Elite Dangerous: My First Impressions

My first impressions of Elite Dangerous. A spacefaring game that is so difficult that I can’t even finish the training missions.

Elite Dangerous: My First Impressions

I went and picked up Elite Dangerous from my local independent game retailer on Tuesday. I wasn’t majorly excited about Elite’s release, it wasn’t one of those games where I thought “I really, really need to play this, I need this game”

However, it was a game that interested me. I love Sci-fi and space stuff, I’m a huge fan of Star Trek The Next Generation and Voyager and I love space movies. The idea of travelling through space, exploring, finding new planets and alien races really intrigues me, that’s primarily why I thought I would give Elite Dangerous a go.

The Training Missions

My first port of call in Elite Dangerous was the training missions. Normally I just skip game tutorials but Elite Dangerous looked like a very in-depth, complicated game to get the hang of so I thought I had better get some training in.

View from the cockpit of my ship
View from the cockpit of my ship

The first training mission is Basic Flight Training. You start of in your ship surrounded by meteoroids or something  and some helpful person gets your ship power back for you and you go through some basic controls like thrust, roll, pitch and yaw. You then have to fly to a target.

Easy enough got that training mission done in my second attempt, not too bad.

The second training mission is docking and travel training, this should be easy I thought, nope, hard as f*ck. The travelling part is not so bad, the docking part thought, absolute nightmare.

It took me over an hour to dock my ship, I spent ages trying to get my ship aligned correctly, there was thrusting, rolling and yawing all over the place. I actually decided to fly back out of the space station thing and then back in again to try to approach the docking bay better.

Over an hour later I finally managed it.

Next up was combat training where you have to shoot down some bad guy and collect the bounty on his head. This went fairly smoothly, it took a few attempts to get used to controlling the ship and trying to keep on the targets tail while shooting him to smithereens but I got it eventually.

Next up  was advanced combat training. In this you need to scan the target then deploy something called the Kill Warrant scanner to scan him some more. After the scanning is done you can then engage and try to destroy the target and collect the bounty.

Well, turns out this is easier said than done. For some reason I did not seem to have the same weapon available as I did in the first combat training scenario, a mounted machine gun looking thing. I had a pulse laser and missiles.

I managed to target him no problem and fire some pulse laser at him but then the target just shoots back and evades you as if his ship is out of some UFO video and doesn’t need to obey the law of physics. A few minutes later of me trying to find him again and dodge him and shoot him and he just keeps firing at me, my cockpit windscreen smashes, cabin pressure is out the window and I fail the training mission miserably.

I tried this mission again for about another two hours but I couldn’t even seem to get his shields down, I gave up completely, I felt dejected, I felt that if I couldn;t even complete a simple tutorial mission then I had no hope of playing and enjoying the main game.

Turns out though that I’m not the only person to fail the Advanced Combat Training mission. After some google searching it seems that it is indeed a total c*nt of a mission and even extremely experienced players can’t complete it. That made me feel a wee bit better.

Third person view
You can change camera view in Elite Dangerous

I did learn a few things from playing the Training Missions, and not just the things I was supposed to learn.

I learned that clicking R3 activates or deactivates a mode called ‘headlock’ which allows you to essentially move your head and look around the cockpit by moving the controller using the controllers motion control sixaxis thing. I clicked this by accident and wondered why the camera kept panning to the top right corner, I actually though the game was broke.

You can also change camera views in Elite Dangerous, I can’t remember how I did this, probably by random clicking, but you can view the ship from a third person perspective (and other perspectives).

I did eventually go into the main game, I decided to start playing on solo mode, which I think means you are up against NPC only and you don’t meet any other online players.

I think I will enjoy Elite Dangerous, the learning curve is steep given that I have never played any type of flight sim or even anything remotely similar to Elite (does No Man’s Sky count?). It’s one of those games that I did not have a clue what I was supposed to be doing, when I first started the actual game.

With Elite Dangerous, it seems to be the type of game you have to invest a lot of time into, not only to play everything the game has to offer but to get the hang of it so you will actually get enjoyment out of playing it.

I will persevere with Elite Dangerous and hopefully learn a bit more about what the hell I am supposed to be doing.