X3: Terran Conflict - Something huge on the horizon
X3: Terran Conflict is not just the ordinary space empire simulator. It's a whole world you dive into and explore. Were you ever a Freelancer fan? If so, multiply the features and the world by 10 and you will get close to the picture of what Terran Conflict really is.
Before I start, I want to share my troubles review this game. It's very hard to write decide what to write about as this is probably the most comprehensive 4X (explore, expand, exploit, exterminate) game I've ever seen. There are nearly no limitations. The universe is gigantic and offers aboslute freedom as you navigate four categories of gameplay - battles, construction, trading and researching.
The only similar masterpiece I've seen was Freelancer, and that was years ago.
Plot and Gameplay
When you first start the game, you will have the option to pick a character. They all belong to the same storyline, but the difficility is different. Easy, normal, hard - it depends on your pick. They are also sort of categorized, some are made for fighting and others for trading.
In the dark world of X3, where alien and human colonies coexist, one new technology is unleashed again - The Terraformers. They used to colonize worlds, making different planets suitable for human life, however once they get out of hand, the trouble began. Hence the name Terran Conflict.
Another aspect of the game is trading and fortune making. Money is used for ugprades, new ships, trading goods and more. Often your fortune will be your primary goal. You can make your own trading empire. If you are bored with the military content, this could be your goal - trading with other races, researching new destinations and exploring given opportunities.
If you are not a peaceful mind, however, then you can do battle. There are various missions in which you have to destroy or capture other ships. This is probably the place to mention that the game is full of factions, and as in most faction system, you gain reputation based on the missions you do for them. Another core part of the gameplay that will help you through the battles are the so called Wings. You can create a small formation of battleships under your direct control. There is also a navigation system to guide your way through.
When the battles get boring and you can focus on your bussines empire again. You can be one gigantic corporation that deals and trades with everyone and everything. It all depends on you, the game is thereotically endless.
Features, Graphics and Sound
I liked the fact that the interface has changed since X3: Reunion. It's more flexible and detailed. Even if you have never played this type of game or any other space empire simulator, you won't have problems. You might be shocked by the tons of information you receive but you will get over it with time. There will also be a major upgrade (2.0) which will introduce new features to the game soon.
With the appropiate hardware, X3: Terran Conflict will show you some spectacular views. Stars, planets, space ships - they all look amazing with full details on. The atmosphere is made complete by very unobtrusive soundtrack running in the background where electronic music fans can find some nice additions to their playlist.
X3: Terran Conflict is one really big game that will require some time and effort to be explored. I bet you will be happy with the results though, just be a little patient and dive into the X3 universe once again, or for the first time.
- OS: Microsoft ® Windows ® XP (SP-2), Vista SP1™
- CPU: Intel® Core™ 2 Duo or AMD® equivalent at 2.0 GHz
- Memory: 3 GB RAM
- Video: 256 MB 3D DirectX 9 Compatible video card (not onboard) with Pixel Shader 3.0 support
- 10 GB free hard disk space