A Space exploration Sim that won’t be for everyone.
After logging in just over 40 hours of play on Elite Dangerous it’s quite obvious as to how this experience won’t be for everyone. Elite Dangerous is a Very heavy space simulation game. Spending the entirety of the game in first person mode piloting your own ship around a truly humongous galaxy, the galaxy itself is so vast that it would take nearly 18 weeks to traverse the longest journey from one side of the centre of the galaxy to the other side of the centre. (A journey that was completed by a Commander known as Erimus, it’s all been catalogued as a Vlog on youtube titled “Distant Suns”)
Now the game is open world, or open universe I should say. You are in complete control, you have the choice as to play as a smuggler, explorer, bounty hunter, pirate, miner, geologist and much more. There are dedicated Role Play commanders (players) around the universe that will be happy to meet up and increase your immersive experience.
Now there is a down side to this game and that is the arduously long travel time. You start the game in a fairly crap ship (crap compared to anything above starting class) the ship isn’t slow, but it’s not fast either, it’s not weapons heavy, neither is it unarmed, the fuel capacity isn’t huge, but it’s not too small, all of this is relevant to the comparison of your next ship. Whether you choose a freighter, transport, fighter, sloop, or even a federation ship you will see the immediate difference in play. You’ll be able to complete longer journeys without refuelling, carry more goods, trade commodities further away, mine more minerals, fight for longer, and heavier ships. As I said this is all relevant to whatever career you choose to follow.
Now there is no set path for careers, every star system has space stations, each space station will have it’s own fluctuating economy that will be affected by you. (if you choose to sell 100 units of meat to a station that struggles to feed it community they will prosper and become happier residents and so on) But you can always choose to be a bounty hunter and buy a war sloop, and transport goods on the side (as long as you have the cargo space)
The beginning of the game can be slow and tedious but I found the easiest way to make credits (in game money) was to take delivery missions, which would force me to travel to places I had never been and deliver data, like voting poll information for other star systems, or medicare system updates… things that seems to have no real impact (at the moment) In doing this I traversed numerous star systems and mapped them out in the process (which is automatic) and when arriving to deliver info as I was being paid for, as long as you are at least 20 star systems away you can sell the cartographic information. A word to the wise, any cartographic info you sell covers the distance between where you are and that solar system in particular, so always look through the list of sell-able info to ensure you sell the furthest away to get the most credits.
If you follow that simple formula of delivering wherever you have to go and selling info when you get there you will have enough money to ditch your starter ship in no time. I myself found that after just 3 hours of play following this formula (thank you reddit) that I had enough to ditch my starter and buy a transport ship. I have chosen to transport goods and or people across the galaxy. I have spent a lot of credits on shielding and heavy guns for defence and increased my cargo capacity. I try not to smuggle, which can have enemy ships sent after you, or if you are subject to a system scan before docking can lead to being arrested which sees you robbed of all your credits, losing cargo, possibly paying a fine for failing the mission, and losing rep, which leads to less affluent missions. OR you could be shot and killed.
I have been transporting goods across the galaxy for quite a while and I’m trying to save the credits to buy a Federation transporter which can carry upwards of 256 cargo (average is around 32 or 64) and again the cargo hold depends on how I choose to deck out my ship.
I have a few tips for people who want to play this game but are in the deliberation stage.
1. Find something to watch in the background, a TV show or movie you can ignore, the easier the better. The game doesn’t always require your full attention but sometimes it can do at the drop of a hat.
2. Dedicated time. The game requires a solid block of time to play, this is not something you can play for half an hour here or there and enjoy. The more time you have the easier it is to enjoy.
3. Watch a few let’s plays or look into the travel system, some people will hate the almost convoluted way you have to travel from one star system to the next.
4. Finally, Friends make this game better, whether you take it in turns to run missions and one plays bodyguard, or if you both go looking for famous bounty’s, either way the more the merrier.
Take this advice on board and you will enjoy your time in space. Personally I give this game a worthy 9/10. but please bare in mind this review comes with caution. This game will definitely not be for everyone.