Elite: Dangerous

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
"Elite 4" redirects here. For the Pokémon characters, see List of Pokémon characters § Members of the Elite Four.
Elite: Dangerous
EliteDangerous Logo2.png
Elite: Dangerous logo
Developer(s) Frontier Developments
Designer(s) David Braben
Engine COBRA[1]
Platform(s) Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X, Xbox One, PlayStation 4
Release date(s) Microsoft Windows
  • WW 16 December 2014[2]
Mac OS X
Q2 2015
Xbox One
Q2/Q3 2015
PlayStation 4
Genre(s) Space trading and combat, first-person shooter in a later expansion[3]
Mode(s) Multiplayer, single-player

Elite: Dangerous is a space adventure, trading, and combat simulator that is the fourth release in the Elite video game series. Piloting a spaceship, the player explores a realistic 1:1 scale open world galaxy based on the real Milky Way, with the gameplay being open-ended. The game is the first in the series to attempt to feature massively multiplayer gameplay, with players' actions affecting the narrative story of the game's persistent universe, while also retaining single player options. It is the sequel to Frontier: First Encounters,[4] the third game in the Elite series, released in 1995.

Having been unable to agree to a funding deal with a publisher for many years, the developer began its Kickstarter campaign in November 2012. Pre-release test versions of the game had been available to backers since December 2013, and the final game was released for Windows on 16 December 2014.[2] Mac OS X and Xbox One versions of the game are planned for release in 2015, and a PlayStation 4 version some time later.


Elite: Dangerous retains the basic premise of previous games - players start with a spaceship and a small amount of money and have to make their own way in an open galaxy, furthering themselves either legally or illegally, through trading, bounty-hunting, piracy and assassination.[5] The game is the first in the series to feature online multiplayer, with players having access to a massively multiplayer persistent world, as well as an online-only single player mode.[6]

The player is able to explore the game's galaxy of some 400 billion star systems,[7] complete with planets and moons that rotate and orbit in real-time, resulting in dynamic day/night cycles.[8] Around 150,000 of the game's star systems are taken from real-world astronomical data,[9] while the remainder are procedurally generated according to scientific models.[9] Throughout the galaxy, the player is able to dock with space stations and outposts to trade goods, purchase new spacecraft, re-arm their ship, effect repairs and to seek or complete missions from text-based station "bulletin boards".[10] The player may also find cargo or encounter other ships while in flight by investigating 'Unidentified Signal Sources'.

Elite: Dangerous is set in the year 3301, around 45 years after Frontier: First Encounters, the previous game in the series.[4][11][12]


At the 2011 Game Developers Conference, following a presentation on the development of the original Elite, Braben was asked in a Q&A session if Elite 4 was still on the drawing board. He replied "yes, it would be a tragedy for it not to be."[13] The project had difficulty in attracting sufficient funding, which Braben had attributed to the traditional publishing model, which he saw as being biased against games with no recent comparable predecessors.[14]

Braben had previously discussed crowdfunding as a possible solution in April 2012.[15] Public fundraising commenced in November 2012 using the Kickstarter website,[16] the campaign lasting 60 days, with the aim being to raise £1.25m[17] and deliver a finished game by March 2014.[18] Following the end of the Kickstarter, further public funding was sought through the developer's UK website, via PayPal.[17] By April 2014, £1.7m had been raised,[19] and Braben had reacquired the legal rights to the Elite franchise.[20] Although the game's original total development budget had been £8 million, by September 2014 this had, in Braben's words, "grown by quite a lot".[21]

A playable alpha version of the game was released to certain Kickstarter backers in December 2013.[22][23] In May 2014, the game entered the first phase of its beta test, focusing primarily on testing the systems and servers with a greater number of players.[24] A pre-release "gamma" build was released to backers three weeks before launch, to give them a head start on other players.[25] On 14 November 2014, one month before launch, David Braben announced the removal of the game's offline single player mode, the developers having decided that they could not deliver an acceptable offline-only experience based on the original design.[26][27] The Windows version of the game was released on 16 December 2014.[2]

Elite: Dangerous was developed using Frontier Development's own in-house COBRA game development engine.[28] The game supports the Oculus Rift headset.[29]

On 4 March 2015, Microsoft announced at the Game Developers Conference that Elite: Dangerous would be released on Xbox One.[30] A version is also planned for PlayStation 4.[31] On 2 April 2015, the game was made available on Steam and that it will support cross buy between the Windows version and the Mac version after the Mac version released in the future.[32]

Future updates[edit]

A native Mac OS X version is planned for release in early 2015, three months after the initial PC version launch.[33] Although there are no plans for a Linux version of the game, Braben has stated, "There is no reason why COBRA cannot run on Linux, running through OpenGL."[34] On 5 March 2015 Frontier confirmed at GDC that work was underway on bringing the game to Xbox One consoles, with David Braben later confirming via Twitter that the game would also be released on PlayStation 4.[35]

Although no official 'roadmap' has been published, proposed updates to gameplay include seamless planetary landing, and first person perspective[3][36] exploration outside of the player's ship, including walking around space stations, walking around ships, spacewalking, and boarding other ships.[3] Multi-crew ships [37][38] have also been mentioned by the developers as desirable.[38][39][40]

Braben has said that Thargoids, the warlike, insectoid aliens from the original games, would make an appearance in some capacity.[41][needs update]


Aggregate scores
Aggregator Score
GameRankings 79.56%[43]
Metacritic 80/100[42]
Review scores
Publication Score
Eurogamer 8/10[44]
GamesRadar 4/5 stars[46]
IGN 7.4/10[48]
PC Gamer (UK) 86/100[45]
Metro 7/10[47]

Elite: Dangerous received an aggregated score of 79.56% on GameRankings based on 16 reviews[43] and 80/100 on Metacritic based on 39 reviews.[42]

Chris Thursten of PC Gamer rated the game 86/100, considering it to be "potentially a classic", depending on Frontier's ability to build on the "broad but somewhat shallow foundations" of the released version. Thursten described the gameplay experience as "exhilarating excitement, matched by nothing else this year, contrasted with moments of emptiness, frustration, and boredom".[45] Dan Whitehead of Eurogamer gave the game 8/10 and considered it to be "probably the most immersive and compelling recreation of deep space ever seen in gaming", while finding some of the gameplay repetitive.[44] Andy Kelly of GamesRadar gave the game 4/5, calling it a "compelling space sandbox" and a "welcome return" of the Elite franchise, but felt that the game at launch was "missing a lot of important features, especially when it comes to multiplayer".[46] Roger Hargreaves of the Metro gave it 7/10, describing the game as a "solid start" that had yet to fulfil its potential.[47] Reviewing the game for IGN, Rob Zacny called it "one of the most enthralling and evocative space combat and trade sim games I've ever played" and "also one of the most boring", seeing the balance of "brief, intense emotional peaks and long, shallow valleys of boredom" as "fundamental to Elite's identity".[49]

The announcement of the removal of the offline mode on 14 November 2014 was met by a number of complaints from customers, with some saying they had backed the game on the understanding that it would feature offline play and others that there had been no prior warning of removal during the whole of the preceding development period.[26][50]

Frontier offered refunds to customers who had pre-ordered the game without playing it,[51] and said that those who had already played the game, in alpha or beta form, would not be eligible for refunds.[52][53] Later, Braben speaking for the company announced[51] that refunds would be judged on a "case-by-case" basis.[54][55]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Frontier Developments". Frontier.co.uk. Retrieved 21 September 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c "Elite: Dangerous release date set for next month". PC Gamer. 7 November 2014. Retrieved 7 November 2014. 
  3. ^ a b c PC Games (18 August 2014). "Elite: Dangerous | Gameplay + David Braben interview". YouTube. Retrieved 21 August 2014. 
  4. ^ a b "Elite: Dangerous Gameplay Demo - IGN Live: Gamescom 2014 - Sequel". 
  5. ^ Cook, Dave (23 November 2012). "Elite Dangerous: Braben’s square peg". VG247. Retrieved 25 April 2014. 
  6. ^ Royce, Brianna (16 December 2014). "Elite: Dangerous' launch-day roundup". Joystick. Retrieved 17 December 2014. 
  7. ^ "Elite: Dangerous Newsletter #36". Frontier Developments. 15 August 2014. Retrieved 21 August 2014. 
  8. ^ "GameStar - Elite: Dangerous - Gameplay + David Braben interview - 1:1 scale". 
  9. ^ a b Parkin, Simon (9 July 2014). "The Video Game That Maps the Galaxy". The New Yorker. Retrieved 10 July 2014. 
  10. ^ "Elite: Dangerous review". gamesradar.com. Retrieved 13 January 2015. 
  11. ^ "Elite: Dangerous: the David Braben interview". 26 September 2014. Retrieved 14 November 2014. 
  12. ^ "Fiction Diary #5". 
  13. ^ Braben, David (2011). "Classic game postmortem". GDC Vault. Retrieved 2011-11-09. 
  14. ^ "David Braben: Publisher model prevented development of new Elite". incgamers.com. 2012-12-20. 
  15. ^ "BAFTA Games Question Time: Crowdfunding". 2012-04-16. Retrieved 2014-07-20. 
  16. ^ "Kickstarter in the UK". 2012-10-10. 
  17. ^ a b Cellan-Jones, Rory (2012-11-06). "Elite reborn". BBC News (BBC). Retrieved 2012-11-06. 
  18. ^ Makuch, Eddie (6 November 2012). "Elite returns on Kickstarter". Gamespot. Retrieved 8 July 2014. 
  19. ^ Stoke Sentinel. "David Elks: Gaming industry is worth the investment". Stoke Sentinel. Retrieved 25 April 2014. 
  20. ^ games.on.net. "Elite rights now with David Braben, Frontier Developments shares up for grabs". games.on.net. Retrieved 25 April 2014. 
  21. ^ Purchese, Robert (12 September 2014). "Elite: Dangerous' original budget was £8m". Eurogamer. Gamer Network. Retrieved 12 September 2014. 
  22. ^ Ivan, Tom (10 April 2014). "Elite Dangerous premium beta costs £100". CVG. Retrieved 9 July 2014. 
  23. ^ Phillips, Tom (12 December 2013). "Elite: Dangerous combat now playable if you're a £200 alpha backer". Eurogamer. Retrieved 8 July 2014. 
  24. ^ "Elite: Dangerous "Premium Beta" now available at a $150 price tag". PC Gamer. 2014-05-30. Retrieved 2014-06-20. 
  25. ^ "Elite: Dangerous Release Date Announced". www.themittani.com. Retrieved 6 January 2015. 
  26. ^ a b "Elite: Dangerous enrages its players and backers with the elimination of offline play". Retrieved 19 December 2014. 
  27. ^ "Elite: Dangerous single-player offline mode officially ditched". Hexus.net. Retrieved 19 December 2014. 
  28. ^ "Cobra game engine". forums.frontier.co.uk. 
  29. ^ Hutchinson, Lee (6 November 2014). "The Oculus Rift makes Elite: Dangerous amazing—and impossible to describe". Ars Technica. Retrieved 8 January 2015. 
  30. ^ Tuttle, Will (4 March 2015). "Phil Spencer Announces Developer Tools to Bring Games to Billions". Xbox Wire. Microsoft. Retrieved 4 March 2015. 
  31. ^ Rob Crossley. Elite: Dangerous is Coming to PS4, gamespot.com, 5 March 2015.
  32. ^ Hall, Charlie (2 April 2015). "Elite: Dangerous makes a surprise jump to Steam, offers crossbuy between Mac and PC". Polygon. Retrieved 3 April 2015. 
  33. ^ "Elite: Dangerous Newsletter #25 - Mostly Harmless Questions". Frontier Developments. 6 June 2014. Retrieved 18 August 2014. 
  34. ^ "Interview: David Braben, Elite". Tux Radar. 20 January 2014. Retrieved 18 August 2014. 
  35. ^ "Elite: Dangerous confirmed for Xbox One". EuroGamer.net. 5 March 2015. Retrieved 16 March 2015. 
  36. ^ "Live Chat: Elite brains David Braben OBE answers YOUR Qs". The Register. 13 June 2013. Retrieved 21 August 2014. 
  37. ^ GameCentral (19 June 2014). "Elite: Dangerous hands-on preview and interview – 'the nearest game to Elite is GTA' | Metro News". Metro.co.uk. Retrieved 21 August 2014. 
  38. ^ a b "Frontier Developments' Elite: Dangerous – the rebirth of a legend | Features". Edge Online. 10 March 2014. Retrieved 21 August 2014. 
  39. ^ IGN (15 August 2014). "Elite Dangerous Gameplay Demo - IGN Live: Gamescom 2014". YouTube. Retrieved 21 August 2014. 
  40. ^ GameSpot (12 June 2014). "Elite: Dangerous Stage Demo - E3 2014". YouTube. Retrieved 21 August 2014. 
  41. ^ "Elite: Dangerous will have 100 billion star systems, plus Thargoids — Braben reveals what's next". pcgamesn.com. Retrieved 10 January 2013. 
  42. ^ a b "Elite: Dangerous for PC Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 6 January 2015. 
  43. ^ a b "Elite: Dangerous". GameRankings. Retrieved 6 January 2015. 
  44. ^ a b "Eurogamer review". Retrieved 4 January 2015. 
  45. ^ a b Thursten, Chris (23 December 2014). "Elite: Dangerous review". PC Gamer. Retrieved 4 January 2015. 
  46. ^ a b Kelly, Andy (18 December 2014). "Elite: Dangerous review". GamesRadar. Retrieved 4 January 2015. 
  47. ^ a b Hargreaves, Roger (5 January 2015). "Elite: Dangerous review – Han Solo simulator". The Metro. Retrieved 6 January 2015. 
  48. ^ "IGN review". Retrieved 13 January 2015. 
  49. ^ "WORKING OVERTIME". IGN.com. Retrieved 13 January 2015. 
  50. ^ "Elite fans protest over losing offline mode". Retrieved 19 December 2014. 
  51. ^ a b "Elite: Dangerous, David Braben and a scale model Cobra MK III". Eurogamer.net. Retrieved 21 December 2014. 
  52. ^ "Elite: Dangerous Creator Reassessing Refund Refusal". gamespot.com. Retrieved 4 January 2015. 
  53. ^ "Online-Only Elite: Dangerous Sparks Refund Backlash". gamespot.com. Retrieved 4 January 2015. 
  54. ^ "Frontier Developments Details Who Can Get a Refund for 'Elite Dangerous'". GamePolitics.com. 
  55. ^ Grayson, Nathan (9 December 2014). "Despite Player Outcry, Elite: Dangerous Will Remain Always Online". Kotaku. Retrieved 19 December 2014. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]