The X Rebirth expansion Home of Light is now available, as is the 4.0 update, which brings even more changes to a game that's already undergone quite a lot of them since its troubled launch two years ago.
“Troubled,” of course, is a nice way of saying “bad,” but I have to give full credit to developer Egosoft for persevering in its efforts to make the game playable. The latest update adds a bulletin board system to keep track of missions, makes big changes to the external views, enables Orders for multiple selected ships, adds a Trade Deals menu that shows profit estimates, enables time acceleration with SETA, adds new tutorials, and makes a number of other changes that will, hopefully, make the game more of a pleasure to play.
The 4.0 update will be free for everyone who owns X Rebirth. Those who don't mind spending a few bucks more can also snag the $10/£8 Home of Light expansion, which brings three new systems to the game, including the titular Home of Light, and its “massive economy to profit from.” The expansion also includes specialized warehouse stations, new game starting points, new missions, and the possible return of “an old and forgotten enemy,” although I suspect that its mention in the update notes indicates that it's actually pretty likely to happen.
It's interesting that while the comments on Steam in response to the launch of the 4.0 update aren't quite universally enthusiastic, the Home of Light user reviews are almost universally positive. There are relatively few of them, but the general consensus is that the new content, coupled with two years of fixes, has finally resulted in a proper X game. And if you're a space sim fan, a proper X game is a pretty fantastic thing.