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Players of Frontier Development’s space trucker sim Elite Dangerous have finally announced their plans for the upcoming patch 2.4 and beyond.

A while agoElite Dangerous players had a chance of encountering a massive, organic looking ship that seemed to have no trouble disabling your systems at the drop of a hat. After the ship scanned the players, it disappeared as quick as it disappeared. This got players speculating that these mysterious ships had to belong to the Thargoids, an alien race with technology that is so different from ours that it’s hard to comprehend.

Shortly before the announcement of The Return, players got a short-term community goal in the game. This community goal tasked players with delivering scans of unknown ship signatures and unknown wake scans to a specific point inside humanity’s habitable zone. After the community goal ended, players were sent to the HIP 17044 system to find a distress beacon close to one of the planets. Going to the distress beacon reveals several powerful human ships completely destroyed, turning this bit of space into an eerie graveyard. The Thargoids are back, and they do not seem to have a problem with ripping apart ships with relative ease.

The Thargoid story is a long one, unfolding during the events of Frontier: Elite II and Frontier: First Encounters, as well as in Elite’s published fiction. Events in Elite Dangerous take place over fifty years since those in Frontier: First Encounters, and today the facts about the Thargoids have been swamped by stories, myths and legends. It has been unclear what is true and what is an elaborate conspiracy theory… Until now.

Frontier Developments will be releasing patch 2.4 in stages, advancing the expansion’s narrative with every stage. The story will be influenced by how players as a whole approach the content. There will be new technology to research and develop, and new things to discover out in space. If you bought the Horizons season pass, you will automatically gain access to patch 2.4 as soon as it launches in the third quarter of 2017.

The Return will be a dramatic ongoing event for the Elite Dangerous galaxy. Story events have hinted at the Thargoids’ return for a long time, but the Thargoids are returning at a moment when humanity is at its most divided. The Federation and Empire are at each other’s throats, a second tiny human-occupied bubble has scattered humanity’s greatest pilots, and Thargoid scout ships are drawing near. They have already probed our space, infiltrated our starports and found humanity to be vulnerable. What happens next will be decided by every Elite Dangerous player.

Frontier CEO, David Braben

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Elite Dangerous: Horizons is available for PC and Xbox One, with the PlayStation 4 getting the game on June 27.


Quick Take

While I’m excited to see what they’re going to do with this patch, I am wondering if this is a little too late. The game’s been starved for content for a long time now, and if all this patch does is increase the grind even more then it’s a really hard sell at that point. I really like this game and I’ve played it for quite some time, but the game needs something to make it feel fresh again. 

 


Chris Anderson

Assoc. News Editor

I've been playing games since I was just barely able to walk, and I never really stopped playing them. When I'm not fulfilling my duties as senior staff writer and tech reviewer, I'm either working on music, producing one of two podcasts or doing freelance work.