X Rebirth Is Still Floating In Space

By Jim Rossignol on June 10th, 2013 at 11:00 am.


You might recollect that X Rebirth was originally targeted for release a couple of years ago, but it’s only now entering those final stages. Word (via Blue) is that it will appear at E3 under the banner of new publisher Tri Synergy. The announcement of this appearance is accompanied by a hand-wavey explanation of delay from the dev’s bossman Bernd Lehahn, who says “It’s beautiful, it’s big and everything in it is new. But it turns out you don’t simply reinvent space games overnight.”

Anyway, Egosoft are still pushing out the ongoing dev materials, as we saw in this post from Craig in May. And they’re still at it. Astonishing orbital-structure concept video below.


Phwoar, eh space-readers?

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36 Comments »

  1. Eddiestrike says:

    This is the news I’ve been waiting. I’ve been wanting to get into the X series for a long time.

    I’m really relieved it’s still coming out.

  2. RedViv says:

    This is one ridiculously amazing space resource extraction refinery thingy.

  3. caseworks says:

    I have the egosoft forums on my daily news feed, man I’m getting tired of waiting :(

  4. frightlever says:

    Not working with Deep Silver any more? Hmm.

  5. Nomaki says:

    I hope at some indeterminate point in the future this supports the Oculus Rift, so I can buy a crazy flight simulator control deck, put on the VR goggles and not leave my flat for two weeks.

    • Gamboni says:

      I can’t imagine trying to operate a crazy flight simulator control deck without seeing it or your hands would be a very immersive experience.

      • Zenicetus says:

        That’s what HOTAS (hands on throttle and stick) flight controls are for. You have every essential switch and axis control under your hands (and feet) at all times, so your eyes can focus on displays or your current target.

        I have a HOTAS setup and I think it would be a blast combined with the Oculus Rift in an air combat or space sim. But not for X3, unless they’ve made massive improvements in the slow-as-molasses ship movement and dumb AI in the new game. The combat in X3 has been very uninspired, and the rest of the game is basically just a big chrome-plated financial spreadsheet. I know that appeals to some folks, but it’s never been enough to hold my interest for long.

  6. sharks.don't.sleep says:

    I really hope they cut the complexity down a bit.
    I’ve tried to get into X3 AP (played and finished X-BTF) several times but the inaccessibility always trew me off.
    Ordering a cargo ship to fly to a specific facility is just a pain in the arse, the whole UI needs an overhaul.

    • frightlever says:

      I’ve spent hundreds of hours playing the X3 games but I gotta agree with you. Can’t remember if they’ve revealed much about the UI yet.

      • iniudan says:

        They are suppose to have a fully detailed deck for this one and by fully detail, I mean the UI is part of the ship design, at least for the basic info, for the more complex information no idea. But on this one you back to only having a single ship that you upgrade, for other ship you go into remote control.

    • Hanban says:

      I just wish they make combat a bit more fun!

    • iniudan says:

      The UI is getting overhaul for sure, they rebuild the whole game from scratch, has to remove clutter they had accumulated since the original.

    • non_entity says:

      100% Agree. Loved XBTF back in the day but beginning with X-Tension I started to lose interest in the series, they just got more and more complex, and in a bad way. I play EVE Online (from time to time) so I can deal with complexity, but the X series just did complexity wrong, totally unintuitive, too complicated, ..

      And I miss the storyline XBTF had. I hated X-Tension because it had *no* story, I didn’t like X2 because it was already starting to become too complex in a bad way and the characters, story, and most of all 3D-character models were terrible. Tried X3 couple times, never even made it beyond an hour max.

      I really hope X-Rebirth will be a throwback to the good old days of XBTF.

      • cw8 says:

        I prefer being able to buy, acquire any ship I desire and being able to pilot any one of them. Nothing more satisfying than jumping in with my Carrier, ordering a Wing fighting attack, changing ship to my best M3+ fighter or any other fighter in my hangers and taking out the enemy with my 30+ Wingmen.

        Piloting one ship feels extremely limiting, imo.

  7. Lawful Evil says:

    Hmmm… I still have not even installed, much less played those X3 Reunion, Terran Conflict and Albion Prelude I purchased not long ago.

  8. amateurviking says:

    The first screenshot made me so excited I did a wee in my pants.

  9. Stevostin says:

    I don’t know what the vents are for, but I want to see a garden in a glass house on this. I could see myself taking breakfast there, then…

  10. grundus says:

    I got into X3:AP just the other week after years of searching for a decent Escape Velocity: Nova replacement (as much as I love that game it is 11 years old now) and I love it, of course it’s not perfect but it’s everything I’ve been looking for. So far I’ve only really been trading with the odd bit of counter-pirate combat but it’s really nice, so I’m very much looking forward to Rebirth. I do hope they’ve gotten some non-German voice actors this time though, some variety would be nice.

  11. Prime says:

    “Reinventing Space Games”, Mr Lehan? I’d say you were reinventing YOUR space game only. I think Elite: Dangerous might be the one reinventing space games as a whole.

    With E:D and Limit Theory on the way I really don’t know how fussed I am about X:Rebirth any more. If it turns out to be more of the same heavy focus on large-scale corporate empire building that might mean it’s finally time for me and the X series to part company (pun fully intended).

  12. bill says:

    I wish someone would truly “reinvent space games”.

    I know nothing about X-rebirth but my guess is that they aren’t reinventing space games, rather just making them bigger an shinier.

    I absolutely loved space games like Tie Fighter and Freespace back in the day, but I feel that with modern technology we could have something so much more. And that would appeal both to fans of the old games, and hopefully to new gamers too.

    A number of smaller indie space games seem to have tried, but I haven’t heard of many having great success. (usually due to a lack of resources for things like decent voice acting).

    The core of Tie-fighter, but with dynamic missions and AI, dynamic campaigns and modern physics would be awesome.

    • echoon says:

      I don’t think you would want to have any realistic physics in a space fighting game. Having recently played Kerbal Space Program with it’s somewhat realistic physics I really couldn’t imagine playing a space fighter with realistic movement in space. Although if I remember correctly you could somehow kill your engines in Freespace and rotate your ship independent of its movement direction.

      • Zenicetus says:

        I’m one of those who is always begging for more realistic physics in space combat games, but it doesn’t have to be like Kerbal Space Program, or Orbiter. I agree that wouldn’t be much fun.

        I think all that most of us are asking for, is something like Independence War 1 and 2, which had a great spaceflight model that allowed Newtonian physics but with sci-fi-handwaving assistance for the player’s maneuvering. It never seemed difficult, just fun. I remember things like getting chased by mines, zooming away and then killing acceleration, rotating around and firing to the rear of my trajectory to kill the mines.

        The apparent speeds you could attain in I-War also meant that a solar system really felt *huge*. A game can never give a true feeling of combat in space, unless two key parameters are met for the player — high speed, and a huge area to move around in. That’s where previous X3 games have failed utterly. They have tiny, postage-stamp sized areas to fly around in, and because the areas are so small, the apparent motion of the ships is capped at a very slow speed.

        Finally, the one thing I’ve never seen any space game do, is incorporate relativistic physics. Not necessarily the whole time dilation thing at ultra-fast speeds (although that could be mind-blowing as a combat tactic), but the fact that when a target is far enough away, you can never know exactly what the position is, due to lightspeed delay. It’s a whole new potential layer of “stealth maneuvering,” if the game would allow distances between ships to be large enough. The first phase of an engagement would be very cat and mouse, with lightspeed delay in your sensors.

        Instead of any of this interesting potential, we get game after game, even from indies, that blindly copy Wing Commander as a model, which in turn was blindly copying George Lucas’ fascination with WW2 air combat used as a model for Star Wars. For 23 years now, with just one or two notable exceptions like I-War, we’ve been offered “space” games that put re-skinned WW2 fighters in space, using exactly the same dumb dogfighting tactics. It’s time for something new.

        • KDR_11k says:

          You’ll need a completely different interface just for aiming at those ranges provided you’re not just going to let the computer automate that. At 1080p with an FOV of 80 you’re not going to see a target at ranges where light delay comes into play. Heck, modern FPSes massively cut the range of their weapons because you can’t even see humans at normal combat range with that kind of setup.

          • Zenicetus says:

            Right now, the state of the art in real-world air combat involves targeting and killing enemies out of visual range, over the the horizon with missiles. Your passive and active sensors, as well as comms link to other aircraft become your “eyes.”

            Why would it regress to WW2-style combat in space, when the speeds would be so much higher, distances would be so much greater, and there would be nowhere to hide (except for using lightspeed delay)?

            I have good air combat games for fighting in visual range. Currently it’s Rise of Flight, lots of fun with TrackIR for keeping my targets in view. But for a space game, I want it to feel like fighting in a spaceship, not an aeroplane.

      • KDR_11k says:

        Just a change from fixed forward guns would be nice. At very least make it broadsides since having your main thruster orthogonal to your target means you have more thrust available for evasion. Starsector is nice but I don’t think any 3D game has managed to make space combat with capital ships as much fun.

    • BTAxis says:

      It’s been tried, in the form of Starshatter. It didn’t take off.

    • MajorManiac says:

      Its been done, and done well.

      I-War is still the best space game, and its 16 years old!

  13. wodin says:

    erm..underwhelming…the day we actually have transparent windows at least in these structures and big battleships rather than a whit smudge of a texture the better..Star Citizen looks like it’s doing this for big ships finally..

    Also the structure textures etc didn’t seem to match the planet texture quality….infact I thought texturewise it was poor allround.

  14. MacBeth says:

    Looks quite impressive, but it also really doesn’t look nearly high enough to be in orbit – at least not without any movement visible relative to the ground. What with the atmosphere colour also extending up above the station it looks like it should all plummet to the ground, Baumgartner style…

  15. grimloki says:

    I think reinventing space games overnight refers to throwing away your old engine, resources, etc… and starting from the ground up again. Especially if you plan to use clever methods to streamline stuff.

    I think Distant Worlds strikes a nice balance… ridiculous complexity, and an AI that controls everything. The most recent release of x3 is similar, in that so much is moddable via scripts.

    My fingers are crossed that this level of mod-friendliness will be present in rebirth… so even if the game sucks the engine can be repurposed into a dynamic sandbox that makes its own stories… much like X3 does now.

    • StarSword says:

      Egosoft has said on the forums that Rebirth will be moddable; however they won’t be able to have the toolset ready at launch.

  16. mllange says:

    Distant Worlds and it’s myriad of expansions, aside from being pricey as all get out for and older game (at this aged stage,) should be a heck of a lot better than it is. They’ve added more stuff and (thankfully) improved the UI, but the AI and basic functionality haven’t improved for all their efforts one whit IMO. Dry stuff, unfortunately. I finally passed on their latest expansion which seems a good choice, as it seems the pirate focus only serves to emphasize all that remains broken and wrong with the game.

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