• Publisher: Atari
  • Release Date: Mar 31, 2009
User Score
7.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 204 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 27 out of 204

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  1. Mar 26, 2011
    10
    Alright, the learning curve in this game is vertical. If you're going to buy it, understand that. Understand that you're going to have to learn hotkeys. Understand that you're going to be looking in the manual for a good few hours to figure everything out. But understand that it's worth it. X3 TC is an absolutely fantastic, beautiful, and immersive game. The sheer size of the thing is something along the magnitude of 8 million cubic kilometers spread throughout several hundred sectors. There are varied races each with many unique starships. The economic and combat aspects of this game are spectacular. Trading goods and building factories is immensely satisfying. The music and art makes the entire experience that much more epic. If you're willing to spend the time getting to know her, X3 can take you for one heck of a ride. Expand
  2. Sep 8, 2012
    9
    I don't understand how anyone can rate this game below 8.
    I've played a lot of space sims, I've spent massive time in getting to know (and mastering) each and every one of them.
    This one has given me something that I wasn't even expecting to find: a depth so deep that I don't think there's anything you can't do in this game. This game can take you from a "miserable" starting position
    (only one small, nearly useless ship and no money. Like a poor strayed dog left to the immensity of space), to the top of your own built space corporation, managing huge merchant and military fleets, farms, factories, supply stations, and nearly anything else you set your mind to.
    The most important thing is that every step you take in order to achieve this, you're taking it on your own. This game gives you freedom in every action (or transaction), there are no preset fleets or businesses, there is no preset campaign or anything like that: you do as you please, you build what you want to.
    If you are looking for some kind of easygoing space sim, you'll definitely try some other game (Sins of a Solar Empire, Freespace 2 (upgraded), Nexus, Homeworld...)
    You could also play X3 in a simple pirate style (hit-take-sell), but by doing so you'd miss 80% of the stuff X3 offers (and eventually you'd get bored and quit the game too).
    In X3 you are whatever you want to be: a smuggler, a bounty hunter, a handyman, a pirate, a businessman, or all of these together.
    But don't be fooled by visions of power, wealth and glory, to achieve these you must work hard, study the market, think and be very patient. It takes a huge amount of mistakes, failures, learning, observation, travel and money to build your own military and commercial empire. Take it easy and prepare to spend a massive amount of hours in traveling, dogfighting, trading, planning, upgrading, exploring, etc.

    I don't give it a 10 because I find the interface rather undeveloped. They should improve the command and information systems, make them easier to access, make them more intuitive. They should also fix some AI issues like the autopilot crashing into gates and buildings sometimes or like own ships disappearing after being commanded to dock, etc. Were these problems arranged, X3 would be a true masterpiece, a game like no other.
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  3. Apr 7, 2013
    9
    What's so enjoyable about this game is that, somewhat like the GTA games, it seems to be several games at the same time, and let's you hop from one game to the other at the flick of a button. I'll be first-person dogfighting in a sleek fighter one moment, then, when the last enemy ship is down, dock on my destroyer, and leave the engines idle so I can bring up the maps and play a strategy game pushing my fleets around before going into mercantile management of all my factories, finding what products I have been trouble selling, and considering branching my businesses out into new sectors. Everything you do in this game gives you the sense that you're gaining ground, and opening up the door to a new, and greater accomplishment down the road, and I can play as much a humble backwater merchant or a daring pirate as I want without feeling like I'm missing out on any of the game. This is exactly the sort of open-world gameplay more games should try to emulate. Expand
  4. May 9, 2012
    10
    Amazing game. Action Packed, beautiful graphics. Just be aware that this is not a game you can pick up and master in a few hours. Played right, this game can aborb the next few months to years of your life.
  5. Nov 9, 2011
    9
    If you want easy, mindless fun in your games, then you will have to adjust your perspective for this game because it is HARD. What's that? You think you know hard? You don't know X3:TC, son, so buckle up before you double click. Still here? Good because I still have to say this: I came into this game expecting nothing, I hadn't even heard of the X universe or even played a game like this ever before and yes, like all beginners I spent most of my time pouring over spreadsheets and guides, tearing out my hair and yelling at my computer yet I loved every single damn infuriating minute of it! It's all about how much you put in to this game. You won't be done in 8 hours, you likely won't be done in 80, either. The more you give this game, the more it gives you and when combined with beautiful scenery, awesome music and engaging combat, it becomes a game worth committing to. Sadly, the few bugs and more irksome aspects of the game coupled with poor voice acting prevent me from giving it a solid 10, but don't let that dissuade you, it is definitely a game that tries, and excels, at being what it sets out to be. Expand
  6. Nov 27, 2011
    10
    Well, it's not perfect,yes,but still the best one of the universe sim games. At the very first, it's really hard, because it's too free to play. you can do anything you want-----so you found hard to choose what to do... so i recommend you play the story mode first, DO NOT try free play at the very first.
    After you really know this game,free play will be the best choice
  7. Jan 6, 2012
    10
    Best simulation and strategy game until now. First it is difficult to manage but it's worth to spend a time until you pass it. I truly recomend the game!!
  8. Jul 24, 2012
    9
    If you enjoy flying spaceships, and you relish the idea of being able to forge your own military & financial empire in space in a single player format game, then this game is for you. If you're patient, and willing to take the time to learn how to play, and willing to work your way up through the ranks to earn your fame, then this game is for you. If you want instant gratification, and expect space combat to be Call of Duty in a **** then you need to find another game to play. It's pretty much that simple.

    It's not perfect, but it's pretty darn clean & neat with the recent patches & revisions. You will also find a staggering amount of add-ons created by both forum moderators & community that add even more to your experience.

    Additionally, if you have a Steam account, you owe it to yourself to invest 10 bucks in the X Superbox. If space simulators are your cup of tea, you simply won't get a better bang for your buck anywhere else.
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  9. Jul 5, 2013
    9
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. This game, as a space-based sandbox, is nearly perfect. An open world from the start, with nearly every ship being pilotable, and a generally acceptable learning curve (Read: Easier than EvE Online Just run the training mission to get the basics), it's easy to pick up this game and lose hours on it just by looking around and taking a few jumpgates to see what's behind them. The universe is smooth and beautiful, the races diverse and unique, and the ships all having themes relevant to their manufacturers or places of origin.

    You can literally do anything you want. Start the game, blast civilians, start life as a pirate. Or pick up some wheat from a nearby station and be a trader, taking it to a food factory. Or throttle up and start wandering aimlessly, either shooting pirates or finding hidden, claimable Easter egg ships behind asteroids. You can do all these things from the start, within the first 60 seconds of hopping into your new game. Play long enough, and you'll eventually own a fleet to let you do all these things at once.

    You'll be writing your own stories in this game, and no two playthroughs will be the same.

    The only flaw with this game and it is a minor one, comparatively is the official campaign. The story is loose and linear, and incredibly boring. Most bugs in the game are found in the story, with some things being untriggerable or will take several minutes to take place, or will ask absurd things of you. I found myself not understanding how certain parts of the story were related, and simply performing the tasks asked of me so I could finish it faster and get access to the truly open world without the storyline dogging me.

    Also and this deserves it's own paragraph the storyline voice acting is GOD AWFUL. No offense intended to the actors, but there is literally 0 talent in your voice acting. In some missions, the dialogue from the NPCs was absolutely groan-worthy as I try to figure out what on earth was written in your script that made you use that inflection, and then I say it aloud a few times with much more believable tone and mood. The Aldrin mission where the isolated Terrans finally come in contact with a lost colony of human explorers and the Terran captain says "Who are YOU?!" In a mood not unlike a clown at a birthday party made me roll my eyes and spend the rest of the dialogue replaying that particular line in my head, confused as to why you would let that pass muster for voice acting.

    A few spurts of silly voice acting however does not break this game or it's gameplay. It's an amazing sandbox, and starship captains of all walks of life will find something to sink plenty of hours into in this amazing expanse.
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  10. Jul 21, 2012
    9
    X3 is a great game, and it is a bit sad it is not more well known. It is not perfect, and I will say why in a moment, but the way it is now, it is one of the best sandbox-style games in existence. It is also easily on par with the previous gold standard of the genre, the Elite series. ............................................................ Others have said enough about the strengths and the problems of this game already: it has a steep learning curve, and it lacks a tutorial and in-game documentation. That said, this problem is not on the level of a really hardcore game, say, Dwarf Fortress. After about 1 day playing, you will "get" X3, and you will start experimenting. Once you do that, you will be rewarded with a vast universe, and very complex game mechanics, which, in addition, feel "meaningful", i.e. the complexity doesn't just arise from millions of numbers you need to control, but from a living and breathing universe. If you enjoy space games like Elite or Privateer, and sandbox games like Minecraft, I'm sure you will love X3. It's a brilliant combination of combat and **** ............................................................ Sounds great, right ? But that's not even taking into account the modding scene behind this game. This already very complex, very deep mechanics of this game become even bigger and better when you add some mods. There are whole modding projects adding dynamic wars and changing borders to the universe, as well as streamlining the trading interface and station building. This game would be very good without mods, but *with* mods, it's almost perfect.

    ............................................................ I said, "almost perfect". So, what are the problems? There are really only two: production value and interface. The game is made by a German developer, and it saddens me to say that (being German myself) but the writing isn't very good, the characters you encoutner feel bland, and the whole ingame lore is, just, meh. Compare it to the big franchises, Star Trek, Star Wars, Warhammer 40k, or even Homeworld, and I have to say, this universe feels just... cheaper, let's say. That's not my biggest problem, though (mainly because this is a sandbox game in large parts -- nobody ever complained about the quality of writing in Minecraft). The biggest problem is the UI. The interface is one that is made for a space combat simulator. However, as the game progresses, it gets more complex, and space combat, while still important, is not the only thing you do. You basically become the CEO or president of a galaxy spanning empire, maybe comparable to EVE online. But the interface still never leaves the **** of your ship. Every action needs way too many clicks, and while there are some mods that make the interface a bit better for some of the more complex tasks (space station building, managing you network of traders), the game doesn't really allow for this to be done efficiently. If there's ever an X4 (and I really hope there will be), the game should offer two modes: space combat, when you're in your ship, and "planning room", where you have all the consoles, display, graphs and maps you need to run an empire. The way it looks now, it's just not efficient enough, and it gets a bit tedious as your empire grows.

    ............................................................ Summary: Almost perfect game, half space combat sim, half empire building/sandbox. Very complex, but not stupidly so -- the complexity feels causally motivated. The only real problem is the interface: for a game so complex, the **** interface is just too limited. 9 out of 10.
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  11. Nov 12, 2010
    9
    This is one of the best games ever, if you are into space trading type games like this. In fact , there is no other choice when it comes to games like this.
    The learning cure is huge. I have been playing this on and off for years. I have the interest, but not the time, which makes it difficult to play.
    If I did have the time, I would need no other games. It is really good.
    I gave it a
    9.5 because the voice acting sucks. Turn it off and it goes to a 10. Expand
  12. May 22, 2011
    9
    The main story is poor, with the usual terrible voice acting. The ships are lovely to look at, but for much of the time they'll just be little dots that you can't see. It's very difficult to learn how to play. Having said all that, this is a fantastic game. There's so much to do and you can do it almost any way you want. I keep coming back to this game time and time again.
  13. Apr 20, 2011
    9
    While this game suffers from a steep learning curve (be prepared to invest 5 hours of in-game time learning the ropes), has some lousy voice acting (when the best voice acting seems to be coming from alien lizard birds with broken English there's a problem), and you're going to die a lot as long as you're in the starter fighter they give you. Despite all this, this has to be the best space simulator I have ever played. It is enjoyably difficult and actually quite easy to handle once the basics are learned (you can do about 90% of the jobs in the game with just a few clicks in the auto-pilot menu). The game is of course not something that will be finished in a single afternoon and is certainly not for anyone who just wants immediate gratification. Of course on the plus side I've found the game is a very good candidate for simply leaving on over night with the auto pilot on if you're preforming some action that would take several hours or if you're simply waiting for your trade empire to earn some cash. There are a few suggestions I give to new players of course:
    1. Make sure auto-save is on and dock at a station before accepting any mission. You will thank me for this advice after you get into a combat mission, get blown up, and realize you didn't make a dedicated save for a few hours but you did land in a station before taking the mission. It's too easy to die.
    2. I've heard several complaints about a bug where missions fail as soon as you get them. Pretty sure these are the assassination missions they're griping about. It's not a bug. If the mark spawns in a high security sector right next to the local security force's battleship, its a pretty good bet they're going to get him before you can get you're ship there.
    3. If you ever find yourself either getting bored with the game or not liking a certain part of it, look into the mod community. There's a rather extensive and active one with mods that add ships, sectors, and even improve functions of your ships such as adding improved turret targeting and drone cargo gatherers.
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  14. Apr 21, 2011
    10
    X3: Terran Conflict. One of the latest of the X-Universe games, this one released in 2009. It is a long standing and well worth the purchase. For beginner players who have never been to the X-Universe, it is a bit frustrating but very rewarding if you stick it out. For vets of the the X-Universe, this is and has been a real reward with a living and breathing universe both for and against you. Those not experienced in the X-Universe may wish to jump in at this point before the release of X-Rebirth scheduled for late 4th quarter of 2011. This way you will already have a good understanding of the metrics of the game as well as the freedom to do anything you want and explore anywhere you want! Expand
  15. Aug 15, 2011
    10
    X3 Terran conflict is a slow game but rewarding if you get past the slowness the best thing you can do to enjoy this game is to look up a guide online and follow that for a little while then deviate from it at the end game you have plenty of trade ships doing the trading for you leaving more time for you to do the fighting missions, Interface also has improved from Reunion. I have to mark it down due to its inaccessibility that seems to put so many people off. All in All if you are obsessed with space Sims try this one out Expand
  16. Aug 4, 2012
    10
    This game is wonderful and so deep. Not very hard to learn, I've spent 1 hour reading x3wiki and watching tutorials and was ready to play. Maybe interface is not very user-friendly, but there are mods which can fix that. This game needs better AI, less scripting and modern graphics and it will be perfect.
  17. Nov 9, 2011
    10
    I'm surprised by the low score, to be honest. It's one of the best games I have ever played, and as a testament to its addictiveness, I decided to uninstall it for a while: my social life almost came to halt in the past weeks because of X3TC.

    To get an idea of the game, think of a combination of old-school PC Elite (the open-endedness of it), Privateer (the fast-paced and well-balanced
    space combat), plus a complexity and range of choice that I honestly never encountered before (maybe, as weird as that might sound, Minecraft or Nethack come close). It's an almost perfect game, the only criticism I have that the artwork is not up to the game mechanics (character portraits looks bland, voice acting is cheesy, and the ship design is not really memorable), and, more imporantly, as the game progresses, and you get the chance to build your own "empire" (consisting of space stations, towering destroyers and carriers), the interface becomes cumbersome and, quite frankly, terrible. That's something Egosoft *must* look into: a game that allows this level of complexity really needs a better interface for managing such complexities.

    One word about the learning curve: it's steep, but not quite as bad as others seem to think. Here's why: there are two kind of "complex" games, those that run without knowing all the game mechanics and those that don't. Take for example one of the most complex (strategy) games I can think of, Hearts of Iron. I tried it, and gave up: you seem to need to know at least some of the mechanics before you can start playing, and I didn't feel like reading up on it that much. In comparison, a game like Civilization is also fairly complex, but you can just *run* it for a while, and discover its complexity while playing. This is exactly the case for Terran Conflict (I heard the previous title, Reunion, was less accessible, btw). You can start playing, fly around a bit, shoot (and kill) some enemies, and discover the depth while playing. It's true, the game lacks a good tutorial, so the *very* basics, like flight control, you need to look at, so I would suggest the excellent forum for asking questions (forum.egosoft.com) and the Egosoft FAQ, which is more like an encyclopedia (http://www.egosoft.com/support/faq/index_en.php?faqtype=1&version=9).

    tl;dr: One of the best games I've ever played. If you like space combat (like Privateer or Elite), strategy games or economy simulations (like Civilization or Sim City), and sandbox-style games (like Minecraft), give it a try. Don't freak out about the learning curve, just fly around for a while, take a few missions, and learn as you go along. You will love it, I'm pretty sure.
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  18. Jan 24, 2012
    9
    Since so many other posts remark on the learning curve on this game, I will offer my own take. I did not find the learning curve very steep at all. However, having said that, there are many things that make accomplishing certain tasks, such as trade routes and issuing certain commands to a large number of ships a real pain the neck. Furthermore, mods to improve these issues were generally not even on the agenda of the developers until they were proven to be fairly successful by the modding community. (Hence the "bonus" pack downloadable from the egosoft.com site.)

    In other words, it takes some real effort to accomplish some of the tasks available in the game. (Not the kind of effort that takes skill, but the kind of effort that takes either a large amount of patience or boredom.)
    Egosoft has been very attentive to listening to the community about performance problems and have released quite a few patches and updates. My experience, however, was that one problem would be fixed in a patch, only to arise later in another. With the release of Albion Prelude, and the TC version 3.2 patch, I doubt very much that many more will be forthecoming; it is what it is.

    Now that my big complaints are out of the way, TC is probably one of my most favorite games of all time. The universe is pretty much yours to do whatever you feel like doing... exploring, trading, fighting... whatever. The graphics are great, gameplay was smooth, and most all glitches and exploits have all been addressed by the game developers. (Who, as I said, are pretty great at listening to the community even if they don't always agree with what they hear.)

    What I wish TC had more of was a more personal touch... to me, what's the fun of having a capital ship if you don't have thousands of crewman to boss around? Fighters should be manned by pilots who can gain skills and earn promotions, not drones that do what the onboard flight computer tells them to do. There is also very limited customization options available for ships. Certain ships are for certain tasks, no matter how you load them out. (Don't get me wrong, just having that option is pretty cool... just limited.) Boarding marines are pretty much just an abstract concept as being things you lob out the airlock to try and jack some other abstract pilot out of their ship. One dies? No biggy, we'll just train another one... which takes forever to do. Oh, and those big planets you see in the background? Usually their just part of the wallpaper and rarely actually rendered objects. The map tells you there's a few billion people living there. Neat. Big deal. A lot of my reviews focus on what is done wrong in a game, and this is no different. X3TC gets it mostly right. The variety of options and the plethora of means to accomplish them is the games strongest points. Add on that fairly decent eye candy and limited frustrations with bugs, you'll have a winner. It could be so much more though.
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  19. Mar 5, 2013
    9
    A bit long winded. Almost like a single player EVE. Very enjoyable if you like first person space-sims with a realistic economy. Going from one small ship to an empire of multiple stations with capital ships. I'd recommend to any gamer.
  20. Jul 27, 2013
    10
    This game is what i call a true space simulator. it has all the awesomeness of space warfare from thousands of miles apart to the realistic logistics of buying each round for that new rail gun. From being the no body that solves peoples problems to ruling a nation that rivals the other races. This games rarely holds the players hand and let them do and fail at what ever they want. to some this might be a deal breaker. and yes i was that someone at the start. But the games been out for years now and there is most likely a mod for every complaint you have about the game. Expand
  21. Feb 23, 2014
    9
    Now, I've heard people say countless times that Terran Conflict is difficult to get into and learn - and while this may have been true in the X3: Reunion installment, Terran Conflict improves vastly the area of user friendliness. X3: Reunion truly was a chore to learn. Terran Conflict does a decent job, while not as good as some games, at showing you the ropes via the initial Terran Conflict campaign. It shows you all the skills you need to make the universe yours through the main campaign - but this isn't where the game ends, this point is where the game begins. You then have a reasonable arsenal of ships at your command and the knowledge to make money and begin your own empire. There are then many more missions to undertake for the various corporations in the universe as well as other factions (not to mention the random quests for individuals.. there's a lot to keep you busy.

    The only reason that Terran Conflict appears daunting in spite of the fact that it does manage to ease you into things fairly well, is the sheer volume of avenue's you can pursue to do what you need to do to become what you WANT to become. You are then given multiple alternative starts (though certain all encompassing and highly recommended mods can enable them by default, and why not? this isn't cheating, as many of those starts can be quite difficult over the initial placement in the military of the Argon or the Terrans that most people start with. I recommend my favorite mod, the XRM mod, as it adds a vast amount of content and variety to an already vast game, and believe me, once you get going you are going to appreciate every little bit of it. From random wars between factions to interesting stations you will stumble across and find that they sell some very interesting variations of ships. The mods are also the easiest to install in any game, but I'll leave you to look up that information yourself as that is not what this review is about, it's about the core game of X3: Terran Conflict.

    The entire universe is truly cause and effect - what you do, or don't do, will subtly or majorly affect how the economy works. Lets say, you want a trade route because it's quite profitable and the merchandise isn't exactly common... but there's a lot of competition for it and often you miss out. If you can manage to keep your standing with factions high enough that they don't send out death squads after you for being a "pirate" whilst deterring that competition from getting the one up on you, you can find yourself at the head of this proverbial gold mine without being known as a complete scourge of the X universe. It just depends on who you're "persuading" (through intimidation...) and who you're doing business with. The relations are complex and this does volumes in the area of immersion, it truly allows you to be who you want to be. Of course, you needn't resort to underhanded practices to make your million either, you can build your own space stations, complexes that feed off each other and give you an abundance of say, missiles or other weapons that you can sell for high prices at many locations with many factions... such things are always in demand in the X universe.

    It isn't a game for those who simply want to blow everything out of the sky, though there are plenty of opportunities for this - I don't rate games based on a simple criteria like this. Those types of players preferences make them more suited to different styles of games and that should not influence this games score in the slightest, because it does do many things, and unlike a lot of games that try to be a jack of all trades, X3: TC does them quite well. Really, only a modicum of patience and some lofty dreams are all you require to get this game OOZING the fun.

    If I had one single gripe, it would be that the artificial intelligence is troublesome at times, but much of that can be avoided through assigning smaller combat wings and having them on standby for different purposes.

    I'll touch on the rest, now.

    Graphics - They are pretty. Not cutting edge, but they will still manage to dazzle you in many instances.

    Sound: different weapons have different sounds, again, elaborated by mods, but they tend to suit the weapons in my opinion. The engine sounds are fairly nice, when you are close enough to hear them.

    Gameplay: this has been criticized, however I suspect that the people didn't really know how to use the indicators on-screen. It's fast-paced, exciting.

    Mods - very simple to install, so why not? the X Rebalance Mod, which is just one single mod, which adds so much that you have no reason not to try. Please, do yourself a favor and give it a try for maximum enjoyment. It adds much more than I have quoted and it's lore friendly through and through.

    If not for the AI pains, I'd give it a solid 10. (Note: For those that complain of the speed, there's a time acceleration feature that lets you choose up to 1000% speed for those long journeys. Do not overlook this
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Metascore
73

Mixed or average reviews - based on 16 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 16
  2. Negative: 0 out of 16
  1. X3: Terran Conflict is the last episode of the space saga from Egosoft. There is a huge war going on, a war against the Xenon and against the game's controls. Terran Conflict looks great, there's more action than before and it's possible to control lots of ships - theoretically. But in reality controlling more than one ship is very complicated, if not impossible. But if you liked the other X-series games, then you might like this one, too.
  2. 75
    The saving grace in this title is the level design. A living breathing world has never looked so good.
  3. 80
    Lovingly concocted, generally well executed, and hampered only by a few niggles, this is a game that not only achieves its goal -- plunking us into another time and place to live the life of an entrepreneurial spaceman -- but shows us that some titles can truly take us places.