I Am Space Agog At This X-Rebirth Gallery

By Craig Pearson on August 22nd, 2013 at 1:00 pm.


The facile part of my brain that likes pretty things is currently whacking my internal dopamine button and I’m grinning like a quokka. That button is well worn after my last look at X Rebirth, where I watched X- Rebirth being unveiled through through tear-rimmed eyes. One eye was soaked in tears from the beauty and excitement from what I was seeing, and the other was full of sad tears because I have to wait until November 15th to play it. Those tears are welling up as I look at the new Gamescom screenshots. Oh god, it’s so so pretty.

Until Egosoft unveiled X-Rebirth properly, it was always going to be a game I happened upon in my Steam list late one night, which is where all my other X-periences have started (aha!). But now it’s the most exciting thing on the horizon for 2013, and I’ve been exposed as a filthy graphics groupie. I’ll do anything for those polygons. I have a vague idea as to how it will play: a slow burn trip through a changing galaxy. That’ll do. As long as lessons have been learned about accessibility, and the 3.0 patch to X3: Albion Prelude addressed joypad control so there’s no reason why it shouldn’t be easier to play, then this is where I’ll be spending November. Maybe December, too. Come to think of it, January looks quiet as well.

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91 Comments »

  1. Perjoss says:

    From what I’ve seen and read I feel a little bit sorry for the hardcore fans that have stuck with this franchise from the start, hahaha no I don’t, this is exactly what I’ve been waiting for, I’ve always wanted to dive into the X series but I’ve always found it so daunting. Sounds like they have made it a bit more friendly for first timers.

    • BobbyDylan says:

      TBH, I’ve got all the x games, and I’m looking forward to this too. all the old one always left me feeling….. lonely. Hopefully this one has a bit more character.

      • frightlever says:

        The X3 games are pretty static and there’s no real sense of wonder after visiting a few systems. I want to stumble across the unexpected, the way you do in eg Skyrim.

        The learning curve on the earlier games is down to how you play. If you want to become a magnate then it’s daunting. If you just want to plink pirates then not so much.

        • phelix says:

          Skyrim is waaaay more static than X. Seriously, in the X series things can actually happen when the player isn’t looking.

          • frightlever says:

            Yeah, static was the wrong word. Skyrim is static but varied, while in X3 things happen in the background but there isn’t much variety.

            And I have a couple hundred hours in X3:AP alone, never mind the previous two. I like the X3 games, no question.

          • hozemilimej says:

            my neighbor’s sister-in-law makes $73/hour on the computer. She has been without a job for six months but last month her paycheck was $18196 just working on the computer for a few hours. Here’s the site to read more ,, http://www.buzz90.com

        • cw8 says:

          You’re playing it wrongly. The X series isn’t too much on exploration, the universe is big and planets are varied but you can’t interact with planets just the stations and ships in the sector.
          It’s more about earning money from nothing, buying new ships, opening trade routes, building factories and complexes, earning even more money, buying even more ships, dogfighting and eventually controlling a massive fleet of carriers, destroyers, frigates, fighters etc to make your enemies bend to your will. Thats the main fun of the games which I’ve spent months to years playing.

          Also the economy is dynamic and the AI likes to throw random events and invasions here and there, like having 2 Khaak Destroyers in one of the sectors I visit at the start of the game.

          • Yuela says:

            That basically sounds like EVE minus the ability to be be a bastard to anyone, thus defeating the whole purpose of playing it.

          • cw8 says:

            The X series came out before Eve. Plus you pilot whatever ship you’re in from the cockpit view. It’s a pure 100% SP game which matters alot to me.

          • Archangel says:

            “That basically sounds like EVE minus the ability to be a bastard to anyone, thus defeating being the whole purpose of playing it.”

            Ah, perfect then.

          • MellowKrogoth says:

            I think *you’re* playing it wrong. I started the series with X2 and immensely enjoyed discovering the wacky universe, the various races, and even the campy plot grabbed me for a time, before the mysteries were resolved. The various BBS news tidbits gave interesting details about what was going on in the universe and to me it felt alive.

            Later on I watched a let’s play of X1 and I realize it was even more about exploration and discovery, it being the story of a pilot that gets warped from earth to this weird new galaxy and the fist race he meets are crazy mercantile lizards.

            The X3 games only improved the economics of the game and made it slightly easier (but still clunky compared to any dedicated economic sim) to manage several ships and stations. But by recycling the same world and cutting down on lore they removed any sense of exploration. (And some of the mission design was awful, like the first one in X3:TC outside the solar system that expects you to fly to a “hidden” station that would take more than 20 min real time to get to, in the most ugly and featureless system in the game. But if you accelerate time, any ships that accompany you in formation are guaranteed to crash into each other along the way.)

            A massive amount of players state pretty much the same thing on the forums, and every time they’re derided by clowns like you who doctorally explain how the game must be played. It’s very sad that Egosoft is catering to a minority of management maniacs, while the rest of us who are only interested in economics inasmuch as a sense of exploration and wonder is present are left out cold.

            Unfortunately I’m fully expecting X Rebirth to be a soulless economic sandbox with prettier graphics. Let’s hope they prove me wrong.

    • Maxheadroom says:

      I had a proper little empire running in X3 with self sufficient automated complexes producing goods that automated traders would ferry around while being protected by automated escorts.

      Installed it again when that Prelude-something expansion came out and couldn’t remember how to do any of it.
      So I will be glad to see something with a less steep (re)learning curve myself too

    • Sc0r says:

      They try to not betray their fanbase. They go complexity yes – complicatedness – no.
      Only thing I really hate is, you won’t be able to play those super giant ships anymore.
      Also, I hope for an epic entry just like in the first game. The failed spacejump, suddenly aliens trying to adjust their language to yours and bam. supercool.

  2. Montavious says:

    Man, cant wait. Looks beautiful. But looks like it will be hell on the system.

  3. Velko says:

    Please be good, please be good, please have a good UI

  4. frightlever says:

    I like the heft of a joystick in my sweaty palm, but when I’m not doing that I also play the X games.

    So… honestly, is a 360 controller better for dogfighting than a joystick in X3:AP?

    Sadly, the price is putting me off getting this at launch but… I’m probably going to crumble.

    • Montavious says:

      I swear, you console users with your controllers and joysticks. Keyboard and mouse is the best way to play this.

      • frightlever says:

        Not if you have RSI like I do, it really isn’t. Also, joysticks, game controllers, steering wheels… whatever. Totally PC peripherals. You youngsters just don’t remember.

      • SuicideKing says:

        Space=Dogfights=Joystick.

      • fish99 says:

        The PC has had joysticks like forever.

      • cw8 says:

        i completed X-Wing and TIE-Fighter using gamepads and joysticks back in 1994-1995. Back then they were connected to serial ports in soundcards…

        • Flank Sinatra says:

          I remember playing X-wing Alliance with the Microsoft Force Feedback Sidewider. When you jumped to lightspeed the stick would lurch forward in your hand, like you were pulling serious Gs. I miss stuff like that. I was a PC peripheral junkie. I even had a force feedback mouse!

    • Zenicetus says:

      I’m a fan of joysticks too. Most space games like this are usually better on a lightweight and cheap PC joystick with low resistance and “twitchy” action. So a game controller probably works fine.

      A “real” PC joystick with a tall column and long throw, like the Thrustmaster Warthog or CH Fighterstick, is perfect for things like Rise of Flight or the DCS modern air combat stuff. But they can be a bit laggy and easy to overshoot with the simplistic, twitchy combat of space shooters. I tried using my Warthog stick with the Freespace 2/Open game recently, and it was workable but not ideal. I love the crazy amount of buttons you can map to throttle and stick controllers in that game, though.

  5. grodit says:

    It really looks pretty, but I do hope it will play faster than the previous games. When it takes your freighter 15 minutes to jump 3 sectors WITH time acceleration on, you know there’s a problem with pacing

    • L3TUC3 says:

      It did make the sense of achievement that much greater once you saved up enough credits to buy that cruiser with the hanger bay you wanted to patrol your industrial complex sector. Load it up with fighters and you feel like a boss.

      I then quit after said expensive cruiser crashed into the complex it was supposed to guard.

    • realityflaw says:

      That’s what the Jumpdrive is for.

    • MellowKrogoth says:

      Same debate than fast travel in Oblivion and Skyrim, really. Except that in X games you’re much less likely to see anything interesting along the way except the occasional pirate or alien attack.

      But a space game does have to be slow somehow, otherwise how do you make space feel huge if you’re just jumping from point to point. Egosoft have always tried to make us feel the vastness and melancholy of space – one of the reasons I’m still willing to pardon them having made the X3 games boring economic sandboxes.

  6. Gap Gen says:

    Space: It’s the Big Long One At The Bottom

  7. chluke says:

    I will easily pay £35 for this, the amount of content is staggering not to mention the fact you get free dlc. Albion Prelude was free to x3tc owners and according to steam I have sank nearly 500 into it! Roll on Winter there are too many games to choose from it will make my head explode:)

    • Ross Angus says:

      As an experienced player, how do you feel about it becoming more accessible?

      • Lord Zeon says:

        Better accessibility is great. Even as an experienced player, I have a hard time making everything work the way it should. As long as Rebirth keeps the core systems that made the X series unique, like its trading mechanics and active economy, I’m a happy camper.

        • MellowKrogoth says:

          The X series has (or rather, had) more going for it than its trading mechanics and economy. It used to feel like a living universe with a rich (if wacky) lore.

      • realityflaw says:

        I’m mostly worried that we’re going to lose more than we gain.

      • chluke says:

        I welcome the changes, the big problem with x series of game is the vertical learning curve which can scare new gamers. To this day I have sunk 1000′s of hours into the game and I don’t know it all and keep reading the forums and handy guides.

        I want more x games which means more players have to buy the next installment so Egosoft can continue on doing what they do best.

    • schlusenbach says:

      Albion Prelude wasn’t free for X3TC owners, it costs about 10 Euros and they used it to finance X Rebirth.

      But Egosoft does a good job on delivering patches even years after release and the modding community is great.

  8. Screamer says:

    O.O!!!!!!!! Is juts me or, why do I imagine those asteroids floating past the screen at 10 frames per second.

  9. Lord Zeon says:

    I’m actually kinda curious as to what the cockpits look like in M2 or larger capital ships. Do you get an actual bridge?

    • Montavious says:

      I thought they said you cant switch ships in this one? Something about if you have more than one ship you can “hop” in one of the others but you will get the same view you had in the previous versions? So i think your default ship is the only one you see a cockpit in.

      • BTAxis says:

        Yeah, it’s a remote control thingy. You can’t actually “physically” get into other ships than the one you’re given.

        • Montavious says:

          I wonder how that will affect the game. I love the X series, but often to bored with them after awhile.

        • Lord Zeon says:

          Bollocks. Shows how much I’ve been paying attention to their press releases.

        • squareking says:

          I was going to make a comment about “Oh look at all the pretty ships I won’t be able to pilot, etc etc.”

          And there it is.

          :,(

        • WrenBoy says:

          Actually you can physically get into the ships, the restriction is that you cant pilot any of them (apart from your starting ship), remotely or otherwise. You direct them by giving orders to their pilots and you can remotely pilot a series of small drones.

        • MellowKrogoth says:

          So basically it means that controlling most ships will feel just like in X3. And on top of that you’ll have your main ship which you can actually wander in on foot.

    • Thrashie says:

      With some luck modding might be able to change that.. maybe even a future update or expansion.

  10. DarkLiberator says:

    Looks interesting, but I’ve never played the series. Do I need to play the previous games?

    • Martel says:

      Nah, I wouldn’t worry about story or anything. And if this one has an easier learning curve than the others did, it’s probably worth just waiting at this point.

  11. Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

    After bouncing off X3 repeatedly I recently “got” it. It was a revelation, and its ponderous depth is satisfying to me in ways I never would have expected.

    • MajorManiac says:

      I think it helps if you approach it as a real-time business management-sim.

      • Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

        All business management sims would be improved if you could use lasers on the opposition.

        • Fiatil says:

          Exactly. It’s an awesome economic simulator where the end goal of all of your cash is giant carriers and destroyers with station destroying lasers. Best end game.

        • HothMonster says:

          We need a “The Crimson Permanent Assurance” video game.

      • Prime says:

        Majormaniac, this is actually excellent advice that I’d give to anyone interested in the series because if you approach the game from the perspective of a Space Exploration/Adventure game in the vein of Elite you are more than likely to be crushingly frustrated by the whole experience.

        Expectation is everything. Play the game from the mindset of a grubby capitalist – if that’s your idea of fun – and you might actually enjoy yourself which is why starting the game as a Teladi always made much more sense to me than any other race. Mmm, Profitssss.

        • MellowKrogoth says:

          X1 and X2 were great at the adventure/exploration part, it’s starting with X3 that it lost all that and became a clunky management sim with lasers.

    • 12inchPlasticToy says:

      That’s what he said?

  12. rustybroomhandle says:

    Worth noting that even though this is on Steam, Egosoft usually provide a no-steam exe of their titles for if Steam were to vanish into the aether.

  13. Branthog says:

    Everyone is jumping on the space combat / space sim / space world bandwagon this year. That is fantastic — bringing the genre back to the forefront (Rebirth, Elite, the Chris Roberts game, the bunch of other kickstarter games).

    On the other hand, they’re all going to come out in the same couple of years, oversaturation everything meaning that some good ones will fail simply due to oversaturation. Developers and publishers will see it as a failure of the genre rather than failure to spread out the releases . . . and the genre will fade away again.

    • arccos says:

      To be fair, X has been pretty much the only large-scale game of this type for a few years.

      But I’m very glad others are catching on that there is a demand for both space shooters and space sims.

  14. SuicideKing says:

    Are there dogfights in this game? I mean, looks good and all, but if there aren’t any dogfights, and i mean good satisfying ones, then i’m likely going to skip it till the December 2014 sale.

    • Keyrock says:

      The X games have always had combat. They’ve never been the best space combat games, Freelancer is probably at the top of the heap for that, but they’re solid.

    • EPICTHEFAIL says:

      The dogfighting in X has never been that good. In my opinion it was only ever a means to scrape together enough money to buy something overpowered (as an XTM player I automatically replace that with “a Terran ship”) and go on a killing spree across the universe.

  15. Keyrock says:

    and the 3.0 patch to X3: Albion Prelude addressed joypad control so there’s no reason why it shouldn’t be easier to play,

    Joypad? Joypad!? You don’t use a flightstick!?
    :p

  16. Lemming says:

    X 3: reunion, the only X game I’ve ever bought made me feel like a village idiot for not being able to play it, so I’ve spent approximately 10 minutes in the X universe. Hopefully, this slightly more mainstream version (as that’s what it appears), will be my chance to get into a decent space trader until Star Citizen and Elite IV turn up.

    • sharks.don't.sleep says:

      I loved X-BTF (the first game) and even finished the campaign but I repeatedly bounced off of X3.
      The UI just can’t keep up with the complexity, also the lack of a cockpit made it feel like EVE ( I like reading about EVE, but the game itself is too lackluster for me).
      I hope they tone down the complexity a notch OR make it more accessible.
      With the inclusion of a cockpit it might re-ignite my love for the series.

      • Keyrock says:

        There is a cockpit mod for X3.

      • cw8 says:

        It’s the opposite for me. Spent months after months playing X2 to X3 :AP. Tried playing X:BTF, stopped because I lost interest in the one ship. I ship hop alot in the X games, from my TS to my M1 to my M3+ + my 30-40+ wingmen just to dogfight. I love the feeling of buying new ships, and owning a huge fleet.

  17. Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

    I hope they do away with that horrible computer voice and give us some nice text instead. I don’t want to hear “Ter-ran Wom-bat” every time I target something. Also, I can read a lot faster than the voice bothers to speak. If I’m in combat and I want to know what sort of enemy I am fighting, I have to sit through the voice informing me “The Ter-ran Wom-bat is a Ter-ran fight-er which spec-ialises in ann-oy-ing music festivals with its two insig-nif-icant lasers”.

  18. GunnerMcCaffrey says:

    Oh how I wish this wasn’t being published by Deep Silver, so I could buy it.

    • Gap Gen says:

      Here’s the launch party spectacle summarised for you:

      DUN DUN DUN

      *single breast rises from stage*

      DUN DUUUUUN

      BOM BOM BOM BOM

      *second breast rises behind the first*

      DUN DUUN DUUUUN

      *nipple obscures rising stagelight*

      DUUUUUUN

      etc

  19. bit.bat says:

    Yes but will I be able to manually land my tiny ship in a huge capital ship? Because that is all I want.

    • WrenBoy says:

      You can in fact even land on these beasts [capital ships] and get out of your playership to meet NPCs while watching the large ship move around in space FROM the deck of the ship!

      http://forum.egosoft.com/viewtopic.php?t=306576

      • EPICTHEFAIL says:

        I am so looking forward to capship combat in this game. The ability to load individual turrets and make them do different things (as opposed to “always broadside, all the time”) will help make it more fun. Also, the fact that you can park your crappy glorified remote control of a ship inside a dreadnought and watch the lightshow in relative safety.

      • Somerled says:

        sploosh

  20. ShEsHy says:

    This sucks. They went from a makes-EVE-look-like-a-line-of-text-…-in-Word game to a fucking CoD in space. I for one will not be playing this game, but will continue to enjoy its predecessors.
    Egosoft used to be my favorite developer (the only one that didn’t fuck me over on a game), until now.

    • Cinek says:

      Looks like you didnt bother to learn anything about this game before commenting. It’s nothing like COD.

    • Kong says:

      Heh?
      Don’t understand what you try to say.

  21. Kong says:

    Eventually.
    My love story with X continues. Like a mariage where she decides to boost my testosterone level with a fresh approach.
    In return I am happy to buy her some nice hardware to make her shine in deserved glory.