Elite is probably one of the most revered space sims out there, even if it’s a couple decades old at this point. The freedom it offered the players was unique at the time, as were the procedurally generated environments from the second episode of the series, which provided the fans with endless worlds to discover and visit. However, it’s very difficult to enjoy the same game nowadays, especially on newer hardware that doesn’t support it.
Explore the entire Milky Way and make your own destiny
PioneerSpaceSim is more of a clone than an original concept, because it copies most of its ideas from the brilliant Frontier: Elite II, which was released over two decades ago. However, it brings the elements into the 21st century, at least when it comes to hardware compatibility, because everything else still looks rather crude and old. Hence, freedom is the essential component, because everything else can be overlooked, more or less.
Just like in the original series, there is no plot or story to follow, which means that you are free to go anywhere and do as you like, as long as you avoid dying. There are multiple starting points, on the other hand, including Earth, New Hope, and Barnard’s Star, which means that you can begin in different corners of the galaxy with every new session. However, things evolve in very much the same manner, regardless of where you happen to spawn.
Trade commodities and engage in conflict
The most important aspect of the gameplay is the trade component, which means that you can easily make a living out of selling things and transporting them from system to system. Speaking of which, you can also haul cargo and people from one planet to the other, which is also quite the lucrative business, if you have the patience for it and you do not mind the fact that you are basically operating a space bus.
War is also on the table, although it’s up to you whether you want to put the lasers into action or not. The controls and the gameplay may not be quite right for high-speed confrontations, but thankfully, things happen much slower in space. On the same note, the graphics are not exactly top notch, but the environments are not bad at all and you can really get in the mood after a while.
Plenty of potential and decent gameplay mechanics
While it is quite clear that PioneerSpaceSim is not for beginners, the game can grow on you if you give it enough time and especially if you enjoy space as a concept. Thus, there are many hours of gameplay hidden in this title, but you need a lot of patience to get them out.