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Elite: Dangerous Video – Only If The Game Was Like This…

By on September 18th, 2013 10:12 am

Elite: Dangerous | Capital ship battle video

Frontier Developments has released a video on Elite: Dangerous, their forthcoming space trading and combat simulator, kickstarted with more than 1.5M pounds in the beginning of 2013.

They say the video’s main purpose was to serve as a selection vehicle to find a suitable composer (and team) for the game’s music. In the end, they end up selecting Erasmus Talbot as the game’s composer.

It’s a short but great looking and sounding video, with capital ships and lots of star fighter action. Now, if only the gameplay was like this. In this type of game one has to admit that graphics and sound are really important. But, how on earth aren’t there new games like these? I couldn’t stop imagining how it would be like to experience this kind of battle sequence inside an X-Wing, fighting in those tight corridor action scenes, now with better looking graphics. But, I guess I’m just being nostalgic about X-Wing and Tie Fighter games here. Ok people, time to select HD, sit back and enjoy!

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22 Comments


  1. LeoCeballos says:

    Why wouldn’t gameplay be like this? Those seem to be the in-game models; even the effects seem to be real-time, or at least using the tech they would for real time.

    • Adam Solo says:

      Let’s hope so :)

      By the way, Michael Brooks (the game’s producer) explains in the game’s forums that what we see in the video is a mix between in-game and promo-built scenes. Here’s the full text:

      “It’s a mixture of both, it’s all captured in game, but there is some post processing and the cockpit is a mock-up (we’re implementing it in-game as we speak). We’ll release a video in a few weeks that deconstructs the video from an art perspective so you’ll get more details then.” –Michael Brooks (Elite Dangerous Executive Producer)

    • eleazar says:

      Those may be in-game models, but about half of the shots are from outside the cockpit– a good way to make action look cool and cinematic, but a lousy way to control a ship. If the actual game contained that many cut-scenes the experience of playing would feel very disjointed and on rails.

      So the game could be like this in some ways, but not others.

      • Adam Solo says:

        Yeah, when I said that it would be great if gameplay would be like this I was thinking in the action inside the cockpit shots. The cut-scenes are cool to have, but only if we have control when they get shown in-game, or if they’re only shown after/before the missions.

    • Noldor says:

      There is a game that is kind of like this actually. Evochron Mercenary is very much like this. There are however no cut scenes and the graphics are somewhat dated.

  2. fred says:

    I remember the Civilisation: Call to Power Intro and how it impressed me. Of course it was cystalclear that it will never be like that, but it was awesome and the mind blows apart. i am not even considering that 80% if what we see here is getting done. and if that would work, the rest like trading would come too short.
    why do they invest even so much time in making a photoshopped movie when nothing of this will be possible?

  3. Gee says:

    During the kick-starter I begged them to make a video like this.

    BEGGED THEM.

    Instead it was all David Braben in his M&S jumpers whittering on about mathematical formulae.

    God knows how much they would have raised…

    • Kordanor says:

      Very true!
      What I also especially like about the video that it really “feels” like elite. When I saw these different lasers and especially beams as they were called as far as I remember, I was directly thrown back into Elite 2 which I played like 15 years ago.
      This trailer would have helped alot.

      And then again, nothing is stopping them from going back to KS to ask for additional money. Actually I would be happy if they do so. I’d like to be able to land on planets right at release.

  4. Lens Flares Suck says:

    I want to play a modern X-Wing before I die.

    It’s one of the few things on my bucket list.

    • Adam Solo says:

      Count me in for that bucket list. Our faith is on Disney now… :/ Perhaps there are X-Wings still on Episode VII. Somebody please convince Lawrence Holland of Totally Games, Edward Kilham and Disney that there’s loads of cash ready to be made there. Even if it’s just HD remakes… make it console friendly if you have to :) Just do it!

  5. Evil Azrael says:

    The scene reminds me of a Starlancer Mission where you fight between two capital ships positioned broadside exchanging salvoes of huge torpedoes. And besides fighting other stuff you have to intercept hostile torpedoes while not getting blown away by the explosion blast of the torpedoes.

    And please don’t ask for a new X-Wing/TIE-Fighter too loud, this might catch Electronic Arts’ attention ;)

  6. Mark says:

    Nice video, looks very cool. But I have to wonder if we are ever going to see the end of the 1800’s paradigm of 2 large naval ships sitting side by side and slugging it out with broadsides?

    Even today, two opposing naval forces would never even (visually) see each other. In a space battle the proportionate engagement ranges would be much more extreme.

    I’d like to see space warfare more closely resemble actual space warfare instead of 1800’s wooden ship battles or WWI dogfights. Obviously we don’t know *exactly* what real space warfare would look like, but we certainly know what it wouldn’t look like, it wouldn’t look anything like that video.

    • Rich B says:

      While this is all speculation I have to support this style of combat between capital starships… Their shields and point defence systems would intercept and/or block all projectiles from very long ranges and it’s a simple matter to avoid a ballistic projectile too. Assuming that the engagement occurs at point-blank (less than 10km) range then magnetic shields would be rendered useless due to their interaction and CIWS would have a hard job tracking and neutralising guided munitions in the short transit window.

    • AstralWanderer says:

      (third post attempt…)

      “I’d like to see space warfare more closely resemble actual space warfare…”

      That’s not an unreasonable request, but it would result in very dull combat scenes. First there would be no sound (space being a near vacuum). Second, beam weapons would be generally invisible (no atmosphere to scatter light, see http://entertainment.howstuffworks.com/sci-fi9.htm ). Finally, proper application of Newtonian physics (in particular, ship momentum) would likely make any close-in dogfighting impractical.

      The difficulties of carrying enough ammunition for kinetic weapons and producing enough energy for long-distance beam weapons, may well limit plausible space combat to electronic warfare only, with little in the way of theatrical effects.

      So in this case, a little deviation from plausibility may be needed for a more entertaining game.

      • Mark says:

        Actually I’m not after 100% realistic space warfare – if such a thing were even possible – I have no problem suspending my disbelief to a degree.

        But when you have 2 massive battleships – side by side – separated by less than 1/3 of a ship length, slugging it out with numerous volleys of what appear to be relatively weak weapons it makes suspension of disbelief quite a chore.

        A few token nods to reality would make it easier to suspend disbelief as well as injecting some much needed novelty. I don’t require 100% realism, I just want to avoid seeing wooden ship battles and WW1 dog fights in space……. for the umpteenth time!

        Even ignoring the fact that its totally unrealistic to the point of pure fantasy, we’ve seen it a million times before, lets move on to something more interesting.

  7. Jeff P says:

    While exciting, this didn’t look like the Elite I played so many years ago. First-person piloting, mercenary work, trading at space stations/planets and evading bandits were the highlights of the old Amiga and PC Elite. In fact, I don’t recall seeing fleet actions at all in the older titles. This trailer looked more like Starlancer, Starpoint Gemini, or some such first-person tactical combat game. Not a bad thing, but not Elite.

    • Elethio says:

      Their obviously going to do more than just standard Elite stuff, peoples expectations have grown and the standards for space sim’s have grown, I’m not saying I think massive fleets battles should takes precedence over a procedurally generated life like galaxy, but it does make for a better trailer than looking at stock lists in different (but nearly identical) space stations.

  8. Oom says:

    Adam, if you’ve found E:D video impressive, then take a look at the Nexus 2 tech demo from… March 2005: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K95ygPi76cs
    And yes, it would’ve been peanuts even for computers considered ‘old’ today.

    Having seen that way back then, I honestly cannot be impressed by what Frontier has shown. Games really can be like this – they could almost 10 years ago. It’s all in the dev’s ability to raise funds, and Frontier is simply better at it. A sad fact that I only hope will result in a decent game.

    • LeoCeballos says:

      It’s all about name recognition. Elite is a legend. Chris Roberts is a legend and the SC trailer was absolutely mouth-watering.

      Nexus was a niche game; those of us who played it found it to be a great game, but its not the easiest sell. I did back it and would have loved to play the sequel; here’s hoping it still sees the light of day in some form.

      • SteinarB says:

        Name recognition is certainly a big part of getting funding for something like this. Roberts and Braben both are pretty much legendary names among fans of space combat sims. Most gamers from that era have at least heard of both Elite and Wing Commander. That starts you off with credibility right off the bat. That alone is not enough, however. The next step is to do your homework and prepare to _show_ that homework when you eventually do ask the crowd to fund your game. Roberts did that with Star Citizen, showing off a rather impressive tech demo which was the result of a year’s work (and about a million dollars). The result was the massive Star Citizen crowdfunding success. Braben didn’t show as impressive a pitch to his backers, and as a result E:D has, though successful, had a much more modest result of their crowdfunding effort.

        In other words, presentation and then getting the community involved (which is something CIG have proven very good at) is key to getting massive funding.

        • Evil Azrael says:

          That sounds good. But i think it’s more a problem that both games are at opposite ends in the “space sim” genre.
          Wing Commander is from the 90s and very accessible in comparison to Elite. Much less complex, more and simpler action. Little eventless flying around.
          Elite is a 80s game (ignore Elite 2+3 from the 90s). Much longer, more complex, boring at times. And with the high-speed newton-physics combats (elite 2+ only?) complicated as hell.
          And where are the 80s gamers now? Dads, Husbands, employees with probably much less time than they had before. And probably less enthusiastic than their younger brethren.

        • LeoCeballos says:

          Another problem Braben and Co. had (besides, yes, a much less developed pitch) was timing. The timing! SC was still up there. My wallet had a hole in it roughly the size and shape of a Super Star Destroyer at the time.

          So Elite shows up, at the same time as SC, with a less developed pitch while I could literally head over to a very similar but far more developed campaign.

          I was aware of Elite, and had played a teensy bit of Frontier, but the juxtaposition at that moment was NOT favorable to E:D. After seeing more and more trickle our of Frontier Developments over time though, I’m much more excited about the game (and I did back the KS campaign, though with much less funds than SC).

          My original post in reply to Oom, though, was about Nexus 2. Sadly, the first game was far too obscure. And if we’re criting KS campaigns, I’d say that theirs was too “chummy-chummy”, too much talk about motivation and too much forced humor. The awesome trailer was there, but a little buried. In KS, always open with stuff that will make us drool about the project itself!


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