Set in the 34th Century, Elite: Dangerous casts the player as a lowly space trader who can work his or her way up the mercenary and trading ranks, buy more ships and explore deep space. The setting is a simulated Milky Way galaxy, complete with 400 billion stars (made possible by procedural generation). The game can be played solo, in co-op with friends or as part of an enormous virtual community encompassing thousands of players.
The game was funded two years ago through Kickstarter and much of the development has been in the public eye, thanks to a hugely popular beta testing period with hundreds of people testing the game and passing on feedback to the developers. Whilst many games have now been funded through Kickstarter, few have been quite so open in their development process.
The game's launch on 16 December will also not be the end of the road. Over the next several years the game will be expanded with the addition of modes allowing ships to enter planetary atmospheres and land, and the possible addition of modes allowing you to walk around your ship or in space stations. However, the game's primary focus will remain on space trading, exploration and combat.
The game is the fourth in the Elite series, following on from Elite (1984), Frontier (1993) and First Encounters (1995). Familiarity with the previous games in the series is not required.