X-Rebirth? More like X-SHSD as in Should Have Stayed DEAD!
Space… the final frontier! For years PC gamers have craved for the return of space simulation games to explore distant galaxies, to trade and build their wealth and to upgrade their ships or purchase newer ones. This is the hope that we as gamers had in X-Rebirth. However that hope flew too close to a star and was obliterated by the intense heat and radiation.
The game clocks in at around 5+GB when installed which I found surprising as I was expecting it to be much larger. Anyway I fired it up and I went into the settings maxing out everything on the graphics tab. I was expecting it to blow me away since in the screenshots it looks absolutely beautiful, but I was stunned at how laggy the game was. I was getting under 30fps consistently so I tried changing graphic settings to lower values which made it marginally more playable, but still not quite good to be enjoyed. I have a gaming rig that pretty much runs all games at Ultra settings without problems, so I was kinda shocked when I saw the horrid frame rate I was getting.
The UI and control scheme are both the next major game breakers. The actual UI is devoid of any useful purpose. Flying to waypoints is a chore since there is no option to lock on to one or no easy way to navigate to it. Instead all you get is a yellow arrow inside a circle that points to where you should go. There is no minimap or galaxy map, just the little shitty yellow arrow.
Controlling the ship is also broken. I used my mouse and keyboard for navigation. Now you have the option of using only the mouse for flight but this is so twitchy and imprecise that makes it extremely painful to bear. Instead I just opted to use the keyboard for navigation and the mouse for clicking on waypoints and destinations. While approaching the first station I was instructed by the game to double click to dock, but I had to fly around the station twice before this became possible and there was no indication of where to clearly dock.
Getting into dogfights was also painful as the ship is nowhere near responsive enough for this to be enjoyable and exhilarating. To be honest the ship handles like a slow, heavy log. Another thing that didn't make any sense was the locked way of travelling. Now in space there is not up or down but in X-Rebirth apparently they decided that space needs to have an up and down. I tried to roll the ship to fly upside down, but I was rolled back right side up as soon as I released the button. I had to try a few more times just to see if it was my fault or not. Also the A.I is bad, like really really bad. Bad design choices like these make this game unplayable!
There is also no multiplayer, let me just get that out of the way, NO MULTIPLAYER WHATSOEVER! There is no option to play online with the community or even with your friends. Each game is a stand-alone single-player-only universe with no way to interact with other players. Why was this decision even made, it defeats the purpose of so many gameplay mechanics. Why trade when there is no real reason to? What is the point of space credits when you are stuck with ONE ship for the entire game? You can’t buy a better ship so you are stuck with the one you have. There is also no 3rd person view of the ship. And the most annoying thing of all, you can't even get up and walk around the tiny ship.
The story is also bad and quite laughable if I can add. A kind hearted stranger rescues this mystery girl who was just floating in a remote part of space only to get caught up in a massive conspiracy. LAME! We have all played that game many times before, but that is not the main reason why people buy these types of games. People buy these games cause of the freedom they expect, cause of the space exploration, cause of the cool and beautiful planets/stars/nebulae/galaxies etc. available to explore. People buy these type of games cause they expect cool ships, those that they dreamed owning as children, they expect engaging space combat and outstanding dogfights. But when the core mechanics are so utterly broken how can people even consider buying X-Rebirth?
Bottom Line: This latest version in the X series of games is a massive letdown for long time fans of the series and for fans of space sims in particular since we have not had a major entry in the genre in quite a while. I was actually looking forward to playing this game until the long awaited Star Citizen came out but my wait will continue and I hope that the Star Citizen team is looking and taking notes from this as what not do to. I cannot, in good faith, recommend this game and truthfully I played this for about 45mins before I had enough. Sure the insane amount of bugs this game has can be fixed with a few patches, but poor design choices are with you forever!
X-Rebirth was reviewed on a PC. X-Rebirth is now available on Steam.