Winter!: Prepare for holiday gaming!
The X-series of games is considered by many to be the extension of Privateer and Freelancer, only much more intricate and in-depth. In this game, the player assumes the role of the nameless adventurer with no history. That is, unless you play the story missions. In X3, you can do almost anything you wish from being a businessman to a ruthless fighter and everything in between. You can buy almost any ship in the game such as small ships built for speed, heavy fighters, and huge capital ships. You can also build your own space stations and other orbital facilities. Of course, you need to have the appropriate reputation with a given faction to buy their ships, they obviously don't want to sell a battleship to someone they don't trust. There are many sectors which you can play in, each with their own assortment of inhabitants, space stations, and missions. The storyline missions are largely unremarkable, most players will enjoy playing the game without being tied down to any plot. The game doesn't anchor the player to the plot and they are free to do what they want, it is story optional. The universe the game is set in will change based upon your influence. I've noticed that if I place a space station that manufactures a device in a region where I'm the only one who can, the economy and regional makeup will slowly adapt to my presence.
X3: Terran Conflict is superior to the original X3: Reunion in a number of ways. First, the user interface is more streamlined and easier to use. Second, there is an additional faction you can play as. Third, there are additional ships and components you can use in the game. For those who have X3: Reunion, this isn't that large of a jump since it takes place in the same area of space with almost identical models and controls. X3: Terran Conflict is pretty much X3: Reunion with the free mod X-tended applied. However, many of the bugs and integration issues from the mod have been mostly resolved.
On the technical side of the things, patches are numerous for the X-Series and X3 is no different. It is strongly suggested you have a PC with at least the recommended specifications in order to play. Even on high-end systems, this game will use almost every resource available to it. If your PC has the necessary power, this game is visually stunning. I often found myself marveling at the planets and looking at their reflection off the hull of my ship. The voice acting and story line of the game leave much to be desired. There is no multiplayer for this or any other X game, but the modding community is very active. This means you can add in other ships and create new missions.
The X-series of games is not meant for everyone. Many players will grow annoyed at the lack of a storyline and, outside of space battles, a slower pace to the game. Given the scale of X3, the controls take some getting used to as almost every key on the keyboard will be used at some point. Newcomers to the franchise should play the tutorial missions to better understand the game and how it works. Even then, there is a steep learning curve. Veterans of the series will enjoy the added functionality and new sectors to explore. Having played X2: The Threat and the original X3: Reunion, X3: Terran Conflict improves the franchise. Every time a new version of X is released, it always seems to improve on the previous games. X3 is recommended for anyone who likes open-ended gameplay, especially if it is set in space.
Game Traits applied to X3: Terran Conflict (PC) by DJBPace07