So this is a new idea of mine, something my therapist suggested and I have been tossing around. I noted that when I worked at gaming stores my favourite part was helping parents understand a game before they bought it for their children.
My therapist noted that she has a son who plays games all the time, and she as a working woman does not have the time to sit down with each game and figure out which ones are worth while investments, and which ones are just wastes of time.
So I figured what I would do is a review of a game, not for gamers, who can find out if it’s a quality game just about anywhere. I figured I would do a review of a game for people who don’t play games as much, but that also holds value for those that do. A review that says what a game contributes, and teaches you, rather than one that just goes over the new mechanics and the additions, while comparing it to other games.
Sounds daunting as all hell, right? Well here we go. I’m starting with Elite Dangerous, a space trucking game. Sorta.
So what is Elite Dangerous? Imagine any sci-fi movie you’ve watched recently that takes place in space-ships, and you have a pretty good idea. You are a starship captain, who apparently spent almost all he had to buy a ship, as you also don’t have a lot of money. If you are like me, your first question is ‘…what do I do?’ and the game helpfully answers that by saying ‘I dunno lol,’ and throwing up it’s hands.
There is a tutorial, which will tell how to land your ship, and how to take off, as well as a bunch of combat manoeuvres should you get into a fight. It however, does not tell you how to get into those fights, or why you ever would. This is apparently an ongoing issue with this game, and I know a few other people who were similarly confused. After some research, I can tell you the answer to ‘What do I do?’, at least at the beginning, is ‘Trade some to make some money so you can do fun things later’.
So what can you actually do in this game, once you get the hang of it? Well the answer is shockingly diverse. You can trade between space stations, buying from one, filling your cargo-holds, and fly it to another and sell it for a higher price. Sure, it’s a little mind-numbing, but it’s actually fairly zen, and the game is absolutely beautiful. Seriously, this is one of the best looking game I have ever seen, and thankfully one of the other things you can do in it is explore! You can travel from star to star, seeing the sights of the milky way galaxy. And I do mean the milky way galaxy, the games map is all of it.
Each and every star system. Each with planets, moons, asteroids, and space stations. It’s incredible, almost unbelievable. Seriously, look at this screen shot.
If neither of those sound exciting, you can also take on the role of either a dangerous space-pirate, or a daring bounty hunter. Both jobs function about the same, hunting down targets, fill ’em full of lasers/bullets/missiles, and then collect your reward/salvage. They carry risk as well, of course; if your ship is lost, you need to pay to get it back, or start all over from scratch. Starting over from scratch is by far the worst thing that could happen to you, because hours of work and money is just flushed down the toilette.
You can do all of this, really anything you want to do, you can go out and do it. That to me is truly the beauty of this game. You are given the cosmos and the keys to a star ship, and the rest is up to you. If you have any sense of wonder at the cosmos, and just want to fly a space ship around for a few hours, this is definitely the game for you. Every single time I jumped into a new solar system, I was blown away. The first thing you see every time is the nearby sun, which just explodes into your view. The planets orbiting this sun are always so far away, you can’t even see them until you nearly crash into them.
This game helps you find out what sort of person you really are, because it gives you an opportunity to do anything you want to do when given the reigns of a space ship. I myself went into trade, as I immensely enjoyed the peaceful back and forth of the space travel. It is worth noting that this game is also multiplayer, so there is always a chance you will run into someone you don’t want to deal with. The game helpfully includes an offline mode, so you don’t have to play with any of them. You can also form your own squadron and go hunting bounties as a team.
I don’t know how to end this article, I am afraid. Much like this game, I feel like I could go on forever. Instead I am going to put a bunch of screenshots to show you just how pretty this game can be. If you like space, defiantly check it out.
Elite Dangerous is, at time of writing, $39.99 canadian. They also have their seasons pass for their DLC for the same price, which allows you to land on planets. I personally think it’s worth checking out.