I don't just mean I want to play again.
I feel longing to play it again.
I have honestly never felt this with any other game. A lot of games to me are just ways of passing the time when I'm not busy with other stuff. Call Of Duty is just there to kill a few hours in the Employee break room while a computer diagnostic finishes up. Destiny is there if I want some mindless loot grinding. Path of Exile is much the same.
But then there's games I play for the experience, to immerse myself in a game. Subnautica is my all-time favourite survival crafting game. Stellaris is by far the best 4X grand strategy game I've ever played. Fallout: New Vegas is among my favourite RPG games, along with Deus Ex: Mankind Divided. Then there's Elite Dangerous.
I began playing Elite back in 2016, right after a house fire destroyed my high-spec PC rig. I've tried replacing the damm thing, but considering that I originally started building the rig in 2009, and I just kept upgrading it till the year it got totalled, and that I spent countless hours and insane amounts of moolah building it...I just haven't had the time or budget to rebuild a proper rig.
After that fire, I had my Mac, and that was it. I still use my mac for Uni, despite its ever growing age and level of wear. Since then, I've had a loaner laptop from my Dad, but it's a Lenovo Thinkpad, and I think that's all I need to say. But I digress.
Back then, I had to use my puny mac for gaming, and it did work pretty well. I can safely say that it is possible to run high-end games like Deus Ex: Human Revolution and Stellaris on a Mid-2013 Macbook Air without running into significant framerate drops. I've become accustomed to dealing with framerates in the single digits. That's when I decided to purchase Elite Dangerous, and I swiftly fell in love.
Prior to playing ED, I had attempted to play the popular space MMO Eve Online. I quickly discovered that the game was more complicated than a Tzeenchian Cultist's shopping list, and stopped playing after about twelve hours. Thankfully the game had gone F2P at this point, so there was no money lost at my end. I was at the time interested in space sims, and I quickly noticed that there was a significant amount of positivity about Elite Dangerous. So, I purchased it on sale, downloaded it onto my Mac, and my god...it's full of stars.
Despite my Mac being a piece of shit when it comes to running games, I managed to get an insanely good experience out of Elite. While my framerate issues made combat significantly harder than it should have been, I soon found that space trucking around the milky way delivering cargo from station to station was fun in its own way. I'd get a mission at one orbital, load up a playlist on my iPhone, pop in my earbuds, undock from the orbital, engage supercruise, and head to the next destination. I quickly moved up from the puny Mk I Sidewinder to a Cobra Mk III, which was my ship at the time I stopped playing. I loved playing the game, and I even took some vacation days just to participate in one of the big events (I think it was some agricultural crisis in a star system, but it's been a while since I last played).
Then came the infamous day when Frontier Developments decided to slash Mac Support from the game in the next major update. By this time, I'd only played about 12 hours, but had thoroughly enjoyed the game. I was really pissed, so I tried getting a refund.
Nope, I'd had the game for longer than two weeks, and I had twelve hours of playtime. Steam support said to go to Frontier.
I asked for a refund. Nope! You have to get that from Steam.
I asked if they could give me a free copy of the PS4 version in recompense, so I could at least play on the PS4 that survived the fire. Nope! Even I think that was a bit much to ask, and I was the one asking.
Finally, I asked if they could transfer my progress to the PS4 version, of which I aimed to buy a copy. I think you know what the answer is there.
I'm not mad about it really. I know macs aren't meant for gaming, and my use of one was only meant to be temporary. But then came the long period of insurance paperwork and legal stuff to deal with the fallout from the fire, and with it also came a long period of time off going to uni. I had to put my life on hold while I sorted out my issues.
It wasn't until about a week ago that I started to feel a longing to get back in the cockpit. To play the game again. This is something I've never felt from a game before. It's not addiction, since I really didn't play all that much, and the vacation day I took off wasn't really a vacation day, since I was also sick with the flu at the time. Twelve hours is nothing compared to the 435 hours I've played Stellaris for. It's more like a desire to experience the game again, and to feel the way I did when I first booted up the game.
If you want a great experience with a brilliantly realised universe, with a huge amount of detail, and enjoy the space trucking experience, get Elite Dangerous. It's well worth the price tag, and it's still being updated and improved by the devs. Maybe I'll see you out there one day. o7, PPC.