There has never been a time quite like my appointment with the fine folks at Frontier over at E3. It was so surprising that I had to come in for a second time just to play more of the game. But before we get into that, a little on what was actually shown during the presentation.
As you’ve probably heard by now, Elite: Dangerous was one of the first and most successful Kickstarter videogame campaigns ever. And after a steady stream of fan support and suggestions on PC, the game is finally making its way to consoles, or a single console in this case, as the first of Microsoft’s early access games on Xbox One. The version shown was already really far along and didn’t look far from wear in comparison to its PC equivalent, also on display at Frontier’s meeting space.
The big deal for the presentation is what they call CQC, a sort of free for all space brawl that puts your money where your mouth is in, giving you thr chance to blast fools into dust. What probably struck me, though, was the sheer scale of Elite: Dangerous. Developers like to tout how their games are gigantic nowadays, but it seems that Frontier has really done it by realistically modeling our galaxy in game. That means that any star you see in the sky is in fact in the game, allowing you to travel there and explore, charting your way and leaving an actual mark within the game universe. Sure, that sounds way too grand to believe, but it’s in fact what this game really does, as one of its ambassadors, an actual player turned presenter, proved. He charted his way to the center of the Solar system as a personal challenge, which kept him playing for fourty straight hours. According to him, it was totally worth it.
I believed him after coming in for my second appointment, sitting down with the game and taking one of its initial ships out for a spin. For as complicated PC controls might feel, Frontier has managed to port them well to the Xbox One’s controller by mapping option nodes to each of the directional pads’ inputs. One of these, for instance, is relegated to controlling hyperspace travel, which speeds up your travel time in a given set trajectory. Checking out the galaxy map is also very easy, and presents you with the option of scaling up and down, showing you the true and absolutely insane scope of the game. You can basically go anywhere and wear many different captain hats, as a space pirate, thief, charter, bully or just all around lazy space bum. I’m probably gonna a be the latter.
Elite: Dangerous could just be the very last game many would play for a long while. There’s a sense that it’s truly the first massively multiplayer game where you could make a tangible difference within its world. Well, calling it just a world is a disservice. Maybe in just one of its many, many possible words. It’s a fantastic prospect to consider, especially taking into account how unique Elite: Dangerous is in the overall landscape of online games. It’s a one time purchase with no monthly fees, continual upgrades and an absurd amount of of depth just waiting to be dug up. For one, I simply cannot wait to dive in and find out for myself. If you don’t hear back from me for a while, you’ll probably know what happened…