This content requires the base game X3: Terran Conflict on Steam in order to play.

User reviews:
Recent:
Very Positive (17 reviews) - 88% of the 17 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
Overall:
Very Positive (868 reviews) - 92% of the 868 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Dec 15, 2011

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Downloadable Content

This content requires the base game X3: Terran Conflict on Steam in order to play.

Buy X3 Albion Prelude

Packages that include this game

Buy X3 Terran War Pack

Includes 2 items: X3: Albion Prelude, X3: Terran Conflict

Buy X3: GoldBox

Includes 3 items: X3: Albion Prelude, X3: Reunion, X3: Terran Conflict

Buy X-SuperBox

Includes 6 items: X3: Albion Prelude, X3: Terran Conflict, X3: Reunion, X2: The Threat, X: Tension, X: Beyond the Frontier

Buy Egosoft Collection

Includes 9 items: X Rebirth, X Rebirth: Home of Light, X Rebirth: The Teladi Outpost, X2: The Threat, X3: Albion Prelude, X3: Reunion, X3: Terran Conflict, X: Beyond the Frontier, X: Tension

 

Recent updates View all (4)

July 6

X3: Albion Prelude Update 3.1a Released

This is a small technical update for Windows only and does not contain any new gameplay features.

• Fixed selection of wrong graphics card on systems (particularly laptops) that have dual graphics.
• Fixed issue with menu performance on systems with particular AMD graphics hardware and driver combinations.

48 comments Read more

About This Content

X3: Albion Prelude is the latest game in the X3 space game series. TRADE, FIGHT, BUILD, THINK in a living and breathing universe. A new plot and many additions to the open free-form gameplay.

A Bridge Between the Old and New X Universe

X3: Albion Prelude plays in a time between the old and the new X Universe. It shows a universe in flux, and prepares players for things to come. The old X Universe is passing; a new X Universe is about to be created.

War!

The X universe is undergoing a period of massive change. What started as a conflict of interest between the Earth and the races of the X Universe has now escalated into a full scale war. Play a part in a war scenario bigger than anything the X Universe has ever seen before!

Corporations Compete for Control of the Future

With the war as a backdrop, corporations old and new are vying for power and are driving the X Universe in a new direction. A technological breakthrough will soon allow massive accelerators, forming highways in space and allowing the economy to expand on an unprecedented scale. Highways, a key feature of X: Rebirth, are not yet ready, but you can see them being built and participate in the power struggles around the construction of much larger self sustaining economies.

Key features:

  • A new plot throws you into the power struggle between corporations at a time of war.
  • New Stock Exchange feature allows advanced investment strategies
  • Improved graphics quality setting for high end machines
  • Improved UI introducing charts to visualize economic developments
  • Support for head tracking
  • Note: X3: Albion Prelude will not be compatible with save-games from X3: Terran Conflict.

System Requirements

Windows
Mac OS X
SteamOS + Linux
    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows 10 / 8 / 7 / Vista SP1 / XP SP2
    • Processor: Pentium® IV or AMD® equivalent at 2.0 GHz
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 256 MB 3D DirectX 9 Compatible video card (not onboard) with Pixel Shader 1.1 support
    • Hard Drive: 10GB of free space
    • Sound: Soundcard (Surround Sound support recommended)
    Recommended:
    • OS: Windows 10 / 8 / 7 / Vista SP1
    • Processor: Intel® Core™ 2 Duo or AMD® equivalent at 2.0 GHz
    • Memory: 3 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 256 MB 3D DirectX 9 Compatible video card (not onboard) with Pixel Shader 3.0 support
    • Hard Drive: 10GB of free space
    • Sound: Soundcard (Surround Sound support recommended)
    Minimum:
    • OS: 10.7 (Lion)
    • Processor: Pentium® IV or AMD® equivalent at 2.0 GHz
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 256MB OpenGL 2.0+ discrete NVIDIA/AMD card or Intel Core i7-2620M
    • Hard Drive: 10GB of free space
    Recommended:
    • OS: 10.8 (Mountain Lion)
    • Processor: Intel® Core™ 2 Duo or AMD® equivalent at 2.0 GHz
    • Memory: 3 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 512MB OpenGL 3.0+ discrete NVIDIA/AMD card
    • Hard Drive: 10GB of free space
    Minimum:
    • OS: Ubuntu 12.04 LTS
    • Processor: Pentium® IV or AMD® equivalent at 2.0 GHz
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 256MB OpenGL 2.0+ discrete NVIDIA/AMD card (with proprietary driver) or Intel Core i7-2620M with Mesa 9.0
    • Hard Drive: 10GB of free space
    Recommended:
    • OS: Ubuntu 12.04 LTS
    • Processor: Intel® Core™ 2 Duo or AMD® equivalent at 2.0 GHz
    • Memory: 3 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 512MB OpenGL 3.0+ discrete NVIDIA/AMD card (with proprietary driver)
    • Hard Drive: 10GB of free space
Customer reviews
Customer Review system updated! Learn more
Recent:
Very Positive (17 reviews)
Overall:
Very Positive (868 reviews)
Recently Posted
Jaster
378.3 hrs
Posted: August 27
Kiddies play No Man's Sky.

Boys play Elite Dangerous.

Men play X3.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
TDuke
62.5 hrs
Posted: August 27
With the Litcube mod this game is really good. On its own it is not so amazing. Litcube does away with that awful feeling you get with these games (the feeling of pointlessness).
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Cymek
37.4 hrs
Posted: August 25
Well, ladies and gentlemen, I've given it my darndest. I played the game long enough to have three stations and a chip/computer complex. It took me 30 hours, and I still feel like I haven't even started.

This game is long. Like, get up and leave for half the day while the game is running and you will be a little bit closer to your goal long. I'm not joking. In fact, about half or more of my hours in the game I was gone. If you're focusing on building a trade empire, the best thing to do is hit the fast-forward button and run the game in the background for a few hours while you do something else. It's the only way to build up cash without any player input.

I'm not really not sure whether to give this game a thumbs up or a thumbs down. On one hand, I would not have gotten to this point without the ability to minimize the game and go do other things. On the other hand, I have enough infrastructure now to have my trade empire really start to take off. I could eventually build a massive fleet and do whatever I please.

Whatever Egosoft has done here, I think they have have succeeded. For that reason, I give the game a thumbs up.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Demonith
81.8 hrs
Posted: August 22
Buy this game !
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Deadmann
49.8 hrs
Posted: August 19
Too good to be real.
Try Litcube's Universe!
Helpful? Yes No Funny
A Suspicious Erection?
453.2 hrs
Posted: August 16
I think its ok. Played it for a couple hours as you might be able to tell. but seriously this game is great, but it requires a spesific type of person to play it if you just enter in codes into the console comand you are not going to have fun but if you play through you might ... if you dont mind working for a verrrrrrrrrry long time for your next upgrade but if you dont and can set goals for yourself this game will be great for you. I thank you for reading this, if you have any complaints or advice regarding my review I would greatly apricate and value your responce.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
monroviablackandblue
71.4 hrs
Posted: August 16
UPDATE*********

Ok, never mind all that, its awesome. But this game is like freaking magically possessed or something, or I am or whatever. So I went to sleep last night after getting back on it again. Thats where the magically possessed stuff comes in. I wanted to blow it up......BUT....found myself back at it again. I finally figured some stuff out. So I go charging into some Pirate HQ sector and get my ♥♥♥ shot to pieces by a hoard or something. Did not know how to fight at all, not even shoot my guns really. So again, I go to be like WTF I hate this game.
Fast forward to today. Somehow I woke up understanding how to fight and some clearity on a few more things. So I have been kicking some ♥♥♥, trading stocks and making a killing, got sector trading going. How the hell did I figure all this out , overnight, in my sleep??
I know how. Borons, Argons and Teladi exist and they somehow infiltrated my bedroom last night, placed some unknown knowledge chip in my brain and escaped without my ever knowing. I think they may have been confused at some point cause my butt hurt a little but thats enough about that part. Anyhow, I'm playing now, and its awesome. I can see me playing this game for years to come!!!!!


So my take is this......

This is the only game you will find out there that will give you a boner and a migrain at the same time and drag it out for 14 hrs a day for 3 yrs. If you play it have a couple doctors on standby.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Laerrus
9.0 hrs
Posted: August 15
This game took me three years to figure out how to play on the most basic level.

The first thing I did was spend all my money on Space Hooch; which is apparently illegal; then spent quite some time trying to find somewhere to sell it; then some more time running from jump gate to jump gate avoiding authorities; before heading back to where I bought the damn stuff; only to find out I haven't figured out how to sell stuff back; apparently; and as I undocked the Space Cops busted me...

Still don't know what the hell I am doing.

It's like all the Wing Commander games happening at once, and I have to Mr. Magoo my way through it all.

This is the best game ever.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
OutsideTheNormalMoralConstraints
81.2 hrs
Posted: August 15
Has an awful lot going for it but servere glaring flaws as well, mainly related to there being zero effort on the part of the devs to ensure that various content is actually possible to achieve. Time limits that can't possibly be beaten with any ship that has the cargo space to handle the mission (and no indication ahead of time that your ship isn't fast enough), incredibly powerful enemies randomly spawning in the sectro the storyline mission starts in, even the tutorial mission may not work depending on the start you choose (including one start where you're given a combat vessel with no cargo space, no weapons, and not enough money to buy any weapons). It doesn't even give me the sense that I wasted the money, but that I wasted the time I put into playing it instead of something else.

All of these problems are incredibly frustrating because underneath that is what looks like an amazing economic system, good fleet management, and fun though not ideal combat. But you'll have to deal with constant RNG related frustration in order to get to any of that.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Wynne D. Fanchon
24.1 hrs
Posted: August 15
Don't buy No man sky. go for this one
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
23 of 28 people (82%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
Recommended
24.1 hrs on record
Posted: August 15
Don't buy No man sky. go for this one
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
13 of 14 people (93%) found this review helpful
Recommended
785.0 hrs on record
Posted: July 30
This is probably the most immersive game I have ever played. Due to the modability and scriptability, there's constantly new features available. The entire X3 series will test your skills to the limit. The X3 series is more about wits than force, though when your preparations are in place, there will be plenty of that going around.

If you like a quick game, this is not for you.
If you are easily frustrated, this is not for you.
If you want a game that you hit the ground running, this is not for you.

If you can hold your wits about you and build your emipre while hammering those you had to ♥♥♥♥ off to do so, you are in for one hell of a ride. I'm not one for reviews, and this is the first game review I have written, but after several hundreds of hours over the past few years, this game deserves one. Now I have wasted enough time. I'll see you on the other side.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
453.2 hrs on record
Posted: August 16
I think its ok. Played it for a couple hours as you might be able to tell. but seriously this game is great, but it requires a spesific type of person to play it if you just enter in codes into the console comand you are not going to have fun but if you play through you might ... if you dont mind working for a verrrrrrrrrry long time for your next upgrade but if you dont and can set goals for yourself this game will be great for you. I thank you for reading this, if you have any complaints or advice regarding my review I would greatly apricate and value your responce.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
208.6 hrs on record
Posted: August 4
It's one thing to have a hugely high learning curve. That can actually be a positive thing; it generally means a complex and layered game, requiring thought and strategy. But to marry this with some of the worse tutorials in gaming history, along with no documentation is mind boggling. Fortunately, this game is popular and the fan base does provide much needed hints and guides, which without this game would be unplayable.

But the issues with this game go much farther. After over 200 hours into it I am forced to ask this terrible question: Is this game full of bugs or intention AI cheats? Consider.....

- My ships constantly ram asteroids and my stations. NPC ships never do; not while trading or attacking. Are they not using the same flight algorithms?
- Docking at stations: I have 5 trader ships, all set with orders to deliver required goods to my hab complex. But they refuse to dock. Some will enter the vacinity of the hab and then refuse to move while others will ram my station destroying themselves. Meanwhile, despite my setting my hab to refuse trade with other races, their ships come and go as they please. Again, it seems like the game has different NPC and player ship docking scripts.
- In combat. I no longer carry missiles. I was dying from missile attacks a lot. Eventually I decided to watch one of my missiles in actions. It was a silkworm and it ignored my targeted foe and came back and destroyed me. In my experience, this misfire never happens to NPC ships. Again, why the different behavior between player assets and computer.
- The addon package gives players the opportunity to blacklist sectors and stations for trade. Doesn't work. My assets still preferentially travel into Omnicron Lyre, in the hope of a quick death at the hands Terran's continual raids there. I have found nothing that stops this behavior other than not exploring those sectors.
- SETA (Time Acceleration) is interrupted by almost every possible keyboard, mouse or game interruption. It is frustrating and completely unnecessary. But there is one thing that doesn't stop the game acceleration - notification that one of your ships is under attack. This means that by time you stop the SETA, whatever asset was under attack is gone, with no hope of intervention from the player. Why such an anti-playable implementation?
- Station placement. After placing and connecting two stations together, I often find myself unable to connect a third station to hab complex, even though I place the new station exactly between the previous two. This requires many, many save and reloads until the game randomly (as far as I can tell) lets me connect the new station to my hab complex.
- The game promotes itself as having an in-game economy, but that is a lie. All I have to do to massive increase an enemy's manufacturing ability is drop a bunch of Laser Towers in a sector they are attacking. They immediately get a boost to production permitting them to quickly annihilate my defensive buildings. Once my twenty or so Laser Towers are destroyed, their raids return to fewer and smaller ships - meaning the best defense is absolutely no defense!
- Enemy ships instantly build and travel. I'm in Omnicrom Lyre and I've destroyed all enemy forces there. All I have to do to replenish them is travel out of system and then immediately return: my foe will be back in full force, despite their shipyards being many sectors away. For me to rebuild a fleet of that size, fit with weapons and shields, and then to fly to the sector of combat, would require at least an hour, assuming I had the huge mountain of resources already available.
- Mission difficult assignment. This is the biggest joke of the game. One mission will describe itself as being 'Hard' and send you to fight a couple scout class ships. The next will be labeled 'Very Easy' and you'll find yourself in a fight several frigates and 6-8 escort fighter.

Great ideas with this game. Part of me still loves it despite its warts. It is a thinking man's game, very complex and requires many, many hours to master. It is an incredibly nice change of pace from all the button mashers that dominate the game market. And maybe I am wrong and all my complaints are the result of buggy code and poor game design but the preferential treatment NPC assets get over players make this a hard to believe hypothesis.

Still, if you don't mind spending days on end figuring out how to meta-game around the bugs/cheats then this game is recommended.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
Recommended
49.8 hrs on record
Posted: August 19
Too good to be real.
Try Litcube's Universe!
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
119 of 123 people (97%) found this review helpful
16 people found this review funny
Recommended
115.9 hrs on record
Posted: May 6, 2014
If you live a life where you already don't have any friends, have no hope of ever having a girlfriend, and have given up on the idea of healthy productivity in favor of being a waste of talent then I would say this is the game for you. Otherwise you best steer clear for fear of tripping and falling down a rabbit hole from whence your real life will never return. Im only slightly joking.

There are two games I have ever played that I truly love on one hand and truly regret on the other. The first is Dark Souls, which drained away my entire year of 2011. The second, is this game and its predecessor, Terran Conflict. I have played X3 for probably 1000 hours and it was a major contributing factor to my college GPA dropping seriously about 3 full tenths of a point and leading to a few failed classes that I had to stay an extra semester to retake. There were other factors too dont get me wrong, but seriously if you don't have a healthy lifestyle to fall back on and you are a sucker for space sim type games this game might hook you and never let go until one day you stumble out of your apartment, blinded by the sun, realizing you havent shaved in 8 months and have lost 30 pounds and arent sure what year it is or what happened to your life or any of the people you used to know. It is simultaneously the best and most dangerous thing you can buy for twenty dollars. Whats sadder still is my hard drive failed and so I literally have nothing to show for at least 800 hours of my life. Holy Sh!t.

I tell you all this because theres no way to sum up what you can actually do in the game in any reasonable amount of words, but heres a few useful bits I have divided rather arbitrarily into 3 good points and 3 not as good points.

Good stuff:

1: Think of EVE Online, except its a single-player sandbox with about 200+ beautiful sectors populated by about 8 races, each with their own ships, technologies, stations, food supply chains, goods, etc.

2: You also can actually fly your ship (theres hundreds to choose from, some you'll have to capture but seriously you'll find something you love) itself with wasd or a joystick and dogfight unlike in EVE.

3: You can basically do whatever you want from escorting passengers or assassinating criminals to mining manually or by setting up individual stations, fill holes in the economy to help AI fractions or build self-sustaining war fleets or illegal drug empires and supply chains that exist only in a single sector or stretch across the universe via automated trade fleets operating out of closed-loop complexes. You can of course be a pirate too, ejecting marines out of you cargo hold and watch them jet-pack onto a ship and cut their way through the hull and kill everything inside while you delicately keep the ships shields down on the outside (otherwise your poor meat-puppets will fry and you'll be ♥♥♥♥♥♥ cause training them is time sucking and expensive). You can command huge fleets by piloting one ship, waiting till its on its last leg, ejecting into space, and teleporting into the cockpit of another one within 15km of you and keep hopping around as needed, some engagements can go on for a few hours if you want them too. Heck you can even be a bloody day trader using the stock market.

The less good parts (and things to take note of to help you).

4: The interface takes some getting used to as its not all that intuitive but theres so many options and key bindings that I can see why making one would be hard. You also need to remember that software upgrades and racial notoriety are the keys usually to success in the game. You also need to pay attention to what areas need what goods and set up satellite networks to watch prices and supplies.

5: The vanilla universe can be a bit dry though because the AI factions and even the pirates arent always aggressive enough towards you or each other. The economy can also kind of sputter out in certain areas if you don't help it out. That said, I highly recommend you go to the Egosoft forumsd an download either the X-Tended Mod or the XRM mod as that will solve this problem. You wont be able to get achievements but who cares about that anyway? It also might disable the plot but the plot missions are soo long and absurd for such little story in return that most players dont bother and just create thier own roleplay story as the play in the sandbox.

6: I find managing large fleets to be difficult as there just arent enough options available for commanding large groups of them in meaningful ways. The combination of SETA and autopilot can make things either crash into staions occasionally or make AI ships circle each other forever without ever being able to accurately hit each other. Little bugs here and there like jumping through a gate in a large ship and accidentally ramming into a smaller ship on the other side and killing it, so the po-po comes after you. Large trade fleets are tough to cause you rely so much on remote piloting by software commands and it becomes tough to keep track of them all and rememebring what routes you have going where, what sectors to avoid because of the Xenon and whatnot. Again scripts and mods can fix a lot of this stuff though and I HIGHLY recommend modding the game as any issue you have with it or any added feature you would want someone has though of on Egosoft forums and has made a script for it. The community is really helpful and dedicated, though it has shrunk some because of the unforgivable mess known as X;Rebirth I should also mention theres a few exploits in the game too like nVidium mining and stock market abuse.

I hope you find this review to be of some use to you. Be aware of what happened to me and tread carefully. Its a great game for those with patience, intellect, and no hope of success in the real world. It is probably a grave risk for anyone else. If you do take the plunge on an X game though, this is the one to get.
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87 of 95 people (92%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
Recommended
419.5 hrs on record
Posted: October 27, 2014
The metacritic review score, in this case, I would personally say is innaccurate. This game is immense, with a small price tag for the hours you can get out of it.

If I had to describe the game to someone, I would call it a singleplayer EVE online. But not only that, its a game where at the beginning you can scratch out a living as a trader in a universe with a living economy, or you can take part in skirmishes to fight your way to the top. Thing that I love about this game is the fact that say a pilot bails from a target ship, or you purchase a new ship. You can actually issue orders via a command console to any of your ships, including your current ship. Now of course you can fly them all yourself as well and take part in dog fights, launch boarding parties at vessels, or even later in the game take part in capital vs. capital ship battles. You could start a trading empire and purchase software for trade ships under your command where they act autonomously, seeking deals across the galaxy in your name. My point here is, the ability to loadout ships and amass fleets essentially means that if you choose so, you can turn the game into an RTS. The game can be as hands on as you make it, basically.

Not to mention, you can purchase and construct space stations and factories yourself, impacting the economy. Prices rise and fall across sectors, a stock market exists impacted by station construction or destruction, and various races have different products. You have reputation with these factions as well, and there are randomly generated missions that appear constantly at stations during play. You can pick sides in a large scale conflict between two of the factions, or go after a specific race yourself in a bid to become a pirate lord.

As I mentioned above, the game has immense potential for fun here. Being a sandbox game however, I will say the storyline missions for this game are poor. Sometimes bugs occur, your auto pilot can run you into things, etc. However, the flaws i've seen are vastly outshined by the positives, IMO. The graphics arent extremely good, as can be expected from a title getting a few years older now. No performance problems to mention except for occasional slow down during large battles, particle effect apocalypses, and certain nebulous sectors. The game IS also running calculations for an immense number of things in the background though!

One other large thing to mention is there was quite a large modding community for this game. I personally run the X Rebalance Mod, and it has made my game much better, fixing and filling out features. Recommend it as well, though there are plenty of other mods out there worth checking out too. I will say modding here is not quite as easy as say, skyrim, using the workshop to place the new files automatically.

+ Combat is thoroughly enjoyable, dogfights with fighter class ships a favorite, ducking in and out of capital ship fire
+ Diversity in styles and types of ships, i enjoy diversifying my fleet
+ Nonviolent methods to amass wealth and power as well, using trade to satisfy requirements for sectors
+ Large number of mods out there
+ RTS style commands for your ships

~ Graphics are looking dated
~ Sandbox haters, steer cleer!

- Bugs are occasional, but often when it rains it pours: autopilot & asteroids dont mix!
- Collisions: Your ships can seem magnetized. you will become frustrated, trust me. Theres a mod for that though!
- Poor plot missions
- Randomly generated missions can become repetitive
- Difficult learning curve -- There are tutorials and guides!

Plenty of people steer towards a certain type of 'space sandbox' but I for one have found my favorite game in the genre. No telling how many hours I'll end up with.

DISCLAIMER: Haven't played X3:Terran Conflict, or any other X3 game, ONLY X3: Albion Prelude! I've heard X Rebirth was shoddy, don't buy that thinking "its the next game, must be better!"
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62 of 67 people (93%) found this review helpful
5 people found this review funny
Recommended
2,366.6 hrs on record
Posted: February 22, 2015
Ask your self this , what do you want to do today.

Cammand a large trade empire with fleets of freighters at your disposal , Sit in your cozy little ship and play the stocks n shares , Plunder the shipping lanes and have every merchant fear your name , Own a vast manufacturing empire and countless factories , Take the skick of a starfighter and fly by the seat of your pants as you turn n burn around large capitol ships avoiding missile and battery fire , Train and elite squad to capure and board enemy ships for glory and profit ,Command your own epic fleets lay waist your enemies , Explore the universe flying a vast array of different ships or all the forementioned.

In this game you can do all the above .
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58 of 65 people (89%) found this review helpful
19 people found this review funny
Recommended
141.4 hrs on record
Posted: November 29, 2015
One of the greatest games ever made!

The game is a mess, incredibly confusing even after hundreds of hours of gameplay (try to stay 1 month without playing it and I assure you you will forget how to do some stuffs), sometimes boring as hell... and yet, you keep playing it, year after year, expansion after expansion... you keep building your empire somewhere in the galaxy, you keep trading, fighting, exploring... and then you stop playing it, you leave it for months, perhaps a year, and someday you play it again, you try another start, and than you are upset again with all the mess, with the odd menus, with the bizarre steps to do simple things, you try to stop playing... and then... you keep playing it, you keep dreaming about new ships, new factories, new objectives... and when finally you turn it off, you can still listen to the girl's machinal voice when you enter a new sector : "Bala Gi Joy", "Menelaus Frontier"...

This is the worst best game of all time ever! Why we love it? Can't say, it's a **** paradox, but we really love it!
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43 of 45 people (96%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
182.8 hrs on record
Posted: August 11, 2015
The paramount of the original X series, and the richest of all the space simulation / sandbox games I've ever come across. After spending 170 hours on this game and just finishing all of the plots it has to offer, I consider it convenient to write an accordingly comprehensive review of this masterpiece.

I would like start with noting that I've been playing the X series for several years, starting with X2 The Threat and spending the most time on X3 Terran Conflict, which makes me consider the 170 hours of story gameplay quite a generous ammount of time a sandbox game has to offer, needless to say that I already knew all the controls from the previous games. But this game is not about to be ended by finishing the story, since it's a sandbox with a vast modding community, allowing to add even more amazing experience to it. Within those 170 hours I've only merely scratched the surface of what it has to offer, and didn't even find enough time for some complex constructing, as I did in TC.

Albion Prelude is a great improvement over Terran Conflict, most notably the UI and hull overhaul, which means a much better use of wide screens and longer capital ship combat. All the tiny features which were simply missing from TC are now added and some of the flaws fixed (within the engine's capabilities), Xenon Hub no longer takes months to complete, and boarding is slightly less frustrating thanks to the heavier missiles having an actual hull value, so they won't explode after a first hit with practically anything. Some new ship classes were added aswell, including the military freighter, light carrier (drone frigate), and the heavy destroyers. That being said, I see no point in continuing Terran Conflict anymore, as Albion Prelude completely takes over it - just forget about the other X3 games if you only wish to get the most polished-out gameplay, not caring for the lore or story at all!
The war which takes place throughout the game seems fun from the start, as the mighty Terran fleet clash with Argons over several sectors, but I don't find it very interesting due to the rapid response fleet and it's random behaviour, with enemy ships spawning out of thin space near your vessels, even in a friendly sector.
A slight spoiler regarding the war and how to deal with it once and for all:
it can be ended during the Shady Business plot, after choosing the option to turn against the pirates instead of capping/destroying the Ozias.

The game is already content-rich enough that it needs no modding at all - at least not for the story and achievement getting period. Some of the ages-lasting downsides of X also carry over, since it's still the same old engine being desperately improved upon, including the clunky autopilot and not-the-most reliable AI pilots. A simple solution to that is to not use autopilot within Terran sectors (or not use it at all- manual flight with SETA is almost always the fastest option), and to not use AI wingmen way too often. It is usually possible to deal with anyone on your own, without the need for vast fleets.

As for the modding part, I suggest the cockpit mod as it brings a lot of immersion into the game, and for dealing with the clunky AI constantly crashing into stations, there's the Bounce mod. I heard that the XRM is not the best option because of the annoying beam weapon spam and other things, but you can still get some of it's components, such as the X-Tra Ship/Station pack or the Combat Mod


If you're new to the X games then you should know that this game gives you the power to experience a living universe with dynamic economy that is developing real-time: hundreds of ships endlessly traveling throughout the universe and stations that are being randomly built and destroyed, varying in each game based on how the economy decides to develop. Albion Prelude now offers over 200 sectors to visit and over 350 ships to fly with, has a beautiful calming soundtrack accompanied by exquisite starry sector backgrounds, is virtually crashless (unless you screw up with mods, audio codecs, or some other technical stuff), has a highly responsive UI, completely controllable by keyboard which is great for macros (you would be surprised but it's really useful as it can make accessing some deeply burried menus lightning fast), and the game has an enormous replayability potential, both vanilla and modded. I think it's really fine-coded and thus enjoyable, unless you're trying to run it on a calculator.

Things to take in mind before getting into the X Universe
The X series have always been quite difficult to grasp for newcomers and it's crucial that you arm yourself with a lot of patience for the first few days. You are going to die many times and probably get overwhelmed by the scale of the world aswell. It lacks a decent in-game tutorial and it won't guide you everywhere, so you do your best by looking up some beginner tutorials online before giving up entirely. For X3AP, the Argon Peacekeeper gamestart has the main plot of the game, but based on my experience I would rather suggest that you pick something a bit more peaceful first, such as the Humble Merchant. Master the controls and understand how trading works before engaging on something more serious, and you will relieve yourself of most of the trouble.


The newest game of the series, X Rebirth, is showing a promising return to the forgotten roots of the old gameplay which took an unrepairable and undesired detour after X2, and the next X game will hopefully deliver us the features and content that most players still staying with X3 have been yearning for. But the original X series will always remain it's honorable place in my space sim heart.
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