I’m going to be honest, I had no idea what Elite: Dangerous was only 2 days ago. After about a minute of research, I decided to buy the game. Since then, I’ve discovered that it’s the coolest thing ever besides a penguin with sunglasses.
1) Your Childhood Fantasy
When you were a kid, did you ever want to fly freely around the entire galaxy while piloting a starship of your very own? Elite: Dangerous lets you do that do that to a degree of insanity. The amount of options you have to live your life in the Milky Way is absolutely staggering and quite possibly a little bit intimidating. Here’s a small fraction of the space lives you can live in Elite. This is not comprehensive by any means; if I listed all the possibilities it would go on for quite a while
- Bounty Hunter
2) The Map
Oh, by the way, the entire Milky Way is available to explore. Don’t believe me? Check this out. Hundreds of billions of stars available for you to travel to on a whim and explore. What’s so great about it is that the map is incredibly good looking, easy to use, and has a ton of useful information. Using the map I was able to figure out which systems wanted what type of commodities and make a ton of money carting leather, wine, uranium, and other materials between space stations. Being a space trucker is way more fun than it has any business being.
3) Flying Around at the Speed of Sound
Well actually it’s the speed of light. More accurately, around 400-500 times the speed of light. There are a few modes of travel you’ll use in Elite. You can fly around at normal speeds which is cool and all, but the real piloting happens in super cruise. While the name “super cruise” might make it sound like your pilot throws on some Ray Bans and cruises, it’s actually even cooler (if that’s possible). You take off and accelerate rapidly, flying around whichever solar system you’re in at speeds approaching hundreds of times the speed of light. In this mode you can see nav beacons, signal sources, planets, and even other ships that are super cruising. One fun thing you can do if you want to be a pirate is interdict a super cruising vessel. You lash yourself to your target vehicle and pull yourselves out of super cruise where you’ll be free to relieve them of their cargo. Yo-ho-ho and a bottle of space rum!
Not Mike Vick style dogfighting, silly. Real dogfighting. The ship to ship combat in this game is excellent and is both satisfying and challenging. I wouldn’t classify this as too arcade-like however, as some of my dogfights have lasted upwards of 10-15 minutes. One time I was hunting this pirate for a sweet credit bounty, and he and I both flew away from each other so we could make a pass and do some damage. When I turned around I saw him coming at me, about 3km away. It was a game of chicken, but in space (which makes it cool). We were both flying at each other, lasers and multi-cannons firing away, and then right before we collided we both rolled in opposite directions, causing us to barely miss each other. It was so rad.
The game is set in fucking space, and you can explore it all. I’ve come across star systems with 5 suns, binary star systems, asteroid belts, earth-like planets, ringed planets that dwarf Saturn, rebel space stations, federation cruisers, and so much other cool stuff I can’t even remember it all. It’s everything I’ve ever wanted from a space-sim in that it invokes a sense of realistic wonder while still being incredibly fun to play.
I can’t recommend this game enough. The developers are adding even more to the game in the future, like planetary landing and on-foot combat, so the game will only grow from here. If you’re a fan of space-sims or just sci-fi in general, you need to play this game.