The most important thing to remember during this review is that, the game is visually stunning, and the combat physics are top notch, and it’s fun.
haha…. no. I mean, yes all that is true, but there is more.
There are 3 modes of play. Solo, Only with your group, and open. In this review (Siskel and Ebert rate my review: 2 thumbs who the hell is this guy.) I played in either solo, or group. So any description of hostile action I may write, will be from NPCs.
Elite: Dangerous is on steam for about 45 bucks. I have no problem with that price, and in fact would have no problem if it was 55 dollars. I like the purchase and then play model, however they seem to be trying to also charge extra if you want to paint your ship. I know it’s probably a tiny thing, but it annoys me to no end.
It’s like Blizzard charging extra for a different skin tone on your character. I’d be fine with charging for specific patterns, like camo or chrome, but even for basic colors? That’s just tacky.
Enough of that, moving on.
The universe is fantastic, but some of the (fictional) engineers in game must be mad men. Really, a tiny slot ships barely fit through to dock? Ships coming in and going out using the ‘mail slot’?
That’s just a world thing, but I always think about it when docking.
So, in the world you have three ‘frames’ of travel. Normal, Supercruise, and Hyperdrive.
Normal is basically when you are docking or in combat.
Hyperdrive is when you are moving from system to system. Spawning into a new zone, really.
Super cruise is when you move at very fast speeds, between jumps. You can be forced out of supercruise. This is called Interdiction.
So some other ship wants your cargo, or your bounty, or whatevers. So they activate their device to interdicted you, and your screen shows a blue circle you try to keep alignment with. If you can’t keep it aligned you get popped out of supercruise and into normal space.
Then the jerk either demands your cargo(never happened to me, but it can in theory) or they just shoot you and try to make you explode because they are pirates.
This can be frustrating. So, so frustrating. When flying my hauler, I kept getting interdicted and blown up. I really had no chance against those guys. I was popped out of supercruise and blown up in about 5 seconds. During the session I ended up losing 240K of credits. I was not happy.
Fortunately I handled it well by ranting on twitter.cough.
They do use a mechanic that’s interesting. There is a buyback cost of your ship, so if (when) you get blown up you can buy the same ship outfitted the same way sans cargo. So never go below your buyback cost. IF you don’t have enough money you can buy back without some items. If you have even less money, you can get the starter ship for free. So that is pretty well thought through!
But when you get blown up, you start back at the station you started your run. That is a mechanic people grew tired up 15 years ago. MMOs have learned people are happier if you put them at the nearest ‘spawn’ point. No one wants to do the same series of jumps again. At least give the user the option of where along his last series of jumps they want to start.
You can play any different styles. from trade, to missions, to combat. All three are well executed.
There is a learning curve. The docs aren’t done very well, but there are a lot of really good videos. I suggest newbs watch a getting started video.
There is a lot you can do, and a lot of commands. Once you start ‘getting’ the game the commands make sense.
I highly recommend getting a joy stick and hotas. I am using X.FLight Thrustmaster Hotas.
I’m a thrustmaster, if you know what I mean.
I linked to Fry’s, becasue at this Time Amazon has them going for 80 dollars instead of the normal 50 dollars. I wonder if thats do toy Elite:Dangerous demand? Yes, there are better joysticks, but dropping 200-300 hundred dollar on myself 2 months before christmas would have consequences.
If you like space flight sims, then buy this game. The starting learning curve is a little steep, so do the training.
tl;dr: I took the time to write it, you can take the time to read it.
As a side note. When playing, sometimes I like to think the game was developed by aliens so we could fly their ships for them. Outsourcing their work so they can watch alien game of thrones.
My son got me to play ELite: Dangerous, and I think he may be regretting it. I kept interrupting him to help me figure things out.