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X3: Terran Conflict review

Candles? Check. Wine? Check. Barry White records? Mmm, yeah. Engaging seduction thrusters

But at least it’s a universe that is richer in depth and detail (visual and otherwise) than ever before. X3: Terran Conflict builds upon all the freedom of choice the previous titles offered, increasing the interactivity with a revamped and much more intuitive interface, allowing for easy control of everything from single ships to entire multi-wing fleets. Better yet, the progress made with the combat mechanics shown in X3: Reunion has continued apace, to the point where the new mouse control system that’s on offer is fluid, smooth, enjoyable and easily on a par with Freelancer’s fun factor. What we have then is a universe of staggering beauty and option, one that builds upon the X legacy and enriches it immeasurably without ever actually revolutionizing it. It’s true that this is less a sequel and more an extension of the last X title, a refinement of the prior game rather than genuinely offering anything new.

It’s still a game that you have to want to love, rather than one that will entrance the reluctant majority regardless, but will generously reward you, should you be willing to let yourself go along with it. It’s still not the pick-up-and-play immediate gratification of Freelancer, and the requirement of patience and thought might still dissuade the casuals. We guess it says something that even after five years we can still compare this with Microsoft’s now-dated rival.

But the infatuation continues, even if it’s something of a clearer, where-is-this-relationship-going sort of direction than in previous years. The sex is still great, and we’d love to say we could still stay faithful to one another for many years to come. But it may well be that we’ve come to a point in our lives when it might not be a bad idea for us to start seeing other people. We’ve already got our eye on X-Online, actually. Or we could break this tortuous metaphor, and start dating human beings.

While not available in US stores, it is quite easy to find onSteam.

Oct 29, 2008

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This entry in a great series meets the high standard set by its predecessors. It isn't that friendly to newcomers, but worth getting familiar with.

US censor ratingTeen
UK censor rating12+
Alternative namesX3: Terran Conflict 2.0 - The Aldrin Missions
Release date7 April 2009 (US), 17 October 2008 (UK)