Frontier Developments releases detailed footage of the first-ever live demo gameplay for its space sim Elite: Dangerous‘ lunar vehicles known as SRVs.
Frontier Developments’ Community and Social Media Manager Edward Lewis, Art Director Chris Gregory, and Lead Designer Mike Evans recently gave Elite: Dangerous fans an hour-long livestream demo showcasing units called Surface Recon Vehicles (SRVs) from the game’s upcoming expansion Horizons. Essentially, SRVs are all-terrain dune buggies that can be driven on planetary surfaces out in space.
According to Elite: Dangerous developers, there will be varying classes and sizes of SRVs, and depending on the gravity of a given environment, the vehicles will maneuver differently. Additionally, the game designers have implemented air-thrusters onto the SRVs for limited aerial mobility when launching off of surface ridges, hills, or banks.
In order to utilize the vehicle, players will have to sacrifice an Internal Compartment—that is, the title’s version of equipment stashes reserved for specific types of gear—and set aside both an SRV and the compartment to hold it. The first one offered for use will be the Scarab, and every available ship should be able to store it. Furthermore, should a gamer’s character die while using it, they will be sent back to their ship regardless of whether or not the SRV is still landed, or has taken off automatically.
Considering Frontier Developments’ dedication to scientific realism, the SRV’s design and mechanics have been meticulously crafted, with the rovers’ creators ensuring that they are as authentic as could be. Not only did Gregory, Evans, and their team take the unit’s pleasing aesthetics into account by giving it an open-air, yet enclosed cab, but they also made certain to adhere as closely to the laws of physics as humanly possible when putting it together.
With such delicate craftsmanship, it’s obvious that Frontier Developments has an affinity for both sci-fi and technological progress. For instance, developers put a Leonard Nimoy memorial in Elite: Dangerous when the Star Trek actor passed away earlier this year. Not to mention, the studio is attempting to stay on the cutting edge of gaming hardware by announcing that the space simulator will receive SteamVR and HTC Vive support with a free update this holiday season.
Frontier Developments’ scrupulous efforts with Elite: Dangerous has not only delighted fans, but it’s also captured the imagination of the gaming industry itself. The title received a nomination for Best Technology and an Honorable Mention for the Innovation Award at the 2015 Game Developers Choice Awards.
While Elite: Dangerous should definitely be enough evidence that Frontier Developments has an admiration for space travel, it should be noted that the company’s love for physics and simulators simply knows no bounds, as it announced plans for a spiritual sequel to the RollerCoaster Tycoon franchise called Coaster Park Tycoon to be released sometime in 2016. Due to the diligent nature of the studio’s work on Elite: Dangerous, fans should expect a fun ride once the theme park sim becomes available.
Elite Dangerous is currently available for Mac, PC, and Xbox One, and developers have previously announced plans for a release on PlayStation 4 sometime in the future.