Oh my god!
I could leave this review at those three short words and they say everything that you need to know about this game. Three word reviews however are not allowed so I shall continue.
If you have been living under a rock for the past few decades you will not have heard of the X series of games and honestly, you need to deliver some serious self chastisement into the nearest mirror. The X series is notoriously unfriendly to newcomers with a learning curve as steep as Everest, but hello! take the time, learn the ropes and you are rewarded with an expansive and immersive space sim like no other. If not careful you may head for a much needed toilet break to discover that your spouse up and moved back to her mothers a week ago. You get the picture.
Fast forward to 2014 and the much anticipated 'X The Rebirth' leaps.... err! limps out of the Egosoft womb and into the grubby little mits of the expectant, salivating masses. Now to digress just a moment, I am not, no way no how going to hammer this game into the ground by mentioning the hundreds if not thousands of bugs and other assorted problems that it brings along as excess baggage right out of the gate.... damn! okay, I will not mention them again. Instead I will focus on the game's design. I am also not going to spend all evening writing a long, drawn out review because the game has wasted enough of my time as it is. So here are the essentials.
If you are a fan of the X series and are exited about this title, don't be. Rebirth is to the X universe what an ugly wart is to an otherwise pretty nose, a blemish to be cut away and banished to the nearest incinerator with the rest of the medical detritus. It does have one thing in common with it's much more illustrious cousins though, the tutorial. What little of it there is may as well not be there at all for all the good it does. But that is unimportant. What is important is that Egosoft in their infinite wisdom 'or lack of it', have taken everything that made the X series great and thrown it in the trash. Space is no longer expansive and immersive with breathtaking visuals, but claustrophobic and packed to the gills with brightly coloured clutter so that half the time it looks like you have been sneezed on by a harlequin, and amongst all that the place is criss-crossed with space highways that you can pop into in order to travel across the system. Or if you are inclined there are blue ones to travel to another system. As if that wasn't bad enough we are informed that we can go even faster if we get into the slipstream of another ship..... wtf! there is no air in space ffs, why the *^&%$%$ would we need to slipstream? Excuse the rant but just thinking about the sheer stupidity of that design feature makes my toes curl in anguish. This leads to tailgating. I'll let that sink in for a moment. Stopped laughing yet? But yes you heard it right, tailgating like a bad driver on the motorway. if it wasn't so tragic it would be laughable.
But what about the basics I hear you cry. Graphics, cartoony ( no doubt so that consoles can handle them ) and to be honest awful. Coupled with the over-indulgence with bright colours you have a recipe for bleeding eyeballs. Character models. Ok so X has never been great in this department but it's 2014 for gods sake, at least make the effort. They are worse than awful but we will stay with awful to keep things tidy. Sound, adequate at best although why we can still hear the pew pew of lasers in space is beyond me. Must be the same reason that we need to slipstream. Character acting. Don't go there, please, just don't. You will have bleeding ears to keep your eyeballs company. The acting is bad, Combat system, awful. Game mechanics, awful. controls, awful. In fact everything about this game is awful and they even removed the auto-pilot so travelling across this mess is now as boring as hell. Do yourselves a favour and avoid it like the plague.
To Egosoft I simply say shame on you, I just hope that giant howitzer you shot yourselves in the foot with hasn't delivered a fatal blow. It should be all the false information and promises you handed out that finally hammers that last nail.