Review: X3: The Terran Conflict 2.0

Review: X3: The Terran Conflict 2.0

How is X3: The Terran Conflict 2.0 like reading Nietzsche? You know you want to find out.

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yup, not that good of a game...

pyromcr:
yup, not that good of a game...

It would be a good game if it didn't think controls and message's buried under 50 menu's, 8 sub-menu's, 20 committee's and 5 appeals were fun.

I never really got into X3 beyond the eye poppingly beautiful graphics. I found the manual vital, but fortunately it seems Egosoft planned this because it is incredably well written & interesting rather than the usual 3sheets of minimalist graphs that constituate most manuals these days. Theres a great game hidden in there but like u say, u have to be an X fan or have the patience of a sadist to get to it.

Where's the fun of having a simple control scheme? In X3: TC I can accidently eject from my ship in the middle of spacebattle and be blown to atoms :P

Seriously, the game isn't that much more complex than most flight sims, but unlike the previous incarnations of the game, using a mouse is now actually a good way of playing in combat, the mouse aiming is very usefull, it makes the game a lot easier than X2 and X3.

What I liked most about the game was it's scale, X2 made amazed me with the size of Argon 1, X3 left me speachless with the sheer size difference between an Argon Discoverer and just about every other thing in the game, and X3: TC just made me applaud upon seeing the rings of Neptune upclose, also there was a space station there that was larger than the Death Star.

Sounds like EV:Nova mixed with Silent Hunter.

hey what does it mean when your forum is locked

Er, space? Enter? What? I don't think I've played any space game where those keys did anything about accelerating the ship (if anything enter would fire the missiles and in the good old DOS days space was usually reserved for the fire button though Elite on the C64 may have bound accelerate to the space bar). The genre has always come with throttle controls so you should probably have looked for a pair of keys that would serve that function. I'd try something like AZ (on a US keyboard), WS or +-, maybe the mouse wheel. Sometimes the number keys correspond to certain thrust levels though I think X didn't use that approach. If everything else fails you could just have brought up the control options, those usually show what's bound to what and look for the basic movement controls. Seriously, jumping in blindly only gets stuff done if you're familiar with the genre's conventions.

Also you talk so much about the interface that you forget the basics like X being a space trading sim or simply an universe sim where space stations are actual factories and form an economy where you can buy and sell at varying prices (as opposed to Freelancer where stations have preset, static prices) and usually have the goal of making money. You can even build your own factories that need resources and produce stuff that you can then sell (hopefully at a profit) and you can buy spaceships that can act autonomously so you could build a trader fleet and make money with that. You can also go into combat but unlike Freelancer you're not a super-powered hero (or at least you weren't in X1 and 2, haven't played 3 specifically) who can down an entire armada in his starting ship, you pilot the same scrapbuckets everybody else does. You can also buy capital ships and fly with those so if you don't feel safe enough in the tiny tincans you can get yourself a big metal box with enough firepower to vaporize a whole sector or just enough armor that you can push an asteroid into a competitor's factory and make it look like an accident.

I don't think Freelancer is a good game to mention for the genre, it is in there but it's designed more for action and wild dogfights with you being the big damn hero and the game doing everything to emphasize that, in X you're just another dude and often your starting equipment makes you practically cannon fodder so when a pirate tells you to drop your freight or be killed you better comply with his demands instead of playing the big hero and killing his whole squadron alone (though you CAN of course take the "my ship is faster than yours, let's have a race to that police cruiser" option).

This game has already stolen so many hours of my life. There's just something about slowly amassing a fleet of ships I worked for and outfitted myself that is oddly satisfying. I haven't even started building any factories or plants yet either! This game has so much content and playability to it if you're into the open ended space ship type game. If you'd rather just use three buttons, and finish a game in like 12 hours of gameplay this is not one for you! This is the kind of game you want to devote a good solid month or more to, and not regret a minute of it :)

Smuggle illegal goods, become a pirate, produce goods for trade, taxi important people, run tours across sectors and nebulas, gun down all who oppose you with your fleet of fighters.... oh X3... will you marry me ? :P

"To wit, a story from my own experience: On first firing the game up I was sitting adrift in space. I wiggled the mouse a bit and realized that only spun my view around. Figuring nothing good would come of endlessly staring into space, even from new and interesting angles, I set out to learn how to do something, anything else. I tried the usual suspects: The "Enter" key, the "Spacebar" -- I even accidentally hit the "Tilde" -- but none of these would move me an inch. After 20 minutes of clicking and reclicking, I finally discovered a method of locomotion, buried under the third layer of a menu system that was only partially helpfully labeled."

-----

You seriously didn't attempt to roll the mouse wheel forwards? Are you joking?

In the time honored hardcore-gamer tradition, I did not read the X3 manual either: Instead, I popped open the options menu and scanned the key-bindings quickly. Problem solved.

I think it's fair to call the X3's systems confusing. Trading, automating ships, figuring out which weapons and equipment are important... these are all very confusing to the newcomer. But if you seriously spent 20 minutes trying to figure out how to move... well, no offense here, are you sure you are the best choice to review this particular game?

X3 has a unique premise that no other space game on the market offers: True freedom.

No other game available since Escape Velocity has really offered the player freedom to go do... whatever they want to do. (And believe me, I have been looking.) While I agree that the game could be simplified in some aspects, we should at least acknoledge that X3 provides a gameplay experience that you simply cannot get anywhere else.

Whatever happened to people reading the manual that comes with the game? The entire review is summarized into "I couldn't figure out the controls, but I guess its an great game if I could figure it out."

The X series is not exactly rocket science and all the controls are explained in the manual.

This "Review" is a joke. If your going to review a game, at least learn something about it, don't expect just to be able to jump in without reading the manual... not every game out there has to be Halo.

Then again, i also read Nietzsche so take that for what you will.

Freelancer was fun

the X games made my eyes bleed pure hate

eventually so did EVE

Not the easiest game to get into I admit, but I know no other game of such sheer depth and granduer, nor one that allows for so many different play styles.

There is nothing like the X series (played it since X:BTF) and X3:TC is the epitomy (sp?) of what a game with such depth can be.

One final word on the complexity. It would be an intersting problem to consider how to simplify the UI considering all the information that is presented to you and the different features. However at a moments thinking, I don't see how it could be done better.

Probably would have to think long and hard there.

I don't think Freelancer is a good game to mention for the genre,

I wouldn't even mention Freelancer in an article about space sims seeing as IMO Freelancer killed the genre.

in X you're just another dude and often your starting equipment makes you practically cannon fodder so when a pirate tells you to drop your freight or be killed you better comply with his demands instead of playing the big hero and killing his whole squadron alone

If you're really good or really lucky you can take out a group of pirates with the Buster you get in the Custom Start, I've done it, one of them even bailed for me.

As far as this review goes I only have one thing to say to the author. You're doing it wrong. Have you ever even touched a space sim before Terran Conflict? I don't know any space sim EVER where Space or Enter had anything to do with the throttle control, mostly they were bound to the -/+ keys and the number keys. I'll give you that the game has a steep learning curve but it's nothing a little RTFM won't cure.

I've noticed from a few so called 'games journalists' lately that having to read the manual instantly makes a game bad. Games are only good if you can jump right in and play without learning anything. No wonder there's no innovation in the games industry, they can't change the format because people would have to read a book to figure it out.

If Terran Conflict is at least as good as X3 was it'll still be a good game, being in the US where there was no publication of the base Terran Conflict game and having to wait now until April and I have the cash to spend on it I can't wait to get a copy. I've already lost almost 200 hours if not more than that to X3: Reunion, it becomes a much better game once you figure out what you're doing. The game also has a fairly polite and helpful community that doesn't put up with any crap if you get stuck with something.

tkaStryc9:
I wouldn't even mention Freelancer in an article about space sims seeing as IMO Freelancer killed the genre.

I've noticed from a few so called 'games journalists' lately that having to read the manual instantly makes a game bad. Games are only good if you can jump right in and play without learning anything. No wonder there's no innovation in the games industry, they can't change the format because people would have to read a book to figure it out.

The genre was long since dead by the time Freelancer was finally released. All it could have done was revitalized it, and it didn't. We haven't really seen a big hit in the genre since FreeSpace 2, and that's over ten years ago now. No one can say for sure, but I suspect it is the games like X and Master of Orion that contributed to its demise. It's not uncommon to ask an inexperienced customer what they think of the genre and to this day you'll hear one of two things, either "I need to buy a joystick to play" or "It's too complicated."

A good example of this is your honestly dated mindset regarding game manuals. Years ago manuals evolved from the occasional required reading to being merely a supplement. The best games these days can still innovate but they ease you into the process. Take a look at Will Wright's games--you can drop straight into The Sims or Spore without reading a page of the manual. X didn't evolve the same way into using newer, now-established conventions of contextual commands and information displays, for example.

I don't think we're going to see any sort of return to form, especially since PC gaming as a whole has seen a serious downturn. If we do see a big seller in the future it's going to be in the mouse-piloted, easily-accessible form that games like Freelancer have been in.

seitori:

A good example of this is your honestly dated mindset regarding game manuals. Years ago manuals evolved from the occasional required reading to being merely a supplement. The best games these days can still innovate but they ease you into the process. Take a look at Will Wright's games--you can drop straight into The Sims or Spore without reading a page of the manual. X didn't evolve the same way into using newer, now-established conventions of contextual commands and information displays, for example.

I'm not saying that every game should require you to read the manual but I've seen and heard reviewers automatically dismiss a game as horrible because the backstory and controls weren't laid out for them ingame citing it as sloppy and a waste of paper and time having to print and read a manual. I think it's irresponsible to just dismiss a game because it comes with a printed manual that you might possibly have to open and look at for a second let alone read completely.

It's not like you have to read the X manual from cover to cover to figure out how to play the game either, the controls are laid out in the first few pages, that's enough to get you started, then you can look at other stuff as you need or want to, there's some backstory in there along with a partial list of some goods, weapons and ship add-ons, not much required reading at all yet the reviewer here it sounds like didn't even bother to open the manual and just tried to guess what he was supposed to do, got frustrated when the first few things he tried didn't work and said it was a bad game.

I started playing the x series from x2 the threat. I bought it in a bargain bin a few years ago as part of my endless quest to find decent space simulators. Although I have a joystick I initially didn't use it. Being a bargain game I also didn't read the manual. I just went straight into the game, skipping the tutorial.

By the time I got to my first destination, I (10 min) had a complete grasp of the movement, just from trial and error. I also had a grasp on what would happen if you shot at destroyers! By the time I finished my first task (20min). I had figured out the economy, ship commands and details, and some of the upgrades. A while after that I left the storyline and started exploring. Through exploring I discovered how to use missiles, what every upgrade does, and how to command other ships.

The point I'm trying to get at is that when you play the X series, yes it's overwhelming, particularly the interface in X3 onwards. But you don't need to pay attention to anything that you don't understand. Just start the game and have a go. Experiment! The biggest leap is the basic movement. Once you know that you're fine. The X games are vast and you are not going to come to a situation where you will have to use all the aspects of this game in the one place. This is the X series biggest strength, and also it's biggest downfall.

Downfall because there are impatient people out there, whether they be impatient by nature or impatient by profession (like our Mr. Reviewer). These people have to have everything here and now, because of this the must be able to get a grasp of how everything works at breakneck speed. That simply doesn't work with X series games (and most games in this genere). To fully appreciate these games you have to let them take you in, a concept that is lost to most gamers today.

i loved freelancer and i would really like a new one to come out, shame that this game does not really measure up.

Taerdin:
This game has already stolen so many hours of my life. There's just something about slowly amassing a fleet of ships I worked for and outfitted myself that is oddly satisfying. I haven't even started building any factories or plants yet either! This game has so much content and playability to it if you're into the open ended space ship type game. If you'd rather just use three buttons, and finish a game in like 12 hours of gameplay this is not one for you! This is the kind of game you want to devote a good solid month or more to, and not regret a minute of it :)

Smuggle illegal goods, become a pirate, produce goods for trade, taxi important people, run tours across sectors and nebulas, gun down all who oppose you with your fleet of fighters.... oh X3... will you marry me ? :P

Agreed. I was a fan of the original X, X2, and X3 (Renunion, not Terran Conflict). However, I never really gave any time to trying X3: Terran Conflict this time around.

About the only thing I don't like in this series is the awfully written plot missions and the somewhat hard to grasp plot (like in X2, any alien race randomally turns up for no reason.

The only reason this game is not a wold wide hit (just a niche game for the simulatorly retarded) is the controls system. I don't say X3 is unplayable, it's quite handy when you get the hang of it, but it does have a steep learning curve...that is almost a brick wall...

For easy access you would need two keyboards, a joystick and a mouse...all at once. The controls and the menu system is horribly unintuitive and hard to navigate...again, for the novice players. I had no trouble with the controls...with almost 50 hours of playtime under my belt that is. It's a very lengthy thing to learn the controls of your own ship, let alone the automation and the rest. If you waded through the tedious session of learning the keyboard layout, the menus and the systems, so when you are controlling a big fleet of ships and you meet an enemy fleet, it's almost second nature to hammer in orders for strategy, attack and formation for the entire fleet while driving your ship, all the while giving orders to the transports two galaxies away and managing your factories and... well, you get the picture...

And you do need to do all these things because simply you can't succeed with one ship only. It would be awesome to be able to upgrade a given ship to meet your needs, but upgrades go only so far in X3. Of course you can buy bigger, more advanced warships, frigates, battlecruisers and the like, but even with a battlecruiser, without fighters and support you are simply dead in the water (space) against a balanced fleet.

What the X series needs: an intuitive and handy interface, where you can find anything you want with a few clicks, not digging to the bottom of layers upon layers upon layers of menus to find a single command. A good upgrade system, where you can upgrade your ships to meet your needs, so you can be (even partially) successful with even one. Better factory management. No more unfair gameplay, unfair missions and insurmountable odds. And the last one is: an interesting story (however remotely).

IMHO.

Playbahnosh:

What the X series needs: an intuitive and handy interface, where you can find anything you want with a few clicks, not digging to the bottom of layers upon layers upon layers of menus to find a single command. A good upgrade system, where you can upgrade your ships to meet your needs, so you can be (even partially) successful with even one. Better factory management. No more unfair gameplay, unfair missions and insurmountable odds. And the last one is: an interesting story (however remotely).

IMHO.

Agreed! These are the big flaws that have keep X from mainstream achievement. I suspect the primary reason is that Egosoft is primarily from Germany (hence that stupid 'Teldian time' system - apparently the German words for hours/minutes/secs etc match). Germans, on average, seem to have more tolerance for lack of an easy interface, so I suspect that Egosoft don't truly realise its a problem. Maybe I'm wrong and just being German-ist ;)

Doug:

Playbahnosh:

What the X series needs: an intuitive and handy interface, where you can find anything you want with a few clicks, not digging to the bottom of layers upon layers upon layers of menus to find a single command. A good upgrade system, where you can upgrade your ships to meet your needs, so you can be (even partially) successful with even one. Better factory management. No more unfair gameplay, unfair missions and insurmountable odds. And the last one is: an interesting story (however remotely).

IMHO.

Agreed! These are the big flaws that have keep X from mainstream achievement. I suspect the primary reason is that Egosoft is primarily from Germany (hence that stupid 'Teldian time' system - apparently the German words for hours/minutes/secs etc match). Germans, on average, seem to have more tolerance for lack of an easy interface, so I suspect that Egosoft don't truly realise its a problem. Maybe I'm wrong and just being German-ist ;)

Tru' dat, yo! But also true, that horrible controls notwithstanding, Germans tend to create excellent games. The X universe is unfathomably large for a simulator, and there are a very vast array of things to do, so as a sandbox game, it's awesome. Hell, show me a space sim where you can do all these stuff (in one game...that is not MMO). The graphics and the eye-candy is nice, the physics, the game world and the economy is well detailed and designed. The ships are diverse, the AI is good enough, the number bugs are well reduced and you can sink an unimaginably large amount of free time into playing, even without noticing. That's why I love it. My only problems are...well, up there in the last post.

I particularly hate to choose between ships. I rather tend to be a fighter than a trader, so I need a great fighter to play. But I have to choose between the Saber, which is very fast, agile and has a great array of weapons but low on HP, energy and storage space, or I choose one of the other fighters that have more hp, great shielding and storage space, awesome weapons but slow as hell and a nightmare to maneuver, or great maneuverability, okay speed, huge HP and storage, but has a BB gun for weapon. Decisions, decisions, decisions. Why can't I have all of that? Gimme an upgrade system, in which (with enough money) I can upgrade my lousy fighter or corvette to a ship of HELL with unbreakable shielding, dispensing fiery death wherever I go, having enemies tremble in fear and flee screaming my name. I don't expect that to be cheap, quite the opposite, I want to work, steal and grind my ass off to obtain such a vessel, but I want that option! And I want a difficulty system that accompanies this upgrade system, so when I drive my n00b ship into enemy territory, I expect to be shamefully blasted into floating space junk in nanoseconds, but when I work (or steal) enough, upgrade my ship, go back and destroy the shit out them.

And all that without buying a whole armada of ships and trying to control them through menus, but I do want that option too if I change my mind. It won't be too hard to do, since the game already has some ridiculously overpowered ships in there, it simply needs to be broken down into upgrade options, much like in Freelancer or Darkstar One.

Aside from these, I think everything is quite okay in there.

tkaStryc9:
As far as this review goes I only have one thing to say to the author. You're doing it wrong. Have you ever even touched a space sim before Terran Conflict? I don't know any space sim EVER where Space or Enter had anything to do with the throttle control, mostly they were bound to the -/+ keys and the number keys. I'll give you that the game has a steep learning curve but it's nothing a little RTFM won't cure.

Frontier: Elite II. Enter is accelerate, right shift is decelerate. I believe that the PC Elite Plus had the < and > keys bound to decelerate and accelerate respectively, so maybe Frontier: Elite II was just an anomaly.

But speaking of Frontier, it and its sequel were hardly the most intuitive games to begin with. With Newtonian physics, you had to get your head around completely new systems of flight. There was no 2D space combat - you had to learn about relative movement. But I eventually got my head around it, and I've played and enjoyed it enough to be able to write a review on it myself.

Playbahnosh:

Doug:

Playbahnosh:

What the X series needs: an intuitive and handy interface, where you can find anything you want with a few clicks, not digging to the bottom of layers upon layers upon layers of menus to find a single command. A good upgrade system, where you can upgrade your ships to meet your needs, so you can be (even partially) successful with even one. Better factory management. No more unfair gameplay, unfair missions and insurmountable odds. And the last one is: an interesting story (however remotely).

IMHO.

Agreed! These are the big flaws that have keep X from mainstream achievement. I suspect the primary reason is that Egosoft is primarily from Germany (hence that stupid 'Teldian time' system - apparently the German words for hours/minutes/secs etc match). Germans, on average, seem to have more tolerance for lack of an easy interface, so I suspect that Egosoft don't truly realise its a problem. Maybe I'm wrong and just being German-ist ;)

Tru' dat, yo! But also true, that horrible controls notwithstanding, Germans tend to create excellent games. The X universe is unfathomably large for a simulator, and there are a very vast array of things to do, so as a sandbox game, it's awesome. Hell, show me a space sim where you can do all these stuff (in one game...that is not MMO). The graphics and the eye-candy is nice, the physics, the game world and the economy is well detailed and designed. The ships are diverse, the AI is good enough, the number bugs are well reduced and you can sink an unimaginably large amount of free time into playing, even without noticing. That's why I love it. My only problems are...well, up there in the last post.

Agreed about that - the in-game universe or gate system of visitable stars in the X series has always been high, and no other game that I know of can take you from single ship pilot to interstellar trade baron with a amarda of your very own.

Ah, the classic "reviewer is just simply too dumb to grasp things such as reading, and therefore the game is bad" syndrome.

I bet he has a bright future working for IGN or something, though, rating the next iteration of Gears of War a 10 and copy-pasting the old review.

... I wish X3TC was half as complex as people seem to make it, and I so wish it had Newtonian physics.

In X3 the economy is "simplified" (the engine calculates the resources between NPCs fast, and it means you can't really "adjust" the economy via stray asteroids), the physics feature inertia (in a space game ;_;), and in the end the whole economy is pretty basic. 50mil for a factory producing 600k per ingame hour requires patience more than intelligence, and the interface may not be pick-up-and-play casual game grade, but it isn't exactly hard to figure out either.

The dogfighting is adequately hard though - pretty likely the hardest part of the game.

insanelich:
Ah, the classic "reviewer is just simply too dumb to grasp things such as reading, and therefore the game is bad" syndrome.

Er, no. Its 'we enjoy something even though we understand why others don't' syndrome, thanks.

insanelich:
In X3 the economy is "simplified" (the engine calculates the resources between NPCs fast, and it means you can't really "adjust" the economy via stray asteroids), the physics feature inertia (in a space game ;_;), and in the end the whole economy is pretty basic. 50mil for a factory producing 600k per ingame hour requires patience more than intelligence, and the interface may not be pick-up-and-play casual game grade, but it isn't exactly hard to figure out either.

The dogfighting is adequately hard though - pretty likely the hardest part of the game.

What do you mean by inertia in space? All you have in space is inertia, since there is no atmosphere there is no drag, so it's only natural there are inertial forces.

Other than that, what do you mean by the economy is "simplified and basic"? Show me a space sim where you have this kinda economy at work. Personally, I think it's a major achievement to balance the wares, factories, ships, resources and whatnot of ten different species/cultures and spread it across hundreds of systems, all different in every way. The amount of text, culture and... stuff compressed into this game is radical. If you have time, just go ahead and read the Encyclopedia in-game. The amount of detail is staggering.

The best part? You can build your own empire. Rising from virtually nothing, with only one small fighter and a few credits, you can become the fucking ruler of the universe, conquering and exterminating entire races, commanding a vast fleet of ships and stations. Station building is my favorite. With enough time, resources and cunning, you can rule the whole friggin economy. That's no small deal, considering you must fight for every single credit in the beginning.

Yes, it requires patience and planning, but the payoff is all the more sweeter this way.

Playbahnosh:

Other than that, what do you mean by the economy is "simplified and basic"? Show me a space sim where you have this kinda economy at work. Personally, I think it's a major achievement to balance the wares, factories, ships, resources and whatnot of ten different species/cultures and spread it across hundreds of systems, all different in every way.

Except it doesn't.

The engine just pulls resources out of thin air whenever they're required.

insanelich:

Playbahnosh:

Other than that, what do you mean by the economy is "simplified and basic"? Show me a space sim where you have this kinda economy at work. Personally, I think it's a major achievement to balance the wares, factories, ships, resources and whatnot of ten different species/cultures and spread it across hundreds of systems, all different in every way.

Except it doesn't.

The engine just pulls resources out of thin air whenever they're required.

Not true. Granted, there are balancing scripts in place, to make the economy more stable and resistant against collapse, over- or underproduction, but there is no "out of thin air" stuff there. Yes, when you discover a new sector, the engine recalculates the resource supply system, so that NPC trader ships can bring more stuff where needed, and the new system does start out with a predefined set of resources, but there are no deus ex machina.

Playbahnosh:

Not true. Granted, there are balancing scripts in place, to make the economy more stable and resistant against collapse, over- or underproduction, but there is no "out of thin air" stuff there. Yes, when you discover a new sector, the engine recalculates the resource supply system, so that NPC trader ships can bring more stuff where needed, and the new system does start out with a predefined set of resources, but there are no deus ex machina.

Actually, it is true.

All solar power plants controlled by the ai do NOT have any primary resources, they have crystals as a secondary resource. They are not neded for production. And since all materials can be derived from energy cells...

elexis:

Playbahnosh:

Not true. Granted, there are balancing scripts in place, to make the economy more stable and resistant against collapse, over- or underproduction, but there is no "out of thin air" stuff there. Yes, when you discover a new sector, the engine recalculates the resource supply system, so that NPC trader ships can bring more stuff where needed, and the new system does start out with a predefined set of resources, but there are no deus ex machina.

Actually, it is true.

All solar power plants controlled by the ai do NOT have any primary resources, they have crystals as a secondary resource. They are not neded for production. And since all materials can be derived from energy cells...

Meh, splitting hairs... If you are that adamant about that, you can write a script so it needs crystals. BUT! There is a reason it is this way. Did you notice the amount of NPC silicon mines in the game? There are not too many. Reason: Playability. Since silicon asteroids are needed for that, and asteroid fields are huge resource hogs in terms of graphics. Try entering Ore Belt with mines on every minable asteroid, graphics set to max and you'll know what I mean. Under normal circumstances a Power Plant XL needs 5 Crystal Fabs to function continually and a Crystal Fab needs at least 3 Silicon Mine L to do the same. That's 15 mines for one power plant eq. fifteen bigass asteroids. Do the math on the graphics if it were to put enough mines and fabs into the game to serve every single station-s energy. Every system would need a huge asteroid field.

But if you hung up on that, I guess you'll never enjoy this game. If you really like X3, you'll forgo dissecting it, and just enjoy playing. IMHO.

I played X3 for about a month and then uninstalled it. I haven't been back to it and I never will. Why? In short, I think it's pointless and dumb.

X3's graphics are all nice and shiny but the game has only a small fraction of the options available in Battlecruiser 3000AD or Elite: Frontier. Egosoft even replaced the ship cockpit graphics with a generic HUD and swapped the spacestation interiors for what might as well be an ATM display, making the game all that less immersive.
As for all that stuff about realistic inertia physics, what about Independence War, c1998?
And THAT game didn't feature aliens resembling Muppet Show rejects.

Complicated interfaces might be too much for some people but that's not entirely the point. The point is whether the game is worth the time investment. I don't think X3 is.

 

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