Tag Archives: Frontier

Elite: Dangerous review

Elite: Dangerous is a truly massive open-world game full to the brim with possibilities. It’s a staggering achievement in design and function that’s transitioned from PC to console spectacularly well, with only the most minor compromises. However, with such broad scope comes a lack of direction and drive, requiring the player to set their own objectives and make their own fun.

Indeed Elite: Dangerous achieves the lofty goal of realising the space exploration freedom of previous Elite titles with precisely the kind of refinements and features we all expect from modern titles, and it’s a remarkable feat to behold. Given a measly sum of credits and a small jack-of-all-trades ship, the galaxy is your playground; ready for you to explore, trade in, fight in, and enjoy however you like.

Elite 1

Space stations allow you to buy goods which you can then trade elsewhere, playing the market and making significant credits from identifying where those goods are most needed. Or perhaps combat is more your thing and you’re tempted into serving a faction in the ongoing conflict between The Federation, The Empire and The Alliance. Or if the war doesn’t concern you, then perhaps mercenary work accepting contracts from space stations to hunt certain individuals is more your style. Or you could look at less legal enterprises, such as pirating or the trade of illegal goods. Then there’s exploration. 400 billion star systems have been generated for you to explore with wondrous sights and secrets, and data gained from visiting systems can be traded at space stations for credits. The choice is completely up to you and this ability to do whatever you want within this huge galaxy is a tremendously exciting prospect but also an overwhelming one, and unfortunately Elite doesn’t do the best job in preparing you.

A set of tutorials are on offer to teach you all the basics but these are largely concerned with showing you the controls. Once you dive in to the real game you’re completely left to your own devices. Elite doesn’t hold your hand, instead it’s more of a simulation, one that’s highly immersive but daunting all the same. This includes the controls and interacting with your ship. Whilst the controls are well mapped to the Xbox One pad, with sub-menus popping up on screen when certain button are held as well as instant actions tied to single presses of the same buttons, there’s a lot of them to master. It may sound and initially seem complicated, but it’s pleasantly immersive once you get the hang of it, this even extends to a button that allows you to look around the cockpit of your ship and access additional menus through the on-board interfaces. It all fits so nicely into the fiction and avoids throwing you into game menus, allowing you to truly feel like the pilot of a sophisticated spaceship.

Elite 2

But with the complexity of controls and options comes hesitation and indecision, and these can severely effect the fun you glean from the experience. Without your own plan for where to go, what to do and how to do it, it’s hard to find the drive to experiment with and explore what Elite can offer. Furthermore, not fully understanding the navigation interfaces and flow of combat can lead to perceived unfair deaths and confusion. This truly is a simulator; dog fighting is slow and tense, exploration is over vast distances and dangerous in its own right, with fuel limiting the distance you can jump with hyperspace, and supercruise within star systems taking considerable amounts of time to reach specific destinations.

It all comes with practise, however, and when it does all click into place for you it’s powerfully compelling. Engaging NPC and fellow player ships in combat zones is a visual spectacle of deadly lasers and explosions with the promise of considerable credits for the skilled or lucky pilots. Meanwhile, detecting a signal within a star system and investigating it can offer opportunities to pick up some valuable goods left behind from a battle, introduce you to trader vessels less concerned with precisely how your found the goods you’re selling, or even pirate parties expecting to ambush you and not expecting a tough fight.

Elite 3

It’s an MMO with a bias towards singleplayer experiences. You can play in an offline mode of NPCs if you like, or join the online mode full of both Xbox One and PC players, all flying around the galaxy chasing their own objectives, and this adds a terrific element of emergent storytelling and gameplay. Other players are unpredictable enough to make things interesting, whether that’s the foolish players looking to pick fights with NPC authorities, providing a beautiful laser show for you to watch or even get involved with, or interacting with you more directly, friendly or otherwise. Yet it’s big enough for you to never meet another person, either because you’ve travelled to a star system no else has ever been to, or because the vastness is so well realised all you see of other players are lights darting across space. It’s a rare MMO experience that can surround you with other players yet leave you feeling utterly alone.

Once you figure out what you want to do in the galaxy and start making credits, you’ll be on the look out for newer ships, weapons, engines, shields, power generator, etc. to buy, and these can be purchased from the larger space stations. This truly allows you to customise your experience and build the ship you need for the job you want to do. Large hauling vessels may lack speed and weapons but have huge cargo space for transporting more goods at a time. Meanwhile, swapping your cargo bay for a fuel scoop allows you to fuel up from suns rather than purchase fuel at station, making that an ideal upgrade for explorers or mercenaries that aren’t welcome at certain stations. New parts to your ships take up internal or external slots as well as add mass and power consumption that you need to manage, frequently offering you expensive upgrades or new ships that require you to get back out there and earn more credits.

Elite 4

Elite: Dangerous is a tremendously immersive space simulator that can eat hours of your time with it’s endless possibilities, awesome scope and beautiful visuals. It doesn’t have the warmest welcome for newcomers to the genre, and the fluidity of a mouse on PC makes for better combat that the Xbox One pad, but it’s still a remarkable game that plays splendidly on the Xbox One. There simply isn’t anything else out there like Elite right now, and with new features on the horizon and long support promised, there may be no end to the enjoyment it offers if you’re patient enough to explore this frontier.

Thanks to Xbox and Frontier for their support 

[rprogress value=90 text=”TiX Score 90%”]
[xyz-ihs snippet=”XboxOne”][xyz-ihs snippet=”Pegi7″]


Elite: Dangerous flies in with a release date


Who loved Elite when it came out all those years ago? OK, OK, I’m an old git (No comments from the Editorial Team, thank you), and I actually remember the first version coming out. Frontier have had their epic space shooter and follow-up to the original, Elite: Dangerous, in the Xbox Preview Program for a while now, giving gamers the chance to see the development of the game itself.

Frontier have now decided on a full-on release date to all the lesser mortals who for some unknown reason, aren’t on the Preview Program. That release date was confirmed by none other than the legendary David Braben himself during the Reddit AMA.

Braben also confirmed that any ships and modules acquired through the Preview will not carry through to the full release, which means all that hard work will need to be done again, but the equivalent items worth of cash will be deposited into each player’s in-game inventory at launch.

Braben also confirmed that Preview players will also get an exclusive reward, but the content of this remains a mystery.

That release date, well, it’s October the 6th, a mere 4 weeks away.

Frontier releases new update to Elite: Dangerous for Xbox One

The latest update to the intergalactic marvel introduces a brand new PvP mode called Close Quarter Combat Championship.

Players are launched into intense PvP action, set in custom-built arenas set within the Elite: Dangerous galaxy, where communication, coordination and navigation are essential to victory.

Equip a unique loadout for your Sidewinder, Eagle or the new Federal Fighter, and earn XP to unlock new abilities and weapons.

Elite: Dangerous was one of the first titles to be released as part of the Game Preview Program on June 18, 2015.

ScreamRide review

I spent far too much time at Chessington World of Adventures and Thorpe Park in my youth, I loved getting the chance to go to the park with school, it would always be quiet so you always got extra time on the different rides. My kids are a little too young to go but I know that when I do get the chance to take them it will be just like the episode of Modern Family where the dad tells his son just how much he loves rollercoasters only to start feeling sick after a few rides, it will be just my luck.

For now I have ScreamRide and after playing the demo for most of the past week with my 6-year-old son Max, we are already having masses of fun, but would the full game just be more of the same? Knowing the game was developed by Frontier, famous for Disneyland Kinect, we were hopeful they would deliver.

ScreamRide does actually have a bit of a story to it, set at some point in the future it seems that people are disenchanted and bored with merely virtual satisfaction, which has led to us seeing humans indulge in ever more extreme pastimes to feel alive. Enter ScreamWorks, a company that are developing a class of rides that no simple theme park could ever dream of creating. The magic is created at the ScreamWorks International Research Facility, they want to deliver danger on tap and to create rides that give you the ultimate rush of adrenaline.


That’s where you step in. Your job is to test all the mad creations across the different types of rides, once you are done you can then create your own rides and levels. ScreamRide is split across four different modes, spread across six different areas. The first is called Screamrider. In this mode you’ll be tested on how quick you can control the coaster around the pre-built tracks. Not only will you need to be quick but you’ll have to make sure that the car is under control or you will crash. The levels start off fairly easy, which serves as a tutorial introducing you to the controls. As well as controlling the speed of the car you can lean it in to corners or even get the car on to two wheels for extra excitement. Certain sections of the track allow you to gain a turbo boost by hitting the X button just before the section ends, once you start to fill your turbo meter you can press the A button to really pick up speed.

It isn’t just a case of finishing the rides though, there are different objectives to meet, such as achieving a perfect boost rating three times in a row or not derailing the coaster. Some tracks have blockers on one side that require you to get the car onto two wheels to avoid them, there are also monorail sections to take on and jumps that will test your timing to get a good landing. I really enjoyed this mode but I found some of the extra objectives quite challenging. As you finish the levels you’ll unlock other areas of the game and various equipment to use.

I found Demolition mode to be particularly addictive, which probably says more about me than it should, in this mode your goal is to destroy everything in your way by launching amusement cabins or coaster cars. There are a wide range of buildings to destroy and it’s worth having a look at the map before taking aim, hitting the right weak spot can cause some fantastic building collapses, as with the Screamrider mode there are objectives you need to try to meet in order to improve your score. There’s TV screens to smash, hoops to shoot through and the more skilled players will be able to hit the speed boats that are speeding around the island or hit the blimp that’s taking it in all in from above. There are different types of cars that you can launch at the buildings including ones that separates into two, causing even more destruction. There’s also a stick bomb cabin that can be donated whenever you feel the time is right. Blowing up stuff is fun and it’s great watching the huge structures crumble if you manage to hit the sweet spot.


Engineer mode was easily my favourite mode, it requires a bit more thinking – you are faced with the challenge of creating exciting coasters from unfinished designs, which must meet certain criteria. This mode is split into two playstyles, Build to Thrill and Build to Destroy, both are a lot of fun and thankfully there are plenty of ways to solve each of the puzzles. You can access the Coaster Technology Palette to add booster tracks, monorail sections, corkscrews and much more to ensure that those riding on the coasters have the best time possible. Surprisingly this was the mode my 6-year-old enjoyed the most and at times he came up with better ideas than me! You can test the coaster at any point which is great to see how it performs, you’ll get scored on how much the riders scream, how sick they feel and how much G-force you put them through – there’s lots to consider and it makes for quite a time-consuming mode.

Equally as time-consuming is the editor mode, which is best described as Minecraft for rollercoasters, you can use all sorts of materials to create the perfect island before putting together the best rollercoaster possible, as more players come online you’ll be able to download, score and edit other player’s creations. You can easily lose hours in this mode, and I’ve already downloaded a couple of insane rollercoasters to try out, I expect some amazing creations to come out from this mode. You get to use the same tools that the designers had to create the shipped levels so there is clearly some potential in this mode.


ScreamRide is a nice enough looking game but it won’t be winning any’ best ever looking game’ awards any time soon, the same goes for some of the sound design, it’s pretty repetitive. The voiceover robot does a good job of explaining the game and its rules to you, but the music is best ignored.

On the surface ScreamRide doesn’t appear to have much content and can begin to feel repetitive quite quickly, dig deeper and you’ll find that Engineer mode and Level editor more than make up for it. Children and adults alike will spend many an hour creating new coasters and islands to build them on, ScreamRide will keep everyone happy for months to come and for me that’s more than enough reason to buy this game.

Thanks to Xbox for supplying TiX with a download code

[rprogress value=75 text=”TiX Score 75%”]
[xyz-ihs snippet=”XboxOne”][xyz-ihs snippet=”Pegi3″]