Born Again – X: Rebirth Announced

By John Walker on April 20th, 2011 at 3:56 pm.

I wish I found space shopping games as fun as I find them pretty.

Fans of the X series? Awake from your comas – the series is back with the freshly announced X: Rebirth. There’s four images, too. And a trailer!

I know there are mixed opinions of the space shopping X games (no skateboarding jokes, please), but really no one is in any position to disagree with their having named the first game’s expansion pack, “X-Tension”. Really, let’s all stop and just clap at our monitors for a moment.

Technically the sixth X game, but should perhaps more properly be called X4: Rebirth, this is the first release in the series by Egosoft since 2008. And they describe it as sporting “radically new game design and top notch graphics.” In fact,

“The space simulation X Rebirth heralds more than just an additional chapter within the X series, it is a fresh beginning bringing with it a number of gameplay innovations without compromising its successful origins.”

So once more we head back to the X universe, where change is afoot.

“While the universe stumbles towards an uncertain future, countless adventures await as new enemies rise in search of power. Enter a young adventurer and his unlikely female ally traveling in an old, battered ship with a glorious past – two people alone against the galaxy, playing a key part in the events to come. The fate of the universe rests in the hands of the player…”

The lack of a number is clearly because they’re attempting a reboot here, and presumably because most of those who enjoyed the original 1999 game are so old they’ve forgotten what happened, and everyone else wasn’t born yet. They promise this new game will appeal to the original fans, and these “newcomers” you’ve heard so much about.

“Varied gameplay elements such as action-packed space combat, detailed trading mechanics and high-speed space exploration with fast travel allow players to experience a truly unique space saga that will keep them hooked for dozens of hours. X Rebirth features a whole new user experience – it is easier than ever to start with, and remains as deep as fans expect it.”

They’re looking at getting the game out by the end of the year. Are you excited?

Edit: Thanks to Heliosicle for pointing out the trailer:

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144 Comments »

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  1. Premium User Badge

    LieutLaww says:

    Last pic looks like an opened up Galactica.

    • RiptoR says:

      Same thing crossed my mind the exact second I saw the pic

    • JYzer says:

      It looks like a combination of the Battlestar Galactica and something out of Homeworld.

      And that’s hawt.

  2. Anonymous Coward says:

    I love the looks of the space stations! Id pay lots of money for a space game with good space stations! Also i think they should add the option to walk the surface of stations… like in shattered horizon because it just feels so friggin awesome :)

    • Nesetalis says:

      I would like them too add walkable planets and stations in to the mix for sure.. but as it stands, X3:Terran conflict is quite nice..
      this though… god damnit.. want nao! D:

  3. sinister agent says:

    An unlikely female ally, you say?

    • Daniel Rivas says:

      Unlikely Female is my favourite of the X-Men.

      There’s a joke there, sort of, if you squint hard enough.

    • _Jackalope_ says:

      Unlikely as in “she’s a 60 year old typist from Birmingham”? Unlikely as in “she doesn’t have two space hoppers jammed down the front of her top”? We need specifics dammit!

    • Quine says:

      I prefers a likely lass meself…

    • bascule42 says:

      as in “she doesn’t have two space hoppers jammed down the front of her top”

      I find that to be the most unlikey suggestion about her unlikelyness.

      That aside, I mean really aside, far far aside at the other end of Rolks Drift, I hope this Unlikleynessness doesn’t manifest itself in the fact that said female is of the child-ish persuasion. Children should be limited to witty, at first, space station announcements.

  4. Heliosicle says:

    I enjoyed Reunion and TC, but if this is as focused on trading and fetch quests I may pass.

    EDIT: You missed the trailer http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LabrDe4XJo0&feature=player_embedded

  5. John Connor says:

    I bought all the previous X games in a pack and despite being a huge space sim fan since I was little, I didn’t like any of them, mostly because I’d get dropped into space with no idea what to do. Not to mention the spacecraft was a wank to control.

    If this is more like Freelancer (a game I love to bits) than the previous X games I might be interested, but they’re going to have to simplify and streamline things a lot (not to mention make the early game a lot less confusing) if they want to attract “new players.”

    • Premium User Badge

      GibletHead2000 says:

      I sincerely hope this game is not “more like Freelancer”. That would be a sad thing indeed.

    • Ringwraith says:

      We simply need more games like Freelancer, it proved that there’s a market for the simpler space games, though there’s still a market for the horrifically complicated ones like the X series.

    • Premium User Badge

      daphne says:

      I could never really get into the previous X games (perhaps more because of the time investment you need to put in for them to get going , though), so here’s hoping that this will be a more accessible game.

    • Reapy says:

      Same story here. Well, I got X on release, I was missing space sim’s at the time, stumbled on X somewhere and was looking at screenshots getting hooked. After reading a few people’s gameplay journals of them ripping through the game, I was hooked and desperately waiting for X3 reunion’s release.

      I bought it, installed immediately, started the game, annnd:

      Nothing.

      Played about 30 minutes before being just overwhelmed and confused and not really feeling like putting whatever up front investment I would have needed to actually start playing and enjoying myself.

      I reallly, really, hope they address this somehow. And by all means I don’t want them to dumb it down by removing things, but really, just offer a way for vets to jump into a sandbox, and for newbies to have their hand held get us up to speed on how the game works.

      Either way I’ll probably keep my eyes on this one to see what they’ll be doing with it.

    • hi5! says:

      Made an account just to say that I agree, I loved Freelancer to bits. It’s one of the only few games I’ve played that made me visibly upset when it ended.

    • sinister agent says:

      Thirded here – I can see why people like these, as the economy and sense of a world that carries on without you is quite well done. But resources are so scant at the start that it takes hours upon hours of gruelling marginal profit runs to be able to actually do anything enjoyable without having to spend the next hour saving up enough money to do minor repairs or upgrades.

      Both the most recent games gave me the impression of allowing you to forge a mighty business empire, but they do that by giving you a fiver and sending you down the market. If I wanted to get rich the slow and tedious way, I’d get a job in shipping, not buy a videogame.

      I’ll keep an eye on this, though. With some more options or tweaks, I can imagine they could remove (or include an option to remove, rather than annoy fans) some of the common complaints the series generates.

    • malexmave says:

      I got to say, I played and loved both freelancer and Eve Online, so I am in no matter if it’s “simplified” (unlikely, considering the past X-Titles) or a pretty rough start (like you have in Eve). Count me as excited. Plus, the graphics are sexy.

    • Cobopolies says:

      Same thing happened to me. I want Freelancer and Wing Commander: Privateer to have a massive shiny baby.

    • wcanyon says:

      Exactly what happened to me. Thought it sounded great. Then I opened the game played for an hour and had no idea what to do. Or even how to move my ship. I have no patience for a game that’s like “RTFM dude! Duuuuuh!” No thanks, plenty of fun games in the universe.

    • NateN says:

      I was considering buying the X games simply because I love space-sims to death, but hearing how much unlike it is to Freelancer gives me pause.

      Aside: One thing that has always bugged me about space sims: They all have faster then light travel and communication along with other extremely advanced technology, but absolutely no way to track the economy on worlds and space stations. (At least I’ve never found an SP game that does.) While I could see limiting it to worlds you’ve visited & items you’ve seen for gameplay reasons, needing to keep paper notes on profitable trade routes always struck me as kind of silly.

    • Zenicetus says:

      “Aside: One thing that has always bugged me about space sims: They all have faster then light travel and communication along with other extremely advanced technology, but absolutely no way to track the economy on worlds and space stations.”

      True, although I suppose it’s defensible as a way of encouraging exploration and experiment, instead of just making an immediate beeline to the most profitable routes. IIRC, in X3 once you have enough satellites and ships, you can use them in strategic sectors to track local prices. But it still seems silly when there are other game mechanics like the Galactic News or whatever it’s called.

      I’ve long thought that this type of game would be more interesting in a universe setting where there was an ironclad lightspeed limit for travel and communication. No star gates or hyperdrive. Ships could go fast, approaching C so time dilation would make travel between star systems possible (you wouldn’t age much between star systems), but you’d have drastically out-dated information about the economic and technological/military status of the next system you were arriving at.

      It would make exploring for the most economic trade routes mean something, instead of just a forced game mechanic that limits your information. You wouldn’t be able to rely on a stable universal currency, so trading would be strictly barter — what have you got that’s interesting, and I can sell somewhere else to a lower-tech civilization? Wars would only be possible between star systems that were fairly close, and you wouldn’t have much advance warning of a sneak attack.

      There’s just a severe lack of imagination with space game developers. We’re still stuck with modern re-treads of Wing Commander and Privateer when we could be doing so much more with exploration, trade and combat.

    • dadioflex says:

      I honestly had to go check we were talking about the same game. Freelancer? Diablo in space? Wow.

      Personally I’m worried they’re dumbing down the X series. I do not like the inclusion of unlikely females. It smacks of consoles. Is the new X coming out on consoles?

    • MrCrun says:

      @ Zenicetus. Yes! Like a game set in an Alastair Reynolds novel. With a manageable crew of Ultras with different skills like bionic arms/eyes/lungs. Should be a bit bleak.

    • Zenicetus says:

      @ MrCrun: I’d love to play a game as an Ultra! Imagine the possibilities for avatar customization, if only as a lure to get people interested in the deeper concepts of the game.

      Developers need to stop looking back at WIng Commander, X-Wing, and even Elite for inspiration, and start reading some good sci-fi novels that balance “hardcore physics” with fantastic ideas.

    • Muzman says:

      dadioflex says:

      I honestly had to go check we were talking about the same game. Freelancer? Diablo in space? Wow.

      Who said that about it? (It can’t really be Diablo in space anyway. I like Freelancer).

      I too would like a more Freelancer-y X game. Maybe a spin off if it’d be too much for the hardcore to bear. This series is the last bastion of the big ol’ space game. Seems like the right place for it.
      Freelancer wasn’t perfect by any stretch. Indeed you can almost tell it was cut down from something much more complicated than it ended up being. It did achieve certain important things though (which some aspects of the design and story fought against at times, but anyway). Most of these achievements were in the interface and the setting, so that flying around exploring was just plain fun and rewarding.
      Any new pilot driven space games could learn a lot from it.

    • Ovno says:

      OMFG real physics/reynolds lighthugger game would be bloody amazing….

    • Anonymous Coward says:

      “I have no patience for a game that’s like “RTFM dude! Duuuuuh!” No thanks, plenty of fun games in the universe.”

      Gosh, remember those days when reading the manual might be expected and even necessary? Now all we have is endless tutorial mode or games that are too dumb to require one. Manuals have become nothing more than disclaimers regarding health and a how to install; I used to recreationally read those things.

    • Supernova2000 says:

      Am I the only one who primarily gets pissed off at the X series so far having the explorative freedom of a concentration camp?
      Freelancer is lightyears better than any X game because despite having a similarly prohibitive bullshit jump gate network, at least you get to fly to other planets within the system, even toward the sun (if you’re feeling suicidal) and who cares if it’s not realistic?! I’d rather have free run of an unrealistically small star system than be in a realistically scaled system but arbitrarily restricted to shuffling about on the spot in a single planets’ orbit, as though my shoe laces have been tied together so to speak!

  6. Premium User Badge

    GibletHead2000 says:

    Woooooooooo! I have a very soft spot for germanic economic simulation games, *and* I love flying around in spaceships. As such, the X games are right up my street.

    Although, I think having a main character called “Ban Danna” was even more annoying than the whole “X-Tension” thing.

    • Urael says:

      [Original comment rescinded because I was clearly in the wrong, and being a massive dick about it, too. Apologies, GibletHead2000. The Portal 2 craziness made me more than a touch grumpy. I shouldn’t have taken it out on you.]

    • Felixader says:

      What the Fuck Urael?

      I think you are the Troll seeing as you more or less state the entire oposite of what he wrote.

    • Unaco says:

      Yeah Urael… The OP is saying he doesn’t like puns, not the X games. He isn’t dissing on the X games.

      But… by hating puns, he really is denigrating RPS. He should really reconsider.

    • sinister agent says:

      Just passing through, but I thought I’d respectfully nod to Urael here for having the stones to admit whatever wrong he said (I missed the original comment) and apologise. Too few people have the decency to do this.

    • thebigJ_A says:

      (Forgive me if I’m wrong)

      I’m pretty sure that wasn’t him that edited the comment, dude.

    • Urael says:

      @thebigJ_A

      It certainly was me that edited the comment, or do you think RPS are calling me “…a massive dick…”?

      You are forgiven. :)

    • Batolemaeus says:

      Urael, you do not fit into this whole internet thing.

      Apologizing, even. Ludicrous, my friend. Outrageously ludicrous. *sips tea*

  7. Hat Galleon says:

    Sounds x-citing. I x-pect great things from this x-alted franchise.

    X.

  8. Tizoc says:

    I am X-cited.

    • John Walker says:

      See, what you’re both missing is that “tension” is an appropriate word in its own right.

    • Simon Hawthorne says:

      X-static ?

      Edit: WAIT! X-cape! An expansion which allows you to CLOAK your ship, thwarting pursuers!

    • Antsy says:

      Thanks for that X-Communication John.

    • Hat Galleon says:

      Walker, “cited” is a word too. We’re just talking about properly citing our journal articles discussing warp drive and its many implications, it’s VERY x-citing.

    • Jimbo says:

      Xgasm.

  9. rareh says:

    In my honest opinion, the best gaming franchise out there(only played x3 and x3:tc).
    An insane amount of depth that goes into this game, I am still playing Terran conflict and it came out in 2008(insane replay value).
    This game isn’t easy to get into, but if you want games that last long(not 4 hours like Portal 2) are rewarding, require thinking(unlike portal 2), with lots of things to do(not only a Portal gun) etc
    get this game.
    I am not gonna lie, this game can be easy to get lost in cause of the sheer depth, so for the less bright people i recommend you read some of excellent guides made by the community on the egosoft forums.

    • Mistabashi says:

      I particularly like how you managed to grind your Portal 2 axe while commenting on a completely unrelated game, then topped it off by calling everyone who couldn’t get into the previous X games ‘stupid’.

      Bravo, sir.

    • Torgen says:

      Obsessive commenter is obsessive.

    • Premium User Badge

      ScruffyLemming says:

      @rareh Are you being paid by someone to say Portal 2 is rubbish? Your opinions of that game seem to crop up in every single one of your posts. Its getting a little old, we get it, you don’t like Portal 2.

      As for the new X, I like many bounced of the surface of the last one. I would love a space game Ala Freelancer that I can really dig my teeth into though, so here’s hoping it turns out good.

  10. Wolfman says:

    Although I liked X, I really really really want someone to reboot I-War please.

    Pretty please.

    RPS, make it happen!

    -wolfman

    • Zenicetus says:

      Seconded! I would buy a good I-War sequel in a heartbeat.

      I-War 2 was the best cockpit-level space game ever made. It was serious about ship speed and the size of space, so you didn’t feel cramped in a little playpen for each mission.

    • dogsolitude_uk says:

      I just want to drop by and throw my ‘Third’ in here.

      Proper space flight mechanics, or at least proper-er, would be amazing in a rebooted, re-direct-Xed I-War.

    • Cognitect says:

      Fourthed (is that a word?). I-War 2 is in my opinion the best space sim ever created (emphasis on the word ‘sim’). I haven’t played any of the X series games in years, but as far as I can remember, they focused on the trading/economic/industrial side of things and the spaceflight and combat were unfortunately on a level of sophistication roughly equivalent to that of Wing Commander 1. If X:Rebirth doesn’t improve the “space modeling”, I will not be interested in it.

      Technology has improved tremendously since games like Elite and I-War were released. Can you imagine how amazing a modern open world space combat/trading sim with an I-War type flight model could be, if it was implemented with something like the I-Novae engine and was made easily community-expandable and moddable?

    • sinister agent says:

      I’ll reboot it!

      I know nothing about programming, mind, so my version would comprise mostly of a series of flashcards. Would this be acceptable?

  11. Film11 says:

    Heurrghh… I bought X2, X3 and later X3:TC but can’t get into any of them. The idea of “EVE Offline” really appeals to me but I can never grab myself to play longer than an hour or so, very very frustrating. So much potential there.

    No doubt I’ll end up buying this one when it’s on sale as well.

  12. CloakRaider says:

    If it’s X3 TC with better graphics, better UI, better controls and more user friendly-ness then I’m sold.

    • Premium User Badge

      Joshua says:

      Sinds X3 TC was basically just X3: Reunion with better interface, gameplay, graphics, and more user friendliness, I expect them to continue this trend :D.

  13. Dominic White says:

    An interesting bit of circuitous development history here:

    X3: Reuinion was released by Egosoft. A major community mod released for it was called X-Tended.
    X-Tended was so good that Egosoft worked with the community to bring much of the content and features from it into the updated version of the game, X3: Terran Conflict.

    There’s now a Terran Conflict version of XTended: http://www.moddb.com/mods/x-tended-terran-conflict – it’s an ENORMOUS complete overhaul mod, weighing in at several gig worth of content.

    See the super-fancy trailer here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UAQ7x8K6Yjg

    • Soon says:

      Thanks, Dominic.

      I’ve been eyeing it on my shelf for weeks thinking about a reinstall.

    • Myros says:

      Thanks for the info, will have to check that out.

  14. Premium User Badge

    heretic says:

    THE C0CK ARE COMING

    I never got into x3 even though I was quite excited, but it never ran very well on my pc :(

    The last space game I enjoyed was freelancer cos you didn’t have to follow the story missions that much, and flying into a star was kinda awesome :D I liked shooting those cruise disturbing missiles at fleeing ships then blasting them.

    I wish there was a single player eve kinda game with nice looking graphics and good story tho :-/

    • Urael says:

      Ha ha! C0CK! “Khaak”! I see what you did there, you comedy genius, you!

    • Creeping Death says:

      Just out of curiosity, what are your specs? I had x3 running fine with a 7800gtx back around 07

    • Muzman says:

      I think he remembers this old review:

  15. Solcry says:

    I saw X and briefly thought it was a news story of Megaman X. Got really excited, then saw it was about something else.

  16. Papageno says:

    I really want this to be even better than X3: TC.

    Didn’t this announcement come about a week early? Or is there something else to be announced on the 28th?

  17. Rei Onryou says:

    Shouldn’t it be called 4: R4birt4

  18. Kismet says:

    Wow, I didn’t see that coming. Okay, I haven’t read Egosoft forums for a while but I seemed to remember Terran Conflict being the last X title the devs planned to work on.

    Really, really, nice surprise, and promptly added to my Games Watchlist(TM): I discovered the series with Reunion, loved it, kept following with Terran Conflict and even bought the X Superbox to get the early titles (and the Encyclopedia, which miraculously survived the Play.com forty days shipping).

    Trackmania 2, X: Rebirth, Guild Wars 2: three of the franchises that occupied most of my gaming time in the last few years are all releasing new titles around the same time. Where to buy free time?

    • Gnoupi says:

      Yes, same impression for me, I remember them saying that they were changing, and that the next game would not be a space simulator.

      So it’s great news, then!

  19. Premium User Badge

    mcnostril says:

    I never really got into X3TC. I got it when it was on sale because it sounded pretty great, but then the game starts and I have no idea what’s going on and it’s not particularly compelling.
    I have yet to put more than an hour or two into it to be honest.

    That, and there’s such a staggering amount of mods and scripts out that I spend ages looking at them and tinkering with stuff (that I have never ever seen in action because I have yet to really play the game). It’s a bit ridiculous really.
    Every once in a while I fire it up, look at all the shiny possibilities, and then my interest drops just as quickly and I go back to playing Space Rangers 2 or something.

    Seeing this new trailer, I have the same reaction I had with X3TC. It looks totally awesome and full of potential, and I get the feeling it will fail to grab me just the same.

  20. Robin says:

    I think that they should preserve the scope and ambitions of the predecessors (and even expand them, if they can).

    What they absolutely need to do is just to make it much more user friendly.
    I’d like to lose myself in these games, but I can’t waste literally hours setting up a “automated merchant” (counting the time spent reading guides just to understand how to do it). Every time I played X3:TC I felt I wasted a huge amount of time in redundant and obscure menus, repeating tedious things 100times just to do a little part of “concrete” gaming. So then, after something like 30~40 hours, I finally gave up.

    Also a nice addition would be an “open” universe, instead of the usual web of small areas connected by portals.

    • Soon says:

      I play as a pirate and sell the big, expensive ships I capture. Am I doing it wrong?

    • Archonsod says:

      Can’t say I ever had that problem, just stick the traders to auto-trade in a decent sector and let them get on with it while you pootle around in your scout or military ship. Credits will roll in fairly frequently after that. It’s not really till your managing a multi sector empire that it gets problematic, and then primarily due to the UI more than anything else. TC improved on it a bit, but it was still something of an obstacle to controlling large amounts of ships.

    • dogsolitude_uk says:

      I ended up wishing I could program macros into it. It was at that point I realised that maybe some of the functions were too obscure.

  21. Scroll says:

    I’m one of the many that can’t get into the X series, it’s not all that overwhelming I just wish the emphasis wasn’t on trading. The pew pew part of the game was never all that engaging or fun.

    Give me a new I war or Freelancer please.

  22. Moonracer says:

    If you can’t get into the X games but would like to I recommend checking out the modding forum on the official site. There is a cheat mod that lets you spawn anything you want in game. If you have enough self control you can start a game, give your self a decent ship and jump right to the fun bits. If you have no self control you can give yourself a fleet of war ships and start taking over/destroying all of space.

  23. Zanchito says:

    Holy shit!!!

    *giggles like a schoolgirl*

  24. Urthman says:

    The fate of the universe rests in the hands of the player

    Sigh.

    • Stick says:

      But it’s not hyperbole! Not when you can spend umpteen months creating your own capital fleet and wipe out most of the-

      Actually, nevermind. I may treat the phrase “fate of the universe” as marketing punctuation, but I’ll admit the sigh was warranted. :P

  25. Unaco says:

    I have, to varying levels of depth, played all of the X games (aside from X-tension or X-Gold) at one point in time. Phenomenal games in scale and scope… Very deep and very involving. I can understand why some people would feel like they were running into a brick wall, just being dropped into them, and they aren’t really the sort of games that you can experience to any significant X-tent in an evening or a weekend (or maybe even a week or a month)… there really is a lot to them, and an investment of time is required before they begin to shine.

    But when they do… Wow! They aren’t perfect, but damn, they are very good games (if you’re into the whole massive, dynamic world, 4X, Empire building thing). They can be awkward, slightly obtuse, and the combat is mostly pants… But the rewards for persevering are many, and there is just something genuinely satisfying about stopping to take stock of your (even fledgling Empire) and seeing you’ve gone from having 1 crappy medium fighter and 1,000 Credits to buying that first TS worth a Million or your first Station, and then, after that, having a fleet of Transports trading independently for you, your own Station complexes (or even Sectors) and an array of Military craft to strike fear into your enemies.

    I’ll be keeping an eye on this… Alas, I don’t think I have the time in my life to dedicate to a game like this again, at least not where I’m at currently. But, maybe… Better combat would be very welcome (I’m thinking I-War 2 style), as would an easier initial period, maybe some ‘streamlining’. It might take away the feeling of achievement when you finally reach ‘mogul’ levels, but maybe not having to trade 100 Energy cells at a time for a 300 Credit profit for several hours won’t be missed that much.

    • Commisar says:

      speaking of the trading thing, you can just leave the game running overnight and wake up with loads of credits :)

    • Batolemaeus says:

      Or you could just not do that, cheat yourself some money, and save some energy.

  26. Silver says:

    Skyrim and this!

    (+witcher2 for obvious reasons!)

  27. Rond says:

    By the end of the year? Why haven’t I heard anything about it before?

  28. Azradesh says:

    I hope they add freelancer-like controls.

    • P34nk says:

      I really hope so too, my friend…Really really hope so. It was intuitive, user friendly, and at the same time configurable so you can make it as complicated as you want or as simple as you want, yet you can still adore your spaceship when flying :)

  29. WMain00 says:

    If the fix the horrendous needlessly complicated UI and inability to pick up side missions easily, then hopefully this should be pretty good.

  30. Cabaen says:

    the X saga it’s great for the bussiness side but is the worst space simulation ever created, if you want to try a real “elite” game try Pioneer, it’s a free project with a great development. http://pioneerspacesim.net/

    • Urael says:

      PIoneer is amazing. I try and drop it into conversation here every chance I get. :)

  31. kyrieee says:

    I bet it’s going to be another buggy piece of shit. Last time I bought one of these at release I was told to wait 12 months until they patched it properly. Thanks.

    • Urael says:

      Utter rubbish. Stop making stuff up to make yourself look cool.

      [Edit] X3 WAS buggy on release, to which the devs promptly blamed everyone else’s PCs. They somehow did manage to patch the thing to a playable standard – funny, that – but it was nowhere near 12 months, And they never offered a timescale. X: BTF, X:Tension, X2 and X3:TC never suffered anything like the same problems. So yeah, you’re still making stuff up.

    • kyrieee says:

      How does paying full price for a broken game make me look cool?
      I didn’t say it was a fucking press release, but when I complained about the game on their forums I was told to stfu. Besides, it wasn’t just buggy, it was incomplete in lots of ways. For example the manual (handy for such a complex game) kept referencing the ingame tutorial which didn’t even exist.

    • Starky says:

      I’m a big fan of the X-games, have played them from X2 onwards (playing X1 retroactively and hating it after X2, oh well), own them all – have designed mods for them, ships, skins (some of which were included in Xtended for X3) and been a reasonably active member of the community.

      So I can say with a very solid degree of certainty…

      All of the X Games were broken as fuck on release.
      They did take around a year for them to become solid stable games (playable maybe sooner, 3-6 months but hardly stable).
      X3:TC was the only one that was decent out of the box, and that is basically because it was the same game.

      It’s something I could forgive because it is a massively complex game, probably on par with most MMO’s in sheer scale – but it really did take a good 6 months and a shit load of community fixes, mods, scripts and such for the games to be great. Even then it was a bloody nightmare at times.
      It was an odd case when X3 launched that X2 with all the community content was a much better game, it took that year for X3 to catch up and overtake it.

      As a final note Urial, every reply you’ve made in this thread you’ve put yourself across as a rabid douche. You may want to dial back the venom.

      As a final final note, the X games have one of the best communities in any game I’ve ever played – but it is pretty hardcore one, which is a blessing and a curse I think.

    • Urael says:

      “All of the X Games were broken as fuck on release”

      Not my experience. We’ll have to agree to disagree on that one.

      “As a final note Urial, every reply you’ve made in this thread you’ve put yourself across as a rabid douche. You may want to dial back the venom.”

      This is true. I did, and I now have. Mostly. :)

    • Batolemaeus says:

      I’d say, even X3 TC is STILL broken to absolute hilarity. Performance problems, the God engine going completely berserk, jobs spawning ships that never despawn, jumping into sectors with 50+ ships trying to dock on a full station, almost every mission can be broken in some way to the point of being unwinnable or breaking the entire plot. Collision detection is wonky, path finding is so hilariously bad that putting ai controlled fighters into the same sector as you means guaranteed losses due to ships crashing into stationary objects or each other.
      And don’t get me started on how out of sector in in sector physics and combat are completely at odds. This isn’t just breaking immersion, it’s shooting it strapped to a shark into a trampoline behind a glass wall.
      I consider X to be unplayable without cheat scripts to be able to step in when bad things happen. Like god engine deleting stations containing plot critical pilots, hired TLs with millions worth in stations exploding after undocking due to fatal shipyard collision, ships being able to dock with stations that will result in immediate explosion after undocking due to size mismatches..the list goes on.
      However, they’re still great games with no competition at all. They’re the only games of their kind. There is no alternative; no other space trading military empire building game exists. Sadly.
      //edith:
      I think I should mention the absolutely excellent modding support. I couldn’t play X3TC at first because the menu selection sounds are absolutely atrocious and brain melting. It didn’t take me long to figure out how to build my own little mod that simply replaced them with something more bearable: Silence

      //edith2:
      I just lost 8 ai controlled fighters that I had ordered to kill an UNARMED but heavily shielded vessel by accidently entering the sector the fight was in, prompting the fighters to realise that collision detection was on and that they should immediately go for a direct collision course to sacrifice themselves to the god of horrible pathfinding.

  32. John P says:

    Of the series I’ve only played X2, and it tapped into some compulsive part of my brain somehow. It’s one of very, very few games that made me jump out of bed on the weekend eager to play. It got a little stale after a while, but was great while it lasted.

  33. Torgen says:

    Speaking of Freelancer, do folks still run those persistent multiplayer servers any more?

  34. Zenicetus says:

    If ever a space game needed a total reboot, it’s this one. The later versions added plenty of visual flash (the ships and stations look great), and there is depth in the business/econ model. But underneath all that is a creaky, antique design (IMO). The galaxy map looks like simple spreadsheet, with predictable entry and exit points for each square sectors. The sectors are tiny, and the subjective ship speeds are very slow (probably due to the cramped sectors). Combat is simplistic. The AI isn’t very challenging and there are no real inertia effects in combat. The capital ships are operated like big, slow fighters — there is no crew, just you in the driver’s seat.

    It’s much more satisfying as a space empire economy simulator, than it is on the cockpit level. I’ll give it that. But it badly needs a ground-up redesign. I’ll be looking forward to reviews, because I bought all the previous versions (sigh… incorrigible space nut here)…. but this time I need to see some evidence that they’re departing completely from the original design concept of space being so cramped, and ships so slow and uninteresting, once you get past the surface beauty.

    • Antsy says:

      This really sums up many of my problems with the X series. I really want to like them but for me space should be vast and mysterious. I want ‘here be dragons’ (or perhaps that should be Thargoids) rather than a tour of some space industrial estates and caravan parks.

      I hate the tiny confined zones that represent a solar system. Mammoth constructions in space floating around inside a pokey space theme park with n,s,e,w gates.

  35. Premium User Badge

    El_MUERkO says:

    ‘what was’ … ‘what once was’, too many what’s and was’s, boo!

  36. dogsolitude_uk says:

    I loved it as an Interstellar Corporation Building Sim, hated it as a space flight/combat sim.

    I had no problems with the economic model, the upgrades, the AI or the learning curve. I like ‘difficult’ games: learning the mechanics and studying the way they work is most of the fun for me.

    But…

    The sectors were too small and boxy, ships had a top speed and slowed down to a crawl if the hull was damaged (!!!) and the flight just made the whole thing feel like you were moving a camera around a pretty room with some stuff in it.

    The worst thing was the muppets they used for aliens. I thought Rigel in Farscape was bad enough, but these guys managed to somehow combine the most achingly beautiful graphics with the most godawful animated characters.

    What killed it for me in the end was spending a day or two playing Eve. For sure, the controls (3rd-person camera etc) were different, but the menu system was far more elegant and it didn’t have the cast of Sesame Street in it.

    I still thoroughly enjoyed trading and building up a small manufacturing empire, and if they’ve got rid of the muppets and sorted out the controls and menu system I’ll be adding this to my shopping list (currently Witcher 2, Deus Ex 3, Portal 2, Orion 8 and Adobe CS5).

    Ideally they’d have a proper space flight model too, and you’d be able to land on planets, but I’ll settle for improved interface and no rubber puppets.

    • Martha Stuart says:

      Wow i have never heard the word “Elegant” used to describe EVE’s menus before. That is not the exact word with which i would have described them, but to each his own i guess.

    • jplayer01 says:

      …. elegant? Oh, sure. If by elegant you mean mind-bendingly unintuitive mess of pretty buttons. I wish they’d overhaul the interface already, considering that every other modern MMO on the market (aside from RIFT, apparently) allows modification and addons. Then we could turn the UI into something useable ourselves, instead of waiting years for them to make changes.

    • dogsolitude_uk says:

      I said ‘more’ elegant…

      Seriously, I found that EVE’s menus and control system were far easier to use than X’s, believe it or not.

      One of the things that helped was the ability to resize and move menus around in EVE, and leave some open, close others. In X they are fixed, appear in fixed positions and have a fixed width.

      Additionally, in X you really do have to dig around in order to, say, give a set of commands to one of your other ships.

      EVE’s is far from perfect, I grant you, but I prefer it to that found in X!

  37. Maxheadroom says:

    Looks pretty but for the love of god hire some decent voice actors this time please!

  38. whizzkidd says:

    You won’t like me for saying this…but……

    I wish they would dumb it down a bit for mortals like me.

    I got the last two X games and was bewildered by them.

    I just want a game like Wing Commander, Freespace or Freelancer again. A little bit of trade is fine.

    Maybe they could add a simple person mode. That would suit me.

    • Rond says:

      X3 isn’t that hard to begin with. It’s just it has screwed up controls, pre-1980 UI, and too much ‘grind’ for money. Once you get to grips, it’s as easy a game as any. Anyhow, you can finish the main questline in your basic fighter craft without giving a damn about economy and stuff.

  39. Stick says:

    Graphics was never really the X-eries’ big issue. Non-kludged-together mechanics would be great, though. (And I say this as a big fan of X2-3. There was entirely too much duct-tape design.)

    Anyways, look forward to this.

    Oh: “adventurer boy and unlikely female ally”? Is that Julian and Saya, then? I liked those guys. Mind you, I have no idea if they’re even in X3:TC and since I’m the only one in the known cosmos who cared in the slightest about the characters and plot of 2 and 3, it’s surprisingly hard to find out. (What can I say, the games were grand and majestic but lacked personality, so I latched onto what little there was.)

    Someone fill me in?

    Hmmm. Wouldn’t an X-like system make for a heck of a more interesting space-combat MMO than Black Prophecy, by the way? (In a sense, it’s EVE with manual piloting and no warp drive. As in, the game has actual geography and travel time.)

  40. DD says:

    I got X3: TC on a steam sale whim and fell in love with it. Took some digging through newbie guides and the like but once I got started I didnt stop till I was 80+ hours in. Really great game and looking forward to the new installment.

    Will be revisiting TC soon aswell, as I must control the entire galaxy!

  41. Urael says:

    The main problem with the X series is the inordinate and incredibly tedious length of time it takes to get anywhere near the level of fleets, capital ships and empires of factories. Someone up above compared this to a 4X game; I’d violently disagree – 4X games have MUCH more pace to them!

    These games are as much fun as having an actual job in real life, which completely grinds away any enjoyment you can squeeze out of the combat or the “exploration” of those stupidly restrictive ‘town square’ solar systems they have (the ones you crawl across in the achingly slow ships). I’d love to think this reboot is a new approach to the series but basically all I see in that trailer is upgraded graphics over the same old mechanics: the same thing Egosoft have always done. Hell, the cameras even pan in the same way.

    However, I shall refrain from summary judgment upon it until more facts are forthcoming. Prey 2 surprised the hell out of me; maybe this can too. Although having said that, every game in this series to date has been an iterative update that has almost completely ignored addressing the fundamental problems mentioned above in favour of shinier graphics and/or new control and UI systems. I’m not hopeful.

    [UPDATE} Ok, maybe I am a bit hopeful. Comments in here:

    http://www.egosoft.com/x/xnews/201104_44_xr_news.html

    state that the game has been completely rebuilt from the ground up, over a span of four years, apparently. This means that there’s potential fo it to be fundamentally better than it’s predecessors. Worth keeping an eye on…

  42. .backslash says:

    I started playing every single game of the series, only to get to the point when the awards from playing the story alone are no longer sufficient to continue, and you need to go be a Space Trucker for a few hours between every mission, if you hope to not die in the first second.
    I understand it’s the game’s style, and a lot of fans love it for exactly that, but I really really hope that this time you don’t need to own several solar systems in order to finish the storyline.
    Of course, the options should still be available for those who are into spreadsheets-is-space, that aren’t EVE.

  43. Grey_Ghost says:

    I think the very last space sims I thoroughly enjoyed were Wing Commander: Secret Ops (the free WC:Prophecy expansion, pretty unique for it’s time), and the original Privateer & it’s expansions.

    Never did give Privateer 2 a go, as I think I was on some anti-FMV kick back then. Same reason I probably skipped WC3 to 5. Though I was also completely enamored with WC1-2 & Privateer’s art style, and repulsed by WC3 etc.

    Uh, anyway… I hope this turns out to be a game worth playing.

  44. Creeping Death says:

    Excellent news! Spent alot of time with X3 a few years ago. Hooked me instantly purely on how vague and complex everything seemed at the start.

    Got Terran Conflict at christmas, but havent really been able to sit down and invest the time needed with it yet :/

  45. Kefren says:

    I have a problem with these games – I want to be able to land on the planets. Fly down through the clouds. I don’t care if the graphics are rubbish, or simulated fractal lines, or voxels. I just miss that. When I played Freelancer it was a huge disappointment.

    Am I asking for something that can’t be done? Nope. I could land on planets on my Amiga. Captain Blood did it well, I really enjoyed landing my OORXX, even though I would have liked some more variety eventually. Those blue fractals though – mesmerising. Also my first game on the Amiga was Starglider 2. A whole star system, you could land on almost any planet, go inside some of them, or fly out into space for ten minutes then look back as the planets as they orbited. Exploring the outer layers of a gas giant to find space whales and ducks was one of the most amazing game experiences I ever had. Exciting, lonely, and brilliantly unexpected. The main point is that you could fly down onto, or up out of, any planet. Then it seems that things took a backwards step, and despite hugely more power we see some games becoming simpler, less free. I want to land on a planet and look around! I don’t care if it is as bleak and inhospitable as LV426!

    • Zenicetus says:

      You might want to check out the Evochron series:
      http://www.starwraith.com/main/go.htm
      You can fly seamlessly from space, through transition to atmosphere and gravity, and then land at a designated point on the surface. I bought the Legends version when it first came out, I haven’t updated to the latest one. It has a similar feel to X3 — somewhat limited areas of operation, speed-constrained ships, simplistic combat (although at least you get a cockpit graphic). There is no economy-building or fleet ownership as in X3; you’re basically taking different missions to build up your ship through a campaign.

      It’s developed by one person (AFAIK), and while that’s in impressive accomplishment, it has the kind of rough edges and shortcuts you’d expect from a one-person shop. I spent a few weeks with the game, and then bailed out. The most interesting thing was the planet landings and take-offs, but there isn’t much differentiation between planets. You won’t see anything like space whales in a gas giant atmosphere, it was just variations on generic big-polygon terrain like you’d see in early 90’s games. Anyway, in the end there wasn’t enough meat on the bones to keep me interested for long, but it gets an E for effort. If a developer this small can enable landing on planets as part of a 4X space sim, why can’t a larger studio do it?

      Edit: It looks like there’s a trial version on the web site, and the planet graphics look like they might be better for the current version.

    • Farsearcher says:

      You might want to check out this too. Procedurally generated planets – which you’ll be able to fly down to. Development of the game has slowed down – they’re focusing on finishing the engine to license it out now but it still looks amazing.

      http://www.infinity-universe.com/Infinity/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=12&Itemid=33

    • Tetracell says:

      “Anyway, in the end there wasn’t enough meat on the bones to keep me interested for long, but it gets an E for effort.”
      That’s why Egosoft hasn’t really done anything for planets yet. I love Evochron and all its iterations. I think it’s a great game that gets more promising as time goes on. But it really doesn’t have the depth of the X series, I guess.

    • Sepulchrave76 says:

      totally agree with you on this one. I was hugely disappointed by Freelancer when I found you had to go to the docking ring, angle yourself at it in just the right way (or wait to be guided in really slowly) and then sometimes even wait in a queue. And then a little cutscene of yourself coming down, and…that’s all you get? Rubbish!

    • Urael says:

      @Kefren, I feel your pain, man. As graphical fidelity has gone up, the game experience has been steadily reduced. Starglider 2’s space whales are legendary. I never completed that game despite spending hours finding whales and tractoring them into my cargo hold to give them an impromptu taxi ride. :) I miss Frontier’s ability to land on//explore planets – Pioneer is a huge step forward from that but they still haven’t got clouds in yet, an essential part of any planetary environment. X2 had these wonderful luminous 3-dimensional nebulae – X3 exchanged them for broken illusions of nebulae where you could see stars through the dust clouds but not stations in front of those stars until you were about to bounce off the hull….

      Space games used to offer you so much more. Is it any wonder people got bored of new products that did less and less, and moved on to other genres?

    • Kefren says:

      @Urael It is true in some other ways too. I loved playing Doom, loads of ways to complete a level so you could go different ways each time for new experiences (especially if you restarted each level with just a pistol – amazing gameplay feature). The bodies would stay there as a guide to where you had been and a memento to your jouney. Then you play Doom 3/Quake 4/HL2/Prey/almost any other FPS and instead all you have is linear experiences (something John often points out), and bodies that fizzle out in front of you. What we face is better screenshots but cruddier mechanics.

  46. Premium User Badge

    FriendlyFire says:

    My only question is: will this be straddled by StarForce?

    Because if so, I’ll be delaying any possible purchase until after the inevitable removal patch comes out.

    Otherwise, please Egosoft, add multiplayer (servers!) and extend modding support. I’m longing for a modern, well-made, persistent multiplayer space sim that isn’t an MMO.

  47. Bassism says:

    oh my god oh my god oh my god oh my god oh my god ad nauseum.

    In all seriousness though, this looks incredible. Not only because it looks incredible, but it really looks like they’re addressing the boring nature of X3 and going back to some of the wonderful feel of X2 with the lovely stations and lots of traffic and whatnot.

    I understand totally why so many people don’t like the games. But for my part they’re pretty close to my top game series of all time, and if they put this as much of a step above X3 as 3 was to 2, we will be getting an incredible game.

    So excited. So far away.

    • Tetracell says:

      Def. I’m a big ol’ gay for X3 and such, along with IDWar 2 still. I just hope people can bring the old cockpit mods into this game.

  48. Basilicus says:

    I love X3, but I didn’t play it like most. I act like a tourist, just going sector to sector and enjoying the sights, tricking around capital ships and solar plants, and engaging in the occasional, low-pressure trade run or main plot mission. It’s not about the money or the empire for me; it’s about having fun being in space. Got a number of hours playing it loosely. Let all those button-downs worry about their profit margins.

  49. Commissar says:

    Here we go again

  50. TickledBlue says:

    I’m a confirmed space sim nut, it’s pathological. I’ll buy and play any of them. What’s odd about this state of affairs is how very very little of value comes out of the genre, yet still I persist with my obsession. The X series is one I’ve always bought and played but never felt much passion for.

    See the thing about space is how awe inspiringly big it is. I mean, it’s really really big (to horribly mangle the good Mr Douglas’ words). Yet every single X game seems to go out of it’s way to make space seem as small and uninteresting as possible.

    Don’t get me wrong, they are games that I have fun with and the deep economic simulation satisfies some other cravings that I have. But the game could be sailing ships during the renaissance and it would fundamentally be the same. When Braben and Bell could create a whole galaxy to explore that fit on a couple of floppy disks yet Egosoft limits us to tiny cubes of space filled with rocks and tin cans that are connected by 2 way tunnels. The ships look pretty (at least in X3:TC) yet never feel good to fly. I can explore, but only limited sectors that vary by their rock/tin can density levels and how much and what colour cloud obscures your view.

    So yeah I’ll buy this one too (See? Pathological I tell ya!) in the probably vain hope that my little drop of money contributes in some small way to reviving the space sim genre so that some developer who actually understands what makes a good space sim might take a chance and make a good one. Not a remake of something already done (looks at Pioneer) but something genuinely unique that captures the immensity, beauty and mystery of space.