Continuing in my promised line of revealing my addictions, there is another game, X3: Reunion, by Egosoft. This is a game of space exploration, flight simulation and trading. The motto of the game is “X3. Trade. Fight. Build. THINK”. This game has absolutely stunning visual impact. The beauty and remarkable sense of scale when you slide your ship between the support beams of a gigantic space station or zip a fighter down the side of a capital ship. Planets have clouds that move, space stations revolve, ships and stations can be illuminated by stars, planetary albedo or the rosy glow of a nearby nebula. Please don’t take my word for it, download a rolling-demo or a video. Even if you have no interest in playing a game like this, you owe it to your eyes to see what can be rendered by computer games in real time. Be warned, if your PC video card is not up to date, the rolling-demo may seriously tax your PC’s video card.
Beyond the view, this game has one of the most advanced economies I have ever seen in a game. It makes use of multilevel commodities (Use A to make B, use B to make C, use C to make D), supply & demand pricing, and literally thousands of AI ships who are buying & selling wares throughout the universe. One consequence of this, is that this game ALSO taxes the processor in your computer to keep the universe running. The fact that such a powerful machine is required, is probably the biggest drawback of this game,
This is definitely a long haul sort-of game. Despite that, I can easily sit down after work and play for 20 minutes to just blow off steam (of course I will also occasionally get sucked into defending against an alien invasion that has me defending the universe for over an hour).Â I have been playing the same actual game since I started playing. I think I have almost 12 days (yes days) of play time into it. There is always more money to make, more ships to build, buy, more factories to outfit, commodities to control, pirates to wipe out… or you can be a pirate and prey on the law abiding economy of the universe.
The game contains 6 distinct cultures (plus pirate factions) which have their own ships, and access to unique technologies and commodities. Different species eat different things after all.
There is a plot of sorts, but I admit it’s pretty lame. The real attraction of the game is the fully living universe and how what you do and build has an effect that ripples across space. If you’d like to give it a try and you don’t mind downloading a 900MB file, there is a playable demo available.