Egosoft have just released X3: Farnham’s Legacy, a free game in their incredibly long-running space sandbox series (the first was released way back in 2005). The game was crafted by the Egosoft community, and is free to owners of X3: Albion Prelude. Hey, I own X3: AP! Yay for me! And hopefully yay for you, too.
The fans have made a sequel to X3: Albion Prelude. In story terms, the gates that links the various systems in space have been shutdown, leaving the player to explore and expand from a secluded section of the galaxy. You're alone and lost, which sets up the most interesting new addition to the series: diplomacy. You're so isolated that you're better off talking your way out of space trouble, rather than targeting nacelles and making it so. It also helps with the bigger picture, as you can more easily balance your reputation among the many grumpy factions. As someone who plays the X series with all the aggression of a baby giraffe, this sings my song.
Let’s see what they’ve built, shall we?
Kudos to Egosoft. It’s not like the X3 series was going anywhere, and handing over the source code to fans has actually resulted in a game. I don’t know if it’s any good yet, but I always try them out. I'm going to carve some time to find out.
The game is free on Steam and on GOG to owners of Albion Prelude, which is on sale right now on both stores. If you’re feeling really rich in credits, you can buy a donation pack (here and here) that will support Doctors Without Borders. If you’re a doctor with a border, you’re out of luck this time.