Is The X Series Any Good?

RyanFialcowitz

Swabbie
Banned
I'm looking to get a game similiar to Privateer but more modern and I hear the X series might be the way to go. I basically just want Privateer with better graphics and more stuff to do. I want to play the games in order but I hear the first one has a rather slow pace and the combat isn't very good. I was hoping to get some input from those with a Privateer frame of reference. Thanks.

- Ryan Paul Fialcowitz
 

t.c.cgi

Vice Admiral
They all have a slow pace and bad combat. More importantly after four major releases the interface is still a messy affair and the last release (Terran Conflict) managed to introduce one too many stupid fan suggestions so that certain functionalities are twitchy and almost broken.

If you have to buy one, get X3: Reunion. There is no reason to buy any of the other games. The storyline is barely coherent within a single title, much less spanning all four releases.

My personal suggestion is look elsewhere.
 

Kyle Maverick

Rear Admiral
The standalone expansion X3: Terran Conflict is also pretty good any you don't need X3 Reunion to play it. Number three is the best out of the ones I've played (Not played the first one but a mate who has said it was very slow to get into)
 

Claymore

Rear Admiral
Honestly, I couldn't get through the tutorial of X3:Reunion. :p I just didn't get it. X3: Reunion is on Steam for 9.99 USD, though.

I think you should try out Novalogic's Tachyon: the Fringe (Also on Steam for 9.99 :p ). It's not open ended like Privateer or Grand Theft Auto III, but it's a nice space opera (imho).
 

Andrewas

Rear Admiral
The standalone expansion X3: Terran Conflict is also pretty good any you don't need X3 Reunion to play it. Number three is the best out of the ones I've played (Not played the first one but a mate who has said it was very slow to get into)

X:BtF was evil. You had to scrimp and save to get time advance, saving could only happen while docked and cost money every time, and the Xenon were actually dangerous.

Good times.

As for the more modern games, you can have a lot of fun in X3R or X3TC, but don't go expecting brilliant fighter combat, that's not what these games are about and there isn't room in the CPU budget for the type of AI you see in privateer or wing commander or any of the other dedicated combat sims. These are trading/empire building sandbox games, with fighter and capital ship combat being a secondary element, and fleet combat is very clumsily handled.
 

RyanFialcowitz

Swabbie
Banned
So, if not the X series what is the modern equivalent of Privateer? I've hear Freelancer bandied about is that better then the X series?

- Ryan Paul Fialcowitz
 

Andrewas

Rear Admiral
Freelancer is pretty poor, the plot forces you to follow a set path through the universe, by the time you are really free to explore you already have the third best ship in the universe, the economy is completely static. On the plus side, the multiplayer is supposed to be good.

Or theres DarkStar One, which should have been great but turned out to be dull and repetitive, with very boring trading, identical combat missions troughout the universe and nothing worth exploring since every system is functionally identical.

Tachyon is decent but there's no trading in it. I-War2 may be worth a look if you can find a copy, but the newtonian physics take some getting used to. There are a couple of others I don't recall in detail, but nothing that really stands out as the modern Privateer - for my money, the X series comes closest, its just the poor combat AI that lets it down.
 

Wedge009

Rogue Leader
All you're going to get here is people's opinions on this game and that. If you're able to, and you're really interested in a particular game, I suggest you go ahead and buy it. Given that they're all old now, the price should be quite low.

At the very least, Freelancer features Paladin as one of the characters. :)
 

Kyle Maverick

Rear Admiral
I think Wedge has nailed it, you've got our opinions, but the best thing to do is get a copy of the game and form your own opinion. To be honest if I'd listened to my mate, I'd never have bought X2 The Threat or X3 Terran Confilct (Reunion I got given by someone who was trying to get on my good side by buying me stuff I was interested in. Still haven't played it)
 

Jason_Ryock

Vice Admiral
I am interested in getting X3 only because it supports multi-monitors (I think Dual?). I understand that it's a niche gaming market, but it would be nice to have additional screen space with alot of the games I play.
 

Dyret

Super Carrot!
Freelancer is a pretty awe-inspiring game even today, despite all its flaws. The X series, at least X2 is pretty awful.

It's the only game I've ever played where I couldn't make it past the first tutorial. After some sort of awkward cutscene and 20+ minutes of making the ship I was supposed to be in fly from a to b via an incredibly boring and unnecessary cascade of popup-menus, I pretty much lost all interest.

The games seem to have a lot of fans though, so they can't be that bad once you get stuff going, it's just a game I found rather difficult to like.
 

Jason_Ryock

Vice Admiral
Freelancer is a pretty awe-inspiring game even today, despite all its flaws. The X series, at least X2 is pretty awful.

It's the only game I've ever played where I couldn't make it past the first tutorial. After some sort of awkward cutscene and 20+ minutes of making the ship I was supposed to be in fly from a to b via an incredibly boring and unnecessary cascade of popup-menus, I pretty much lost all interest.

The games seem to have a lot of fans though, so they can't be that bad once you get stuff going, it's just a game I found rather difficult to like.

Yeah that's kinda what I thought - so many people love so much about the game, it can't really be all that bad, can it?

Then again, there's also HALO...
 

Wojo

Rear Admiral
Ha - if I'd got onto this topic sooner I would have just posted the word 'Nope'.

Freelancer is a pretty decent one - the learning curve is lean (especially compared to the x series or I-war 2), but the best thing about it is the amount of mods and community projects that support it. There are a whole stack of mods that add content, remove the story & any restrictions tied to it, making it a truly open-ended space combat & trading sim. The combat is more action based, but hey, you don't need a joystick...

And yeah, I would give Tachyon a vote also, can't beat Bruce Campbell as your character's voice talent!
 

Andrewas

Rear Admiral
It's the only game I've ever played where I couldn't make it past the first tutorial. After some sort of awkward cutscene and 20+ minutes of making the ship I was supposed to be in fly from a to b via an incredibly boring and unnecessary cascade of popup-menus, I pretty much lost all interest.

Did you press 'j' at any point in that 20 minute flight? Playing X without time advance is torturous. Have to agree on the menus, but you get used to them.
 

t.c.cgi

Vice Admiral
Did you press 'j' at any point in that 20 minute flight? Playing X without time advance is torturous. Have to agree on the menus, but you get used to them.

This day and age, requiring time compression for basic gameplay is a sign of bad design. And you know what? It bears fruit. In X2, X3:R, and X3:TC I spent less than 9/10ths of the game doing anything I'd qualify as fun even with 10x time compression.

I've tried very hard to love the X franchise. Egosoft is just one of those developers I can't recommend to anyone but people I hate and accountants. Oh, it has its moments. I'll give it that. But a video game needs to have more than just moments.
 

Death

gh0d (Administrator)
And yeah, I would give Tachyon a vote also, can't beat Bruce Campbell as your character's voice talent!

Bruce or not, I personally wouldn't recommend Tachyon. The game was fairly linear, and once you go through the two branches (GalSpan and Border Wor... erm, Bora Coalition :p ) you're stuck in station, as Tachyon doesn't have a random mission generator like Privateer, and without a mission you can't even launch from the station.

I personally found the GalSpan branch especially lackluster, with an entirely unsatisfying conclusion, with the Bora branch at least giving you a somewhat cheerful ending (though still not that satisfying, overall).

And don't even get me started on Nova Logic's (complete lack of) support after the "g" patch, or the hack-o-rama that is multiplayer... :mad:
 

rapierdragon

Rear Admiral
I liked both Tachyon and X. Both are excellent story-wise, but Tachyon is better if you're just looking to find something to kill a few days to a week or so on. (X requires weeks to play).

Don't get me wrong, X can be a good game, but if you're just starting (especially if you're in the first game of the series) you may want to have a book handy to keep the boredom at bay.

Tachyon - had a nice variety of ships and a fairly good story, even if the play was fairly linear and had limited side-missions and whatnot.
PROS: beautiful ship designs and colors. Wonderful artwork.
CONS: almost no side-quests. You play like 2 missions and then have to choose a side. At best you play the game twice before you've essentually seen the entire plot. Replay value then drops sharply (unless you didn't manage to buy/fly all the ships).

X - is more open in terms of story and missions, but the money-saving and slow-flight aspects (especially in the first game) made it extremely frustrating. Graphics are "more realistic" in terms of ship-design and base design, but the designs are boring, dull in color, and the physics of long-term flight over great distances is basically Slower-Than-Light (if not turtle-speed).
PROS: The enemy (Xenon) were very hard (like playing WC on its hardest or
2nd hardest setting, at least until you max yoru ship out). This make the game a good challenge. There are lots of side-quests/missions, a fair number of buyable ship-upgrades, and different ways to make your money (from legal trade to buying and making the goods yourself to piracy).
PROS pt.2: Multiple games (X, X2, X3, etc). Descent story (with an interesting enemy who isn't the "typical war-loving aliens" that most games feature).
CONS: Money takes forever to start flowing. Battles are equally hard until you get a few upgrades.
CONS pt.2: The game uses realistic speed/distance for travel, and sub-light travel is redicuously slow (even after you get the "time compression" thing, it still takes ten or twenty minutes).
CONS pt.3: Frequent saves are required ("frequent" is a joke... the STL travel renders your save chances easily over an hour apart). Die (or worse, forget to save) and you can that your game has suddenly set you back SEVERAL HOURS OF HARD WORK all for nothing.
CONS pt.4: you can easily find that a "small trade run" can easily take you ONE HOUR PLUS. One way to describe it is to imagine driving from Earth to Saturn in a car (that is to say, your super-fantastic ship barely crawls along at 300 km/h. And considering that the journey is like 50,000,000,000 million km... well, you better hope your ship has a bathroom on board cause the next gas-station-in-space be a week away at that speed.)
 

Andrewas

Rear Admiral
Some of that is a little harsh unless you are talking about the first game. Between time advance and the jumpdrive, you can get anywhere in the universe in 20 seconds realtime, if you use a fast ship most stations can be reached in 20 seconds gametime. The exception is Terran space in the last game, which works under different rules unless you cheat.

Saving in space is possible with salvage insurance, and the cost rapidly becomes irrelevant. Besides, using the docking computer you can insta-dock with any nearby station so station saving is usually not that inconvenient.

The player never needs to be involved in an hour long trade run - there are faster ways to make money, and you can set up automated or remote controlled ships to do the basic trading for you.
 
^^correct
The time consuming part of the X series is in the beginning, when you're still learning the controls. Later in the game (which can be already after 30min realtime after you know how the game works, which isn't that hard as described) the game can become much faster. It depends how you want to make money. Either attack and capture enemy ships to sell them/get the bounty for the fast money or if you want the more calm method of trading and doing missions.

The really good thing about X is, that you can buy/fly every ship, from a small fighter to a big dreadnought and even command a whole damn fleet of thousands of ships (if you have the money of course :p ).
In addition you can buy stations and create your own trading-imperium.

Tachyon the fringe on the other hand is really bad imo. It has no replay-fun at all.
You play through the 2 campaigns and then nothing. You won't have fun for more than a week on this one.
This game is just a good looking game engine with nothing else.

X,X2,X3 is imo a really good modern alternative for privateer. Especially due to the intensive modding support you could also change it later into a real privateer clone if you want.
The longtime fun factor of X can be extremely high if you like the genre.
 
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