Elite: Dangerous Review
Hello everybody, Shaun Meyers here with this new Elite: Dangerous Review. The game was created by Frontier Developments. I’ll be reviewing the PS4 version of the game for this review as well.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of the game from the developers for review purposes. Like all of my reviews, this had no effect on my thoughts and experiences with the game.
I will mention early in this review that space-sims aren’t a genre that everyone is going to enjoy. They have a very steep learning curve and if you don’t like both space ships or space in general, you will definitely get bored quickly. I’ve been a fan of space-sims for some time now so I already knew how to control everything in the game and their functions. For new players to the genre, it might prove difficult to learn the complexities of the controls and systems.
The game does have a decent tutorial system available which you can play through to learn the basics. I highly recommend playing the tutorial missions before playing the main game though because they teach you the basics of all the systems.
Now that the warning is finished it’s time to move on to my review of the game.
Elite: Dangerous is a multiplayer themed space-sim that features a scale model of the Milky Way galaxy to explore. The game does a great job of putting in perspective just how massive (And empty) space really is. This is because it tells you the time it’ll take to arrive at a distant object. More often than not this time is incredibly long if you aren’t using the frame shift drive. There are some distant objects that are so far away that even with the frame shift drive, it’d be impossible to reach due to the distance.
Example: I was exploring a solar system and a distant star was a little more than 126,000 light seconds away. With my current ship and frame shift drive, it would have taken me a year and a few days to actually reach that distant star. Space is a massive, empty and incredibly hostile place. This game really puts that into perspective.
Since the game world is so incredibly massive, it takes a good while to travel to planets and space stations. This can take minutes at a time to travel from one location to the next. This is also with your frame shift drive, without it, it’d be impossible to travel anywhere because your ship wouldn’t be fast enough.
The game is definitely more for those with patience because doing anything takes time. That’s generally the case with most space-sims, they’re time consuming and you need a lot of patience to truly enjoy them. A love of space and space ships helps too.
I’ve only managed to explore a very small portion of the game but I’ve experienced a good deal of the game’s features for this review. I’ll cover space stations first since you start in one.
Space stations (And planet bases) are important areas of the game. They allow you to buy/sell merchandise/goods, take on various types of missions, take on taxi jobs (Like intergalactic Uber driving), pay fines, cash in your bounties, outfit your ship with new parts, buy a new ship and sell illegal items on the black market and view the faction/station’s news feed.
Missions come in a variety of forms and the ones you can take on depend on a couple factors. First is your reputation with the faction. The higher your rep, the higher the pay for each mission. Your overall rank plays an important part in each mission as well. It’s never a good idea to take on a mission that’s a higher rank than you are. This is because you’ll often face enemies that are higher rank than you, and they’ll easily destroy you.
Mission types include courier missions, transporting/delivering cargo, massacring different faction ships, donating money, discovering planets/stars, wiping out secret bases for a faction, recovering salvage and many others.
Each ship you purchase can be upgraded with a wide variety of different parts. There’s weapons, utilities, core parts like armor, power plant and fuel tank. There’s also non-sssential parts like scanners, a planetary vehicle storage space, cargo racks and many others. Prices vary for each part and the better the part, the more expensive it’ll be.
Elite: Dangerous also features a cosmetic customization feature for ships but all cosmetic items are purchased with real world money. Cosmetic items are the only purchaseable items items in the game that can be bought with real money. So nobody is flying around with overly powerful ships because they spent a lot. Their ships are just customized to look cooler.
Another customization option you have that’s totally free is character customization. You have the option of customizing your player character in a variety of ways. There are a few cosmetic items in this area that can be purchased with real money as well but the majority of the character editing is free to use by anyone.
I think that about covers space stations so we’ll move on to planets and player related stuff.
Your character has 4 major ranks to level up. These include Combat, Trade, Exploration and CQC. Combat, Trade and Exploration are kinda self explanatory but CQC is your rank in doing illegal actions like smuggling and pirating.
Elite: Dangerous features 3 major factions that you can increase your reputation with. These include the Federation, Alliance and Empire. Alongside your reputation, you can also increase your military rank within each faction by helping them with various feats and missions.
There are also system based factions that you’ll meet as you travel across the galaxy. There’s too many to list individually but they have many different missions and ranks among them to acquire as well. Some factions are political in nature, others are gangs/pirates and some represent the working force. There’s a wide variety of different people to meet and your actions determine if they will like or hate you.
One other major feature in the game is how players are able to shape the world around them based on their actions with each faction. Deciding to aid one faction will end up hurting another one. Major events also happen throughout the galaxy and you can even get news updates on the week’s events or keep up to date on current stories as they develop using the news app in your ship.
Another nice feature is it’s solo play mode, for those of us that want to explore on our own without worrying about randomly dying when someone attacks you. You can switch between the two game modes as much as you want from the main menu. Another nice thing is that you can setup private games with a few friends so you can play cooperatively with each other. The Multiplayer portion of the game and people’s actions still has an effect on the world during solo/private play, you’re just on a different server.
I should also mention that the game is always online so even though you’re playing solo, the game must still be able to connect to the developers’ servers in order to play the game. The game is an interconnected world so everything must be online.
Overall, Elite: Dangerous is a game that won’t be for everyone. It requires patience, has a steep learning curve and will likely bore most people. For me though, I’ve been having a blast with the game. I love space quite a bit and I’ve learned that I should never pilot an actual space ship considering how many times I’ve almost crashed into suns due to being distracted.
If you love space and love the idea of piloting a ship across the entire Milky Way galaxy then I highly recommend giving the game a shot. If not then you’ll probably want to look elsewhere cause it’s likely not something you’ll enjoy much.
Thanks for taking the time to read this Elite: Dangerous review folks. I’ll be back with my next one soon, until then, happy gaming folks!
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Features of Interest
- Fun Gameplay
- Great Audio (Sound Effects, Music, Voice Acting)
- Looks Gorgeous on a PS4 Pro
- Humongous World (Scale Model of The Milky Way Galaxy
- Tons of Missions to Play, New Ones Everyday.
- Not For Everyone. Might Get Boring Quickly For Some
- Requires A Lot Of Patience (Very Time Consuming)
- Cosmetic Items For Ships and Your Character Require Real World Money