Egosoft announced the next game they are working on, titled X Rebirth. Not much actual info has been released but the trailer does open with “the supernova changed everything… forever…” so we know the writing will continue to be top notch.
They say they’ve started from the ground up, but I still would like to know some specifics. Anyway, I’m a fan of the series and I’ll be picking this up, but I do hope they’ve made a concerted effort to sooth out the rough edges.
Someone really needs to make a ‘Good Parts’ version of one of these open world space combat slash trading slash exploration type games. They always sound so good on paper. The original Elite feels more approachable than anything made in the past 15 years.
Give me a 1st-person space sim where I can be military, a mercenary, a pirate or a trader, or a combination of those. Narrow the focus so you don’t have space factories and freighter automation like in the X games. Instead, make the missions and environment more dynamic and interesting. A dynamic economy, a dynamic political situation, dynamic missions based on what’s going on in the galaxy. Give me space flight physics like in the I-War games, and a huge variety of ship equipment to keep things interesting. Let me hire a crew and give them stats and abilities. That’s what I’m looking for.
I’ll keep an eye on this one. I liked the previous X games.
You know, one game I’d enjoy seeing is something with the Space Rangers 2 gameplay concept dropped into an X game engine. It’d be interesting having a big, bad enemy out there actively working towards conquering the galaxy (rather than occasionally random raids like in previous X games), giving you the player a serious reason to ultimately continue building your infrastructure and eventually join in on the war. I know there are mods for X3:TC that attempt to emulate this, and while they do add ambiance, it’s never quite the same.
Right, all the Xenon invasions ever really were were just spawned masses of enemy ships with the ‘kill everything’ script attached. I don’t exactly know what Space Rangers did but there it all felt “right” (well, the trading system in X was better than in SR, but that’s about the only thing).
Also what increasingly bothered me in the X series was that capital ships, even the largest ones, were just one pair of numbers: hitpoints and shield points. No modular damage, no armor plating/weak spots, no destructible turrets at least, no nothing. You could kill the biggest bad guy just by shooting the tip of the front antenna repeatedly. Also no crew (the ‘marines’ don’t count) and no minigames around capships (like when repairing, having to fly to a very particular spot on the hull of the ship and solve a piping minigame, for example)
The difference between the extreme amount of detail of the 3D models and the extreme lack of interaction with all the detail was too much for my taste in the terran conflict, where those huge terran stations … still were just a pair of numbers.
Bearing in mind that all the previous X games were gradual improvements (well, some would say!) to the same engine, the fact that they’re starting from scratch with this one gives me some hope. More than anything, though, I’m just glad that someone is still producing games like this and Evochron.
I hoping that the starting from scratch changes Egosoft hint at will bring Rebirth a little closer to Privateer in feel.
I always liked the X series because I found them pretty relaxing, graphically impressive (at times), trading sims. Something I could sort of do while I had a baseball game on. But I eventually find other things to play. I still need to get into Evochron Mercenary (need to see how that works without a joystick since most times I don’t have access to one), but I’d love to see Egosoft take a hard look at what they have and don’t have. I feel like they could build something impressive off their trading game if they set their minds to it.
edit: and being able to run a private multiplayer server like Freelancer would be great, too.
Whatever. Most of the posts here consist of bitching about how the X games aren’t what they want them to be; “I can’t stand BLTs because they have bacon on them, I’d don’t see why they don’t have sausage.” The X games have never been about strong space fights or a gripping story – they’re glacially-paced entreprenurial sims that are all about building factories and fleets and ensuring their supply/demand.
Hoping that a new X game is going to be a well-written Freelancer kind of deal is kind of stretching things at this point. And, as somebody said above, if you think X is a bit too heavy and slow then you’ve always got Evocron, which parrots much of what X does, only on an indie budget and a greater focus on shootery.
If they took away the factories and automation, it wouldn’t be the X series. That’s what I liked about the first game. It was a bit slow though, and I never knew what to actually DO with my economy I was setting up. I never played any of the others in the series, as I never heard great things about them. I don’t get why they can’t copy Elite, or even Star Control or something like that and just set it in their engine. Put stuff to DO in the universe. I actually DON’T think it should be dynamic. I think it should be like a space sim version of a game like Sacred. As you move further out from where you start, things are more dangerous, but each system has some plot thing going on. So when you get there, there is something for you to do, and it’s interesting. I don’t think they should bother randomizing or anything because it’s hard to keep that interesting, and frankly most players don’t play the game more than once. Make it as exciting as you can for one play through, while still making it open-ended and having the chance to set up local economies and such.
Whenever a space sim comes along, I usually find it does certain things well but drops the ball in other areas. What I’d give for the Freespace / I-War combat flight model combined with the sprawl and atmosphere of the Freelancer universe coupled with the trading depth of the X series and the freedom of Frontier. My problem with the X games is that they’re so great at trading / management but so clunky at everything else. It makes the barrier to entry extremely high. I managed to get over this barrier with X-Tension but I wasn’t prepared to slog through it again in the sequels. This is why I hope that with a new engine, and the freedom to do what they want, they take a few hints from other games that have done some of the things brilliantly that X has always failed at. I realise this is probably too much to hope for, but still.