Elite: Dangerous is probably the biggest game I have ever played. Unfortunately for Elite: Dangerous though it also has an extremely steep learning curve and the game does almost nothing to help you. It is kind of surprising, Elite: Dangerous is an extremely fun game, but it is one that is frustrating to get used to. It is the type of game that will take a few days to get the hang of, but once you are there it is rather delightful. As Elite: Dangerous is one of the most immersive Space Simulators that I have ever played. Elite: Dangerous is not a perfect game, but it does deserve some attention and credit.
Welcome to Elite: Dangerous, where many things are going on and at first, but you won’t be aware of any of these things. Elite: Dangerous is the type of game that will literally throw you in to space and expect you to know just about everything there is to know. Seriously, it took me two days of playing to actually master the art of landing my ship. The game is harsh and unforgiving, but once you get the hang of it, Elite: Dangerous is a blast and a half to play and explore and it has a lot to offer to those willing to trek through its unforgiving Universe.
Elite: Dangerous has many career options for you to tackle, from harmless trader to ruthless Space Pirate. You want to murder everyone in sight? Go for it, don’t expect to go to Federal starports though. You can dabble in illegal goods, be a bounty hunter, or just explore. Elite: Dangerous has a lot of career options open for you, you aren’t exactly tied down by a story either. While Elite: Dangerous does feature a story, it isn’t something that is in your face. It is a lot like the controls of the game, they don’t throw it in your face and kind of just expect you to know everything. Elite: Dangerous does have a story though and it is evolving as the game continues. Starports will pop up, disappear, and wars will break out. Elite: Dangerous has a rather interesting, diverse, and large universe, I don’t pretend to fully understand it, but I do appreciate it.
Elite: Dangerous’ real charm comes from its sheer size. With such a steep learning curve one should expect this. Elite: Dangerous’ size makes for great play, but it more or less feels the same after a while. You can’t really interact with planets, ships, and starports. Sadly in Elite: Dangerous you can only do a little bit above the bare minimum. It would be very interesting to actually explore planets, derelict ships, and starports. If you stumble upon these in Elite: Dangerous you don’t get to do much truthfully. While I have been told that Elite: Dangerous plans to add these far down the road, it currently is without it. While the universe in Elite: Dangerous is big and interesting, these fleshed out features make it feel somewhat shallow.
Speaking of somewhat shallowness, Elite: Dangerous is considered an MMO. Although when you play Elite: Dangerous it really does not feel like one. I have yet to actually run in to another player outside of starports. Even then though, the interactions between players are sparse. I mean, what reason do you have to find your friends? I hate to say it, but practically none. There is almost no reason to go across half the Universe just to find your friends, because you really can’t do much together. Legal wise especially, as the only real thing you can do with friends is fight people, but even that is rare. The player to player interaction is very minimal at best, there really just isn’t too big of a point to it. There’s no way to hire people to do jobs for you, there is no way to really co-op complete a job, and there is not much for PvP. What seems odd to me though, is that Elite: Dangerous takes place during a very busy time, with a war coming up. Why not have faction based PvP that rewards fighters? Is that too normal for Elite: Dangerous? I am not sure, but it isn’t in the game and that makes the player to player interaction EXTREMELY shallow.
While Elite: Dangerous doesn’t do much to put you in your friends together, it does let you do a lot of other things. Elite: Dangerous somewhat shines in its ability to immerse the player. With rather good graphics helping out Elite: Dangerous, the game is very interesting in a visual sense. The ships are unique inside and somewhat detailed. When you get a chance to look around it is fairly interesting in the cockpit. While the visuals for Elite: Dangerous aren’t very groundbreaking, they do their job right. The biggest issue in the graphics department would be the planets, as you can only see the surface and not many things are going on. The starports unfortunately get repetitive rather quickly, as there are only several variants in Elite: Dangerous’ current form.
One of the most important things to consider in Elite: Dangerous is your ship. What’s interesting is how the World around you reacts to your ship. For instance, pick the Mercenary paint and stickers, which are skulls, then apparently you are more likely to be scanned before entering a starport. So, yeah, don’t do that if you actually plan on doing illegal things. Speaking of the starports, their security is ridiculous. You can’t pay a bounty unless you are docked, so if you forget… good luck. As the starport security will fire on you no matter what and they will destroy you. It seems silly that in Elite: Dangerous a bounty of 250 credits is a death sentence. Also, lets go ahead and talk about how I actually got that bounty, because that’s even more irritating. I was collecting a bounty in space against an NPC. Well, he was also being attacked by Federal security ships and I decided to help them out. In Elite: Dangerous when you are fighting a ship the AI some times has ingenious idea of jumping literally in front of your guns… Why? Great question, I do not know. All I know is that it has happened to me multiple times actually and it means you have to make quick work of the bounty or jump, because the Federal Security ships will tear you up quickly. I have had another issue with my guns as well, in Elite: Dangerous your turrets don’t like you. No other way of putting that, as my turrets have literally targeted friendly AI for no apparent reason. This happens while I am battling a hostile and it is VERY frustrating to add a bounty to my name and the added enemy.
A majority of issues in Elite: Dangerous stem for the shallowness of certain features. This comes from variety of starports to its somewhat empty feeling Galaxy. Elite: Dangerous is good fun, but it is also extremely hard to get the hang of. At the end of the day it is hard to say if Elite: Dangerous is worth the steep learning curve it has placed. Elite: Dangerous is a fun game, but with features like exploration and Co-Op play being so shallow it may lose its touch rather quickly. While it offers a variety of things for you to do, it doesn’t feel like you can do much in those areas. With exploration being especially shallow it may be hard to consider it worth your time. With games like Star Citizen and No Man’s Sky coming out relatively soon, Elite: Dangerous is going to have to make the jump sooner rather than later. As both of these games seem to have extensive exploration and Co-Op play.
Elite: Dangerous is definitely a fun game, but it is gimped by shallow features. The size of the universe and its story are two of the biggest things going for Elite: Dangerous. Sadly I do not know the longevity of Elite: Dangerous, but if they don’t bring out meaningful updates on a regular basis then it may fall victim to other games. Elite: Dangerous is by no means a bad game, it is a difficult one though. Frontier Developments has done a rather great job with the game. It may not be enough to keep some players though, as after a while the Universe somewhat feels dead.
Graphics - 9
Multiplayer - 6
Gameplay - 8.5
Sound - 9
All in all, Elite: Dangerous is a fun, albeit shallow game. It has a lot to offer to people looking for a challenge. I wouldn't say it is an unfun game and that it isn't worthwhile. There are many things Elite: Dangerous could do to make it more worthwhile though. With shallow features like exploration and Co-Op play, it may be hard to recommend to everyone, especially with such a steep learning curve. Elite: Dangerous is an immersive game that allows you to do a lot, but in the long run it may feel like too little due to the shallowness of some features. There are great moments to be had in Elite: Dangerous, but you may be taken by another Space Sim down the road. I can't comment on the longevity of Elite: Dangerous, but if the game is not updated on a frequent basis it may get stale to players rather quickly.