Pleased to say that since the last post, the Alpha phase has come and gone and many a lucky soul has posted videos of their exploits on Youtube and quite impressive they were too.
Now it is into the Beta phase and I took the plunge before the July 29th deadline and signed into the Beta with an additional lifetime update for future proofing.
Only word to describe it…AWESOME!!
The detail that has gone into E: D is phenomenal and I have been gob-smacked by the attention to the smallest things, such as the planets, the stations the ships, asteroid fields…I could go on and on. My humble dual core system with Win7 and 4gb RAM is way under the specs recommended, but after a bit of tweaking I managed to get it playing very smoothly and graphically not too shabby. What it must look like in its full glory with a quad core CPU, 8gb RAM and a decent GPU I can’t wait to see, but judging by the vids on Youtube, way better than I’m currently experiencing.
Gameplay wise, excellent. Nuff said. Ship controls are much more involving than I was used to with Frontier: Elite 2, but considering that game could be played on an Amiga 600 from a floppy disc, no more than I would expect. I initially played the game in my usual way with mouse and keyboard as I did with FE2, but soon found out this was not going to be enough. Key mapping has become a long haul to find the best set up for my playing style and I had to resort to buying a sub £20 Thrustmaster joystick to gauge what you need to enjoy the game more. This is not a jump in and have a quick shoot-em-up style game, this is a full on simulation and not for the faint-hearted.
The basics. Docking at a space station. At the moment, no more auto-pilot. You want to land, you have to land it yourself in a designated bay in the correct manner, guided by your HUD. I trashed my ship and half the station the first 3 times trying Once I mapped the manoeuvering thrusters and used them instead of the joystick to land, it all worked, although it still was not pretty to watch. I got down on the ground in one piece and within the set time limits. As I said this is not easy and you will be shot down for incorrect procedure, landing bay loitering, etc or kicked out of the station.
Combat is a challenge. No more set the autopilot on your enemy and then let the computer do the chasing. You set the target on them and then you have to catch them. Set your throttle too fast and you’ll never get them, but manoeuver into place and get the throttle at the sweet spot and your sat on their tail ready to unleash your pulse lasers on them. Great when it all comes off, but you certainly know you’ve done the work afterwards. RSI anyone? Chasing them through asteroid fields whilst dodging those same asteroids is manic fun, Glad I had Monster drink to keep me alert. Proximity alerts warn you of impending crashes with large rocks, ships etc, so as long as you have your wits about you, its not bad. Challenge in open space is still there and I decided to take a trip out from the station to the nearest planet and met up with a nots-so friendly CPU controlled pilot who took it on themselves to taunt me in comms before attacking me, but not totally killing me, just leaving me in space with no weapons, no engines and no chance of getting back home either! Bar-steward. You have 2 choices then 1) self-destruct - you blow up and start again with a loan (basic) ship or 2) set off a distress beacon and hope you get picked up by someone friendly. I blew up. :lol:
So far, only been playing just over a week when I can, but I’m absolutely loving the challenge. You can team up with friends and go on missions when you’re ready, to take on, whoever you get to have a grudge against. The game is still evolving and there will be more and more elements as time goes on. I can’t wait to see it in its full glory, but because of the open nature I probably never will.
More info and newletters/updates etc here
See you in space…