My review of Elite: Dangerous (http://www.elitedangerous.com/
TL/DR: Good, as long as you know what you are getting into.
If you, like me, used to play Flight simulators back in the F15 Strike Eagle II days and enjoyed TradeWars 2002 on BBS, you'll likely love this game.
I haven't played flight sims in over a decade, mostly because the genre seemed to bore me after a while. I haven't owned a joystick since the early 90's. When I heard about Elite, every review said that you need to have a proper joystick setup (HOTAS) to enjoy it. I picked up a Saitek X52 (basic, not pro) and immediately understood. Flying in this game is a dream with these sticks. The first time you fly toward a space station at high speed, flip the ship sideways and slam lateral thrusters to slide yourself into a dock, you can't help but smile. Flight is fantastic, and I'm still using the starter ship with flight assist turned on.
Gameplay wise, it does slow down a bit. This is a HUGE universe, and you actually have to travel in it. The dynamics of how that is done are actually pretty fantastic. For instance, when traveling within a system but between planets/stars, you go into "supercruise" mode where you start building up speed several times beyond the speed of light. Your speed keeps climbing as long as it isn't inhibited by a large gravity source, so you cover distances faster the further you have to go. About halfway there, you better start slowing down, or you are going to end up shooting past your location and having to turn back. Major bonus points for the speed being in "C" and the distance being in light years / light seconds.
You'll be spending most of the beginning stage just hauling stuff between space stations for cash. That's still the stage I'm in. This is where it reminds me of TradeWars; buy low, sell high, repeat. I'm looking forward to having enough money to outfit a ship for battles and trying out things like bounty hunting.
However, besides having a ship that can fight and blowing up harder and harder ships, I'm not sure what kind of later gameplay there will be. There's no controlling of sectors or working toward defeating some larger group of enemies. What you do has an effect on faction standing with various groups, but it doesn't seem to be that important. So, once I get bored of flying and have a better ship, I'm not sure what I'll do in the game. There is an upcoming "Wing" update that is supposed to bring in group gameplay; I'm hoping that also brings some more challenges.
None-the-less, if you go by +Jean-Baptiste Quéru
's standard of breaking the cost of a game down by how much enjoyment you get out of it, I'm happy with it. Even with the cost of HOTAS added in, I think I'll get more than my fair share of enjoyment out of the game. I also hear that there are some other games coming out this year that will also benefit from the sticks, so those shouldn't only be counted toward this.
If you like flight sims and think controlling a moving object in space with both hands on flight control sticks sounds awesome (and you don't mind some monotony), I think you'll like the game. If you are expecting an arcade style experience with fast paced action, you may want to pass.