Growing up watching films such as the Star Wars franchise, space games and simulators are a passion for myself and many other gamers. Sadly it’s not a passion we can divulge in that often. Games genres like first person shooters, RPG’s and strategy games seem to get pumped out on a continuous conveyor belt but a hardcore, well made space game may raise its head every once in a blue moon.
Some years ago i was addicted to Eve Online, I’d spend hours playing it in a massive multiplayer online environment that seemed endless. It eventually became an arduous struggle of repetitive tedium and being monthly subscription, expensive. Then in the dying months of 2014 a new, fresh, exquisite game not only raised its head.. It stood up, climbed a set if stairs and shouted it’s praise from the rooftops. That game was and is Elite Dangerous which was bought into the world by Kickstarter and raised a staggering £1.5 million back in January 2014.
Learning my mistakes on a few games like this in the past i waited a month for server issues and bugs to be ironed out before laying down the £40 asking price with no subscription fee (Yes.. No Subscription) and set about downloading the client. This game has taken over my entire life, games reviews pushed aside, house work, eating have all been left in the wake of Elite Dangerous. Even mid review i will say this game is stunning, beautiful, addictive and vast.
It sat me down in the games starting ship, the Sidewinder. It’s got a few small hard points which are the games gun/missile mounting system. It’s cargo hold is tiny but enough at the beginning of your journey and acts as a great little starting ship. You can fully upgrade the ship from guns to life support systems, shields and warp drives. Starting with a handful of credits your only real goal is to head out into space, an awe-inspiring 1:1 scale replica of a The Milky Way. It even adds stars, planets and solar systems we have (well NASA has) discovered which adds a great little twist in the games ever evolving literal universe.
Before you start you voyage into the unknown, to boldly go where no one has gone before (literally this can happen) you must master, tweak and sort out the controls. The mouse and keyboard are useless, it would be like driving your car blindfolded while steering and changing gear with a hammer. I picked up my controller and it was so much easier and I got the hang of it within an hour. I played and replayed the training missions until I’d learnt, practiced and got everything sorted. I have heard a joystick and thruster control system can immerse you even more but a controller has kept me in good stead.
Elite Dangerous throws you in at the deep end with concrete blocks attached to your feet, there is so much to do in very high detail. Undocking from a Space Station is a job within itself but docking is an art form, you proceed towards the station, contact the authorities and request entry. Your then given a bay number and it’s then your job to find that bay and land, it’s tough and requires practice.
It’s one of those game that leaves you feeling lost, hopeless and frustrated at the beginning but when you get used to it, opens you up to a universe you can get completely immersed in. The next step is to find you career path, Hauler, Trader, Bounty Hunter or Pirate and each ship has its strengths and weakness throughout that spectrum of choices. I chose Bounty Hunting / Trading and have now got myself a Cobra MkIII that is an all-rounder with enough fire power and cargo space to handle (for now) all my needs but like everything it’s all upgradable.
The best thing I do now is fly across my system (LHS 3447) looking for “Unidentified Signal Source’s” which are random events from killing a few Wanted Pirates to collecting a few pieces of cargo floating in space and selling them on the black market. Sadly they are a bit repetitive but they have promised to make more scenarios and events which will be great once implemented. I would like to get into lawful bounty hunting meaning players who have a wanted status and a price on their head. I haven’t encounter any as yet but no doubt they blow me to bits until I’ve improved or upgraded my ship a few times.
All in all Elite Dangerous is a very well put together game with extremely high levels of detail with fantastic graphics and sound. It’s only downside is the limited ships and stuff you can do at the moment but it’s a game in infancy that I believe will mature with a few years under its asteroid belt. Another game on the horizon is Star Citizen, a game I haven’t played but watched a few videos and that looks great, my mate popped over who is a staunch Citizen fan but after sampling the game play, even he is now considering Elite Dangerous.
It’s easy to give Elite Dangerous 10/10, it has everything a space simulator / explorer would ever need, it ticks so many boxes and had me hooked from the first few hours of gameplay. It offers everything at less than console price with no monthly subscription and in today’s world of trying to drain the gamer out of every penny they own I believe this game has done really well. So.. Don’t even leave the house today, download the game and immerse yourself in a true masterpiece.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary PC code was provided to Brash Games for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to email@example.com.
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