Back at E3, Frontier Developments told us a bit more about the Thargoids, the growing alien threat in Elite: Dangerous. Specifically, we were told that they were coming in “The Return” update, which was slated for release sometime in Q3 this year. Last night, the studio released a short teaser trailer for the update, which now has a release date of September 26.
The announcement was made with the help of a short in-game cinematic trailer. A group of ships encounter a lone Thargoid in deep space. The human ships proceed to launch countermeasures in order to prevent a forced shutdown sequence from the Thargoid vessel. Then, they fire prototype missiles, which seem to be built specifically for a Thargoid. At first, the missiles seem to have some effect when the pilots report that alien's “bio-signs” are at 50%. However, scans eventually show that the Thargoid is healing itself. It then fires its own set of missiles back at the group of human ships as the screen cuts to black.
The update’s launch in a few weeks marks the beginning of the human/Thargoid conflict within the game, but Frontier also plans to further extend the narrative side of the experience in the following months. In addition to a new storyline, senior designer Sandy Sammarco hinted to us at E3 that new weapons, specifically alien-based technology, will also come with the update.
The September 26 release date is the end of a two-year hunt for the mysterious aliens. In 2015, players found a strange artifact that had some connection with the Thargoids. That initial find spurred a galaxy-wide hunt for more evidence of the aliens’ return, which yielded the discovery of small probes, called barnacles, as well as Thargoid wreckage. At one point, some players even encountered the Thargoids as they traveled between solar systems. In a few weeks, the search for aliens will stop, and the conflict between the two races will begin.
With less than two weeks until the update’s release, we’re bound to hear more from Frontier Developments in the coming days. In the meantime, you can pick up the base game for $30. If you want more content, you can purchase the Horizons Season Pass for an additional $30.