How often have you REALLY had to concentrate during a game’s tutorial? Ok, and on how many occasions did you still feel like you needed to do further research in order to get the most out of the game? None? Thought so! Well, with “Elite Dangerous”, I’d seriously suggest doing both. That isn’t a downer on the game, that’s just a piece of advice to really get as much as possible out of the game.
I spent a few hours going through the tutorials to learn all I thought there was to playing the game, but I was still left with a sense of not knowing what to do or where to go, so I turned to the web for some advice. Thankfully, because Elite has already been out for some time on PC and Xbox, there are plenty of resources available, it didn’t take much time at all to find what I was looking for. All of this meant that I was now fully invested in the game and really felt a need to put in some serious hours on it to get plenty out of it.
Elite gives you a real feeling of the vastness and emptiness of space but gives you the tools to discover and enjoy it. After that initial steep learning curve, I was flying around and loving it! When the tutorials are done, and you’ve done your research on the various wikis, you’re in a station with no direction on what to do next. This may seem daunting to some but Elite makes no apologies for that. As the game wants you to get engrossed in it. It wants you to invest time, but it does reward you for it.
My best advice is to have a go and see what happens. I bought a few items at the start and went off to find another port in a nearby system. I was able to sell some items on for a profit while keeping others to see if I could make gains elsewhere. There are some simple combats available to engage in early on, and I strongly suggest you give them a go, to help acclimatize to your vessel. It’s up to you to then start ramping up the difficulty as you take on more dangerous missions for, hopefully, more reward.
The missions are where the decent money is to be made. Sure, you might get lucky with one of the early commodities and sell it on for a good profit, but if you’ve got the ship and equipment to take on the missions, I strongly suggest you do it as soon as possible. The early missions aren’t too tough, a quick data delivery here, a swift cargo delivery there. Pirates may try and intercept you, but they’re easily dealt with. Carrying out missions for one faction opens up bigger and better missions as you progress. My only criticism here is that the missions started to feel a bit same-y, and it all felt like a bit of a grind at times to get more money to afford better equipment or save for a new ship.
I really enjoyed the freedom to decide my own path. Will you become a trader, moving between ports in different star systems, massing credits through rare commodities? Or will you wait and prey on unsuspecting traders, going full pirate on them and stealing their precious cargo for yourself? Obviously, this brings the risks of bounty hunting with a price on your head, but it’s great fun taking out lowly freighters and mopping up the remains. Maybe you’re just in it for chilling out and exploring the unknown, traveling the far reaches to map out an unexplored system. Elite allows all of this and more.
From a technical aspect, I did suffer some performance issues in the PS4 version. While lots of bugs and problems have been ironed out before this release (sometimes it does pay to wait) I still noticed drops in frame rate, particularly if entering a busy star system. You can also have friends dropping into your game for a bit of co-op exploration. However, I found that on the couple of occasions we tried it, this also caused issues…Issues such as freezing or big drops in performance.
These issues aside, “Elite: Dangerous” is a beautiful game. Each ship’s cockpit is wonderfully detailed. Star systems and ports are varied, with environmental effects in full flow. Each ship feels very different, making combat, in particular, a varied experience each time. And this makes for a great, engaging undertaking every time. Add to all of this a suitably atmospheric soundtrack and you’re in for a real treat.
All in all, “Elite: Dangerous” has made a great journey to the PS4. If, and it’s a big if, you’re prepared to put in the time, Elite is one of the most engaging and rewarding games I’ve played in a long time. You’re clearly encouraged to engage in the community outside of the game, and this helps you get the most out of the game. There are times when you’re traveling in a straight line, and it can all start to feel a little tedious, but then you spot something at the corner of your view you want to investigate, and you remember why you’re still playing. Overcome the steep learning curve on this game and, underneath, it really is a brilliant space experience.
+ Fantastically engaging space sim
+ Rewarding experience IF you put the time in
+ Freedom to choose your own path
– Steep learning curve
– Expectation to read around the game, won’t appeal to everyone
– Can feel like a bit of a grind at times
Replay value: 4/5
Frontier Developments “Elite: Dangerous” has made a great journey to PS4. If, and it’s a big if, you’re prepared to put in the time, Elite is one of the most engaging and rewarding games I’ve played in a long time.
Title: Elite Dangerous
Developer: Frontier Developments
Genre: Space Sim
Release date: 2017-06-27
Spent time: +22 Hours
Average grade internationally: 82% Metacritic.com (PS4 version)
PEGI age rating: 7
Price: £39.99 (Commander Deluxe Edition) / £19.99 (Standard Edition)
Install Size: Around 15GB
Robin Ek – Editor
The Gaming Ground
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