To some older gamers, and those who have been fortunate enough to discover it over the years, David Braben & Ian Bell’s 1984 PC game Elite was and is one of the be-all, end-all space simulation experiences. Roaming the galaxy in your Cobra spacecraft, exploring, trading, and battling made for months of endless challenge and plenty of war stories—the game got its hooks on you. Those thrills are back in an all-new MMO called Elite Dangerous that looks incredible, thanks to the hard work by Frontier Developments at bringing an even deeper sense of reality to the game. Set in the year 3300 in an remarkable 1:1 recreation of the Milky Way Galaxy, Elite Dangerous is ambitious, compelling, and guaranteed to get you really thinking about how vast space is.
GamerFitnation’s Tamika “REDinFamy” Moultrie got to sit down with a build of the game at this year’s PAX East and walked away quite impressed. Given that the game features some 400 billion star systems to explore, it’s clear the game is made for long term play. Unlike certain other big deal space simulations still in the development process with no concrete release date, Elite Dangerous is up and running now and ready to play. Currently available for PC, there’s a Macintosh version in the works and the game will also appear on the Xbox One at some point this year. PS4 owners will need to hold their collective breath for a while as the Xbox One version looks to be a timed exclusive. To those who want to dive into the deep space MMO, the draw is clear from the game description on the official site:
Some may know you as an ally; others will call you a pirate, a bounty hunter, a smuggler, an explorer, an assassin, a hero… Fly alone or with friends, fight for a cause or go it alone; your actions change the galaxy around you in an ever unfolding story.
Check out this tutorial on basic ship combat controls to see how impressive the game looks and runs on a decent gaming rig. As you can see below, Frontier’s proprietary COBRA game engine makes for some truly gorgeous looking visuals:
The upcoming Xbox One version will be really interesting to see in action, but as noted in the interview with Frontier’s Edward Lewis, on PC, the game doesn’t require a massive rig to run smoothly. Granted, the more powerful a PC you have, the better the game will look and play. Oculus Rift support is in the PC version and looks amazing, but there’s no news of whether a VR-enabled version will hit consoles in the future. For the moment, this looks to one of those great games that will swallow your time like a massive black hole pulling in whatever comes close.
Edited by Alex Miller
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