Besides weighing a ton... where do
you start with such a huge release? I suppose you start at the
beginning. Developed in 1999 by German developers Egosoft, X set
a new level for quality science fiction trading, real-time
strategy and action games.
Games included in the Superbox
X Beyond the Frontier
X2 The Threat
X3 Terran Conflict
opposed to turn based games like Civilization or the like, X
allowed total freedom to the player but apart from trading,
empire building and engaging in missions, it also featured a
rather in-depth combat system.
The easiest way to describe it is a space trading
combat simulator! This game was created for the purist who loved
strategy and action. However the biggest problem with this
review was trying to keep the word count down because it was
very hard to do it justice. The best word to sum up this
collection is epic!
- All-new exclusive book: The
X Encyclopedia - The ultimate compendium of X universe
knowledge, written by Helge Kautz, author of Farnhamís
Legend and many other books about the X universe. This
280-page encyclopedia covers historic events, technology,
the important personalities and much much more.
- Soundtrack DVD
- Discover the massive X
universe as your plunged deep into space.
- Capture huge battle ships
with your own pirate crew.
- All the X games in one
- Group management allowing
control of more ships.
- 100s of ships, classes and
weapons to pick from.
Following the success of the
original game, X: Beyond the Frontier which saw mankind reach
for the stars, the next game included X-Tension, a sequel to
this highly popular series which added a variety of new tweaks
and strategies available to the gamer. If you remember the
awesome Commodore-64 game called ELITE, than this is it... but
Then in 2003, X2: The Threat was
released, followed X3: Reunion and finally in 2008, X3: Terran
Conflict. With five excellent games, Deep Silver done the
unthinkable and released all five games in one giant Superbox
that also includes a HUGE, almost 300 page X Encyclopaedia and a
bonus DVD that contains scripts, mods, plug-in managers and my
favourite, the X MP3 Soundtrack.
This my fellow gamers is the
definitive collection of the X series. The only concern I have
about the Superbox is whether the games have dated in a bad way
but let's get to that later. Even though some of the games are
over ten years old, they do support Windows 7 (32/64-bit) and if
you missed all the fuss about the X series first time around, this is the perfect
jumping point and best of all, it's priced quite affordably.
The first game X: Beyond the
Frontier puts the player into the shoes of test pilot Kyle
Brennan who is testing Earth's new X-Shuttle. Unfortunately
while testing this craft, he is hurled into the distant reaches
of space, only to encounter a new alien race known as the
Teladi. Whether you want to return to Earth or conquer these new
star systems, over fifty star systems to be precise, the choice is
The goal is to start trading, purchasing and upgrade your
craft. Although the combat is a little flaky in this game, they
do improve later on which does pay homage to games such as Wing
Commander. This was the beginning for X that pitted strategy
city building with real-time combat. It's a little dated but
still holds up rather well.
Next was X-Tension, the sequel.
This add-on to X allowed players to take Brennan to another
level which provided more freedom to the player. Economy and
ship/planet building is still involved but combat was made
entertaining and easy to control. Space flight was
severely improved, especially with the new map system that
easily allowed you to access various sectors in this space
without so much as an afterthought.
As your ship is now
improved, thanks to contact with alien races, attempting to make
the journey back home to Earth will prove harder than believed
in this sequel. There were a few great tweaks to X-Tension,
especially with the graphics that still look "ok" today and
those damn Xenon aliens who keep trying to kill you every chance
they get. It was all part of the fun. Like similar space games, players could also choose
their "class" such as trader or my personal favourite, the
bounty hunter. This add-on is definitely more combat than
strategy but hey... I love my space battles.
X2: The Threat is probably where
the game started to take a turn for the better, not that the
original games were bad. It became slicker thanks to the new
engine and at its core, the gameplay still remained to be one of
the best space trading and combat simulators.
This time, players
encounter a new race called the Kha'ak who have the ability to
destroy complete star sectors and as opposed to Brennan, you now
take the role of Julian Gardna who has been brought into this
mess to prevent the unthinkable from happening.
Even though you
play a space pirate, you have total freedom on how you will end
this threat and that classic space sandbox feel still remains. There are some great cameos from the previous games
as well. With
lots of new races, a spaceload of new items to create, including
crafts, reputation was brought into the mix which did create
some tricky encounters, some beneficial, some dangerous.
Following X2: The Threat came X3:
Reunion and unfortunately the Kha'ak are still active within the
various space sectors. Then to compound the situation, a ship
that appears to be that of the ancients may hold the secrets of
finally making space a safe place or will it? Players play
Julian Gardna who is called to duty to help the Argon military
train pilots because the war is not going very well for them.
The most noticeable difference in
this incarnation of X is the new graphics engine that looks
photorealistic. Everything has been improved from the menu
system to the AI and of course the gameplay. This was easily my
favourite X game, especially with the option of advanced trading
and of course new weapons an ships.
Finally we have X3: Terran
Conflict the final in the series (for now) that once again
takes first person space simulators to a new level which allows
to players to play a variety of characters, including alien. As
the battle gets close to the Terran system, you have been called
to action in order to see who is controlling the Xenon. As you
use the keyboard and mouse to control your ships and resources,
this game actually more freedom and choices to the player.
However space flight, trading,
visiting planets and epic space battles takes centre stage but
the options given to the player were quite unparalleled.
And considering that Elite was one of the best games ever, the X
series in my opinion knocked that game from its perch from its
story to graphics and sound. Graphically, all titles in this
release look good but the last two games are quite amazing on
our FULL HD LCD. Then you have the soundtracks which are in my
opinion, one of the best ever created for gaming. Thankfully
they all come together perfect with the gameplay and the story.
Want something to do over the
holiday season and then for most of the next year, than X
Superbox is a game that offers endless hours of enjoyment.
Even though the earlier games may appear a little dated, they
are still well worth the play, especially the last two games.
These games were the definitive space combat simulators and
2-years after the release of X3: Terran Conflict... they still
Windows XP/ Vista/ 7
1 GHz processor
64MB video card
Keyboard & mouse