Misc: From X-Wing to X3: Space Combat Sim Timeline

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I couldn't even figure out how to cheat in X3. I blindly flew handfuls of random stuff around for hours trying to accomplish something while wishing the NPCs weren't so lifeless. I like to believe I have a decent amount of patience for games, but that was just too much.

You left out Allegiance which was released by Microsoft in 2000. Also Freelancer, which was released by Microsoft in 2003. Freelancer sold decently, but no enough for sequels. Allegiance was also an online only team based game that is now available for free. That said, I never figured out what I was supposed to do in X3. I mean I downloaded it and started the game, but all I saw was a bunch of space with no back story, objective or idea about how to move my ship.

I'm curious: why did you leave out Vendetta Online, the only twitch-based (as opposed to EVE Online's character skill-based and ship stat-based combat) fully open and dynamic space combat sim MMO? It's possibly no other game carries the tradition of Freelancer online and with such adrenaline. A dynamic economy, AI that expands and attempts to seize control of sectors of the galaxy, player-created missions and content, and distributed ship physics make Vendetta Online a great example of a space combat sim combined with a large, open and dynamic galaxy.

I find you lack of Independance War 1&2 as well as Nexus: The Jupiter Incident disturbing.

IW1&2 deserve a mention for being one of the very few space sims that had realistic physics, with things like acceleration and momentum playing an important part.

Nexus deserves a mention for being one of the very few capital ship space sims (instead of the usual fighter sims), and a pretty solid game overall.

If you're pining for the return of a game like Elite, I highly recommend checking out Infinity: the Quest for Earth, an MMO in development with newtonian flight, a procedurally-generated galaxy of billions of stars, etc.

It's still a good ways off from release (They're apparently working on commercializing the engine first, and then using the money on the game itself), but it's worth keeping an eye on.

I noticed X-Wing Alliance wasn't listed (Although this might be the story based game mentioned in the X-Wing Vs TIE Fighter) I loved every one of the X-Wing/TIE Fighter series games and Wing Commander Privateer still ranks among my favorite games (Although I spent hours and hours on Privateer I never did figure out what the point of the game was) I miss this Genre of game and would love to see a HD reboot of any of them!

What, no Elite 2 nor Frontier: First Encounters?

No Mantis?? (aka XF5700 Mantis Experimental Fighter)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/XF5700_Mantis

1992. Got it for Christmas... came on 8 floppy disks lol.

Also, in a similar note, the Rogue Leader games on GameCube were awesome. I really enjoyed them as probably my most recent return to any sort of space flight game.

No Freelancer or Black Prophecy? I am disappoint, Greg.

missing:
Freelancer
and IW1+2, nothing was as impressive as speeding past my first enemy and coming to a halt on the other side of the solar system.

Jandau:
I find you lack of Independance War 1&2 as well as Nexus: The Jupiter Incident disturbing.

IW1&2 deserve a mention for being one of the very few space sims that had realistic physics, with things like acceleration and momentum playing an important part.

Nexus deserves a mention for being one of the very few capital ship space sims (instead of the usual fighter sims), and a pretty solid game overall.

Nexus was a Fully 3-dimensional (as opposed to regular single plane 3D RTSes) RTS in the vein of Homeworld. A good game, but not a sim as such.

That said, both Starlancer -and- Freelancer are conspicuously absent, as is Tachyon: The Fringe though I can give that as it is a little obscure and not really the best example despite starring Bruce Campbell.

Although not as high profile as games like Freespace and X-Wing, I think there are others that are worth a mention. Some have already been brought up in the thread, but here are a couple more contributions:

The Star Wraith series - This is a long running(since 1989 if you include early 2D iterations) indie series of space combat/trading sims that boast many features(in the later implementations) not really found in other space games, including seamless space/atmosphere transitions. I highly recommend Evochron Mercenary and Arvoch Alliance, the latest two games. As a bonus, all of his games have playable demos available, so there really is no reason not to try them.

The Battlecruiser series and more - This one is more worth mentioning than playing, so take that for what it's worth. But I'd say it deserves a little recognition for the series' ambitiousness alone, even if it is the sort of ambitiousness that would drive one to try to fly with wings of wax. Here's a blurb on the official site about the first game, Battlecruiser 3000AD:

Command and control a military Battlecruiser complete with manual flight control of 4 fighters, 4 shuttlecrafts, 4 all terrain vehicles in space and over gorgeous planetary landscapes. Assign orders to over 150 ship personnel including officers, engineers, medics, marines and fighter pilots. Mine planets and moons. Attack space and planetary targets using fighters, all terrain vehicles or marines. Deploy or extract personnel and items from space or planets. Orchestrate invasions in any part of a huge game galaxy including strikes against space borne starstations. Order your ships and personnel using a variety of commands such as search and destroy, strike, escort, defend and many more. Use transporters to beam personnel to and from surface strike zones. Attack surface assets from space using devastating orbit to surface weaponry. Launch probes to remote regions to gather intel and stage your attacks. Trade hundreds of items with dozens of stations and bases.

Sounds good, right? Especially for 1996? Well. Another thing the site admits to is that the game was "virtually unplayable out of the box." It also admits that the game is really really hard, but doesn't mention that at least part of this is due to the novel sized manual you need to be intimately familiar with in order to accomplish anything in the game.

Another thing that makes this particular game worth mention is that the creator, Derek Smart, managed to spark a flame war that lasted 7 years on Usenet. Seriously, the saga of BC3000AD was bad enough that it made Gamespy's 25 Dumbest Moments of Gaming. Mr. Smart has gone on to make several other games, none of which met with much success, and he is still making them(with plans for a future mmo, aparently). If he ever actually gets it right he will have made the holy grail of space gaming. Until then, he's at least amusing to read about.

Is it bad that the good game series got less words than the bad one?

Respectfully, can you edit the timeline? The Wing Commander Movie (WHICH DID NOT EXIST! LALALALA I CAN'T HEAR YOU!) section ends half-way through a sentence.

Also, the Wing Commander XBLA game and SNL share the same picture.

You missed X-Wing Alliance. That game was good fun.

GothmogII:

Jandau:
I find you lack of Independance War 1&2 as well as Nexus: The Jupiter Incident disturbing.

IW1&2 deserve a mention for being one of the very few space sims that had realistic physics, with things like acceleration and momentum playing an important part.

Nexus deserves a mention for being one of the very few capital ship space sims (instead of the usual fighter sims), and a pretty solid game overall.

Nexus was a Fully 3-dimensional (as opposed to regular single plane 3D RTSes) RTS in the vein of Homeworld. A good game, but not a sim as such.

That said, both Starlancer -and- Freelancer are conspicuously absent, as is Tachyon: The Fringe though I can give that as it is a little obscure and not really the best example despite starring Bruce Campbell.

I never percieved Nexus as a pure RTS. It's at most an SpaceSim/RTS hybrid. Not enough strategic elements for a full RTS and too much direct control for it not to be a sim. It's one of the few games that puts you in direct control of a capital ship. Not just in the detached "go there, do that" manner of RTS games, but also in a hands-on approach that is characteristic of space sims.

For another cap ship space sim, Star Trek: Bridge Commander also deserves a mention. Putting you in direct control of ships from one of the most celebrated Sci-Fi franchises isn't something to be skipped over. And it's a pretty good game.

And yes, the lack of the Lancer games is disappointing as well.

See also: Darkstar One (one-off title, arcadey), and the upcoming X: Rebirth. Exciting stuff on the horizon; just not too much right now.

Tachyon: The Fringe.

wheres freelancer and starlancer.
I recently got both X3 games and reunion is currently one of the most confusing games ive ever played

What is this, Mr Tito? Some sort of deliberate effort to twist the knife in my heart left by the downfall of the genre? You're messing with strong nostalgia here. :D

I'm cautiously optimistic for the new X game, but in the darkest hour of the night I must admit that I fear the glory days are past.

It's a shame. I'll always think that space is the most awesome setting for games, movies and books. Hell, even music should be about space if I had my way.

Been playing Dark Star One on the PC recently. Solid Fun.

Are we not including Descent here? i mean i know it isn't free space but it is three dimensional. I don't know if you counted it as on the rails, i didn't, but that's just my opinion.

Where's Freelancer?

Whatever. Still a great list. And now I'm very sad that these games are no longer being made. Well, except the X-series. But no offence to Egosoft, we need more space-sim games.

A. Smith:
If you're pining for the return of a game like Elite, I highly recommend checking out Infinity: the Quest for Earth, an MMO in development with newtonian flight, a procedurally-generated galaxy of billions of stars, etc.

It's still a good ways off from release (They're apparently working on commercializing the engine first, and then using the money on the game itself), but it's worth keeping an eye on.

Dear Mr A. Smith,

I wish to inform you that have just reinstated a purpose into my life. Allow me to explain.

I am a long-time gamer in his thirties who started off his 'career' with games that resembled nothing more than few barely animated pixels; to me small game called Elite, in which you were not bound to one single arbitrary playfied/dungeon/realm, but set upon a whole galaxy of worlds, seemed like a pinnacle of what gaming can achieve... that is until I played Elite II AKA Frontier on my Amiga.

You can imagine then, that no other game, not even other space sims (up until they met their demise in early '00s), could offer me the same level of sheer enjoyment of exploration and ( yes, I will dare to use that word) immersion in a seemingly infinite universe.

I have long since abandoned the hope of ever stepping again into the void that beckons just beyond the threshold of our world, even if only the voyage would've been an imaginary one... I have toys with an idea of creating such possibility myself, alas my life choices thus far prevented me from following that dream.

But now, thanks to the people at Novae Studios my hopes are renewed. Thank you as well, Mr A. Smith. My life seems much brighter now.

____
PS: If the tone of this post seems overly dramatic and grandiloquent it was absolutely intentional and instrumental to showing how excited I am over the prospect of a game like Infinity being in the works.
PPS: Also, to quote what a wise AI-core said to me once: "SPAAAAACE!".

Wolfram01:
No Mantis?? (aka XF5700 Mantis Experimental Fighter)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/XF5700_Mantis

1992. Got it for Christmas... came on 8 floppy disks lol.

...I still have the box!
Remember the reporter in the beginning being eaten by the bug?!

I thought I was the only one who ever played or heard of that game! That is beyond hilarious.
Ahh internet, sometimes you make me cringe, but today you make me smile.

More On Topic: I'm very sad to see a serious lack of Freelancer.
Freelancer, and Tie Fighter are probably my two favourite space sims (Admittedly light on the 'sim' aspect of things). And while it would be just criminal if Tie Fighter wasn't there, it's only sightly less criminal that Freelancer isn't there. But only slightly. I loved that game.

I miss early Wing Commander games.
Jazz you motherf... Ahem...

Also... Wooooow, momento... Freelancer ? DarkStar One ? Privateer 2 ? Frontier ?

Freelancer!

I got the original X3 about five years ago. That has got to be the most confusing and least engaging game I have ever played. I can't see myself ever finishing it.

Greg Tito:
From X-Wing to X3: Space Combat Sim Timeline

Grab your joystick, Red Five.

Read Full Article

Greg, I know I've been able to poke masses of fun at you after your Dragon Age 2 review.

just checking, where's Freelancer on this list?

Like the others have said, Freelancer. It had so much potential and got rushed out the door at the end, but it was still an awesome game.

Fr]anc[is:
I couldn't even figure out how to cheat in X3. I blindly flew handfuls of random stuff around for hours trying to accomplish something while wishing the NPCs weren't so lifeless. I like to believe I have a decent amount of patience for games, but that was just too much.

The game does require willingness to use the forums/wiki to figure out how to advance. There is a cheat package you can download on the forums, and the best way to make money early on is through running the missions available from stations with an icon over them - if you don't know this, it can definitely be painfully slow in the beginning.

Ayjona:
I'm curious: why did you leave out Vendetta Online, the only twitch-based (as opposed to EVE Online's character skill-based and ship stat-based combat) fully open and dynamic space combat sim MMO? It's possibly no other game carries the tradition of Freelancer online and with such adrenaline. A dynamic economy, AI that expands and attempts to seize control of sectors of the galaxy, player-created missions and content, and distributed ship physics make Vendetta Online a great example of a space combat sim combined with a large, open and dynamic galaxy.

Indeed, Eve is technically just a strategy game where the weapons have a chance to hit based upon character stats and shipboard equipment. Perhaps it's a case of marketing, since Vendetta Online has been around since 2002. What struck me about Vendetta Online is their support for Mac/Windows/Linux, and apparently supporting tablets now.

X3 Terran Conflict is one of my favourite games, but even as a fan it's difficult to recommend because it is very tricky to get to grips with. There are a huge amount of mods for the game that do make things either easier, harder or just breathe new life into it. The learning curve for me was just as bad as leaning to dock in elite.

Anyway, Egosoft are working on a new game - X Rebirth. It isn't a sequel to the previous X games, and many of the fans on the Egosoft forums are a little worried that the new game has been dumbed down - here's a link to the alpha trailer.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LabrDe4XJo0

I wish I'd seen Yahtzee's review of EVE before I tried it.

No mention of Epic :(
That was actually the game I played most, seeing as I had an Amiga at the time and most of my friends had PC's and were busy playing WC and the like. Not that there wasn't also a PC version.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zrco0txG9XY

You put in the WC Movie, but left out WC 4 (IMHO one of the best game stories written) and Tachyon: The Fringe? Bruce Freakin Campbell?

i loved freelancer and starlancer
man i hope this makes a comback scp was great fun and some of the mod campaigns had better stories and writing than most other games out now im still wishing for a freespace 3 though.

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