"It's a work in progress, but what a work in progress it is," one of the developers exclaimed during the recent Elite: Dangerous livestream.
And he's right. Imagine taking the car from Little Big Adventure 2 and throwing it slap-bang in the middle of Activision's 1998 reboot of Battlezone. That's what Elite: Dangerous is working with right now, and it looks fun as hell.
Elite: Dangerous is getting planetary landings later this year as part of its gargantuan Horizons update. Even though I paid — quite a lot of money, actually — to jump into the beta last year, I've been patiently holding off until the in-game world has been filled out a little more to my liking.
The prospect of planetary landings, as far as they have to go, is incredibly exciting. It's what everyone has wanted since Freelancer, and probably long before then. (I always remember Hardwar being a sick game. I wonder if you can still buy that today.)
Anyway, Frontier Developments recently livestreamed an hour of gameplay from the surface recon vehicle, or SRV. There isn't much else shown besides the SRV skidding around, floating or doing burnouts and backflips.
Which actually is pretty awesome, when you think about it.
It doesn't do much to alleviate the concerns of those who are worried that planetary landings will be a one-note experience, much in the same way they were in X: Rebirth (albeit of a very, very different nature).
But I'll be dammed if the handling model doesn't look fun. It's certainly lively enough to break up the solitude of supercruising through the cosmos. The Horizons update is due out before Christmas, and I'm looking forward to seeing how far it's come.