ELITE: DANGEROUS

Elite: Dangerous is a surreal experience, primarily because of the scale at which you play, an intergalactic hoity-toity trader/assassin/smuggler/hunter/pirate, etc. Maybe it is because you could make...

Elite: Dangerous is a surreal experience, primarily because of the scale at which you play, an intergalactic hoity-toity trader/assassin/smuggler/hunter/pirate, etc. Maybe it is because you could make deliveries of tea and alter the political landscape of a nation with a high profile assassination at the same time, with the two being completely unrelated (yes, you’re not even using it as a cover, they’re just legitimate deliveries), that got to us. Then the game would cramp up and we’d be blown to smithereens for no fault of our own, so that might be looked at as a balance of consequence – but don’t; unrelated consequence needs to be disregarded in the face of simulated consequence, which was to be expected. It isn’t that other games do not do this all the time, with their own sets of laws and rules; this time, it just clicked into place in our heads.

Outside of this slightly shocking fact, the game is going to offer a complete space travel package to you – it’s an across the Milky Way experience. Everything is connected and once you laboriously learn how to operate your ship - how much power can be ported, where and in what situation, the intricacies of space flight, not getting too close to random stars so that you accidentally fry after hyperspace flight, you are good to go; dock on particular ports depending on what you do, the rules of each planet in each system are different, and obviously none apply to you, so just plough on. The game leaves you there, with the entire galaxy to explore, and very little direction on what to do or where to go. You can check the planet you ought to go towards, what it might be like, but you will only get a one word summary for it, and will require visitation for any further insight. The galactic map can intimidate, then confuse, because a lot of them sound like the same alien place. So by lack of variety, it starts to look the same for a while. The random glitches do not help, with you becoming a fugitive from the law for no reason.

The cheaply set up ship you get your hands on first isn’t going to help your case when it comes to travel. Totalling it will only make matters worse, because you’ll be stuck with an even worse ship; but that might just help you come to grips with the game, being forced to do everything manually, without the several aids the better spacecraft has to offer. Take it as a challenge, if you will. Then there’s the actual astrophysics itself, which we obviously missed because we’re fairly empty in that area, by expertise and enthusiasm. But there is incongruity for the trained eye, and explanations or titles for them, should one decide to investigate (and learn something), but most assuredly, they aren’t glitched areas, because these things that you see are known to happen.

Finally, we have the combat – it is tough, in all probability because we didn’t play enough flight simulator as children, but a more steady hand with a better understanding of how their spacecraft behaves at varying speeds for turns and flips, keeping note of the distance between them and other ships and keeping out of the range of missiles by calculating trajectory, will easily fair better. It’s these little things that you are to experience more repeatedly that you need to master. And the game makes no mistakes when it comes to those, which is why it retains playability; that and a good sound. Always, good sound. Well done, Frontier Developments.

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