Fly through a letterbox in space in the Elite: Dangerous E3 trailer

Still a threat: Frontier show off docking in the new Elite.

It’s a relief to discover that despite their affair with the people’s publisher, Kickstarter, Frontier Developments aren’t too cool for E3. Braben and friends have made the transatlantic trip to LA – and then taken the mammoth walk from the hotel to the show floor – to demo the game in person.

And they’ve released a new trailer. We’ve seen plenty of astounding footage from the already-released Elite: Dangerous premium beta, but in this video a spaceship zooms directly into the heart of a gigantic cube, as if to upset Peter Molyneux. You can’t get that anywhere else.

It’s paradoxical to fly from the unlimited expanse of space into a relatively cramped box, and only then be astonished by the scale of the game. But the hangar is beautiful: the St Pancras of sci-fi stations.

It feels fitting to end on that hyperspace-squish – as important to the essence of space gaming as the push and pull of Mickey Mouse is to animation.

Elite might not have inspired the lineage of space sims it should’ve, but its new sequel is a heritage game nonetheless. Frontier clearly take their duty of nostalgia very seriously indeed.

Did you see those Elite: Dangerous system maps? Lovely, weren’t they?