If I had a VR headset and zero responsibilities, this would probably be my game of the year. As it stands, the austere loneliness of space is intruded upon by the real world all too often for me to properly immerse myself in.
Playing as a lady I think would be really fun in VR because of where I'm at with my gender identity.
Perhaps where this game falls down is personality more than anything. I don't mind lonely, dispassionate space-travel, but I want more of a relationship with the places I visit.
I used to play an open source space sim called Vega Strike. It wasn't anything special as far as looks, or feel or whatever. Dogfighting actually kind of sucked in it, to be honest. But the thing that kept me coming back to it was the relationships and stories I created within the world. And the difference was dialogue, plain and simple. It was just very simple text chat between me and the planets and stations I visited. There was perhaps 3 to 4 randomly chosen lines on either side for each tier of "familiarity", but it worked.
I used to run seafood from an oceanic planet named Atlantis, take it to a local mining station named Serenity, and bring back a bunch of minerals for sale at Atlantis and as part of that I felt like I was building a relationship with the people that worked at both locations. This was also reflected in the game's reputation system.
None of that really happens in Elite. There's no dialogue on any of the stations you land at, and the reputation system moves so slowly that it doesn't feel like anything you're doing is acknowledged by the universe around you.
I don't regret picking this up, or the stupidly expensive HOTAS I use to play it, but I keep feeling like it should be more, or that I should like it more than I do. It's not like I haven't played it a bunch, though. I've dumped about 50 hours into this thing, and I've really enjoyed that time, but man. I just don't really know how I feel about it.
Maybe when I pick up Horizons my feelings will change.