Monday, December 22, 2014

Elite: Dangerous Gameplay Review

I'm playing Elite: Dangerous, a space adventure game by Frontier Developments.

Featuring online play where you can fight or team up with others located on the same server, an Internet connection is required to play, even for the single player mode. A number of combat scenarios and very basic tutorials are available within the game, although consulting third-party documentation is strongly recommended. An extremely large, true-scale, procedurally generated Milky Way (with 400 billion star systems) awaits exploration, populated with different factions and realistic supply-and-demand economics. There is no campaign or story mode, but Elite; Dangerous lacks artificial restrictions in exploring the massive sandbox galaxy. Control using the keyboard, gamepad, or a joystick are available, and the graphics and sound design are both top-notch. The slick interface displays nearby contacts, a galaxy map with route planning and color-coded trade routes, and ship attributes. Space stations provide services such as fuel, weapons and other ship components, new ships, and trading opportunities. A variety of missions are also available; in addition, mining, exploration, piracy, bounty hunting, and trade can be undertaken. Ships are geared towards combat, trade, or transport; the flight model has slow yaw (on purpose) and an optimal turning speed. Adjusting the power usage between shields, weapons, and the engine can optimize the ship capabilities, and heat management and silent running options are also available. The frame shift drive provides faster-than-light travel within and between star systems; ships can be interdicted and unidentified signal sources can be investigated. Combat relies on beam and projectile weapons; individual ship systems can be targeted, but usually overall damage is the deciding factor in a dogfight. Death results in getting the starting ship for free, or the last loadout at an appropriate cost. With well-rounded gameplay and several career options set in an immersive, impressive setting, Elite: Dangerous is a first-class space adventure game.