Title: Elite: Dangerous
Version Tested: Xbox One
Available On: Xbox One, Microsoft Windows, Mac OS
Developer: Frontier Developments
Publisher: Frontier Developments
Genre: Space Flight Sim
Official Site: https://www.elitedangerous.com/
Release Date: Xbox One – October 6, 2015
Where to Buy: Xbox Live, Steam
Freedom. That is the sole word that Elite: Dangerous could be described with. Whatever path that you want to take, you can take it. I chose the life of a trader. That path might not be for everybody, but it’s what I wanted to do. I wanted to make money and help out colonies along the way. While the game is fun, there are some things that can hold the game back.
Players start out with the Sidewinder and only 1,000 credits. Players will want to start making money as quickly as possible. Credits are what drives the economy in Elite: Dangerous. Start by taking jobs from the nearest station and get to work.
Elite: Dangerous is a detailed game. When you warp into a new system, you are greeted by the star of that system. There are also times when you can end up in a binary star system. Fly too close to one of these stars and you’ll pay the price for it. Your shields will flare and your ship will start taking heat damage. This will mostly result in you having to start over.
Players can choose from a variety of ships. As of now, there are around twenty to choose from. If you like dogfighting in space, then ships like the Eagle are for you. Want to make credits by trading? Invest in the Hauler which increases the cargo bay allowing for more room for cargo. The options here are massive. Every ship has a cockpit that players view in the first person.
The little details in the cockpit of the ship give you the sense of being inside. Pressing the right stick unlocks the camera and allows you to look around the cockpit. This also serves a double purpose as you have to use the holographic screens on either your left or right to manage different aspects of the game. One of these options includes requesting permission to dock with different stations.
The ships offer a lot of functions that Frontier Developments has cleverly mapped to the Xbox One controller. Power can route to different systems to allow you to get the edge you need. Boosting system power will help shields regenerate faster, boosting weapon power allows you to fire longer before your weapons overheat, and boosting power to your engines will increase the top speed of your ship. These options allow you to tailor your ship to how you want to play.
The sound design is pretty much what one would expect. While flying through the vastness of space, the silence is deafening. The beeps and chirps the console in the ship is your only friend. Warping through space also sounds like one would expect. It’s loud and booming.
With over 400 billion systems to explore, Elite: Dangerous is understandably massive. There’s a chance that players will never see all of those systems. Most of the action that I encountered all happened within one small part of the map.
The Xbox One version shares the same universe with the PC and Mac versions. Players across the versions will never meet to face to face; however, the power structure is shared across the versions. If those on the Xbox One version create a power shift in the universe, PC and Mac will feel the effects of it. The situation can also be reversed for the Xbox One version.
One of the major turns offs of Elite: Dangerous is the steep learning curve. Players who want to just jump in will find themselves crashing their ship more often than not. Luckily, there is a tutorial that allows players to learn the basics of flying and combat. I would suggest going through this tutorial first before really jumping in and flying off into the wild west area of space.
Elite: Dangerous is a time sink. Don’t go into this game thinking that you’re going to be playing for just a quick session. Travel is slow. Once you warp to a system, you will spend a lot of time in supercruise mode. This mode is how you travel for vast distances in a system. Once you start getting close to your destination, you have to manually slow down or else you will overshoot your target.
Of course, pirates can attempt to pull you out of supercruise mode as well. When this happens, a little minigame pops up that has flown in an evasive route. This can happen almost any time and can also make you overshoot your destination.
Elite: Dangerous is a lot of fun and shows what a lot of gamers have been asking for. While flight sims aren’t for everyone, this one can’t be missed. Especially if you’re curious about space. The game does have a steep learning curve that will probably turn some people off of the game. There is no hand holding. I stuck with it and became pretty good at a landing at a station. I plan on exploring a lot more one I get more money so I can buy a ship that has better fuel capacity.
Despite being a time-sink, Elite: Dangerous has a lot to offer to anybody who picks the game up. With so many places to explore, the game is certainly ambitious. I love the notion of space travel and this game speaks to me. With the Horizons expansion, I can’t to land on an alien planet and explore. I just have to keep a watch out for pirates, though.
I am an aspiring journalist with dreams to make it to the conventions and play with the big boys of the game industry. When I’m not writing about games, I’m playing and enjoying them. Some say that I have an obsession, but I don’t. I have a really expensive hobby.