What space sim? X3, Darkstar or EVE?

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  • pauleyc 12 Dec 2006 13:37:50 4,445 posts
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    I have finally finished the storyline missions in Freelancer this weekend. Very fun game, I regret waiting over 2 years (bought this in 2004) before playing it. The graphics are very good for a game released in 2003, the engine-created cut-scenes are amazing; excellent animation and great story - not bad for a game dubbed "Diablo in space". The only things left for me to do are: exploring all the remaining systems, buying the best heavy fighter, finding the wreck of the Hispania and that's it.

    But what space/trading sim should I get next?

    Below are my options and a lot of questions:

    X3 - I like the design and am not afraid of spending several hours just to earn 100 credits. But how intrusive are the storyline elements? And is X3 as buggy as X1 and X2 were? And another one: is it possible to play without a joystick (odd question probably but I CBA to attach the gameport riser for my MB, an USB stick might be in order anyway but not yet)?

    Darkstar One - it looks very similar to Freelancer but is it actually any good? Does it heavily concentrate on mission or are you allowed to fly around and explore?

    EVE - a mystery. How "modern" is it? Can a total noob enter a community that has been playing for nearly 4 years? Does it absolutely require cooperation/guild involvement? I'm rather looking for a single player game but might consider EVE providing it'll allow me a degree of personal freedom, for instance playing in short 1-hour bursts per day. Also, can I suspend my subscription for a few months and then go back or will I lose my character info?

    Please help me decide, fellow EG forumites!

    edit: Doh, the title should rather be "Which space sim"...

    Edited by pauleyc at 14:35:24 12-12-2006
  • TechnoHippy 12 Dec 2006 13:40:54 14,698 posts
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    I found X3 too complicated to play in comparison to X2 - which I enjoyed immensly.

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  • Deleted user 12 December 2006 13:41:43
    Space Rangers 2.
  • Grunk 12 Dec 2006 13:44:26 4,718 posts
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    mmmm space raiders

    10p bag o fun
  • pauleyc 12 Dec 2006 13:44:58 4,445 posts
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    Gremmi wrote:
    Space Rangers 2.
    Not really. While I appreciate what the game is trying to do, a few days with the prequel left me quite underwhelmed. And StarCon 2 is still better.
  • Dirtbox 12 Dec 2006 13:54:39 77,480 posts
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    X3 is way too complex and kind of missed the point of what makes a space sim good. Space is supposed to be big and therefore traffic jams shouldn't really be a problem. Does look quite tastey though.

    Darkstar One was a big disapointment, I *really* wanted to enjoy it, but stupid little things just annoyed me too much. The fact that space shouldn't be red, blue or purple and that moons don't hover a couple of hundred kilometers above a planet's surface. Not to mention that every system was practically identical (save for the different coloured space and number of low flying moons). It's just like Freelancer in that you can explore to your heart's content. Doesn't look bad, doesn't look great.

    Eve, although something I've never played seems to be the pick of the bunch if you bare in mind that you don't actually get to fly your ship or target your weapons, all that's done for you. Looks lovely.

    One that you might want to have a look at is Independance War 2, It's everything that a piratey rag-tag space sim should be and it's one big arse galaxy, none of this system crap with loading screens. It also does a pretty fine job of feeling like you're flying something with it's Newtonian physics and clunky feel. It doesn't look bad for a game that's almost 6 years old either, you'll need a stick to get the best from it though.

    Space Rangers 2 is also great, Once you get used to the top down thing it's probably ythe best of the lot.

    Edited by Dirtbox at 13:55:15 12-12-2006

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  • pauleyc 12 Dec 2006 14:04:50 4,445 posts
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    Thanks DB, I have a suspicion I'll go with EVE; I don't mind that much I won't be able to pilot the ships.

    Independence War 2 you say...well, I spent a lot of time with I-War 1 many years ago (downloading +20MB patches over a very wonky 40kbps modem connection was hardcore fun). The physics model was quite innovative, the missions were also interesting. The 7-minutes intro was remarkable for the time...I might dig out a remixed version that came with the demo.

    Cheers for the tips!
  • Deleted user 12 December 2006 14:07:35
    DSO is okay. It's just basically Freelancer again, with slightly less direction, incredibly annoying voiceovers and absolutely retarded static trading.
  • Xerx3s 12 Dec 2006 14:18:34 23,944 posts
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    Freespace or wingcommander without doubt.
  • PearOfAnguish 12 Dec 2006 14:53:07 7,147 posts
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    If you liked I-War you may want to check out StarShatter: The Gathering Storm. Got it last week and it seems plenty fun so far. Has a really great flight model that lets you choose between proper physics and aircraft-style flying, you can fly some missions on the surface of planets by flying in and our of orbit and you get to control enormous destroyers too, with gigantic beam lasers and everything. It's a bit more hardcore than something like FreeSpace, lots of controls and options that make it similar to a realistic flight sim.

    Edited by PearOfAnguish at 14:53:47 12-12-2006
  • Lonestar 12 Dec 2006 14:57:39 20 posts
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    Funny that this Topic came up as I was going to start a topic on...

    Independance War 2: Edge of Chaos.

    I bought this years ago but because my pc was crap (circa 98) and I was using a game pad I coudn't get into it. Recently I reinstalled it as a way of killing some gaming time before the release of Armed Assault.

    I have to say that it's one of the finest "gaming packages" I've ever seen. The CGI intro is terrrific the plot is very good (so far; I'm in the early stage of Act 2 and just doing some piracy in order to get some good trade items to beef up my ship). The characters are quite interesting and the dialogue and voice talent in my opinion is exemplery. The music is hauntingly beautiful.

    Gameplay wise you will need a joystick and you do have to choose your targets wisely otherwise you will get headaches.

    It can be slow going at times (travelling) but it is engrossing.

    Only two bug patches are needed (around 6 mb):

    http://www.i-war2.com/bugs_fixes.html
  • spindizzy 12 Dec 2006 15:14:19 6,427 posts
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    PearOfAnguish wrote:
    If you liked I-War you may want to check out StarShatter: The Gathering Storm.
    Edited by PearOfAnguish at 14:53:47 12-12-2006

    That game is surely worth buying for the NAME alone!

    There are clearly many jokes to be mined there, probably starting with the idea of someone shitting stars, and then moving on to some reference to the "gathering storm" ... probably involving farts. It's just a winter wonderland of puerile humour
  • Dirtbox 12 Dec 2006 15:19:24 77,480 posts
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    It looks very nice too.

    I'm going to have to order this now!

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  • pauleyc 12 Dec 2006 15:25:48 4,445 posts
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    Thanks for the suggestions so far!

    I'll keep an eye out for I-War 2, will also try the StarShatter demo. Won't bother with DSO though.
  • PearOfAnguish 12 Dec 2006 15:25:48 7,147 posts
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    One nice touch is when a capital ship goes boom, rather than just disappearing big chunks of it go spinning off, so you have to be careful not to get too close. I was always disappointed with the lame explosions in space games, still waiting for one that lets you saw ships in half with a beam laser.

    Pauleyc - that demo is of the original version released in 2004, Gathering Storm is a significant update.

    I'm going to have to order this now!

    When you do they're kind enough to provide a download for the game as well as sending you the box. If only Valve did that for HL2 and Steam.

    Edited by PearOfAnguish at 15:38:12 12-12-2006
  • El_MUERkO 12 Dec 2006 15:36:48 16,956 posts
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    in eve you are a noob, a nothing, a bug for squishing for a long time but if you stay in (relatively) safe space you can make money and level your skills in an insanely complex, living universe filled with tens of thousands of other players

    CCP have polished the noob experience a lot in the last year or so but doing the tutorial to completion is vital or you wont have a clue

    eventually you will be able to risk exploring the more dangerous areas for greater rewards or involve yourself in the massive corporate wars where billions can be lost in hours as hundreds of spaceships clash for control of low security space

    i grumble about eve a lot, its got flaws but is a unique mmo cross between elite and homeworld
  • PearOfAnguish 12 Dec 2006 15:40:29 7,147 posts
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    The one thing that put me off Eve was that I was expecting a real-time Elite or X-style game where I sat in my cockpit and flew about, and it was disappointing to discover that you control the ships by pointing and clicking. It looked just like any other MMOG to me, except you're a spacecraft instead of a little elf bloke.
  • Dirtbox 12 Dec 2006 15:44:01 77,480 posts
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    I must say, I hate MMOs. It gets to a point where you're only playing it because you've invested a lot of time and money into your character.

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  • JavaJawaUK 12 Dec 2006 21:35:59 26 posts
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    X3! Egosoft have outdone themselves with this game, I swear. It is easily the most beautiful game I have on my PC. You really have to dedicate some time [or practice how to code XML cheats] to make the most of it - building up your trading/mercenary empire is slow but satisfying, from when you make your first 100K right up to when you buy and equip that massive carrier you'd been promising yourself.

    Darkstar is good, but I don't think it lives up to the legacy of Freelancer. It's combat with little substance behind it.

    I've never played EVE, but I've heard good reviews about it. A substantial player base for something that would be so niche, which is always good.
  • Deleted user 12 December 2006 22:27:41
    Look up my corp Dark Entropy if you need a helping hand in EVE. It can be very daunting to new players.
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