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Best 4x Space Game?

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zinfamous

No Lifer
Jul 12, 2006
105,937
20,886
136
X3 is the only game in the past decade that has rekindled my joy of pc gaming since Mechwarrior 2.

The universe feels so real and believable, you feel like you are participating in a real world, not just playing an RTS. X3 did for me what Skyrim completly failed to do.

The first time I jumped into Terran space and watched a full scale war with Terran and Argon battleships, blew my mind. Massive ships trading missiles and laser fire and the ensuing explosions that filled the sky. The thought that one day I will be able to orchestrate such battle made me giddy. Truly an amazing experience.

I am wondering of there are any other 4X games out there that are this "real" feeling.
X3 is the shit. The Universe fears my assassination fleet, funded by my space burger empire.



I wouldn't consider the X series 4X games, but they are quite good. I wish Egosoft would make the economy more functional though. As it is, NPCs don't buy for need other than to stock factories, and they get their ships and equipment through magic. It would be nice to sell ships and equipment to NPCs that are at war and need the extra guns to fit their ships.
Sins is definitely not 4x, either, but gets a lot of mention in this thread. Either way, both games (X3 + Sins) are fantastic.

The utter joy of putting together an Advent fleet to roll out and assimilate every damn motherfucker, anchored by those carrier flag ships. God damn that game is fun.
 

HurleyBird

Platinum Member
Apr 22, 2003
2,305
732
136
Anyone see this game Horizon? Apparently it hits some sort of preview state on Steam this week. Mechanically it sounds like the closest MOO successor since, well, MOO. Finally, turn based combat!
Tried it. Seemed ok in the early game, but got incredibly bogged down at the end to the point that the late game simply wasn't enjoyable.

The research system is kind of interesting though. Kind of a mix between MoO 1 and Space Empires. MoO 1 still has the better tech tree, but the implementation is interesting.
 
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zinfamous

No Lifer
Jul 12, 2006
105,937
20,886
136
I never heard of X3 before; is it any similar to Freelancer (it looks like it)?
I *think* I only played Freelancer briefly--and if so, it was the 2nd one, if there is a second one.

I recall that being more of an action-based, story-driven space combat sim...at least in the early stages of the game.

X3 certainly allows that, but it is much more. You can essentially play the entire game without combat, as a trader, if you wish.

Think of it as a complete sandbox space empire simulator. You can simply ignore the story line form the beginning if you wish and just do whatever you want. I do think you will need to do some combat and build a real fleet if you ever want to be involved in the story, however.

A lot of it depends on your chosen goal at the beginning. "Fighter" progression is the Terran race, I believe, and you can choose to to be a Trader which puts you as a different race. Depending on this choice, you essentially start on other ends of the galaxy. As a Terran, you start with a semi-capable fighter ship and can head straight to the story rather quickly, as your race is in the proper system.

As a Trader, you start about as far as you can get from the initial mission, with a slow and stripped freighter, and so you are essentially forced to develop your empire form the ground up to be able to even get a ship capable of reaching the first story mission and being able to survive.

I played briefly with the Terrans then switched to the trader race. Spent maybe 60 hours in X3 as a trader, never having reached the "start."

But I found that I preferred that, anyway. There are plenty of missions and goals to reach that exploration will reveal to you. You can even find specific derelict ships of various types that you can claim and upgrade, and add to your fleet. They are in very specific locations, so you can find them in the various online guides, which I found very helpful--as the economy is quite complex and some guidance early on is very helpful. There isn't much in game in terms of telling you how to play.
 

JamesV

Platinum Member
Jul 9, 2011
2,002
2
76
Am so sorry I pre-ordered Star Drive.

http://www.metacritic.com/game/pc/stardrive/critic-reviews

Couldnt get to play it until after the summer semester was over.
Wasnt too much fun even with the handful of nice ideas.
Same way I feel, and I'll include Endless Space also.

Star Drive has a cool ship building aspect, but the rest is pretty much generic 4X. I expected more from Endless Space, perhaps even a campaign, but again, it's just another take on 4X that is mostly generic. Last time I buy a 4X game without trying a demo first.

Gal Civ 2 was my favorite for a long time, but now Sins takes that spot. Sins at least tries to expand upon 4X gameplay by incorporating an RTS aspect; which I find favorable to giving me basically the same game over and over.
 

HurleyBird

Platinum Member
Apr 22, 2003
2,305
732
136
Star Drive has a cool ship building aspect, but the rest is pretty much generic 4X...

...Gal Civ 2 was my favorite for a long time
Gal Civ 2 is about as generic as a 4x can get, a devolution of MoO 2 that doesn't really stray from the formula besides adding more tedious micro-management. While the ship building was fun in a 'playing with lego' sort of way, it added exactly nothing to gameplay.

Stardrive has something that Gal Civ 2 never had: potential. The ship designing portion of the game hit it out of the park. SD is lacking in the content department and has plenty rough edges, but is the work of a single dude (who is now hiring on more help). I think you might be surprised about how SD turns out a year from now. I have a feeling that it could turn out to be the next SoTS 1 -- promising but broken at launch, but polished into being one of the finest 4X games over the years.
 

Luckz

Junior Member
Oct 10, 2009
12
0
0
GalCiv 2 sure strays from the formula by adding tons of rock-paper-scissors nonsense, and changes how population/economy/production/invasions work, all for the worse IMO.
Did the GalCiv 2 expansions add anything? I dislike the original so much (as a preorder steelbox retail owner..) that I didn't see a reason to bother with the always-overpriced extra content.


Horizon is pretty confusing and 'rough' despite the by now very long development time. Some game mechanics are extremely weird -- as just moving to the edge of a sector means travelling to the next adjacent one, all combats in all star sectors in the game world run in parallel turn based mode. I have not found out if it's actually possible to achieve a reasonable amount of control. The idea is of course interesting, but the implementation doesn't seem to work well and I can't imagine how one would change it to work better.
If you're in for slightly further reading, here's more of my feelings about it: http://steamcommunity.com/id/luckz/recommended/236130
Assuming a lot of further work on it, it too could be quite nifty one day -- just not in the state it's in now.


Has anybody tried the newest expansion for Distant Worlds? http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=3330796
I'd love to hear some feedback on that.
 

wanderer27

Platinum Member
Aug 6, 2005
2,171
15
81

shortylickens

No Lifer
Jul 15, 2003
79,039
11,962
126
Same way I feel, and I'll include Endless Space also.

Star Drive has a cool ship building aspect, but the rest is pretty much generic 4X. I expected more from Endless Space, perhaps even a campaign, but again, it's just another take on 4X that is mostly generic. Last time I buy a 4X game without trying a demo first.

Gal Civ 2 was my favorite for a long time, but now Sins takes that spot. Sins at least tries to expand upon 4X gameplay by incorporating an RTS aspect; which I find favorable to giving me basically the same game over and over.
The ship building is OK. I love watching them KAPOW! all over the map, but the planet building is weak and overall its a meh experience.
 

HurleyBird

Platinum Member
Apr 22, 2003
2,305
732
136
The ship building is OK. I love watching them KAPOW! all over the map, but the planet building is weak and overall its a meh experience.
Yes, the planet building is very MoO 2 / Civ like - I don't understand why so many 4x devs decide to take the worst mechanic from MoO 2 and run with it, when MoO 1 had a simpler implementation that nailed it. It's even more out of place in a real-time game.

I've been following the dev on the Stardrive forums though. Seems like he's aware of the issues with planetary management, lack of techs, and planetary invasion. He's also working on a GNN style news program.

Stardrive might not be the most enjoyable right now, but it has promise. Revisit it in a year and see what happens.
 

Calabrese138

Junior Member
Jul 20, 2013
1
0
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Has no one really mentioned Space Rangers 2??
I have spent hours on this game, it's simplistic enough to get into but has a surprising amount of depth.
 

Martimus

Diamond Member
Apr 24, 2007
4,488
152
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Since X3 was brought up, I figured I would show a few pictures from when I used to play. After boarding my second I, and just steamrolling everyone I kind of lost interest in playing anymore (did everything I set out to do, and nothing was difficult anymore at that point.) That said, Steam says I put 389 hours into X3: Albion Prelude, so I obviously thought it was pretty fun.
 

Fallen Kell

Diamond Member
Oct 9, 1999
5,609
227
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I think they have the people to do something with it, just not sure how it would fit their F2P models. They definitely have done some really nice work on damage models/simulations which could really make for some interesting player controlled space combat if they applied it in similar fashion.
 

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