Bitksel - Space Craze: X3: Terran Conflict/Albion Prelude
Sorry for the month of silence, I didn't have much time/energy to write anything here. But now, I wanna tell you guys about a space sim that I really like! I'm playing the Albion Prelude expansion in these screenshots, but TC and AP are really similar to each other. AP just has some quality of life fixes and a huge war going on in a few systems.
X3: Terran Conflict is a very popular space sim in space sim communities. The game basically throws you into a huge universe in a dinky lil ship and then tells you to do whatever you want. This can be overwhelming at the beginning, but when you start realising how things work and what there is to do, it gets fun!
[caption id="attachment_385" align="aligncenter" width="1920"] Me and my Nova[/caption]
There's multiple ways to start the game: different kind of scenarios or custom game. Scenarios have stories tied to them and you get different amounts of money and ships to start the game with. I prefer custom game myself, since it detaches you from the story and let's you do whatever you wish. It's more a playground for modders, but I found it enjoyable.
[caption id="attachment_386" align="aligncenter" width="1920"] I haven't even discovered all the systems yet.[/caption]
[caption id="attachment_392" align="aligncenter" width="1920"] You travel between systems via these stargates. If your ship has a jump module, you can use that too.[/caption]
The player can choose to do whatever they wish in this huge X3 universe. There's the good old trading, piratism, combat missions, delivery missions and so on. Unfortunately there's no simple bounty hunting system, but instead you have to buy a "police license" for certain race and then you're paid for every pirate killed in those systems. If you get rich enough, you can even build your own space stations and start selling your own products. You can even manufacture or buy lots of ships and assign them all to follow you, creating your own personal army. One of my favorite things to do was capturing pirate transports: Shoot the transport ship enough and sometimes the NPC jumps out the ship, leaving it to you. Then you can leave your own ship, capture the NPC ship and make it follow you, or fly it. I usually sell these ships, making nice profit, since transport ships aren't cheap. Another good way to make profit is the stock exchange: Buy company stocks for cheap, wait, sell them for high. Good, quick money, but some say it's a bit game breaking.
Spaceships! There's lots of them, I mean a lot. Every race has their own ships (there's about 8 races total), and there's multiple ship classes, from tiny civilian ships to huge titan class ships. I won't even list of them here, there's just.. So many. I'm flying a Fighter class ship Nova in my screenshots. Do note that the cockpits are not in the game by default! The cockpits are modded in, I'm using PSCO1 CockpitMod v1.33 and I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to play this game, since it makes X3 so much more immersive. Traveling with ships in this game can be pretty slow, since there's no warp feature, but there's a SETA-button, that accelerates the game time. When you press it, the game fast forwards, so traveling becomes a bit more quicker. Just beware with autopilot while using SETA, sometimes the computer doesn't know what to do and crashes you into things, because the game is going too fast.
[caption id="attachment_387" align="alignnone" width="1920"] A war is going on in this system, and I don't want to get caught in the middle of it.[/caption]
[caption id="attachment_388" align="aligncenter" width="1920"] You can eject from your ship and repair it after a fight. No need to pay expensive repairing fees, just DIY![/caption]
The dogfighting in this game is really fun. Some ships are more nimbler than others, some can house more powerful guns and every ship can be tuned and upgraded the way you want it to be. My Nova is upgraded to the max and has lots of blasters, so it drains energy quickly when firing, but it does lots of damage. I also have bunch of missiles ready for bigger targets.
[gallery ids="391,390,389" type="slideshow"]
In X3, you can add tiny camera-windows that show your target. I really like these, since they help you to determine from further away if you hit your target or not. And of course, you can see the explosions better!
The game sounds good, but you can hear it's.. Oldness. The music is a bit weird too at times, but some songs have been really memorable. I tend to usually just play something from my own playlists however.
Last but not least, the game is really gorgeous. Even for an old game, the textures and graphics are really good. The cockpit mod I mentioned earlier adds more immersion to the game. I wish I had more screenshots, but I keep forgetting pressing the screenshot key.. :D
[caption id="attachment_393" align="aligncenter" width="1920"] Menacing.[/caption]
X3: Terran War Pack can be bought from GOG (and it's on -80% sale at the time of writing!!), it comes with both Terran Conflict and Albion Prelude. You can buy the same pack on Steam, or just get them separately.
For new players, play with Terran Conflict at first, learn how to fly and all that, and then if you crave for big wars, go for Albion Prelude. There's lots of things to do, use your imagination!
PS. The "Space Craze" thing in the title is probably gonna be series of sci-fi games I'm gonna write about. Dunno what's next, but there's quite a few on my list.