clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

In Elite: Dangerous’ next update, a deadly alien race lashes out at humanity

Update 2.4 lands later this month, and the Thargoids are not messing around

Charlie Hall is Polygon’s tabletop editor. In 10-plus years as a journalist & photographer, he has covered simulation, strategy, and spacefaring games, as well as public policy.

The next update to Elite: Dangerous is landing on Sept. 26. It’s called The Return, and the game’s newly introduced alien race has been pushed too far.

In fact, if you’ve ever flown a ship of any consequence across Frontier Development’s vast recreation of our Milky Way galaxy, the video above should make your blood run cold.

The Thargoids first appeared in Elite back in January. Players began giving reports of being pulled out of hyperspace and left floating adrift while a massive, flower-shaped alien vessel scanned them against their will. One commander who described the experience for Polygon said it was terrifying, especially in virtual reality.

In June, players began to discover massive structures on the surface of planets. They had similar lines to the alien ships, but were many times larger. One ambitious group of players even managed to enter one of the structures, which apparently belongs to a race of aliens that predates mankind.

Since then, not much new information has come out of the game. There was one unusual event — a 3,000-player battle royale — that took place. But, it was largely unrelated to Frontier’s own efforts to move that game’s story forward. That changes with the release of the next update, also referred to as 2.4.

In the cinematic trailer we see a wing of human ships with a new device that can disable the Thargoid ship, as well as a powerful new missile technology. But it also seems to show that humanity fired the first shot.

Whatever happens next in the fiction of this grand, massively multiplayer game world, it appears that humanity deserves it.

The next level of puzzles.

Take a break from your day by playing a puzzle or two! We’ve got SpellTower, Typeshift, crosswords, and more.