X2: The Threat review by Al Giovetti
By Al Giovetti
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X2: The Threat
Summary * History * Company Line * Game Play * Plot * Graphics * Animation * Voice Actors * Music Score * Sound Effects * Utilities * Multi-player Features * Cheats, Hints, and Walkthrough * Journalists * References * Letters
X2 is not the second X game. X2 is really the third X game. X beyond the frontier and X-Tension preceede X2 The threat.
The game is difficult to learn. The visuals are stunning and the mood music makes you sweat as you move through the sectors. The game play is somewhat like real life, long periods where nothing goes on punctuated by intense periods of quickened activity characterized by combat. Something like the life of a real fighter pilot in today's world.
A first person space simulation involving high adrenaline combat, plot and mission progression, trading, exploration and empire building. Trade your way to Mogul status, Fight for your life and increase your notoriety amongst your peers, Build your empire as you see fit, Think before you let your fleet roam, your next move could be your last!
Trade, Fight, Build, Think: X2: The Threat, the next level in space simulation.
As a follow on from X-Beyond the Frontier, X2: The Threat begins in a Universe scourged by conflict. Many wars have been fought in the past and an uneasy peace now befalls its inhabitants as they strive to live together in harmony.
But a new race (The Khaak) are about to enter the arena, triggered by the player during the main missions. Fighting in swarms, with advanced technologies and a murderous instinct, the player’s ultimate objective is to meet this threat head on.
These missions begin straightforward enough, but progress into an absorbing storyline with in game cut-scenes, voice narration and ever increasing rewards.
A drone from Earth and contact with the messengers of the “Old Ones” (the Sohnen) adds immense depth and mission possibilities for the player.
Can Earth really be reached? Is Earth in danger?
X2: The Threat uses multiple window views, which are fully configurable and allow you to view and control other ships and positions on your own vessel. Also notice that “Recording Started” is displayed in the bottom left corner. This is the built-in 3d capture system. This allows you to record your feats, swap them with other players for playback and upload them to the “Hall of Fame” for all the world to see!
Many defensive and offensive systems are available. Hull strengths, different shield systems, enemy radar tracking devices and warning systems make up some of the defensive capabilities. There are numerous offensive laser systems, with associated damage properties, rates of fire and ship placement (front, back, top, bottom) along with a large collection of missiles for ship to ship and ship to station attrition.Graphics: A completely rewritten 3D engine based on DirectX8 encompasses many visual effects such as volumetric Nebulae (gas clouds) that have a real impact in the game (you can hide in them), many new engine, shield, weapon and explosion effects. Objects cast real dynamic 3D shadows! Dynamic DP3 bump mapping allows a previously unseen level of detail. The built-in Automatic Quality Control (AQC) system changes the visual quality to achieve the highest possible frame rates on any given, supported system.
A first person space experience designed for today’s game players with sound and graphics to match. Discover new worlds and races, become a trader, bounty hunter, pirate, miner or a cunning combination of them all. The uneasy peace that befalls the Universe is about to be broken; can you meet the Threat head on?
Enlight Acquires North American Rights to X²: The Threat
Highly Anticipated Space Simulation Game to Ship Before Holiday Season
PARKVILLE, Md. (Aug. 18, 2003) – Enlight, a leading entertainment software developer and publisher, announced today that it has acquired the North American rights to the highly anticipated space simulation game - X²: The Threat. A sequel to the 1999 award-winning X: Beyond the Frontier, Computer and Video Games has called X² “the greatest looking space trader so far.”
Tagged as the "21st Century Elite" by PC ZONE Magazine, the UK-based publication went on to say, “from what we've seen, X² looks even better than FreeLancer.” The title is being praised for its breath taking graphics and in-depth game play. “Today X2 is already coming up and makes Freelancer look pale” said PC Games Magazine in Germany.
"We believe X² will be viewed as the next major evolution in the space simulation genre. Our unique universe provides a very open-ended experience and unparalleled freedom of game play,” said Bernd Lehahn, CEO of EGOSOFT. “After eight years of intense development on the X series of games, we are excited to partner with Enlight to release our next installment in the X-Series of space simulations.
X² contains a new state-of-the-art graphics engine and a large dynamic universe for players to explore. The game was designed with a graduated learning curve to provide immediate game play action for players of all skill levels. The X² universe contains thousands of unique objects including stations, over seventy ships, a myriad of weapons, commodities to trade and different races with their own agendas and technologies. Players can build their empires as they play the role of a trader, bounty hunter, pirate, miner or a cunning combination of them all.
"There is a strong and increasing buzz about X² and we are thrilled to be publishing this compelling title in North America,” said Paul Lombardi, CEO of Enlight Interactive. "EGOSOFT's attention to detail and innovative game play features will ensure that X² is every bit the challenge as the original X: Beyond the Frontier title.”
X²: The Threat offers players a rich storyline and a boundless game play universe. In X2, the player takes on the role of a pilot indigenous to the X-Universe. The story unfolds as the soon-to-be hero and his companion attempt to steal a ship. After a failed, action-packed escape, he soon finds himself aboard a security ship and destined to live out his days on the cold, prison-mining world of Artur. With a dynamic universe and a plot expertly weaved together the story of ‘The Threat’ is sure to intrigue players of various genres.
Under development for two years, X2: The Threat has received numberous praise for its stunning in game graphics and open-ended gameplay. GameSpy said in their preview, "Overall, though, X2 could turn out to be one of the truely great space sims, ready to take its place among the Wing Commanders, Freelancers, and Independence Wars of the genre. The visuals alone may well carry this game to greatness
In addition to the featuring graphics and in depth gameplay, X2: The Threat exhibits an amazingly open ended X-universe that is twice the size featured in its predecessor X: Beyond the Frontier. "The sheer size of the universe and the astounding number of ships to fly, solar systems to visit and commodities to buy blew me away. X2 makes you feel like you are part of a living, breathing cosmos," said Avault's Dustin Arient in his first look at the epic space simulation.
"Fans of Elite and Privateer have long been awaiting a follow-up title and we are excited to bring them X2: The Threat," said Paul Lombardi, CEO of Enlight Interactive. "With its striking graphics, open-ended gameplay and state-of-the-art engine, X2: The threat will appeal to both space simulation fans and mass market consumers this holiday season."
Published in the United States and Canada by Enlight Interactive, Inc., X²: The Threat will be available on Windows PC, priced at $39.99 (U.S). For additional information visit http://www.enlight.com/x2.
Enlight is one of the world's leading developers of entertainment software. The company was founded in 1993, with a goal of creating games that are not only entertaining, but of equal importance, enlightening. Into 2003, Enlight is making an entry into the publishing business, establishing Enlight Interactive Inc., the U.S. publishing arm of the Enlight group as well as consolidating strategic partnerships with distributors all over the world. For more information, visit the company’s Web site at http://www.enlight.com/.
EGOSOFT, founded in 1990, is one of the oldest game development companies from Germany. Its team of industry veterans and dedicated game enthusiasts entered the international stage with the widely acclaimed X-Beyond the Frontier space simulation game in 1999. EGOSOFT is now exclusively dedicated to setting new standards in the space game genre and constantly improves the level of freedom in the X Universe. For more information on EGOSOFT and its products visit http://www.egosoft.com.
Mission briefings are nice. The briefings have nice voice work and nice scripting, even if the animation is wooden. The voice acting is believable
Reviewing mission briefings are a pain in the butticus. Why the designers saw fit to make you relisten to the whole briefing all over again instead of just displaying the text, which would be a lot easier, I will never know. It is a real pain to listen to the audio over and over and take mental or pencil notes rather than reviewing a text message in the computer.
Some commands are very hard to figure out. When I purchased a jump drive, I was unable to figure out how to use it.
One thing anoyed me no end. This one thing required me to continually load save games and continually save. When flying in a Nova with several Titans, invariably when I went to Time compression mode the Titan would ram my ship and destroy it. I am getting real tired of Titans ramming my ships and destroying them.
I am now in the Ore Belt trying to scan in the asteroid belt. It would be nice to know where in the asteroid belt I am supposed to look. The Captain mentioned that I should use the mineral scanner, but there are no notes anywhere on how to use scanners.
Apoch on the www.egosoft.com forums for spoilers gave me the following information which you should learn in the 'simulator' tutorials. I would like to remind the game designers that these things should also be included in the game manual list of commands and the list of commands in the help menu. The Jumpdive is shift-J. The scanners are used when you target the asteroid (mineral scanner) or ship (cargo scanner). Ship cargo pods are picked up by opening the cargo bay with the O key and flying over the cargo pod. Ship debris cannot be salvaged or used to upgrade your ship (unfortunately).
Scanning is not automatic once you target the asteroid or other ship. You must hit the I key one time after you target the asteroid. What fun? After scanning about 100 asteroids you find the right one and are attacked by about 20 continuously spawning Khaak (enemy ships). Since you have to lower shields to bring the essential parts on board your craft, you fail the mission.
The plot is very hard to believe. No one would give any ex-convict such a good deal.
The graphics are very nice, with all kinds of lighting and debris effects. The small particulate matter in space is accentuated making areas look like fog or clouds. Sometimes it is very difficult to see through these areas to the artifacts which are in the jump areas.
Animation in the ship side mission briefings is bizarre. Something about the faces of the characters, especially Elena Kho. The female characters like most are anitomically impossible.
The animation for walking and moving is wooden and hard to believe. It appears that they did not really try to get any of the models to look human. The realism factor is low.
The male voices all sound the same, except for the main characters like Ban and the protagonist.
You turn on scripts by typing in Thereshouldbewings into the keyboard while flying in space. There should be a tone that indicates it works. You can determine if it worked by typing shift-c or c then s then look for the c command in the menu which is the scripts command.
Really nice save game utilities show the date and time the game was saved so that the user has some idea of which is the most recent save. This is doubly important in situations where you may have multiple game saves on the same day. X2 shows the date and time making it easy to tell which is the last game.
A nice feature of the save game utility is that it shows the location that you saved in. The location gives you enough information to make identifying the last save easier. The location and the date helps but more information is needed to be sure.
With a game where you die often and for virtually no reason, the identification of the last save game is crucial. We recommend that you come up with a system for saving that helps you identify the last save. For example, save the games in sequence from top to bottom so that the last game of that date is at the bottom of the list of dates.
I wish I knew how to turn on my jump drive. If you know, email me at my email address.
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