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Review: Elite Dangerous

Elite, a revolutionary space sim game dating from the 1984’s. We jump 30 years forward with the speed of light to conquer the 3rd game in the franchise, Elite Dangerous. This new episode within the Elite franchise hasn’t changed much when it comes to the core game. You’re a space pilot venturing through space, exploring the far regions of this dark and cold universe to discover new space stations that offer exciting missions across the galaxy. The new Elite Dangerous doesn’t change much about the concept but it offers you a revitalized game with lots of new gadgets and space ships. Elite, the space sim where it all started…

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 The start of your space sim journey won’t be an easy one. You’ll have to make an effort to get to know this game and its mechanics. If you want to get the most out of this game’s worth, expect a great number of hours that’ll sink into this game. Goodbye social life! This game won’t hold your hand throughout the game, it’s all about playing the game and figuring out what’s happening around you. You’ll be thrown into this black mass without any knowledge of its environment, hoping to float and staying alive. The game doesn’t offer you an expanding tutorial, it’s all about using what you have to figure the game out. Watching tutorial videos, looking stuff up in the Elite dictionary and trying things out, will be the only way to get a hang of it. This is not a bad thing, it offers you a lot of freedom but if you’re not into this “way of life”, it’s better to step aside and wait for another game. If you’re ready to put in the required amount of work, you’ll find an amazing space game that has a lot to offer. This game is all about doing what you like to do. There is no “main goal” within this universe, the goal is the one you set out for yourself, even though you won’t be alone in this. The game is set in an online universe where people are being dropped with the same clean slate as you are. What you want on that paper, is all up to you.

 

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The game offers you 3 directions: trade, fight or explore. They offer you missions that’ll reward you with lots of cash and goodies. These goodies and cash will give you the potential to upgrade your ship or even buy bigger ones. If these missions aren’t enough, just go towards the space stations and pick up some extra mission, to gain some extra cash. Whatever you decide, it’s important to upgrade and become better with each step. Without any upgrades, you won’t survive long in this cold-hearted world.

If the decision is final in becoming an important trader, this is what’s ahead of you. You’ll travel to different space stations and load up your cargo with clothing, food or even weapons. You’ll set out a course to another space station, so you can sell all the things within your cargo for a much higher price. Each space station has its own economic system that’s being influenced by all the other players within this universe. Keep in mind that each space station is different, not every space station will allow your goods to their market but there are still other ways to get some profit of your illegal products, namely the black market. The black market is perfect for “big cash” but just like in the real world, there’s a space authority group that’ll hunt you down for selling illegal products. When caught, hopefully, they’ll let you off with a fine.

 

Analyze the situation and adapt!

 

Fighting is also an interesting direction in Elite Dangerous. The main goal is all about arming your space ship to the fullest, upgrading and picking up bounties. Completed bounties will reward you with lots of cash, to become an even better space pilot. If the “justice” way is too boring for you, you’ll also be able to become a space pirate and blow those traders to smithereens. You’ll be rewarded with everything that’s in their cargo. It sounds easy, right? However, it won’t be that easy!

 

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First, the controlling the basics of your ship will be a challenge from the start. Tutorials can be played during the beginning of your game but other than that, it’s all about practice. No practice, no game! Second, be alert during your battles because each battle is different. It’s important to divide your energy between your weapons and shield, as good as you can. The game won’t do it for you, so you’ll have to pay attention! Too much energy to your weapons will cause some issues in your ship:  a delayed shield regeneration or even a slow-paced ship. Analyze the situation and adapt!

Exploring will take you to the far regions of this enormous galaxy. It’s your job to fill up that map with lots of interesting stars. Travel towards an unknown star, scan it and upgrade your star map. Each star map will earn you some money when you’re selling them to Galaxy stations. If you’re the first one to scan this planet, you’ll be remembered for this important discovery. However, it won’t be for everyone because this feature can be a bit boring.

With this exploring in mind, one thing is for sure, the game feels enormous. This galaxy includes billions of different stars, cramped up in this still-to expand environment. This galaxy looks a lot like our solar system but it’s still a world based on fiction. A lot of these stars are automatically generated by Frontier Developments but some stars might look a lot like our solar system. The space environment includes everything: interesting planets, robust space stations, stars embalmed with flames, … and even more.

 

Each month will probably add a piece to the puzzle

 

Don’t forget, Elite Dangerous is still a game in development. The base game is finished and released to the public but Frontier Developments is working very hard to still add some new features and mechanics to the game. It’s just amazing to see, that a crowd funded game can become something so big and interesting to play. If you think about it, a lot of people paid for this development and played all of the beta’s, all of these players had a part to play in this amazing project. Even though the game is playable, it’s still kind of an early access kind of game because the game still isn’t 100 percent. Each month will probably add a piece to the puzzle.  How this game will evolve over the following years, is something will have to see for ourselves but the base game is already interesting to play. Time will tell!

 

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Conclusion:

Elite Dangerous is an amazing space simulator but lets be honest, it won’t be for everyone. The game has a lot to offer but it won’t tell you what to do. The main goal here is, play it how you want it to play. Be a space pirate, an important explorer or a respected trader. This game has a big chunk of content where people will lose themselves into but if you need a more “guided” space sim, this won’t be for you! If you’re ready to learn and head into this space universe with baby steps, go ahead you’ll grow into a great space pilot!

8/10