In my previous post, I wrote about another classic computer game reborn: Elite. By the time I wrote the last entry, the final version of Elite:Dangerous was not yet available – but now it is. So time to catch up.
Once the new game client is downloaded and launched, I am greeted with this beautiful menu background picture showing a very well-known item: a classic space station.
I am flying a Sidewinder spaceship – just like any other rookie. One of the first sights is the one from the cockpit into the surrounding launch pad. This one is taken a bit later in the game after I made some few flights – but rest assured: this is true in-game graphics.
This is kind of the “main menu” when the ship is docked in a space station. “Space Station Services” brings up the menus for trade, changing equipment and repairing the ship – next to some other ones. “Back to Surface” is the actual launch command which brings your ship back to the surface of the space station.
The sight above tis what I am seeing once my ship has been lifted up from the under-ground hangar onto the launch platform. What you are seeing is actually one large space stations and I am inside. This kind of view was impossible in the old days of Elite – the station was just slightly larger than the ship itself but nowadays, the station is huge.
You actually have to fly the ship out of the station – and since Elite:Dangerous is a multi-player game, others may do just the same (plus some AI-controlled ships). Here, I am almost colliding with another ship on my way out – its pilot decided to pull right into may way…
Once I made my way out and gained some distance, I can look back to the Space Station – as I said: it is huge. And it is active – there is tons of traffic going and and coming out, many other ships to worry about.
The way to travel from one system to another one is by using what they call the Frameshift Drive. Once the target it set and the FSD is engaged, you can bridge the distance very quickly (although the sequence still takes a few moments to complete).
Now, I have been playing around with Elite:Dangerous for an hour or two. I was engaged by a single ship (which I destroyed, claiming the prize) and I spent the rest of the time exploring. So keep in mind: this is a big universe and (like back in the 80s) a lot of time is spent exploring, trading, earning money – unless, of course, you decide for a more… aggressive… way of developing your career… I shall keep you posted on mine 😉