I'll be honest, I appreciated Depths of Peril and Din's Curse from a technical standpoint. But after clearing a couple games I put them aside and never came back. Drox Operative is different. The honeymoon's over and I'm still playing it compulsively. It's probably my favorite Elite-esque of all time. I'd chalk it up to a few things:
- The Mouse WASD action controls make combat way more interesting than holding down the LMB on an Orc and watching my guy trade bonks. When I install a new drive, it's not just a numbers boost under the hood, there's a noticeable improvement in the handling of my ship.
- The sense of exploration. Other "living world" Elite-esques like Flatspace and Space Rangers take place in galaxies that are pretty much already completely explored and colonized, your character just isn't familiar with each system's particular amenities. Here in Drox Operative, I truly am boldly going where no one was been before, a process that is made all the more fun by that trademark Soldak urgency driving me on
- No commodity trading, asteroid mining, or other menial drudgery. Thank you for realizing I play videogames to escape my miserable workday.
- The whole Bene Gesserit strings-pulling spy role is just so delicious in practice. I travel to the periphery and provoke several space monsters, then turn tail and run to the atmosphere of a nearby colony. Once the monsters are in range I shoot them down and the colony hails me, "Thank you, Mischief Maker, you saved us from a savage attack by space monsters! I suppose now we owe it to you to break that treaty with the insectoids like you asked before."
Great game. Your best one yet in my opinion. If you make an expansion I'll be all over it.