Elite: Dangerous (Xbox One) Review

By Albert Lichi 20.10.2015

Review for Elite: Dangerous on Xbox One

When the Kickstarter campaign was a success for Elite: Dangerous, the developers made lofty promises of a one-to-one scale of the Milky Way galaxy that can be fully explored with life-like space sim exploration. The concept is a fairly novel approach to flight sim genres, as well as incorporating completely free roaming and player choice that is extremely malleable. The core foundation is not for everyone, but for those who find the prospect of being a space ace enticing, it is largely appealing. Following a look at the PC version, Cubed3 launches the review for Elite: Dangerous for the Xbox One.

Elite: Dangerous is a lot to take in for the uninitiated. Right down to the launching procedures and learning the mechanics of flying a space craft in the vacuum of outer space is extremely complex given how the developers paid close attention to detail. This is a very technical flight sim game that does accurately illustrate the dangers and precariousness of operating a space ship, so there is no surprise that death and destruction awaits those who approach this with a Star Fox mentality. From a lot of the actions in the game being manual - like landing gear, activation of weapons systems, and the warp drive systems that can only activate under specific circumstances - do not expect Elite: Dangerous to be fast-paced at all, despite the fact that many of the space ships that can be unlocked can travel almost as fast as light.

The whole experience is quite methodical and feels like doing brain surgery given the stressful environment and how, while connected online, doing a cargo run can lead to getting attacked by other players who decided to play the role as a space pirate. It's pretty incredible that Elite: Dangerous offers so much freedom and agency, as well as a more sublime moral choice for trying to hijack another person's cargo by putting a bounty on their heads, which can be claimed by other players online. With so many ways to make money to buy new space crafts, it can be pretty rewarding. The only problem with all this is that it is too real for its own good.

Screenshot for Elite: Dangerous on Xbox One

To be frank, space is a boring place. Most of Elite: Dangerous will revolve around staring into the vast emptiness of the galaxy, and the fleeting moments of when anything happens is, in actuality, quite rare. Even the moments when interacting with other ships - be it an AI or a user-controlled one - is something that is likely to barely happen, considering just how huge the galaxy is. Sometimes interesting things may happen, like a cluster of asteroids or getting to close to a planet or star, which would accurately cause the ship to heat up. There is always a list of missions that can be fulfilled, but this is by no means an exciting experience. After the learning portion of mastering flight, and the difficulty tapers out, so much of the game is just cruising along. Some of the best moments are probably landing and take-off, since these sequences tend to offer the most memorable visuals involving gigantic space colonies that have a lot of life to them. Elite: Dangerous caters to a specific type of gamer - the kind that savours the kind of "Star Trek" slow burn adventure of careful and thoughtful spaceship flight; not the fantasy of "Star Wars" with fast or arcade-like action.

Elite: Dangerous is a pretty impressive game that perfectly executes its idea the best way it could. It is a hard sci-fi flight sim that has utter focus on realism. It's an acquired taste, but anyone who does put in the time will find that realistic space simulation can lead to tense sequences due to the extremely hazardous environment. The general slowness and boredom of space feels kind of right in Elite: Dangerous, so it makes sense that not a lot of things happen or that the best parts of the game are the landing procedures. Even the dogfights in space are as clunky and cumbersome as anyone would expect them to be in a huge vast void of nothingness. Now, while Elite: Dangerous does, more or less, execute all of its design goals near-perfectly, that does not make it a worthy purchase for everyone. This is a rather serious title that caters to the hardest core of role-playing enthusiasts and those who always wanted to fly a spaceship in a very believable setting.

Screenshot for Elite: Dangerous on Xbox One

Cubed3 Rating

Rated 7 out of 10

Very Good - Bronze Award

Rated 7 out of 10

Elite: Dangerous is still considered a "work in progress" and will be getting updates and new features implemented over time. In its current state, it does have nigh infinite amount of content due to the randomly-generated nature, so there is usually something to keep interest, even if players are spaced out by what feels like hours at a time. It can be immersive thanks to the methodical pacing, but in the end, it is still boring due to the exciting bits being so few and far in between, so it's is a mixed bag in terms of how experiences will vary, depending on who is playing. Elite: Dangerous has its obvious flaws, but the game itself is unique and is unlike anything else on the Xbox One, so for just being different it can be worth a shot.


Frontier Developments


Frontier Developments





C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   


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