X3:Terran Conflict

The X series of games from Egosoft are some of the best space combat/building/trading games you can play. They are exciting, fun, have a plot that you can follow or ignore, and are very open ended. I started with X2:The Threat, then played X3:Reunion, and am still playing X3:Terran Conflict. In all these games, you start out with a wimpy ship and knowledge of one sector in space, as well as a mission to help somebody or another. Over time, you acquire more powerful ships, explore many star systems, and save the universe in various ways. How you get those better ships and what kind they are is up to you. You can fight and destroy enemies to the various races, thus getting bounties and fulfilling missions; you can trade cargo, eventually building up a trade empire with trader ships working for you; you can capture enemy ships and use them or sell them; or you can build factories and complexes of factories to make and sell goods to others. Or you can do all of the above, which is what I enjoy. One of the great things about the X series is that you can have many ships, including fighters, fast scouts, battleships, carriers, corvettes, and more, and you can fly each of them, depending on your style or your need at the moment. The enemy, too, has a variety of ships, so you will need to match their firepower.

The fighting in the X series is usually done in a fighter or Corvette, with you aiming and pulling the trigger. The weapons vary from projectile launchers to plasma throwers to other types of energy weapons, each of which has a range and a travel speed to the target. You can use assisted aiming (once you have bought it) to help you hit fast moving and maneuvering ships. You choose which weapons to activate at any time, so you can choose lots of damage to destroy a ship or mostly shield damage to convince the other pilot to bail out (so you can take the ship as salvage!). The fighting is the most fun part of the game, in my opinion, but there are others that really like the empire building or trading aspects more.

The X series has the most amazing forums with great people there willing to help with troubles in a mission or give suggestions for places to trade. It is by far the best user community I’ve seen. Egosoft is also pretty amazing – they continue to update their games a year or more after it is out. Their games are available on Steam and the most amazing thing is that I could enter my X3:TC serial number from the disk version into Steam and now I have the Steam version and all the achievements available! I don’t know of anyone else who has done that for their customers.

I have uploaded two videos to show how beautiful a game X3:TC is, but I have somewhat failed. As an experiment, I set the bitrate lower on my Hauppauge HD PVR, and the videos are quite muddy and indistinct. Darn. But you can still get an idea of the beauty of the game. These are 1080p videos, so please view them at full screen if you have a good computer.

In the first video, I jump from Argon Prime to Kingdom End and fly around a bit. I fly near a station to give you an idea of the size, and I’m in a pretty good sized corvette class ship.

In the second video, I give a tour of some of my fleet in Argon Prime. First I fly my little scout near a couple of corvettes, then to my transport, which is huge; then over to my destroyer, also quite large; and finally to my carrier, which currently holds 43 fighters and scouts. At the end, I order the carrier to launch a fighter and fly around with it to show how attractive it is.

Overall, I really enjoy the X games, and X3:TC is the best of the bunch. Get it and have a great flight!

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