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Elite Dangerous: Odyssey's alpha takes off later this month

Elite Dangerous: Odyssey is preparing to kick off its alpha testing on PC this month—and to get you prepared for footfall, Frontier has shown off extended gameplay footage of three pilots pulling off the (almost) perfect heist.

Starting with a short introduction from series creator David Braben, a trio of Frontier community team members engage in one of the expansion's new ground missions. Their goal? Steal a power regulator to destabilise an opposing faction.

Accompanied by a healthy dose of tactical chatter, the gang walks into the compound freely. It's not until they shoot up a room full of scientists and smash up a power plant that things really heat up, with the base's garrison slowly advancing on the two while a third brings the ship around for a speedy exit.

The fighting itself looks solid enough, though I felt like the team squandered their heavily-armed starship—letting it sit in the dirt while the two ground soldiers were pelted by drones. I'd be having strong words in the debriefing meeting if I were them.

It's a solid enough setup, though it'll pay to see how these procedural missions hold up on the fifth, fifteenth and fiftieth replay. I'm more keen on seeing some of Odyssey's other on-foot options, such as bustling settlements and new station interiors. At least we get to see more of Elite's new atmospheric planets. Compared with the game's current line-up of barren rocky worlds, they're absolutely gorgeous.

The Elite Dangerous: Odyssey alpha kicks off on March 29th, available for folks who pick up Odyssey's Deluxe Alpha edition. The expansion proper should launch later this spring. There's still plenty of galaxy to see in the meantime, though. I've been working my way through this stellar sightseeing guide.

A one-time dog sledder, pancake flipper, alien wrangler and indie darling, Nat now scours the internet looking for the hottest PC gaming news. Destined to become Scotland's first Battlemech pilot.