Almost two years after the culmination of a £1.5 million raising Kickstarter, Elite: Dangerous has released its 1.0 update—marking the space game's official launch.
Alongside the release, the game's price has been hiked. It's now £40/$60, slightly up from the most recent pre-order price, but significantly under the cost of alpha and beta stage access.
It's pretty exciting stuff. Sandbox space sims were, for so long, relegated to a niche space of PC gaming, with only a few titles taking it upon themselves to journey through the stars. The last couple of years have felt like a real turning point in that thinking, and Elite is just one of a few games dedicated to realising the romanticism of space exploration.
Admittedly, much of that romanticism deals with being a glorified space trucker. There are multiple job types available in Elite, and the most basic of them is cargo haulage. Nevertheless, even what should be a tedious task is elevated by the immense audio/visual feedback that is warping between star systems. It's a beautiful game, even when nothing much is happening.
The 1.0 update itself isn't much of an advancement over the most recent "gamma" release. You can see the sparse changelist over at the Elite Dangerous forum.
And now, if you ever wanted to see what a game's launch looks like, Frontier released this video: