The closed beta for Frontier Development's space game Elite: Dangerous Horizons has open its gates to people who bought the expansion pass.
While the base game already allowed for some impressive interstellar travel, the Horizons update (which is basically the name of the next chapter in Elite Dangerous' lifespan and will feature several expansions) will initially add planetary travel to that list. For the first time, players will be able to fly to a planet's surface and drive around in ground vehicle (called the Surface Reconnaissance Unit or SVU for short). You may encounter bases you can raid on the surface, as well as new places to mine your resources from and you may run into some less than friendly NPC's and players who need to be dealt with.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=coxLcs6UtyA
What kind of content you're getting and how much you'll have to shell out is a bit unclear. Here's the two most important things to know: the expansion pass -which gives you access to all the expansions coming this season- is priced at £49.99 ($75) and will get you instant access to the closed beta, as well as any other betas that may follow this one. If you want a lifetime subscription to all the content that will ever come to the game, you will have to shell out £130 ($195) New players are getting a better deal than those who already own the game. If you're a newcomer to the game you will gain access to both the base game as well as the Horizons for £39.99 ($60). Players who decide to pre-order either options will get a £10 discount. There are other options available, but instead of explaining all of them to you, the developers have made a handy chart.
Elite: Dangerous is a sequel to the classic Elite space game and found its way into the world via a successful Kickstarter campaign where they managed to raise £1.7 million. It's on sale on Steam at the moment, so if you want to jump in you better be quick.
Are you in the beta? If so, let us know how it is in the comments!