A selection of screenshots from David Braben’s classic 16bit Space trading adventure game elite Elite 2 “Frontier” which made it’s debut back in 1992. Frontier’s core gaming may not have been as playable or fun as it’s illustratious, highly sucessful 8bit predecessor, but it was IMHO a much more immersive experience – Armed with an Commordore Amiga, Atari ST or IBM PC (boo!) it offered you the chance to explore an almost limitless galaxy of Millions of Star Systems, ok so perhaps only 100 of them were of actual interest but that was still plenty of traveling. Probably the games most fascinating aspect was it’s Galactic and Local star chart’s, the prior offering a 3d rotatable Grid enabling the player too see not only Star positions, jump distances and shipping lanes but also how far above or below the galactic plane a potential destination might be- cooler still, real star’s were featured up to a 20 light year radius from our own, making it possible for a player to visit Sirius, Ross 154, Alpha Centuri etc. This attention to realism carried through into gameplay with focus on actual spacial dynamics, leading to ship to ship space battles becoming interia driven slingshots affairs which while true to physics were’nt particularly frantic in the X-Wing/Tie-fighter mould.
Opinion has always been divided over whether Frontier was as good as it’s more famous forerunner, where as that was a 3d space combat sim with the Space exlporation bolted on. Elite 2 kinda works in reverse – personally I’ve always prefered it