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X: Rebirth is set in the Albion space system which was established in X³: Albion Prelude. The player takes the role of Ren Utani who discovers the legendary space ship Albion Skunk and, together with his co-pilot Yisha, gets involved in the faction war between the governing Pultrach Mining Corporation and the Heart of Albion rebels. The campaign mostly serves as introduction to the game elements as the game's focus is still on player freedom.

In contrast to the previous X games, which all built up on the same framework, this installment is a new development. The four most important changes to the concept are the condensed playing areas (there are four solar systems which are unlocked during the campaign and are overall much smaller than in the previous games, but are more thematically distinctive), the constraint to one ship, how space stations are incorporated and the different control design (while previous games relied on a keyboard shortcuts, X: Rebirth is suitable for gamepads and uses menus and sub-menus to reach functions).

Besides following the campaign, the player has various options to spend time; the most important being space combat and trading. While the first is relatively straight-forward and action-based (the player either takes on missions offered on space stations or becomes a space pirate), trading requires more work. Small-scale trading can be done the traditional way (buying at one station and selling at another for a profit), but an ambitious trader needs to buy more ships and hire AI personnel to do the job or eventually even build new stations to form an empire. Many tasks, including purchasing ship upgrades, requires visiting a space station. Here the player leaves the ship, walks around the station and talks to people (entering a conversion mini game which gives benefits like a discount or hint). Other occupations are mining on asteroids or scanning the environment for treasure.

Later patches made various significant changes to the gameplay. While physical visits to the stations were mandatory for most tasks, a patch allows to conduct most business from the cockpit while being docked at a station. They also removed the mini game (changing lanes for using other ships' slipstream) when using energy tunnels for quick travel and added starting careers in the free playing mode.


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Critic Reviews

GameStar (Germany) Windows Dec 23, 2014 62 out of 100 62
Games Arena Windows Nov 25, 2013 5 out of 10 50
XGN Windows Dec 27, 2013 4.5 out of 10 45
GameStar (Germany) Windows Nov 26, 2013 44 out of 100 44
IGN Windows Dec 02, 2013 4.3 out of 10 43
PC Gamer Windows Feb 20, 2014 39 out of 100 39
PC Games (Germany) Windows Nov 19, 2013 39 out of 100 39
PCGamesN Windows Nov 27, 2013 3 out of 10 30
GameSpot Windows Dec 20, 2013 2 out of 10 20 Windows Nov 22, 2013 16 out of 100 16


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