Hands-On: X Rebirth

There was always going to be a catch when I finally got my hands on X Rebirth. On the evidence of the previous games, I’d need about a week to get myself settled comfortably in the cockpit of Egosoft’s vast space sim, and I was never going to get that. The demo that was sent to me was the Gamescom floor demo, and it wasn’t set up for the sort of game X is. It was ten minutes long. I can’t say I got a true understanding of what it’s like to play Rebirth, but I still managed to explore a little, and discovered that there’s a lot you can do in an open-world in ten minutes.

At least they’re a repeatable ten minutes. The demo is set-up as three fights beside a large station and an asteroid field, and scales from a fight against two inert ships, to taking part in a station defence with multiple ships, and then a final battle against a large ship. There’s no time to get comfortable, but that wasn’t much a problem because Rebirth is surprisingly accessible.

Rebirth’s simplification is, in part, achieved by immersion: I’m in a cockpit with a limited view of space (previously you were basically a floating head, with an uninterrupted view). I’m holding a joypad and flying without any of the odd contortions that I associate with the series. I can move in every direction (but not roll; Q and E on the keyboard do that), and select weapons, ship states, and drone activities without having to burrow into a nest of menus. There’s info of the immediate target set into a monitor on the dash, and everything else on screen is positional. That’s it. The other info is hidden, and in a nod to the modeled interiors of the ships and stations, bringing it up means your character swivels in his chair and pulls up a monitor. Everything from trading info and galaxy mapping is handled that way, and while I won’t need it in the demo, a look shows it has plenty of nested menus.

Egosoft’s Director Bernd Lehahn explained to me what they were aiming for with this system: “In many ways, the X games that have come before X Rebirth represented the layering upon layering of new features – many, if not most, of which were never part of the game’s original design. Even before 2005, when we were working on X3 Reunion, we realized that this development model had made the game inherently complicated and extremely difficult for new players to grasp if they had not played the X series from the very beginning.

“X Rebirth’s game management system is much more streamlined. One thing we tell press and fans asking about X Rebirth is ‘complex is good, complicated controls are not,’ and that ‘you won’t need a PhD in space game menus to play X Rebirth.’ The goal is to have X Rebirth be as deep as fans have come to expect, but accessible to all gamers.”

Imagine if Bohemia took that approach, and remodelled the Arma interaction system? That’s the sort of wholesale reworking we’re dealing with. It’s a real shame I never had the opportunity to go deep and plan things on a large scale, because that’s where X shines. But I did shoot things, and order others to shoot things. Two enemy ships arrive. They are basically target drones and hang motionless and unthreateningly in the air. A squeeze of the trigger and I can tell that Rebirth’s combat is going to feel satisfying: a metallic scree flies out from the mounted cannon, sounding like nails in a blender. As it strikes the drone, I can make out the shards ricocheting off, flying into space. There’s an extraordinary amount of detail. A click and missiles are launched, the inset monitor shows me their progress. It’s a neat way of showing you if your precious missile cargo arrived.

A second wave arrives, this time mobile and armed, and I’m told by a stilted voice actor that the station needs protection, so not everything about this has been refreshed: the acting and dialogue are still dire.

The fight is big and messy, and a little disorienting. In the cluster of battle, the targeting system is there to point the way: it’s a tiny, red-yellow arrow and tended to be swallowed by the colour scheme of the glowing yellow planet dominating the scene, but I found a way around that. Bound to the X key on the pad is a tactical selection wheel that gives me access to drones. Highlighting the target and popping open tactical set-up will send a group of automated deathbots into the fight. There’s nothing I love more than watching controllable drones attacking things.

I’m even able to take direct control of hacking drones and demolition drones, but I’ll admit I could never figure them out and turned to Berndt for more information: “There are actually many different types of drones available in X Rebirth representing a wide range of functions. To borrow from military terminology, drones serve the function of being force multipliers. For example, there are a variety of defensive drones that you can deploy to help protect your ship during combat. There are also a variety of offensive drones that can be deployed to increase your firepower in any engagement. The strategic deployment of drones in a wide variety of gameplay situations is an important player consideration in X Rebirth.

“Some other types of drones include stealth drones that can lay mines and gather intelligence. There are hacker drones that can disable electronic systems of enemies. There are mining drones that the player will want to use to facilitate mining operations. The list goes on.

“Depending on the situation, the correct deployment of drones will have a big impact on gameplay. The player can have any number of these on their ship (given available cargo space), or any ship in their inventory. ”

With the station defended by a dozen or so protective ships and me and my drones (and at no point was there a hint of slowdown), the third stage lurches into action: protecting a mining ship. I’m escorting the huge digger to the asteroid belt when another equally large enemy appears. I deploy my drones again and take the fight to them. The ship I’m is very manoeuvrable, and apparently upgraded for the demo. I slice down onto the attackers surface and notice that the radar blips are sending me to specific points on the ship’s chassis. I’m not just spamming this ship with fire, but aiming for specific points and draining them first, dodging the return fire and zipping past. Honestly, X has never been an exciting game, but this is great fun.

According to Berndt, it’s also only a glimpse at the complexity of the bigger battles:” Destroying a capital ship is no longer a function of mindlessly draining its shield. With X Rebirth a capital ship can have over 100 discrete surface elements that can be individually targeted and destroyed. If you want to trap a capital ship where it is and prevent it from escaping, the player can target and destroy its jumpdrive and engines. If the ship is heavily armed, the player’s best course of action could be to destroy some of its turrets first. ”

I start wondering about the automation. The battles I fought in had dozens of ships, and the win state felt like like it would resolve even if I wasn’t around. So what’s to stop me just abandoning the fight and investigating the station?

Nothing, apparently. I load up another game and head straight past the story nonsense to the metallic coral reef hovering in space. It’s a working station, and though I can’t tell what it’s producing, I can say it’s busy: there’s a row of delivery drones snaking through the spokes that I start harassing. After satisfying my curiosity by ramming one out of the line (I was making sure they were all individual ships), an industrial surveillance drone zips up and scans me, the bleeps and blorps of a police siren breaking through the ethereal sci-fi soundtrack. I slip between the station’s spokes, admiring the construction and being utterly thrown by the notion that this sprawl of industry, by far the biggest thing I’ve ever seen in an X game, could be built by a player. But it’s true: every station you’ve seen in trailers and screenshots is indicative of what the game will enable you to build. You just need the skill.

It goes deeper: the station has points of interest dotted all over its frame, glowing icons that I could arrive at and trade or chat. As I activated one, the screen dimmed and then came back. My ship was now docked on the side of the station, and I’m walking about in first-person on a little pad with a few NPCs. We chat, with this group being made up of hireable helpers. I start up a negotiation and a Tiger Woods style swing meter appears to make the chats something you can game.

It’s only then that I notice that the fight I ignored is going on around me. I stand and stare, forgetting the conversation and watching the station’s automated defences lashing out at the intruders.

It’s the first glimpse I have at the wider universe going about its business, something I was worried I wouldn’t get to see. I take a great deal of joy in discovering it in a guided demo, because it shows that Rebirth’s heart is in the right place. You don’t play this sort of game to be the centre of the universe, but to be part of the world. To be able to find it in what should be a scripted sequence of events is incredibly heartening.

I’ve replayed those same ten minutes over and over and each time was blown away by how utterly gorgeous it was. I did miss some of the menu interaction, because the player swiveling to the monitor actually takes me more out of the game than having it as an overlay. I was pretty upset to discover that I can’t just select a ship in my view and follow it with the autopilot. In fact, the autopilot appears completely gone, with the only hint of it occurring when your co-pilot takes over when I’m remote piloting. I loved those quieter moments where the game took over and I could just watch as the universe ticked along. I also miss the various camera angles and being able to see the whole scene: the cockpit takes up a chunk of view, and there are no external camera angles of any kind. It’s brave of Egosoft to take away functionality, and it might make sense in the bigger picture, but that’s only something I’ll get to see when the game’s out.


  1. Awesumo says:

    My real problem with this type of epic game of epicness is that I just don’t have the time anymore. I loved the first game, but you really had to put 200 hours aside to play it.
    It isn’t like Skyrim where it is fairly easy to dip into for a few fun hours now and then.

    • baby snot says:

      Except Craigs article makes it sound like it’s designed to let you play either way. The complexity is still there or there abouts, but only if that’s what you’re up for. I think.

      • Leosiegfried says:

        Really looking forward to November 15th so i can sink my teeth into this game the hours of playtime exploring and building an empire just hope its as immerse as its looking

    • FullMetalMonkey says:

      My real problem is that Rebirth only has you piloting one ship.

      • amateurviking says:

        I thought you can remote pilot any of your ships and drones from the ‘main’ craft? In practice it genuinely doesn’t sound like it’ll be too different from previous Xs in this regard tbh. The truth will out of course. I am just happy to have a cockpit. The lack of one in X3 was a big issue for me for some reason.

        • Apocalypse says:

          If I am informed right, you can only pilot your main ship, take control of any of your drones and when onboard of one of your capital ships, take a seat the the captains chair, but not the helm of the capital ship. So you give orders in capital ships, but don´t fly them like you would with your own main ship.

          • Kaeoschassis says:

            So in practice it really won’t be much different from X3? I mean, how much time did any of us ever spend actually, manually piloting capital ships? They’re massive, they’re slow, they take about 30 seconds to turn. I spent a fair bit of time ON my capships, but I don’t think I ever controlled them manually. I set autopilot waypoints (I guess the equivalent of giving orders), I set up gun configurations, I did other ‘captainy’ stuff, and that was all.

            I’m a massive X fan, I have been for years and years, and honestly Rebirth doesn’t worry me in the least. It has me more excited than I’ve ever been for an X game.

          • Sharlie Shaplin says:

            I spent most of the time flying heavy fighters and corvettes. The only capital ships I had were used to defend a system where I had a huge factory complex. So I agree, it won’t make any meaningful difference.

          • cw8 says:

            You only have the Albion Skunk, drones are drones, they can’t be used to pilot other ships, sadly.

          • cpmartins says:

            M1s and M2s are just unwieldy, and even M6+ and M6s fell highly unresponsive. I have about 15 or so on my current game, and never once even thought about piloting one of them. I will not miss having the ability of helming one of them. Having said that, some of the fanbase will, and I do think it will be one of the first additions post-release.
            Springblossoms 4 lyfe!

          • Apocalypse says:

            3rd Person view and oculus rift support are more likely to be the first addition to the game. At least from the egosoft side. Modders most likely have other priorities.

      • MellowKrogoth says:

        Actually, since there was no cockpit view in X3, piloting X-rebirth drones will feel like piloting X3 ships. But we’ll get a ship with a fully realized interior on top of that. I don’t think we’re losing anything except the psychological feeling of which ship you’re inside of.

      • FataMorganaPseudonym says:

        And there it is. The obligatory “bloo hoo hoo only one ship” comment. Glad that’s out of the way. All we need now is a “waaaah why is there no multiplayer” comment, and we’ll be all set.

  2. WuXeS says:

    Eyeballs about to pop. Gorgeous.

    I’m a die-hard Privateer fan, but – curiously enough – never played the X series. Is it similar at all? Which game should one start with to have the best possible experience?

    • Stardreamer says:

      It’s similar thematically, but in terms of gameplay you’ll have a LOT more fun with Privateer. The X series has always been adept at portraying the full tedium of large-scale capitalism into it’s economic model, a model that requires weeks of monotonous grind to open up the end-game capabilities (fleet control, etc).

      I’m really hoping this has been tweaked out of existence in the new game but I’m not confident, not when they release 10-minute dev videos focusing on super-freighters docking.

      • WuXeS says:

        Thanks. Anything recent(ish) worth considering then? Or is it all about Star Citizen?

        • hemmingjay says:

          X3 Albion Prelude is definitely worth playing. There is no need for the complexity of running a massive empire if you don’t want to. If you do decide to, the forums are full of recommended mods that make the whole process pretty painless. The thing about these games that many people forget though is that it is hard to just drop in and out with just a few minutes of time. Space games are truly second jobs, which can be incredibly rewarding if you can make room for it.

      • hemmingjay says:

        X3: Albion certainly made empire management much easier, and in general that game is a polished gem compared to the rough but impressive chunk of asteroid the rest of the series was. Further enhanced by the large amalgam of officially supported mods and you have a game almost as impressive as rebirth will be. The forum lists many “official mods” that really make the game a joy instead of a chore. It lets you play it as an individual with or without an empire to run and to automate many chores.

        Many of these mods were picked apart by the design team to add their core elements to the structure of Rebirth, which just shows off how mature this dev team is. I work with a lot of devs and I love it when they are as focused and committed as these guys and gals are.

    • Zenicetus says:

      I’d recommend waiting to see reviews of this new version. Skip the older series, which is basically an economic spreadsheet simulator with “Lite” space combat. Ship movement is very slow, the star systems are tiny, and the AI pilots are dumb. In the most recent version there are no cockpit graphics at all. You can build factory empires, but there is no real diplomacy or conquest of different sectors, so it fails as a strategy simulator aside from pure business economics. It’s a weird game concept. I’m keeping an eye on this new version, but I want to read some reviews before buying.

      If you want a Privateer-like experience before Star Citizen and the new Elite come out, then I’d recommend Independence War 2, if you haven’t played it already. Great game, with the best flight model for this type of thing. Freespace Open (the graphics-updated version of Freespace 2) is also fun, while you’re waiting for the new games.

    • Keyrock says:

      Privateer has better combat, X has a better economical model. So, if you want to fight, X won’t be as good, if you want to be a merchant, X will be a superior game.

      Start with X3: Terran Conflict or Albion Prelude (Terran Conflict is a prerequisite for Albion Prelude). The stories are throwaway in the games and Terran Conflict and Albion Prelude give yo the largest universe and biggest set of features to work with.

    • chiablo says:

      X3: Terran Conflict. The X games have always had a throwaway story, so all that matters is the bigger sandbox. Terran Conflict has the most mod support and is generally cheaper than the Albion Prelude release, so this is what I recommend as people’s entry point to the series.

      Alternatively, if you can wait a month, X-Rebirth looks like it’s going to be the most approachable.

    • WuXeS says:

      Thanks, guys. Thuys.

      I’ll give X3 Albion and IW2 a whirl. FreeSpace 2 is actually my all-time favourite game. :)

    • defunkt says:

      Really? Gorgeous? I’d have said Garish.

    • MellowKrogoth says:

      Never played Privateer. Did it have a good story? Or an interesting world to explore?

      X3 Terran Conflict has a pretty horrible story, with quests including pointless things such as 10 min flights in almost pitch-black sectors, an awfully realized sudoku puzzle with the worst input system you’ve ever seen, and other horrors. The world is also mostly devoid of any interesting lore, besides a blob of text for each sector. Quests feel awfully generic, worse than MMOs. The only really interesting thing are the somewhat dynamic economics and the fighting. And while you can own a large number of ships, automating them is tedious and if they’re in the same sector as you, expect them to randomly crash into stuff including your own ship or each other.

      Personally I’d recommend to play X1 or X2 even if the graphics are dated. They had a satisfying if corny story, and the feeling of discovery of this strange world was amazing. They also had cool stuff such as cockpits for every ship and physically entering space stations. The scale of the sectors was small, too, which worked better.

  3. Baltech says:

    The article sounds very encouraging. But could you please elaborate on the controls? How did it feel with a joypad? Will it suffice, do I need to use a keyboard to get all the functionality (i.e. rolling, as you mentioned) or should I just shell out for a decent flightstick?

    • derbefrier says:

      Without knowing the answers to those questions I would say get a flightstick if you can aford it. Its a well known fact a flight stick increases the fun factor of any space game by a factor of approx. 10

      • Baltech says:

        I know, I used to have one back when. But I’m so used to gamepads these days… Maybe the coming glut of space based games really does warrant re-investing in a stick.

    • Craig Pearson says:

      Pad was fine, actually. Responsive, and there’s a lot bound to the face buttons, including the ability to interact with deeper menus. I always play these games mixing the pad and keyboard up, but it looks like everything is accessible and very responsive.

      • Apocalypse says:

        Come on. how can you judge such a game without using a joystick? Joysticks matter for those games. And they make them kinda easy.

        You would not play a FPS game with a 360 controller either, or would you?

        • Capt. Raven says:

          Watch out that you don’t become the one who judges too quick: X Rebirth seems to be a different thing but I’ve played all the Xs before with mous and Keyboard mainly. Especially the older titles have menu screens from hell that you don’t want to navigate with a joystick. I really, really wanted to play this with a gamepad but I had to admit that the gamepad did not have enough, friggin buttons. Mouse and Keyboard works fine though and to be totally frank, ever since I played Freelancer with its super-fluid mouse controls, I can’t go back to clumsy joystick controls anymore. It may sound like heresy, but what can I say, I’m a rebel at heart

          • Apocalypse says:

            I hope you are aware of the simple fact that you nearly always you keyboards along with joysticks in decent space sims, even when you have a hotas system to work with ;-)

            And for the freelancer reference, meh. Starlancer was so much better than Freelancer. Freelancer was incredible dull in the flight mechanics, and incredible dumbed down. Not to mention that dog fights never happened with competent pilots as the game offered you one-shot kills via cannon ball launchers and ‘jousting’ thanks the mouse controls and engine kills, even when did limited yourself to gun fights. I heard some modders removed at least that cannonball instat pops via a balance mods, but this must have happened long after I left the game.

      • Baltech says:

        Hmm… good pad controls and occasional stabs at a keyboard wouldn’t prevent me from surfing this space on my couch. Things are looking good.

      • phylum sinter says:

        That’s great news, because i cannot afford a stick at this point, and having played everything else with a pad for the past few years (boo, hiss, blasphemy!!) it’s definitely my strongest and most comfortable choice.

        If it’s as fun as i think it is though, i might have to save up for a stick — not just for this, but for the coming wave of space awesomeness.

  4. Alien426 says:

    I wish they had named the series something other than “X”. It’s a bitch to search for. Calling the add-on to the first game “X-Tension” was nice, though.

  5. fish99 says:

    Sounds great, I can finally dig my joystick out and get into this series.

    Shame the whole force-feedback thing with joysticks kinda died out (no idea whether Rebirth would support it anyway). I guess FF doesn’t have much meaning in space apart from as rumble.

    • TheManko says:

      Having played Freespace 2 back in the days with a force feedback joystick I think there’s definitely a point to having it in a space game. In Freespace 2 when you got hit by capital ship beam cannons or just a shockwave from a big explosion the force feedback would jerk the stick in the opposite direction, so it felt like you were really hit by a wave of energy and had to struggle to keep control.

      The PS4 and Xbox One gamepads are improving their rumble functions compared to current gamepads, but I’m betting they will still be a pale shadow of what 90s force feedback joysticks were capable of doing.

      • phylum sinter says:

        Bummer – that’s really the biggest feature of a stick i’d want to use too. I can’t believe that force feedback as such has died…

        Guess it makes sense, with the huge dip in the genre overall. But still, DANG.

  6. Stardreamer says:

    The game looks amazing. If they can capture the feeling of a living universe, without the immersion-breaking holes in AI or a fundamentally broken economy, then this might be the first X-game I can really recommend to others.

  7. derbefrier says:

    I am greatly looking forward to this

  8. Drake Sigar says:

    It better be as accessible as your mum. I hope this is the X game I’ll be able to play for more than half an hour before slipping it back in the box and carting it off to the untouched warehouse from Indiana Jones.

    • hemmingjay says:

      Simply put, any space sim game worth it’s weight in GB is going to require more than 30 minutes to come to grips with by nature of the complexities inherent in the content.

      The key is making it more entertaining as it teaches you, which the predecessors admittedly did not!

      • cylentstorm says:

        I concur–the ocean can be intimidating, but arguably much more rewarding to exploration than a backyard pool. Sometimes you have to ditch the floaties and dive in.

      • onyhow says:

        Eh, 1: I don’t think there’s other space sim that does business side as grand as X, and 2: flying around and basic fighting can be easily grasped in 30 minutes…

  9. Gap Gen says:

    link to rockpapershotgun.com

    “hello this trade representative from uncanny valley world we scan cargo now”

    (In seriousness the rest of these shots look great)

    • Craig Pearson says:

      That face is unrelated to the scan, actually. The head is setting up the story and the scan is one of the station’s security drones.. But yeah, they aren’t great.

      • Gap Gen says:

        My favourite solution to this was Vicarious Vision’s Terminus, where they presumably dressed up the dev team in space costumes and put photos of them next to the dialogue (example: link to lgdb.org)

    • phylum sinter says:

      heh, i knew someone would comment on that plastic-faced goon. Looks like some of the face doesn’t even have texture to it?

  10. cylentstorm says:

    Only recently have I delved into the X universe with X3 and its expansions, though I’ve always been intrigued. I simply lacked the hardware to run the games or the patience to overcome the clunky interface, but the third installment seemed to have smoothed over enough of the rough edges to allow my general quirkiness to find a place within it.

    Now, with Rebirth, my inner space/sci-fi geek may find a shiny new home, especially if the controls are as accessible as they say–without sacrificing complexity. In regards to the underlying capitalism of the series, it’s really no more of flawed and broken system than that which most of us suffer through every day in the physical world, so I simply deal with it in the same manner–by carving out my own niche and moving on.

    In any case, Rebirth looks very promising as a place where nerds can be free–including this one. Fingers crossed.

  11. Niko says:

    Is there a reason why display technology on those future spaceships look like they are a step back from modern technologies used in planes and helicopters?

    • Harlander says:

      If you make something that looks futuristic today, it’ll look dated later, but if you make something that looks obsolete today it’s not going to get more obsolete.

      • Niko says:

        Heh, good point. I was just a little surprised by the number of thick-ish displays in that cockpit. Looks like something from a decade-old game design-wise. Still, doesn’t matter much if it’s functional.

    • Zenicetus says:

      Not a fan of that cockpit here, either. It’s not just the clunky-looking displays, which aren’t bad in a cobbled-together cyberpunk kind of way, but just the large amount of non-functional area blocking the view. Maybe it’s to keep the frame rate up?

      The off-center position is also odd, but maybe you’re supposed to be sitting in the left-side seat of a large cockpit. As I understand it, you only get one ship and one cockpit in this game, so you’re going to be staring at this for a long time.

      Also, does anyone know if TrackIR supported? If the view from this cockpit is limited, then there may not be much point, aside from drone control.

  12. Keyrock says:

    My body is ready.

    • Koshinator says:

      My Rift is ready too… unfortunately, whilst they have said that oculus rift support is coming, it won’t be ready for launch.

  13. arccos says:

    I’m tempted to break the rules and just pre-order this bad boy, but there’s really no reason to do so since you don’t get anything for it and it’s not early access. So I’ll be good.

    Also, there’s a collector’s edition, but it’s done right: no new content, just the soundtrack and such.

    • prian says:

      Just wait and see. As you point out there is no reason to pre-order this game.

      The game -looks- interesting but, then again, the previous X games all looked really interesting. However, every time I tried (my longest attempt was about two hours) to get into those games I failed. I wanted to love the game but the controls got in the way and made the experience a not good one. I hated the controls for the previous X games and I really hope the UI is a lot better on this go around.

      Still, the key is to wait and see. Let’s see how the game turns out beyond pre-release sneak peaks and demos. Plus with no incentive to pre-order there is zero value to pre-ordering (unless you have a fixed budget each month for games and need to use it up or something.)

      • arccos says:

        Have you tried Albion Prelude since they added gamepad support? It makes a huge difference, assuming you have a gamepad.

        Also, there’s a couple different types of mouse control, and I finally settled on one of these to some entertainment (although it got old to me after awhile).

  14. rustybroomhandle says:

    We got sent this very same Gamescom floor demo a few weeks ago, and I’m a bit worried that people not familiar with the series might be a bit mislead. Not on purpose, of course, but the demo was rather action-packed, and the deeper aspects of the X games hardly touched on. I never played these games for the shooty-bang-bang, but more for the economic sim.

  15. SuicideKing says:

    I’m asking this as someone who considers FreeSpace 2 his all-time favourite game: Is X Rebirth’s combat that satisfying?

    • Zenicetus says:

      I haven’t read any in-depth reviews of the combat yet, at least in comparison to other cockpit classics like Freespace 2, Tie Fighter, or (my favorite) Independence War 2. I sure hope there will be a demo, because many reviewers don’t focus on the same things I’d be interested in, like subjective feeling of speed in a fighter (or drone, in this case), and the challenge quality of enemy AI pilots.

      The combat in the previous X series was very lackluster (IMO). Very slow subjective ship movement, which was probably related to the small sector size. Poor enemy AI, where every fight devolves into a simple tail chase. No control of sub-systems on capital ships, so they flew like giant, lumbering fighters, and so on. This new game has a lot to make up for, if they want it to appeal to the “traditional” space combat audience that isn’t interested only in the business empire side of the game.

      • arccos says:

        I can’t speak for Rebirth, but in X3: Albion Prelude, the combat is nothing like the superb combat of Freespace 2. It’s more designed for fleet combat that you in an individual fighter, so single fighter combat is not nearly as satisfying.

        If you’re looking for more combat like Freespace 2, have you tried the Freespace 2 Source Code Project and some of the excellent mods available for it?

        • SuicideKing says:

          Of course i have, and i love what they’ve done for the game. I really wish Volition could make the third game with today’s technology. Imagine FreeSpace 3 being released in place of Star Citizen next year…I’d probably go a bit mad.

      • SuicideKing says:

        Thanks, both of you, for the detailed responses. I guess i’ll wait and watch Rebirth closely, see what Craig says when and if he does a WIT, play the demo if there’s one, and watch videos.

  16. Sardaukar says:

    If anyone is worried about the effect of being limited in ship selection, please spend a few hours playing Independence War 2. Everyone goes on about Freelancer, but I-War 2 is the real gem of that era. You can get it on GOG, and everything about X Rebirth seems like a spiritual successor to it rather than a new X game. Get excited.

  17. Leafcutter says:

    Perhaps one will have to buy and remotely control camera drones for the all round view :-)

  18. Sandepande says:

    Oh bugger. I was so convinced that I’d skip this, because my previous attempts at Xs were dismal failures served on a bed of short attention span.

    Now it looks like I must spend money.