Top positive review
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29 Years in the Making, from Elite to X-Rebirth!
on 19 November 2013
I was looking for a game like Elite (released in 1984), to fulfil my space sim itch. X-Rebirth delivers! Throwing away all game design progress over the last 29 years Egosoft decided to follow their own path, with such amazing features as:
- No Ship Radar
- No Autopilot
- Inability to issues commands to your wingmen / fleet
- No functional map
Egosoft also added in some wonderful minigames - injecting much needed fun into the genre:
- The Hide and Seek Mini-Game: Search every space station individually, in the random hope of finding a trader that sells the product you are after. There is a deep sense of satisfaction when you finally locate that elusive ship repairer after a 30 to 40 minute search.
- The Waiting Mini-Game: Waiting is fun. And if like me, you enjoy this activity you will love waiting 30 to 40 minutes for your trade freighter to fly across space to your chosen location. The removal of any time acceleration adds to the fun!
- Needle in the Haystack: Yes, like many children I grew up loving the 'find the needle in the haystack' games. Egosoft's interpretation on this classic is exceptional. You are the needle! Egosoft put a nice twist on this game by removing map functionality and ship radar. This makes it very easy to not know where you are, or orientate yourself to your surroundings. Much fun ensues as you try and find your way around.
- Charades: Yet another take on a classic game. This one is my favourite. In most games you are given a clear tutorial that explains to you in concise terms how to play the game. Egosoft have taken a different approach...you have to figure the game out for yourself. The Tutorial will explain bits and pieces, and then leave you hanging. Once you have spent a few hours figuring out elusive mechanics buried in hidden and arcane menus - you are rewarded with the next section of the tutorial. So long as you played the preceding part correctly, then you will be able to continue with the game. If not - be prepared to back track to an old save and try, try again. Practice makes perfect, and is one of the best ways of learning.
There are countless other mini-games that you will find at random throughout the game. Such as when your ships come under attack and refuse to defend themselves. Figuring out how to enable ship defence is a game within itself! Ship damaged? Some ship trader 2 sectors away may (on a whim) be able to repair it...but it's up to you to figure out how to get the ship to the repair location! There are so many surprises and features at every turn!
Many people seem to be upset about the above game design elements. However I'm very happy with them, and I am even more pleased with the fact that as they are game design decisions made on the bedrock of the game. This means they are unlikely to ever be changed. This gives me a warm sense of comfort knowing that even in a year from now, after many patches and fixes these wonderful elements of game-play will still be in place.
As for the games many bugs, these will be fixed in time - and whilst at the moment they are totally game breaking - it won't be long until they are all in working order. Egosoft are well known for bug repairs and fixes.
All in all a fresh approach to a classic genre that is about to see a new resurgence with the likes of Elite: Dangerous from David Braben and Star Citizen from Chris Roberts.