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Elite: Dangerous Composer Announcement

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Hi everyone,

Michael here with the latest Elite: Dangerous update and I have some exciting news for you all. Quite a few of you have been asking what our plans are regarding the music for the game, we’ve been busy with the selection process for the composer (and their team) so haven’t been able to reveal anything. That process has now been completed so we are pleased to reveal that Erasmus Talbot has been chosen to compose the music for Elite: Dangerous.

The process to select the composer has been a lengthy one, the music is a major component in the audio for the game and we wanted to ensure that whoever we picked was the perfect candidate. To aid the process we created a short capital ship video for the composers to score so we could compare like for like.

Here is that video along with Erasmus’s score for the scene:

Jim Croft, our Head of Audio describes the selection process:

The pitching process for Elite Dangerous has been quite extensive. After announcing our initial search for a composer we were inundated with interest from high calibre applicants. We then invited 20 or so composers/teams to score our ‘Damocles’ video.

Key criteria were: the ability to write and arrange for an orchestra and, specifically with the space theme in mind; a strong thematic and melodic sense; ability to express dynamism, energy and strong choral work. Finding someone with previous implementation / interactive music experience would also be a huge plus.

The work we received was nothing less than awe inspiring. We then had the almost impossible task of narrowing the candidates down to a shortlist of six, who were then set the more technical challenge of creating interactive music stems based on their Damocles video assets. We were looking for a composer who also had a strong understanding of interactive music, and the effect this can have on the writing process.

Erasmus was a favourite from quite early on. His music was extremely sympathetic to the changing action in the trailer and expressed what we thought were very strong thematic ideas. There was also an excellent sense of dynamism to his score; he seemed to know when to go full on and when to pull back and let the visuals do the talking. He let his score breathe. Crucially also, his score ‘mock-ups’ were very impressive sounding - particularly his choirs, and as a music team, we felt that Andreas Kinger and Johan Nilson augmented Erasmus’ experience and skillset beautifully.

We also liked his youthful energy and enthusiasm for the project, and felt that he could offer something unique and new to the genre. Though the trailer score may have had quite a traditional treatment, we were keen to find someone who was also comfortable with cutting edge electronic techniques and a more modern palette. We want the flexibility to not be bound by any particular stylistic genre and to forge our own sound for Elite: Dangerous.

Erasmus delivered a really extensive interactive music system proposal, and supported it with strong documentation so, in the end, the choice was quite simple.

Erasmus Talbot Talks about his inspiration and the challenges in composing the score for Elite:Dangerous

“As a composer there could be nothing more exciting and fun than writing sweeping themes, vast exploration music and energetic battle cues for an epic sci-fi game. And while it will be fun to study and reference my favourite scores, I feel that drive that is simply part of Elite’s legacy to defy convention, push the boundaries and try something new.

For this first trailer, I stayed close to the musical language typically associated with the genre, drawing from scores of recent sci-fi blockbuster such as Star Trek, Oblivion, Star Wars I-III etc. while trying to find my own voice in the themes and use of synth. As with game play and art style, the musical style is very much in development and my ambitions to find a unique, yet fitting musical identity for Elite: Dangerous are extremely high.

Elite:Dangerous will take players through a vast universe, range of gameplay scenarios and game modes. For music to enhance these experiences without becoming repetitive is a challenge that I am relishing. The right balance between musical styles and moods will have to be found, coupled with a suitable interactive playback system. How do we reflect a procedurally created and potentially infinite universe? How does music develop over the course of an epic 1 hour battle? These are just some of the questions we have to answer.

Also, on the practical side, it is already clear that the soundtrack will be highly orchestral. This means confronting ourselves extensively with orchestration, score creation, live recording and wherever we apply sample libraries, highly detailed midi programming for convincing, musical results.

Creatively, stepping out of the shadows of Holst, Williams and co. will take quite some confidence and experimentation but it’s essential to reflect musically the unique character of Elite:Dangerous’ gameplay.”

The video didn’t just help us choose our composer, it also helped develop other aspects of the game, in David’s next Dev Diary (due in a couple of weeks) he’ll talk more about this. We’ll also follow up David’s video with an art specific breakdown of what we did in the video and the road forwards.

Thanks as always for reading and if you haven’t joined in the fun yet you can still pledge via our website http://elite.frontier.co.uk

Michael

Ken Archer and Theta Sigma like this update.

Comments

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    1. Theta Sigma on July 3, 2016

      Elite Dangerous Newsletter #130 - Friday, 24th June 2016
      .
      https://forums.frontier.co.uk/showthread.php/268791-Newsletter-130
      .

      Greetings Commander,
      .
      Welcome to the Elite Dangerous Newsletter #130.
      .
      This week we take a look at some great content from the community in our Horizons Highlights, bring you important news about upcoming changes and adjustments to The Engineers and give you all the details of our huge Summer sale.
      .
      As always, you can hear the latest news and updates directly from the development team on our Forums, Twitter, Facebook, Community Homepage, and right here in the newsletter every week, and we're always eager to hear your feedback.
      .
      Pick up the Elite Dangerous: Horizons Season Pass today for only £13.39, €16.74, $20.09 or RUB 997,63.
      .
      .
      Fly Safe CMDRs!

    2. Theta Sigma on June 18, 2016

      Elite Dangerous Newsletter #129 - Friday, 17th June 2016
      .
      https://forums.frontier.co.uk/showthread.php/266247-Newsletter-129
      .
      .
      Fly Safe CMDRs!

    3. Theta Sigma on June 17, 2016

      Elite Dangerous Newsletter #129 - Friday, 17th June 2016
      http://email-elitedangerous.com/3F35-91K2-2433Y32QA1/cr.aspx
      .
      .
      This week we're showing off some incredible community creations, including a must-see live action short movie, we're telling you about some of the tweaks and changes we've implemented thanks to community feedback, taking a little trip in an Orca with some Elite Dangerous-style space tourism and much more.
      .
      • Horizons Highlights
      We’re always impressed by the screenshots and videos our community post on social media and our forums… here’s a collection of a few of our favourites from this week.

      This live action short film made by the Eranin People's Film Board does an amazing job of putting an intriguing story behind a simple in-game mission. It perfectly captures the mood of Elite Dangerous and we applaud everyone involved for their brilliant work. We know we're not alone when we say that we'd love to see more.
      https://www.youtube.com/watch…
      .
      Recusant1 heard rumours of a battlecruiser arriving at Merope 2A and journeyed to the system to get photographic evidence in order to confirm it's arrival. People on Reddit are busy speculating as to the reason for its arrival.
      https://www.reddit.com/r/EliteDangerous/comments/4obuc0/i_can_confirm_the_fns_capitol_ship_in_merope_2a
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      CMDR Zindae quickly found out that it was a bad idea to shoot upon the Cruiser as backup arrived swiftly to protect it.
      https://gfycat.com/RealHideousArmednylonshrimp
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      CMDR Kronek decided to keep it peaceful, with a tip to Messier 78
      https://www.reddit.com/r/EliteDangerous/comments/4oi1e5/messier_78_4k
      .
      .
      • The Engineers Update
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      Earlier this week we put out a server update that brought some requested changes to the game.

      Local news articles were added at the Engineers bases to help direct players to locations where they are able to source the materials they need. In addition we increased the amount of materials you can hold from 600 to 1,000 and increased the amount of Data you can hold from 200 to 500 units.

      Alongside these changes we also made some adjustments to the requirements to unlock a couple of the Engineers. Specifically, we reduced the required number of rare goods to unlock them down to 50 tonnes. We also adjusted the availability of rare goods in the galaxy slightly, too. States will still change the allocation of rares but the numbers are more favourable than they were.

      The development team worked incredibly hard over the recent week’s and are always looking at and reviewing the feedback from the community. There will be an additional point update coming soon which will also include a number of fixes and changes based on feedback from the community. We’ll have some more news on that soon.

      See the original post here:
      https://forums.frontier.co.uk/showthread.php/265277-Serverside-update-and-upcoming-point-update
      .
      .
      • Tourism - Location, Location, Location
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      The graceful Orca will finally get the love and attention it deserves, as passenger gameplay is coming as part of the next major content update to Elite Dangerous: Horizons.
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      We'll have much more information on 2.2 in the coming weeks, so keep an eye on our social media channels and our weekly newsletter to find more.
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      One aspect of Passenger Gameplay will be Tourism, so we're building a massive database of the best tourist hotspots in the galaxy. There's nobody who knows the galaxy better than our intrepid explorers, so we're asking for a helping hand from our Commanders to make the location database as thorough and complete as possible!
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      Executive Producer Michael Brookes has arranged a competition on our forums where you can submit a location to be used in the game. If the location you submit gets used, your CMDR name will be added in-game in connection with the chosen location.
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      You can see all of the details, and find out exactly how you can get involved, by visiting the original forum post:
      https://forums.frontier.co.uk/showthread.php/266046-2-2-Your-Input-Needed-Passenger-Tourist-Destinations
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      • EDC Commonwealth Codebreaker Event
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      The EDC Commonwealth are arranging a massive code breaking event, where participants will have to answer a series of questions in order to win prizes. See the original post here to find out how you can get involved.
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      • GalNet Focus
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      • The Danger Zone CQC Livestream
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      • HCS Voicepacks - Obsidian
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      The guys at HCS voicepack have launched their latest addition to the collection, with YouTuber Obsidian Ant!
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      You can watch the trailer for the pack below, made by Obsidian Ant himself... how fitting.
      .
      From the site - "Obsidian - Over a thousand responses including Ai "Jazz" for the Galaxapedia & Constellations."
      https://www.youtube.com/watch…
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      • Reddit AMA Series
      • Community Goals Update
      • Comms Chatter
      .
      .
      Elite Dangerous Newsletter #129 - Friday, 17th June 2016
      http://email-elitedangerous.com/3F35-91K2-2433Y32QA1/cr.aspx
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      .
      Fly Safe CMDRs!

    4. Theta Sigma on June 13, 2016

      Elite Dangerous Newsletter #128 - Friday, 10th June 2016
      http://email-elitedangerous.com/3F35-8T55-7132ZABOD0/cr.aspx
      .
      .
      • Ship Kits Live On the Frontier Store Now!
      Head over to the Frontier Store to pick up our new ship kits for the Sidewinder, Eagle, and Cobra. These kits will give your ship a completely unique look, with hundreds of combinations available to experiment with.
      .
      You can mix and match the pieces on the ship, to get the exact look you want and the pieces will change colour to react to the paint job you’re using. There are more examples of the ship kits in use on the store page..
      .
      • Horizons Highlights: The Engineers
      .
      We’re always impressed by the screenshots and videos our community post on social media and our forums… here’s a collection of a few of our favourites from this week.
      .
      - Ace pilot Isinona returns with his Flight Assist Off Series, adding a new rule to celebrate the launch of 2.1 The Engineers – no insurance rebuys allowed. If he dies, a massive part of his fortune dies with him...
      https://www.youtube.com/watch…
      .
      - Bolt vanderhuuge posted this stunning screenshot… something you could only ever see in Elite Dangerous: Horizons.
      https://imgur.com/a/QRcSY
      .
      - Obsidian Ant continues his journey to the edge of the galaxy, and visits a few planets in “the Desolation Ridge”.
      https://www.youtube.com/watch…
      .
      • The Dangerous games Update and Stream
      .
      The Dangerous Games Wildcard Community Goals have kicked off with a bang. After a long week of Gold mining the groups have battled it out for points in the first of the three challenges they will face.
      .
      • Powerplay Annual Summary
      .
      CMDR Corrigendum takes a look back at the first year of Powerplay, digging deep into the political struggles of the last 12 months.
      .
      .
      .
      Elite Dangerous Newsletter #128 - Friday, 10th June 2016
      http://email-elitedangerous.com/3F35-8T55-7132ZABOD0/cr.aspx
      .
      .
      Fly Safe CMDRs!

    5. Theta Sigma on June 13, 2016

      Elite Dangerous Newsletter #127 - Friday, 3rd June 2016
      https://forums.frontier.co.uk/showthread.php/259735-Newsletter-127
      .
      Horizons Highlights: The Engineers
      The Engineers was launched last week at no additional charge to all those who own the Horizons season pass, and already we’re seeing some beautiful screenshots and videos.
      .
      .
      Plotting a route to Beagle Point just got that little bit easier, with the new bookmarks system. CMDR Gienkov has his route sorted…
      http://i.imgur.com/creXfMy.png
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      CMDR Klassic found this ‘poor little Condor’ floating alone in space… we can only wonder what happened here.
      http://i.imgur.com/PwoGhPs.jpg
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      According to CMDR Allerose, the New Huge Weapons are super effective… look at the mess they’ve left behind!
      http://i.imgur.com/Y1m8JEc.png
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      CMDR Paul Loachman visited Farseer Inc… he took this lovely panoramic screenshot.
      http://i.imgur.com/Mr9h5vu.jpg
      .
      Obsidian Ant uploaded this video detailing the FSD upgrades available via the Engineers.
      https://www.youtube.com/watch…
      .
      .
      Elite Dangerous: Horizons Commanders on PC and Xbox One will receive further expansions at no extra cost as the season continues. Future gameplay updates will debut for PC and Xbox One simultaneously, bringing new activities and new ways to play on both platforms:
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      .
      • Ship-Launched Fighters, allowing larger spacecraft to carry their own short-range fighter craft for attack and defense.
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      .
      • Multicrew, allowing teams of Commanders to assume roles aboard the same ship.
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      .
      • Commander creation, giving a unique appearance to Commanders’ in-game avatars.
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      .
      What’s more, Xbox One Commanders who purchase Horizons before the 30th July will also get access to the Cobra Mk IV in game. This early incentive mirrors our pre order incentive previously offered to PC players. The Cobra Mk IV will be available in selected ship yards if you have access and will require in game credits to purchase.
      .
      .
      Elite Dangerous Newsletter #127 - Friday, 3rd June 2016
      https://forums.frontier.co.uk/showthread.php/259735-Newsletter-127
      .
      .
      Fly Safe CMDRs!

    6. Missing avatar

      deleted on October 7, 2013

      The author of this comment has been deleted.

    7. Lassi Kinnunen on September 20, 2013

      I would have been happy with classical scores.

      Like, if I have to put the in the hall of the mountain king playing from my mp3 player when I enter a new star system then I'm not 100% satisfied.

    8. matt on September 18, 2013

      I hope I'm not being rude to the composer when I say I don't like this score. It sounds like a tropish WW2 battle game. I disappointed, I thought there would at least be some procedural music picking cues from the activities and environment, and such. Please rethink your choices gentlemen.

    9. goettel on September 17, 2013

      Sorry to say, and no offense meant to the composer, but I find the soundtrack generic fare, gratingly bombastic and devoid of strong themes, and I dearly hope the spectrum of tracks will not just run from generic fantasy filler to fantasy fanfare.

    10. izzy on September 17, 2013

      @Commander "Ace" T Renshai : 1st round beta test is planned on January 2014

    11. JanGunheD on September 16, 2013

      Will there be saveable Replays with choosable camera-behaviors? That would be awesome! That would make such impressive videos of your own gameplay possible.

    12. Synchromesh on September 15, 2013

      For me the video is perfect.....I was expecting good things but to come that far in 6 months is mind blowing...you guys must eat, sleep and breathe Elite Dangerous..

      I agree with Anders T.N the Hyper-drive travel made my guts wrench...IT WORKS !! Keep it :)

    13. Cmdr Noogillim of "The Lamentation" on September 15, 2013

      Will in game music be themed depending on faction or career?

    14. Harry Torque on September 15, 2013

      Very impressive music. It shows a good base to build your own soundscape upon. I'd urge you to take risks, you have clearly the skillset to let go and produce top notch results.

      Also, the laser beam sound, though muted, sounds nasty and mean - in a good way :)

    15. Commander "Ace" T Renshai on September 15, 2013

      Woohoo! Very nice! :-D - Think i may have to book 2014 off work lol! - Keep up the good work guys! - How long until the Beta release now?

    16. Missing avatar

      Bartlomiej Sokolowski on September 14, 2013

      I'd still want to hear Frontier's music in ED and if I won't be able to I'm going to rip it from my Amiga disk and use it anyway. Anyway, I like chosen criteria for new music score and I really like it. Keep up the good work guys.

    17. Drew Wagar on September 14, 2013

      Thanks for the interview with Erasmus, that was particularly interesting to see that he'd deliberately gone for a John Williams influence, with homage to other sci-fi movies. I'd like to encourage him to use more of his own 'voice' in the music. He's clearly a great choice - let's be bold and move beyond the confines of the genre and make ED even more distinctive. I'll be looking forward to listening to this score regardless of the game. Excellent choice, FD.

    18. Anders T.N
      Superbacker
      on September 14, 2013

      I know this is not a gampelay vid but please include this form of hyper-drive travel. It gave me the chills and took me right back to those wonderful moments in Star Trek, Stargate and other grate sci-fi shows. Also that "I bring friends" comment made my day ;)

    19. Frontier Developments Creator on September 14, 2013

      @ Lorenz Jugel

      The scenario was created for specirfic purposes, in game these ships are a lot more dangerous :-)

      Michael

    20. Frontier Developments Creator on September 14, 2013

      So are we :-)

      Michael

    21. Missing avatar

      Catherine on September 14, 2013

      @Michael - many thanks for the clarification - it's all looking fabulous and I'm very, very excited :)

    22. Missing avatar

      Lorenz Jugel on September 14, 2013

      I've watched this way too many times now.

      One thing that has started to bother me is the lack of oomph behind the capital weapon firing and impact sound effects when they finally stop being jammed. I'd imagine that a twin-linked cannon of that size would pack more of a punch, aurally (ignoring that whole space sound thing, obviously). The impacts and explosions of the missiles could use some more emphasis too, to distinguish it from the secondary explosions.

      Also, just sitting motionless side-by-side without any of "that fancy manoeuvring stuff", all-out ripping into each other - captains of capital ships sure have it easy, eh. ;)

    23. John Blythe on September 14, 2013

      I AM NOW PROPERLY EXCITED BY THIS GAME!
      The opening sequence is fantastic. Is that the new Hyperdrive effect? Just zooming through the galaxy? Cos I love that!
      Seems to be coming along brilliantly. Keep up this great work guys.

      You have another Trailer for the game right here too! :-)

    24. Frontier Developments Creator on September 14, 2013

      @ Carlos70

      We're not quite ready to discuss minimum specs so I would hold off until we can provide some useful information on that.

      Michael

    25. Frontier Developments Creator on September 14, 2013

      @ Catherine

      Yes they do move about, the scenrio in this video was put together quite specifically to have a tight and contained battle, this is not a gameplay video although it is in-engine.

      Michael

    26. Missing avatar

      Carlos70 on September 14, 2013

      WOW! Will my GTX670 4g handle it? or should I buy another one or other?

    27. Missing avatar

      Catherine on September 14, 2013

      Looks fantastic and I'm very excited. :) My only query is, that to me, the capital ships seem entirely static compared to the background....I don't know why but just that aspect doesn't look that realistic to me. With all the explosions, weapons launches etc would the capital ships not move abit too or is that how it would really look in "actuality"? :)

    28. Steph Wyeth
      Superbacker
      on September 14, 2013

      Extraordinary! I am so looking forward to seeing it for real - I'll never get the hang of playing it I suspect but it'll be fun to watch. :-) :-)

    29. Missing avatar

      Tempered on September 13, 2013

      All I can say is WOW!!

    30. Deliverence on September 13, 2013

      Great update looking good I want to play it now!

    31. Peter Richard Brooks
      Superbacker
      on September 13, 2013

      That looks, and sounds, awesome.

    32. Charles N on September 13, 2013

      That was very, very cool! In fact, it was much cooler than I was expecting to see! I was blown away and so was my coworker!

    33. intrepidis on September 13, 2013

      "Excited" doesn't cover it. Maybe "OMG", or "Just. Can't. Wait!!!"

    34. Missing avatar

      Tony Jeffery on September 13, 2013

      i think i actually said 'my god' when that clip started.... amazing, absolutely amazing. Well done FD!

    35. Ronald Posthumus on September 13, 2013

      AWESOME VID!!!! :D cant wait for more! The music is epic, Keep up the good work!

    36. Polaris Penguin on September 13, 2013

      The music really fits into the game (although "sadly" I tend to turn off music during gameplay) and as for the video I really hope the cockpits end up looking and behaving like that, amazing work so far!

    37. Alexander R on September 13, 2013

      Looks and sounds great. Will NPCs have audio / voice ? Will the different factors have different accents ? It shouldn't all sound like the RAF / RN :P

      I did find the smoke effects distracting. Considering the amount of detail going into realistic simulations of the solar system, orbits etc. I think the smoke takes away from the amount of realism put into the game.

      Look at the trailer for gravity. You can have dynamic effects with no smoke or flames at all.

    38. Matti Mustajärvi on September 13, 2013

      Really nice video and music. The cutting lasers of the fighter craft looked really cool.

    39. Dave Pierce on September 13, 2013

      Brilliant video. Loved it. The score captures the moment very well with the action. Great choice. Soo can't wait for the game now. Keep up the awesome work everyone and all the best to David and his team...;-))...

    40. Commander Keith [@mistertricker] on September 13, 2013

      I think it's clear from watching that video a few times that DB has been thinking about and preparing this game for a long time. That didn't look like a few months work to me.

    41. manio on September 13, 2013

      Epic video, epic music, epic setting...did i say its epic?

    42. Luis on September 13, 2013

      Awesome .Keep on the good work!

    43. Coz on September 13, 2013

      I keep noticing new stuff each time I watch it.. The HUD looks awesome, stress, overheat..

      Loving the sound score

      @Micheal: I just bought myself a 7.1 surround sound headset. Is the game going to support that?

    44. JustADude on September 13, 2013

      Absolutely amazing!!! The ships, music... Simply breath-taking. I'm glad I backed this and Star Citizen! I am loving the feel of both games and as a space sim fan, it's a glorious time to be spoilt. I just hope I can find some time to have a life! :-\

    45. Coz on September 13, 2013

      The window frame doesnt obscure as much as I thought it would :D

    46. Coz on September 13, 2013

      OMG!!! Redefining the concept of Epic! That was an incredible video.

      You guys are back on my Christmas card list. :)

    47. karlchen on September 13, 2013

      Breathtaking video!
      Especially on around 00:48 the Feedback when the Fighter get hitted by a laser beam (how it shakes by the power of the beam)... really really coo that!!!!

    48. Missing avatar

      Lorenz Jugel on September 13, 2013

      Nice to have him on board. Awesome trailer, too.

      Great update in every regard. Can't wait to be that first guy that gets insta-killed in the beginning of the engagement. ;)

    49. Commander Keith [@mistertricker] on September 13, 2013

      Oh my good God!! That was stunning. I might have to go up my pledge for beta access now! Can I still do that? Can't wait for the PS4 version too!!!

    50. Torben Kristiansen on September 13, 2013

      Brilliant update! A genuine feast for the senses! But now the Empire must strike back! :-)

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