X3: Reunion Reader Review
I have to say I'm a little dissapointed. As a great X fan and a serious gamer for many many years this is one of the worst games I have ever parted cash for. Don't get me wrong, the game has great potential and could one day be one of the games that everyone remembers fondly. Alas, as it stands, it has some serious issues.
But the good first. It's huge, like space is huge. Massiver than huge and freeform. Freeform and massive and beautiful too. Highly detailed ships and stations, lots of particle effects swirling around in the void just like you imagine it would in real space (but not actually true). You can do just about anything you want, where you want and how you want. You can build a huge empire throughout the sectors and make yourself a multibillionare. You can shoot the fluff out of everything you see and steal it's cargo. You can hunt down those nasty critters that plague the system, or you could just follow the story line and see where it takes you. Wonderful, enthralling stuff, and possibly the making of legends.
However, the bad bits.
Unless you are an X series fan, or you like games that make you play for days on end before anything interesting happens, you probably wont like it. It take an age to even get to a position where you can upgrade your ship, let alone buy a factory and start selling stuff. It's a game of patience with a little monotomy thrown in. It will take you about a hour just to configure your controler just the way you like it. The docking and menu interface has chanced and not really for the better...It kinda looks cheap if you get what I mean. But the worst thing is the performance and crashing issues it has. If you dont believe me then check out the games tech forum and see how many people are having trouble with it. It's a system hog, but in a strange way. For some reason, modest systems have little or no difficulty running the game at a reasonable frame rate. Higher end systems however, collapse and seem to run the game in bullet time. With my system (P4 3.2 prescott, 1Gb DDR400 ram, 6800GT gfx) I'm lucky to get above 25fps in a quiet sector. This drops to 5-6 fps during combat with just a few ships involved. My average is about 15 fps ingame and not very playable, and all this is on low detail settings with AA and AF off. There are some with setups like AMD X2 4400, 2Gb DDR400 ram, twin SLI 7800GTX's who fare worse than I do. Can you imagine the heartbreak? These are not isolated cases either, performance is a big issue at the moment and lots of people are not happy. There are lots of crash issues too that appear random in nature. There are plot bugs that get you stuck in the soryline, sound issues that get cured only half the time with a new sound card. Controler issues where some are ok with a perticular controler, yet others are not. There are disc protection issues, instal issues, freezing issues, in game loading issues....On and on and on.
While the moderators in the forum do their best to help people, they tolerate little critisisum of the game and lock threads when it suits them. Some of their workarounds are extreme to say the least, including shutting down all background tasks, INCLUDING explorer. re-encoding codecs, disabling sound....This shouldn't be needed, it should work out of the box. There is a new patch due (1.3 but don't ask when because you get either ignored or a terse reply from them saying "when it's done") even though the game has been patched 3 times already since it was released less than 2 months ago.
The game deserves to be great, and for some it already is. Unfortunatly, for many, only the potential keeps them hanging on for the patch to sort out all the problems. Maybe the publishers are at fault, the game may have been rushed out for Xmas in an untested state, but when you pay for a game, value for money is what you expect to get, and value for money this is not.
My advise is, if you have a modest system you may be ok with it, but if you consider your system high spec, then think twice. Borrow the game from a friend first if you can and try it, or wait for the demo, or better still, wait for the new patch and check the forum to see how happy people are then.
5 / 10