Horizons - just a pretty wallpaper generator?.....come on, there's a bit more to it than that
Being able to land on 61% of the planets in the galaxy, get out of the ship and into a funky moon-buggy (with guns!) to explore the surface while collecting minerals of varying rarities was very appealing to me. Then there's the ground combat and surface missions, some of them get quite involved with the data point scanning, opening gates to destroy power generators and drones. I actually enjoy driving the SRV. Skimming across the surface, getting airborne and using your thrusters to get smooth landings. It's always a bit of a shock though, when you drive at full speed over what looks like a small crest only to find yourself falling headlong into a massive chasm that would put the Grand Canyon to shame. Much like Euro Truck Sim, I simply enjoy driving and taking in the scenery. Maybe I'm just weird
Remember in Freelancer, how you could be flying through some random gas cloud or asteroid field and you'd get a new contact appear?....'Ooh! an unknown station?....let's check it out" That sort of thing doesn't really happen in ED. All the 'unknown signal sources' are so abundant, you end up just ignoring 99% of them. Flying across the surface of an alien planet and spotting something unexpected out of the window gives me a sense of discovery that I felt ED was lacking a bit until Horizons. Although the POI's on planets are a bit too common also. I've found that you don't really need to look for blue circles, just fly around and you'll stumble across stuff.
If you're mainly interested in shooting stuff and making as much money as possible, then no, don't buy Horizons. But if you're more of the explorer type, then you'll get more out of it......and yes, it's expensive ($38 USD at the moment) but ED always has been
I hope this post doesn't come across as fanboism, because Horizons should be criticised. I just wanted to point out that there are multiple styles of play and Horizons caters to the explorer types.
Look!....I found Voyager 1.
And I've never seen a pair like this before....