Ahh.. Video games. The reason most people vanish from the face of the earth. I’ve been playing the Hell out of Elite: Dangerous, and I absolutely love it. However, 100+ hours and with high expectations, I have many complaints. So I suppose let’s get on with the good:
- For about $60 (from G2A) you are getting the base game as well as the “Horizons” DLC (which now will include all future expansions, allegedly)
- The game is mostly polished with a great soundtrack, realistic science, and a great feel for the loneliness of space (best experienced with friends)
- The game gives you a few great options to make money (Exploration, Combat, and Trading)
- The game has many in-game tutorials that help you learn the ropes, but you will still be relying on tutorials from better-off players until you get into your “niche”
- Unlike many games, there is currently no “supply drop” style system for ships, however there are many needlessly expensive cosmetic microtransations hinting that such a feature may be added in the future
- Unlike many games, the lore is mostly contained inside the game. Rather than needing to go outside the game to get your lore, you can use the launcher for some minor news, and when in the game you can use Galnet via any station to learn more about the station and the factions controlling it.
Annnd, that’s about it. Unfortunately, while the game feels great and is a huge step up from EVE: Online (my only other experience in Space Sims), it also has many downsides that you will quickly note and that will make you want to put the game down for a week, a month, or even for good.
- Information about the ships and the interfaces, while looking nice, seem hard to manage for a new player (not as bad as EVE: Online’s “Window Simulator”, but still..)
- Recommendation on how to fix: I would recommend changing the interface and making it so that we could find more information, quicker, without needing to use third-party sites
- Speaking of third-party sites, that’s number two on the shit list. There are so many sites! I don’t get why Frontier (the owners of Elite) doesn’t just buy these sites out, hire the people, and then put the domains all under EliteDangerous.com! Seriously, tho. If you need the links, here they are:
- Fuel Rats help you when you have no fuel and need to get to a station to get a fuel scoop. Bookmark them and when you are wealthy enough, help them!
- INARA helps you manage your money, the news, the lore, and so much more within ED. Bookmark and upload your .LOG file whenever you finish playing so you can have some friendly competition with all of your other commanders. Further, you can use INARA to store and save all your pictures you take in ED!
- Coriolis EDCD Edition helps you build out your dream ship, and also preps you for the heartache that will be your wallet melting when you want to buy a new ship. They also can find the exact starport you need to fly to to get your ship and loadout via the EDDB!
- The EDCD Initiative describes itself as a “group of developers that create and maintain 3rd party tools and sites for Elite:Dangerous” has many devs who work on minor projects. INARA and Coriolis, is part of the initiative.
- Elite: Dangerous Database is the one you need to have bookmarked. Price data, landing spots, maps for landing and approach to various ports, and more are all in this unofficial tool.
- PowerPlay. It is complete garbage. While it isn’t directly related to the next point, they’re fairly close.
- Recommendation on how to fix: Remove the element and allow all “special items” to be able to just be bought
- Navy Rank System. Is also complete garbage and, while not completely as useless as PowerPlay, has several high level ships behind a grindwall.
- Recommendation on how to fix: Remove the element and allow all ships to be bought or more easily earned.
- The Grind™. Prepare yourself for the grind of your life when you pick this game up. It’s fun for the first few weeks, but without drugs, alcohol, a job/school, or another game to get away to you will go insane. It’s just gonna happen and you’ll have to accept that. That said, however, the grind can be good if you are a longform content producer (ie: Twitch Streamer).
- There is no fix
- The Nerf Hammer™. Prepare to get in your Taxi or the best ship you have because once a “glitch” or “exploit” is found, you need to book it to the system that is in question before the devs patch it. See, I think they are all masochists up at Frontier and love seeing their players stab themselves in the leg just to stay awake to make a penny. So, naturally, when a new “exploit” that would give the players a significant advantage they give it a nice, hard hit with the Nerf Hammer™.
- Recommendation on how to fix: Stop “patching” your mistakes so fast, Frontier.
- System Authorities and Response. Here’s the thing. If you are a pew-pew pilot (combat) you will love Elite Dangerous. While combat isn’t the most lucrative venture until you get much higher-valued ships (Fer-de-Lance or Vulture for small ships and any of the “Big Three” large ships), it is a way to get rich fast…. Provided you don’t accidentally shoot a cop that flies in front of you (get gimballed weapons) or start shooting before your scanner finishes scanning the target, at which time the cops have probably already shot and killed them.
- Recommendation on how to fix: Introduce a “warning” system. Slap the player with a fine, but not a bounty right away. If they then, don’t stop firing, raise the fine. On the final offense, slap them with a non-lethal bounty (police and stations cannot kill the player – another player or bounty hunter NPC must kill them). This will allow the player enough time to jump to the station and pay off their own bounty.
- Station Response. “Loitering will trigger a lethal response” – Station Voice. This is a real thing. So the next time you are sitting eating your burger at McDonalds remember: You can get shot! Get into a fender bender? The cop gets to shoot you! Look at someone the wrong way? The System Authorities get to shoot you. Have cargo from another mission that is apparently illegal in that system? You Get SHOT. See a trend?
- Recommendation on how to fix: Devs, please stop your masochistic ways and change the 108 lines of code that the AI inhibits, Thanks! – Signed Everyone who has played ED Ever.
- Ship Selection. There are only developer-owned “companies” within the game. These companies have their own ships and no player ships can be used. I find this to be a complete drag as it’s boring to see plain ships over and over (I mean, looking at a cutter more than once is great, but still kinda sucks).
- Recommendation on how to fix: Add a player-based ship designer (allow players to create their own ships based on templates of the other ships, then sell them to specific stations or factions).
So in conclusion, is Elite: Dangerous a good game? Yeah.. But it still has it’s flaws. The awesome sounds, music, and the awe of space will last you for a long while, but without proper goals, time management, and more content from the devs, we as players may quickly abandon the title.
The link below for the product is an affiliate link. In no way does the parent affiliate company sway my way of what my opinion is of the product or service. It simply is a way for me to make a little extra money through you supporting me indirectly.
Sound Effects9.0 /10
Goals, Updates, and Content6.2 /10
- Has Great Music and Soundtrack
- Has good controls (better with a HOTAS or voice controls)
- Great end-game goals
- Easy ways to earn cash to start off
- Good tutorials for all players when starting the game!
- Navy Rank System
- The Grind
- Only three options to make money: Exploration, Combat, and Trading