Thursday, August 18, 2005

X2 The Threat (Not Completed)

X2 first appears to be your average space-sim-shooter, but the game has a very detailed economic system that allows the player to trade items, construct facilities and dynamically change the cost of stuff in the universe. This is nice, but the interface makes it difficult and the rewards for doing any of this are very limited.

I must admit when I started playing the game I found economic system a little slow so I altered my credit rating to 999,999,999Cr and bought myself a couple of capital ships. I am sorry, but it was either that or spend days (real time days) repetitively ferrying Nostrop Oil and Delexian Wheat from place to place. Anyway the game has some very big flaws in it's design, there is a good game in here, but there are just a couple of things that ruin it, for starters there is no way to transfer freight from one ship directly to another. Instead the game forces you to eject the freight from ship A and leave the ship in your spacesuit, drift over and enter ship B, target the freight drifting through space and do a flying intercept with the freight. And while all this is going on the freight is in constant danger of being stolen.

You might be wondering whither this is just an annoyance or wither this effects gameplay, well yes, it is and it does, because the bigger ships in the game have jump drives that make it very easy to travel across the galaxy (so you obviously want to use the drive because it knocks of real time hours of tedious flying), but require energy cells for power. The problem is that these same energy cells are only sold at space stations that these same ships are too big to dock at. So the game does indeed force you to do the whole eject freight maneuver.

The AI is bad (enemies will turn 45 degrees left when you hit them with a laser bad).

I have now completely given-up with the game. I am about half way through the game, but the missions are far too hard now. With each mission I am being asked to do increasingly more suicidal missions. Currently I am stuck on a mission where I have to do go deep into an asteroid belt find a hidden base, destroy it, and then escape with my life, but when I get near this hidden base (still haven't found it) I get swarmed by Xenon forces and die.

There is a good game in hear, the missions need a little restructuring and the interface needs just a little tweak and it would be brilliant.

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P.S. The huge capital ships are useless because they only fire on one target at a time (yes even the one with the six independently moving gun turrets) and fire at where the target is, not where it is going, so almost all shots fired miss.