The Elite: Dangerous single-player combat is only in alpha state but it still looks awfully good.
First, the bad news: If you didn’t back Elite: Dangerous on Kickstarter at a sufficiently high level, you don’t get access to the alpha test phase. The good news, however, is that it looks awfully, awfully good. The video has undoubtedly been edited for maximum effect but if this is the game in early-stage testing, I am very hopeful for the final result.
David Braben’s narration is also interesting, as he explains the generalities of how sensors will work. Sound is irrelevant in space, as he points out, but heat is most definitely not, which has the effect of making projectile weapons – “Gatling guns” and that sort of thing – an important part of ship-to-ship combat. They give off much less heat than energy weapons, which are far less thermally efficient and make your ship “light up like a Christmas tree,” and are thus very useful for players who want to keep a low profile. In fact, ships can “go cold” by shutting down various systems, making them far more difficult to detect.
Back to the good news/bad news routine: The good news is that if you don’t have access to the alpha test and want in on the action, you can still buy your way in by supporting the game at the Elite: Dangerous website. The bad news is that it’ll cost you £200.00, which translates into roughly $327, and that is not a typo – that is three hundred and twenty-seven Yankee greenbacks. Serious fans only, in other words.
Heck of a nice video though, eh?