Welcome to Mission 2 of Grinding through the Galaxy. In the last episode, I glossed over why EVE and I have a love/hate/love relationship. While also stating some of the features that I wish “The game to end all games” to have.
To sum it up, ONE UNIVERSE. A universe where your actions mean something, oh and space (duh).
I know one major server where all users occupy the same space is a huge feat to accomplish and many games can’t, or don’t want to, put in the effort to create and support it. However, there is a game that has a made an attempt and has the massive scale I seek.
That game is Elite: Dangerous.
My crew and I have been eyeing it for a while and with the promise of it coming to PS4 soon (Q2 2017) it has piqued our interest even more. Since I’m the recon man and enjoy the rush of an impulse buy as much as the next man. I pulled the trigger and bought it on Steam. I got the base game and the Horizons expansion. Horizons lets you interact with and land on planets. I haven’t gotten too deep into the game but I’ll share my experience through the first few hours.
Let me say first, that the game is beautiful. Exceptional detail in the ships and stations. I was a little disappointed in the planets when you got close but if it was perfect this would be the last installment of GTG.
Anyways I started with the tutorial missions which helped a lot. Elite is a true space sim. It took me several tries to even land my craft. It’s not as easy as just flying into a station. You have to actually land your ship.
I’m playing with a keyboard and mouse which is pretty difficult, at least for me. The combat is fun and intense, which is a major plus. But again, with a keyboard and mouse…I’m terrible at it (Currently searching Amazon for a flight stick).
The game is HUGE! In Elite: Dangerous the galaxy is scientifically accurate and includes a 100 billion star systems (around 400 billion stars considering most systems contain multiple stars). The Elite Universe is modeled on current galactic charts (from the wiki).
Elite is unique where you can play in the live universe or solo.When you pay in the live universe, there are NPCs and other players. In the solo universe (as I understand it) you are the only player and the universe is populated by more NPCs than normal. Your progress is mirrored in the solo universe so when you want to play in the live universe, nothing is lost and you pick up right where you left off in the solo universe.
There are three major factions that you can run missions for. They are The Federation – Based from the system of Sol, and is based on a democratic political structure; The Empire – Based from the system of Achenar and is based on a Monarchy; The Alliance – Based from the system of Alioth, which is based on a confederacy. Within each solar system, there are multiple other smaller factions vying for power. The player can run missions for each Superpower or smaller faction. Doing so will gain you reputation with the given faction which in turn gives you access to bigger and better ships and weapons. For the most part all of the Superpowers are at peace with one another.
Currently there are no player structures or systems you, the player, can capture. So basically you can trade, mine, and fight…but there really isn’t an end goal. I know Elite is a vast open ended game, similar to EVE but with EVE you can capture territory etc. I hope in the future players will be able to stake claim to their own part of the galaxy.
I’ve only puttered around a few systems but there are tons of systems to explore, and with the Horizons expansion, you can see a planet and land on it. I tried once and while I could, but the planet surface was pretty drab. Another thing that irks me is the ship design. There is a decent amount of ships to fly but the majority are triangle shaped which I find sort of strange.
Elite hits a bunch of positives with me but I felt incredibly lonely, even in the live universe. Such is space I suppose…
In my downtime, I have also perused the major space gorilla; Star Citizen. The game that has promised so much but has actually given very little, if you let KingPojax tell it. The ships look amazing and it already has boarding actions, multi-crew ships, the promise of player outposts etc.
I pulled the trigger or maybe walked the gallows in this case, and “pledged” a $90 game pack which included an awesome ship, 6 months of insurance and the single player game Squadron 42. I have been dabbling back in forth between these two titles. Star Citizen in its current state is limited in what you can do in the Persistent Universe. I mean the game is still technically in Alpha so I guess that’s not completely unexpected. I noticed Star Citizen wasn’t as technical as Elite, which is a plus. However, flying in Star Citizen is still hard with a keyboard and mouse (Adding flight stick to cart).
The Reviews on both games were brief, but I haven’t played either title enough to thoroughly come to a conclusion onto which better suits my crew and I.
I’ll write more thought and impressions after a few more hours in each, and after I get a joystick of course.
Until next time, fly safe and give no quarter!