Elite Dangerous continues to be the only successfully launched space-faring MMO, and it seems likely that it will hold onto that title for a very long time if RSI’s current track history is anything to go on.
The title places players within a gargantuan galaxy with a massive litany of planets and stars, asteroids, space stations, and encourages players to go hog wild as they explore and persist in the monumental game space as traders, miners, pirates, or near anything else they can figure to do within the sandbox.
Coming from Frontier Developments, the same studio that has brought about Planet Coaster, has been grinding this title on development since well before it launched on April 2, 2015, and continues to offer a host of bells and whistles that will satiate the appetites of gamers of many ranges.
If you aren’t entirely keen on wanton (and occasionally one-sided) PvP, you can host a private server and explore everything at your own leisure without missing too much of the gameplay, although the feeling of a ghost-galaxy where everything is empty can often be felt.
Further, the inclusion of VR support brings players into a world that is mind-blowingly immersive as you’re dodging planets and pirates with a beautiful console in front of you, glowing softly in the otherwise stark contrast of dark space.
Granted, it also does a few things poorly: when signing up, you’ll need to figure out how to make an account with Frontier that needs to be linked with Steam, and the bizarre string of instructions that many have offered across the forums is a frustrating endeavor at the least.
If you can bypass that, you’ll be presented with an exhaustive tutorial that fully explains precisely how exhaustive the controls are; if you recall older Mech Warrior titles where your entire keyboard is bound to specific actions that you’ll need to recall at frantic moments, you should at least feel familiar with Elite Dangerous.
Now Frontier has added another notch in the positive column with an announcement yesterday on October 27, 2020, that stated that the expansion Horizons has been added to the base game, meaning all owners of Elite Dangerous can now land on planets freely with SCARABs, an extensive crafting overhaul has been included, and multicrew functionality have all been added to the base title at $30 on Steam.
This has been largely positively received by the player base both online and in solo play, although note that the SCARAB driving can be notoriously finicky as you’re cruising along the planet surfaces in search of materials and PoI’s.
Strap yourself in, commander; there’s a galaxy out there.