I have always believed in this, a person has to make a choice and it is up to the informers to make sure that the people are given the true choices. This is always hard, there is no denying this. You see, we are all biased to some extent. I fell in love with Elite in 1984 and with the coming of Elite Dangerous, that passion returned. So when I read ‘Will Elite: Dangerous Be Wiped Out by Star Citizen & its Beautiful Ships?‘ (at http://moviepilot.com/posts/2015/07/23/will-elite-dangerous-be-wiped-out-by-star-citizen-its-beautiful-ships-3406342) I just had to take a look.
For me there were two reasons, the first is that as a previous passionate Elite player, I am very aware of the game and I feel that I am in possession of expert knowledge to counter most attacks on Elite Dangerous (without having played the game until my XBN1 arrives next month). I know next to nothing about Star Citizens, so when I hear that a game like No man’s Sky and like Elite is out there, I will take a look (I believe that there is a place for all three games if they are up to scrap).
The first quote that got to me is “It’s a beautiful game, but it can also be isolating and boring. You have to be prepared to invest a lot of time into Elite: Dangerous in order to benefit from its gameplay” which was preceded by “it’s held back by numerous irritations“, which got to me just on the go. This all linked back to a previous article. From this I wonder what level of investigation Kenny McDonnell did to begin with.
Now his allegations from the previous will be addressed shortly.
‘Can also be isolating and boring‘
Is that true? The game has Solo Mode (just you), Private mode (just you and your friends) and Open mode (you, your friends, soon to be new friends and all unmentioned wankers), so what do you mean isolating? Now the XB1 version is still not finalised, so this is still coming, for now that version is solo only (well decently dependable solo). There is no denying, that version still has bugs because it is not finished yet and if that is not a real bother you can get the game for $31, which is AWESOME!
‘Prepared to invest a lot of time‘
Well, is that not what a game is about? For the record, the game has several trainings missions for you to get into the game, I reckon that this will take a little over an hour to get it all done, if you also watch the attached trainings videos to help you get the best out of it all you can complete the trainings missions a little under 55 minutes (rough guess). Now, if you want to know the truth, you should watch
This is by far the best intro video made. It is the work of Troa Barton, watching it is a must. In one hour he shows the beginning highlights. In that time he gives a short explanation and shows more than I bargained for, so I was hooked again in 10 minutes. In that time he kills half a dozen opponents with the ship you get at the very beginning of the game. So you get a good start in 1 hour, which is again AWESOME!
So is there any truth to ‘prepared to invest a lot of time‘? Yes! You see there are 20 ships and 10 more coming. Ships fall into different categories and some will cost up to 200 million to buy and outfit, you start with 1000 credits, so this is not a small game it is a massive journey and you get the universe to traverse and grow. Some will like mining, some will prefer hunting, smuggling and piracy, some will prefer trading. All options, whatever YOU decide.
Some parts can be boring especially when you are trading, however, boring is good because some trade ships are not that good in fighting, by the time you have earned enough outfit an anaconda, which sets you back over 200 million, you have a ship that can devastate loads of opponents and carry 260 tons of goods, which at 15K per tonne per haul nets you a quick 3.9 million. So all this is not boring at all.
If you are a feistier person where you can tell the opponent that he/she is no ‘2B’ (and kill that person) you are in charge of choosing what to do.
Now we get part 2 with the quote “However, there’s another game on the horizon. One that promises players a space sim like no other; Star Citizen. Star Citizen may have a release date in 2016, but I can see it excelling on the PC“, so Kenny (not the ‘oh my god they killed Kenny’ person), is dissing a game in a bad way against a game that is not out for another year? Odd, because he becomes all speculation for a game that is not even out yet. And let us not forget that Elite (the original) was an established level of excellence in 1985 and now again from all the videos you can see online, this game does it again.
Then he states “We’ll have first-person space combat, mining and trading, all colliding with first-person shooter elements in a massively multiplayer persistent universe“, which is what Elite Dangerous on the PC already is (in space flight). So what’s the beef?
Then we get “Personally, I can’t see Elite: Dangerous performing well under the pressure that Star Citizen will bring to the space sim community on PC“, which is fair enough, it is his view and as such he is entitled to think this. I personally believe that Elite is already bringing the pain of great gaming now!
Now I need to step back for a moment to look back at his previous article which is linked in the article I linked at the beginning.
The price of minerals is too low and therefore not profitable or worth doing.
– Really? True that your first ship is not equipped for that, but the later ships are and you can get a few millions per trip down the track.
Exploration data could also be upgraded as the player isn’t given enough of an incentive to do so – other than the universe is pretty.
– Really? Larger ships have great exploration options, but you need a large ship and several components costing millions.
A small point that someone on Reddit made I completely agree with: Lower the scanning range on planets, so while exploring the player has to go close to the planet to scan them, therefore providing better visuals and experience.
– That might be a fair point, I cannot comment on that.
A greater variety of missions for those that aren’t Elite would be much appreciated.
– Again a fair point, yet Elite is still growing on the PC, so that is an option, further the power play option in the game has several goals to achieve and you get to select yourself HOW to achieve them.
More merits for getting cargo or resistance pockets – they’re not really worth the hassle in the game’s current state.
– I actually do not know (so again this might be a fair point)
An improved in-game chat feature
– true, for now it is one on one, unlike the XB1 edition where you would have group chat as the system is made for that.
Now, some points here are valid, yet this game is still growing and the game offers 100 times more than the original ever did and it is currently in state ‘released’ something Star Citizen is not.
In addition, the current article had to mention for Star Citizen:
Over a hundred star systems in game which will be hand crafted and will include heavily themed, scenic landing locations from day one unlike Elite: Dangerous.
– fair enough but that game is still a year away, in addition, a hundred systems versus billions of systems is a far stretch of competition.
No procedural generation could lead to less boredom when traversing space.
– So far people opposing ‘procedural generation’ seem to not understand it, for that part just look at many no man’s sky videos. Procedural Generation does not imply boring iteration, that has been shown in No man’s sky a few times (will get to the Elite side shortly)
Far more freedom in terms of ships and their customisation.
– Possible, yet Elite already has 20, 10 are upcoming and there is no information that it will end there, in addition there are all levels of customisation, which is about the ship, not the look.
Superior graphics and more well-designed worlds.
– That is massively subjective, on the PC what I personally saw, some of the sites are beyond amazing and let’s not forget this is a space game, space is overwhelmingly black.
Better control over your ship, with improvements like yaw and more focus on first-person shooting mechanics.
– That shows that Kenny did not do his homework, the instruction videos on the PC show all that, including advanced lateral movement, strafing and so on. I reckon that it requires a decent HOTAS to enjoy (in opposition of the keyboard), so as I expect the XB1 to have the same options, I have not personally seen that.
Now let’s take a look at Star Citizen, the work of Chris Roberts.
Important is that he was one of the people behind Wing Commander, which I played intensely, so I know that this was a good game. So the person behind all this is not a newbie or a wannabe.
Now even though Star Citizen has had its share of Scepticism, we must remain honest. This is a crowdfunded game and it is well funded at present. In addition, a game like this is not an easy feat, yet also, the person behind this has proven his merits with Wing Commander. So as this is a 2016 game, my first view is that whomever start nagging and whining before October 2015 is an absolute idiot and should not have crowdfunded this (or just shut up until the beta is out there in its full potential)
So as we take a look at Star Citizen we need to keep an open mind. From the first go we see something very well done, but this is a trainings mission, if the rest of the game is on par than this game will be well worth it. So apart from walking around, the game definitely looks good (as it is) but the game has a long way to go (several glitches were shown, but as I stated, this is a beta at best). This was an April video, so I can assume that the game has processed from that point. I will not judge the game on what I saw, apart from the fact that it looks good, in addition there is no way to correctly assume that this game will outdo an established game like Elite Dangerous, but I feel that if the game goes on with the level of views that I see now, there is nothing stopping this game to become the third game next to Elite Dangerous and No Man’s Sky. There is no way that it overtakes either based on the information I currently have but that does not stop Star Citizen to become an equal game with a growing fan base.
Now for some future Elite expansions (as per the Elite Dangerous Wiki)
Landing / driving / prospecting on airless rocky planets, moons & asteroids.
Walking around interiors and combative boarding of other ships.
The first two are nice and adds to the experience of Elite
Combat and other interactions with other players and AIs in the internal areas of star ports.
Accessing richly detailed planetary surfaces.
Availability of giant ‘executive control’ ships to players.
The rest is nice too, but I hope that these extensions are not an attempt to add a ‘Mass Effect’ mode to the game (although walking through Space Stations could be an awesome experience.
So both games will have their own moments in where they excel. I do not agree with the view that Kenny McDonnell has regarding Elite Dangerous, but he is allowed his own view. I believe that there is space for both games.
The additional question becomes why must all games have all the options?
I believe that the lover of No Man’s Sky will love Elite Dangerous and there is a decent chance that they will love Star Citizen too.
I see that Star Citizen (from the training mission) is a more serious attempt to create a space flight flight simulator, it seems more on a ‘military’ approach to fighting than Elite Dangerous is. If I would compare it to other games than Elite Dangerous versus Star Citizen in that regard relates to Privateer versus Falcon 4.0, so from what I see now, the people who love more realistic fight flight Simulators would push themselves towards Star Citizens (when it arrives), so feel free to have fun with Elite Dangerous until that game arrives. That is from the little I saw from Star Citizen now, but that is not a guarantee that a more basic flight and fight options would not be available. Star Citizen is, as I see it at least a year away. So in all this I personally have a few issues with the article Kenny McDonell wrote.
From my view, you the reader, if you are into these kind of games, watch the Troa Barton video and decide from that whether you would give Elite Dangerous a go, as it will be one year until you can start the discussion whether you want Star Citizen, Elite Dangerous or both.
Just make sure in the end it was your choice due to receiving the proper information!