Troubled space sim X Rebirth is plotting a course for a star system where second chances might be possible. A buggy game at its fall launch, the latest entry in the X universe didn't impress when we reviewed it in February. But with the release of a massive, 2.0 feature update this week, Egosoft's space adventure might have found a better heading for itself.
When I was first set loose in X: Rebirth’s vast universe, I was convinced it was going to be amazing. That ‘34’ on Metacritic couldn’t possibly be accurate. I’m in space! In a spaceship! But I quickly realised that this is, in fact, a colossal missed opportunity. A supernova of bugs and baffling game design that refuses to let you have any fun, no matter how hard you try – and I really tried.
As the sixth game in the X series, X Rebirth continues the long and unfortunate tradition of being a bit broken at release. So much so that Egosoft's director Bernd Lehahn took to their forums to apologise for the current technical problems being faced by the game's owners. In a post to the community, he addresses some of the current issues, while laying out a basic roadmap for the game's future updates.
Okay folks, we're going to have to be careful here. Obviously we all know that X Rebirth is a game that combines space combat with trading, mining and exploration. But, as we've seen time and again with launch trailers, Egosoft really don't want people to be thinking about slow financial progress and the diligent collection of minerals as they're contemplating whether to buy the game. Let's just play along, and enjoy the lasers and explosions on show.
What was I just saying about space games? Unlike The Mandate, though, X Rebirth is a known factor. It proudly sits on the list of our most anticipated digital voyages to the stars, thanks to the promise shown from its recent previews of trading, mining and combat. Even the weird, dead-eyed stares of its NPCs can't dampen that feeling, although they try pretty hard in this latest, exploration focused trailer.
Someone at Egosoft is worried. They're worried that after the last X Rebirth video - a ten minute explanation of trading and mining systems - people might think that their space game isn't about explosions and fighting and a loud noise that goes "BWAAAARM". A new trailer has been deployed to clear up any possible confusion.
Egosoft's new video for X Rebirth may be less immediately spectacular than the debut trailer, but there's plenty to be excited about in this ten minute examination of the space sim's economy, trading and mining systems. It details a universe in which every action ties back into the overarching economy, and where large scale trades cause a fleet of drones unload your cargo in real time.
Dammit, Humble guys. We leave you alone for a few days, and you barf up more games all over your website. There are two Humble happenings right now. Firstly, their Weekly Sale ticked over - kicking out the retro shooters and replacing them with the cold, dark void of Egosoft's space obsession. The entirety of the X-Series is being made available, minus the upcoming, spectacle promising, X-Rebirth. Secondly, over in the Humble mansion's main wing, the Indie Bundle 9 has added four more games, including Bastion and Limbo.
You know what's cool? Space. You know what's even cooler? Space majesty: the distinctly unreal and colourful glow that emanates from fake video game space. When our distant descendants venture out into the galaxies, they're going to be pretty put out that the reality is dark, drab and colourless. Still, at least they'll have games like X Rebirth to look back on. As these screenshots can attest, fighting/trading/exploring your way through the galaxy is going to be a very pretty experience.
The last transmission from X Rebirth was back in 2011. Originally due out that year, we decoded juicy details about your spaceship, your drones, and the boss-around-able NPCs manning your craft. Then the space simulation vanished back into the star-womb to continue its gestation. Nearly two years later, it's ready to be reborn, with a confident trailer and a release date of November 15 for Europe, and November 19 for North America.
The Albion Prelude expansion to X3: Terran Conflict adds a healthy dose of war to the exploration and freeform space trading sim, along with 30 new ships and a dynamic stock exchange designed to liven up X3’s commerce.
The tension between expansionist human colonists and the alien races that occupy the X universe has finally ignited, triggering a massive space war. X’s hungry corporations are taking advantage of this to create new business, and there’s plenty of room for a lone entrepreneurial trader to make millions.
A wealth of X Rebirth info has been revealed on Egosoft's official forums. The next title in the X series was announced in August with a trailer and splattering of screen shots, but no hard facts.
Now we know how Egosoft are planning on evolving the franchise.
Deep Silver have announced that there will be another game in the X series. X Rebirth promises faster space travel and even more incredible cosmic environments. It's due out at the end of this year. You'll find the four first screens of the game below.