Jump to content

Thinking about trying the X series


Recommended Posts

Oh boy. And here I was thinking about starting another X3 run soon anyway. Perfect timing.


Have you played any sort of space sim game? X-Wing, Freelancer, Freespace, anything of the sort? Those games are much more focused in scope compared to the X series, so it might be worth it to play one or more of them before jumping into the X series. In fact, they're worth playing regardless. I personally recommend Freespace 2 


So, right off I'll tell you that I've only ever played the X3 games. I haven't played X1 or X2. Couldn't tell you much about them other than "they're much older and are a bit different in scope and gameplay compared to the X3 games from what I understand.


As for what you should start with, well... I know that while there's an overarching storyline in the games of some sort, none of it is necessary for enjoyment of any individual game. I jumped right into X3 and haven't found myself wanting for story details. So personally, I think you can just jump into X3 if you want the most recent in the main line of X games (because Rebirth was nothing but a rumor and you'll never convince me otherwise).


X3 has three games in its line: Reunion, Terran Conflict, and Albion Prelude. They're all on the same engine and share most of the same base features, but AP is the most recent one and, as such, the one with the least bugs and the most additional features added. Regardless, they're big games, and not particularly focused. They are more based on the idea of letting the player do as they please. Sure there's an ongoing story in each game, but it's entirely optional and is probably more of an overall gameplay tutorial than the meat of the game in itself. I've never actually completed any of the story plots in any of the games; I get too distracted by all the other things I want to do.


Do I like the games? Absolutely. I definitely recommend them. But they're damn complex to start learning at the start, even without considering modding. And you're going to want to mod your game eventually. Vanilla X3 is barebones compared to the features available with mods. That's why, if you've never played a space sim, I recommend a more focused game to start with, like Freespace, which is just a mission-based combat game. But nothing's stopping you from jumping into X3.


It's hard to really get more specific about the game and what you might like or dislike about it without knowing what you're looking for in a game. What your expectations are. How willing you are to learn as you go. Things like that. But ask me anything about the X3 games if you want! I'll answer as best I can.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wonderful! You can get Freespace and Freespace 2 on GOG together for cheap, and I highly recommend you get the totally free Freespace Open mod/upgrade to pair with Freespace 2. It adds a lot of graphical upgrades, features and mods and campaigns to Freespace 2, including the ability to play the original Freespace game's campaign within Freespace 2. You don't have to miss any of the upgrades in the sequel in order to still play through the entire campaign! I'm going to be playing through the two campaigns fairly soon in addition to getting my X3 run going.


Long live the space sim.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hm... depends on what exactly you're expecting.


The X series, and more specifically X3, has more replay value in the breadth of options and the freedom you have when playing. You'll certainly have fun finding sectors and stumbling upon different factions and bases and such, but it's the freedom of action that is the main draw.


Want to fly as a solo wares trader across the universe? You can do that.

Thinking about flying as a pirate hunter, you against them all? Yeah, go ahead.

Itching to manage a fleet of traders to gain dominance over the universe's economy? Yup, that's fine.

Fancy being a squadron leader, taking your wingmen out to patrol the border territories? Sounds good.

Smuggling wares under the noses of the police strike you as fun? Awesome.

Desire to command a fleet of ships against the might of the Xenon machines? Good luck!


And so on.


X3 is more of a sandbox than anything else. And with the addition of mods, you can make the game more like what you want. Certain options you'll want to use mods for moreso than others. For instance, there are mods that greatly enhance the threat of the Xenon with true invasions and conquering of territory, to the point where you will most certainly need a fleet in order to stop them. There are mods that revamp the economy, that increase the difficulty, that make it so losing a fight truly means something for your plans.


I love the game, but it's not for everyone. The biggest sticking point is that it's a game where you need to make up your own fun. Set your own rules. For instance, there's a group of people that play the game under Dead is Dead rules: there's no reloading saves, and if they die, that's it, that's the end of that particular playthrough. Others have strict rules where they can only do certain things according to the personality of the character they've come up with in their heads, like never fighting, or always shooting a certain race on sight, or whatever else.


If I manage to figure out how to get streaming to work, I'll invite you to watch me play it a bit. See if it catches your interest. Or, of course, you can also hit up Youtube for lets plays of the games. I'm sure there are plenty of modded and unmodded videos up there.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.


×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...