Star Quality? X3: Terran Conflict footage

By Jim Rossignol on October 23rd, 2008 at 11:54 am.


I didn’t really get on with the X games. Even by my high tolerances for videogame tedium among the stars, X3 seemed to be taking the piss a little. The scope and ambition of its Elite+++++ delivery is commendable, but there was something about its humorless space trudge that put me off. I do feel like I should go back, and plenty of my space-gaming chums chide me for my lack of appreciation. What I can say that is that I am not immune to its prettiness, and this battle-trailer for expandalone Terran Conflict certainly looks fantastic.

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59 Comments »

  1. Pfhaust says:

    I eagerly downloaded this over Steam after coming dangerously close to getting hooked on Reunion + Xtended. In true Egosoft form, it’s not without bugs. Most I can get past, but this time the ship computer’s voice stutters and is cut off for the first 0.5 seconds of saying ANYTHING. It never did this in Reunion either.

    I’m on a clean install of XP with latest drivers and I desperately wish I read about Steam’s lack of return policy. I’ve done technical support research on their forums (and the internets at large), but nothing has worked.

    The open-universe simulation going on in these games makes me wish them success, but this one is not making me want to give them another chance in the future.

  2. Sire404 says:

    Can anyone tell me if the new interface and fonts scale up to larger resolutions? In X2 they didn’t, and it’s virtually unplayable since I sit 2 meters from an 42″ LCD.

    I want to love this game, and it has HUGE potential. They should really make it more accessible to us a bit more casual gamers that don’t want to spend most of our time micro-managing trade fleets. From the comments it’s going in the right direction.

  3. Mortis says:

    Having played EVE online for a year now, and reaching the point where I’d like to play a space sim by myself every now and then, I ran across X3: Terran Conflict. I’ve never played any of the other ones, and looking at the screen shots, thought this is the game. But after downloading it from Steam, with no problems, and playing it for 3 days straight, I’ve come to the conclusion that it has to be the worst game ever. Now, it could be the fact that I expect more from a single player game, after all the graphics look great, but the interface is far from intuitive, the missions are just horrible, and the fact that every npc I run into kills me instantly. Like the mission where you have to scan the pirate base, its all well in good if I didn’t follow the pirate to the base, get within 500m of it, and five pirates hop out and shoot me. So, I reload from my last save point, follow him in again, this time at a distance of 50km, thinking I was too close last time. He lands, I move in to scan, when I get, “Meet Lt. Pilnser at Heretics End.” But, wait, I already have that mission, I’m on it now. Oh, no, the five pirate friends have launched again, and two have come in from the gate I need to haul ass out of. Boom, there goes my ship. So, I reload, and there it is in the missions, Follow pirate nova. So, I pick him up again, and trail him. Only to get popped by three pirates coming thru the gate. So, I try the Terran character, crappier ship than the argonian, but I’ll try it. Oh, wait the missions are the same. What is this, Starfleet Battles? I know what it was. Fridays are cut and paste day at EGOsoft. How lazy can you get? I mean come on. If you are going to make a game. Make a game. I think alot of the above posters said it best about what we all want from a space sim, stop being so damn lazy about it. Or does it hurt the dev’s brains to actually think about programming something better than what they’ve been doing? Cuz’ if X3:TC is the best they’ve done, then the management team needs to light a fire under their own butts and fire the programmers now, and hire a bunch of real ones. Oh, before I forget, I downloaded the game from Steam and the manual is in pdf format, so I go to print it off, cuz I like reading about the game I’m gonna sit and play for hours, yeah, its all black pages with white text. 61 black pages of white text. Did someone over at EGOsoft suddenly get stupid? Why black pages? If you spend the time to make the game and manual available thru download, then why not create a pdf manual in white with black text? But hey, it could be me, and I’m not exactly the sharpest tool in the shed, but it seems I’m alot brighter than the group of “special” kids over at EGOsoft. I know alot of you love this game, and I could see the appeal, and I know you guys are gonna flame the bejesus out of my opinion, and well, thats your business. All I can say as a consumer is that I’ll be taking my business elsewhere and if I’m ever asked about a company called EGOsoft, you bet I’m gonna flame the bejesus out of them.

  4. Mortis says:

    Yep, after still trying to play this game for another few more days, I’ve come to the conclusion that you need to have played the very first one to understand how it all works. This game is definately not for someone that has just walked into it, like I did. I can only say I will never buy another game from EGOsoft, and I’m now beginning to question if Steam has any quality control itself. It’s kinda frustrating to learn to play a game when you go on the noob missions labelled easy and you have three other wingmen and you enter into the foray and your buddies just sit there while five xenon’s gang rape you over and over and over and over and over… ad nauseum. I shouldn’t be suprised as when you go to the company blog site, they brag about their paint ball experience, and not what they are doing for the game, to either improve it or fix bugs that are so obvious. Like your flight instructor that ask where are you going while he’s bouncing off the station for ten minutes, with no ill effects. Crappy, just crappy. And yes I’ve deleted the game off my pc, what I should have done with the 45bucks to download this crappy p.o.s., was taken the cash and and just flushed it down the toilet. And if my opinions have offended anyone over at EGOsoft, like I give a damn, you guys either owe me a better game or you owe me 45 bucks, and not the ones with the pointy antlers either.

  5. kert says:

    Another corner of the web where the forgotten space sim fans are crying :) I have found a couple of these.

    Lets get a few things out of the way : EVE is not a space sim, like Homeworld isnt. Jupiter : Nexus incident isnt either ( all nice games btw )

    So lets recap. First, we had Elite. In few tens of kilobytes, practically infinite galaxy and endless fun. We had X-Wing, perfected by TIE fighter. What more can an army space cadet want ? Duh, some Kilrathi action of course ! Hence Wing Commander, perfected in the four-CD epic with movie scenes with Mark Hamill and porn stars in Wing Commander Prophecy. Does a story get better than that ? Well, if you are not just a military type, yes it does. We had Star Control 2 ( reborn as Urquan masters btw ) with so incredibly immersive gameplay and imaginitive story that could kill days. Not a real space sim too, but a great space story.

    Of course, the adventurous ones of us, not wanting to take orders from military commanders above, bought our own ships and kicked some Kilrathi ass in Privateer. Smuggled, cheated and had wonderful times chasing that elusive green alien bot around this corner of galaxy.

    So then what happened ? Lucasarts tried to milk the Tie-fighter cow some more with X-Wing vs. Tie Fighter, didnt turn out that great, and XWA in its initial incarnation wasnt really much to afterburn over either.
    But then, out of the blue, BAM ! Descent Freespace. Wing Commander fans rejoiced, the routine was familiar, the alien faces were new, and we didnt really feel sorry for the Vasudans.

    Of course the many fans of Isaac Newton got to enjoy I-War series, and a few of them tried to get to mars with Terminus ( turns out that mars was that one red pixel )

    Elsewhere, Novalogic got ahold of Bruce Campell and they went to the Fringe with Tachyons. So we got back to our privateerish habits and got a choice of two plates, Galspan or Bora. Not that much freedom but fun all around.

    Volition remembered they forgot beam cannons off the capships, and Freespace 2 was delivered. Incidentally they put so much awesomeness in that the greatest space sim of all time was born. After that, it only went downhill.

    Freelancer ? Meh. DarkStar ? Meh squared. Space Force Rogue Uni *cough* X series ? They put GRIND in a single-player game and hid it well away under incomprehensible UI , Wow !?

    Anyone remember Microsoft Allegiance ? Good idea, wrong time. Vendetta Online ? Still ticking in some corner of the interwebs, with both users logging on now and then.

    So we rest our hopes on Infinity Universe and the remote chance that David Braben might pick up the phone and call Ian Bell again. For the fourth installment. But our patience wears thin.

    So where are all the great joystick adventures set in the Firefly universe ? Or Culture universe of Iain M. Banks ? You know, where upgrades look cool and you have to work for them, best missiles go straight in swarms and aliens dont speak english ?
    Hey, we would even be happy to pilot ships from the Sienar Fleet Systems again provided that there is no Jar-Jar Binks in the jump radius.

    And a bit of a clue : graphics engine with economy engine with cinematic sequencer does not a game make. Whatever happened to fun, stories and imagination ? Its not like there arent any good sci-fi writers or the field would be void of existing stories to borrow from. I want to land on a barren moon of Saturn to meet creatures of light, run around with robots on sunny side of mercury or bump into a monolith this side of Jupiter, for chrissakes, why cant i have that ?

    Oh well, i guess the little indy stuff has to bide the time and reliving the Master of Orion in Galactic Civilisations kills the years too.

    signed,
    Certified Space Nut

  6. Sire404 says:

    Kert, please get a job in the industry and build us a game.

  7. cheeba says:

    X3 has got to be, hands down, my most regretted buy on Steam. Absolutely hateful garbage. Short of destroying everything from the original and starting fresh, I can’t see how this expansion will help.

    I’m holding out hope for NorthStar, that seems like the only game in this genre that’s at least trying to go in the right direction.

  8. Jordan says:

    Hi, The X3 games are a real killer for the first time player, I started with X2 and loved it. I never had any problems with X2/3, I’ve had a few frustrating moments with Terran conflict but thats sorted now and I am about to start making money for my campaign. Its also easy to criticise people for not making a game the way you want, me thinks that you just lack the patience to get into it, which is totally understandable its not for everyone. Its a sad indicator of how the world is turning out in general, Everybody wants it all now, today…instead of taking it easy and relaxing. There is a reason why the X3 games have such a steep learning curve and that is because there is a hell of a lot of gameplay to be had. I never played the plot with X3 so I just did my own thing, and I believe that is where the imagination unfolds. X3R was on my system for over a year, unfinished before I bought TC…never even looked like giving up the ghost. I got my £9.99 worth out of it for sure, and Terran Conflict so far has only been a problem because I dared to play the plot first. I play TC in a Viper mkII cockpit sim I built so there is no mouse and very little keyboard use, its all flightstick as it should be. To even give TC only 8 hours of play, then slate it is enough proof. It takes on average roughly 30 to 48 hours playtime for the global economy to kick into life.Trade in energy cells in key sectors for the first 10 hours, and you will notice the diference, after two weeks of trading you can be earning millions of credits easily. Sit back, relax, make the money and the game will open up.

  9. Malachy says:

    Jordan’s got it right in his post above.

    This isn’t Star Wars. This is the 2001: A Space Odyssey of space sims.

    A lot of people find Kubric’s flicks baffling, including myself on occasion. I was a bit baffled by X3:R, but X3:TC has fixed that. Still, you may actually have to sit and think a little, just like you should be doing as the credits roll on a Kubric flick.