Slipping The Bonds Of Earth
In the universe of Elite, gamers have been able to embark on their great adventures into space since the 1980's. Now, with the fourth installment in the series, we are given a modern day Sci Fi experience in an MMO setting all set within the Milky Way Galaxy with over 400 billion star systems to traverse. Ladies and Gentlemen, make sure you are secured to your seats. All systems are go, and it's time for takeoff. It's a big galaxy out there, and there's going to be a lot of excitement as well as a lot of downtime along the way. Welcome to Elite: Dangerous.
The Learning Curve
If you are not patient, then you may have a difficult time easing into the game. There's quite a lot to go through before you'll actually be playing efficiently. While basic flying and combat skills can be obtained via the training missions, there is a lot that isn't covered in them which makes the first couple hours a matter of trial-by-fire. But if you stick with it, you'll have the hang of it in no time and then you can move on from learning how to handle your ship to trying to figure out what it is you want to do.
Your starting ship, the Sidewinder, is a decent ship. It's not severely under powered like many would worry, and it can actually hold its own against quite a few ships should the need arise, as long as you are a better pilot than the player or NPC you are up against. For the first day of the game, the Sidewinder was my greatest asset. During that first 24 hours, I spent my time evenly divided between doing trading missions as well as taking down bounties. I dabbled in a little exploration, and even found a few floating containers of narcotics to sell off to the next black market I reached.
There was a lot of downtime between major events, sure, but that all in all is part of the allure to this game. You can have hours of peace at a time, traversing the vastness of space, which makes every time a conflict occurs feel that much more special. Now that may not be for everyone, but I suspect for veterans of the series or someone looking for a game that isn't just shoving set piece after set piece down your throat this may be very welcome.
Moving Up The Ladder
By the time my second day had rolled around, I had scrounged up a decent starting sum and went ship shopping. Between what I could afford, and what I wanted to do, I had to choose between two Zorgon Peterson ships. While similar in body style, the Hauler and Adder had clear advantages and disadvantages over the other. This is what the game is all about, you want to make every decision carefully and not just rush into something you may regret later. Whether it's your ship, the outfitting for your vessel, or your actions while out in space; each choice can mean profit or losses. Both of which I have become well acquainted with.
A few days more passed, and I'd become quite fond of my Adder. I'd upgraded some weaponry on it, enhanced the cargo space at a minor fuel efficiency expense, and overall I'd remained successful in all of my adventures. Whether it was smuggling illegal cargo into different black markets, going on trade runs to capitalize on profit on the behalf of different factions, or finding myself hunting or being hunted by pirates, I was beginning to feel unstoppable. But all of that changed in an instant.
Complex controls, in depth ship customization options, ability to pursue your advancements your own way, massive galaxy to explore, death actually holds consequences.
A few major glitches/game issues at present, training missions don't cover some very important content.