trailer offers fans some additional perspectives on the planets they can explore in Elite Dangerous: Odyssey. The trailer also shows the Apex Intersteller shuttle service, which is available to take all players to from settlement to settlement within inhabited space.

What is the gameplay like in Elite Dangerous: Odyssey?

Once Elite Dangerous: Odyssey arrives, players will be able to participate in a wide array of new in-game activities. During the Future Games Show, lead developer Gareth Hughes said the expansion would add "on-foot exploration, salvaging, bounty hunting, heists and much more – all seamlessly integrated into the existing game."

While those descriptions might sound a bit vague, Elite Dangerous fans had a chance to see just how involved these new activities would be when Frontier Developments released a complete mission playthrough in March 2020. In that video, gamers can watch an assault on an enemy base from start to finish. 

A team takes a ship from orbit to arrive at an enemy base, from which point the team uses stealth tactics to slip into the reactor core and hack into the enemy system. Doing so trips an alarm, forcing the player's team to fight their way out of the base and meet up with the ship that dropped them off for an evac. The video demonstrates a remarkably full-featured first-person combat engagement, which may surprise longtime Elite Dangerous players. 

Fans of the game should find a lot more to explore when Elite Dangerous: Odyssey arrives later this year.