SGJ Podcast #39: Ripping into X Rebirth

This Might've Been a Better Game, Ultimately...
This Might’ve Been a Better Game, Ultimately…

I’d been avoiding purchasing X Rebirth until I upgrade my video card, monitor and RAM in a little bit, but that hadn’t stopped me from reading the amazingly awful reports coming in of just how bad the game apparently was at launch (and still is). While the Internet easily gives way to hyperbole, usually, I felt I had to see for myself just how bad it was, so Jim volunteered to play his copy of the game on while I watched. I asked folks on several forums I’m on to come on and join us, and only one person was brave enough, James “Jam3” from Gamers with Jobs. So please join Jim, James and I as we wade through this mess of a game together.

Below, please enjoy the video from our Twitch session. As apparently the game has issues with Twitch, we had technical glitches that made the stream problematic, resulting in three videos rather than one. You can find those in this YouTube playlist:

Thanks as always for listening, and enjoy the show!

Episode 39 Show Notes:

Author: Brian Rubin

29 thoughts on “SGJ Podcast #39: Ripping into X Rebirth

  1. OMG this so so bad I could cry. That game was so highly anticipated, and it failed so miserably… well, I guess I’ll have a look half a year later, after devs and fans have fixed most of the bugs and have made this mess actually playable.

  2. It’s amazing how badly they botched this game. The prerelease trailers and info already told me they took some wrong turns (one ship? ONE?!), so I adopted a ‘wait and see’ approach. Very glad that I did. So many horrible design decisions… I don’t think even modding can revive it at this point.

    I’m a huge fan of X2 through TC, but Rebirth is just a kick in the face. It amazes me how some people like the game and, worse, defend it from the backlash. Maybe it’s easier to stomach if you haven’t played the past games?

    The author of The Lost Fleet is actually Jack Campbell. Good stuff. I’m currently rereading Valiant in my second run through of the series. Realistic time and distance are not often touched on in sci-fi settings, so it’s fascinating to have those aspects play such a prominent role in combat, communication, and just general travel. Haven’t really looked into the next series yet, but plan to eventually.

    1. FYI, Jack Campbell is his pen name. ;) I’ve been talking to him about coming onto the podcast because his representation of space combat is FASCINATING. On topic, yeah, it’s amazing how much a kick in the face this game appears to be, especially to long time fans.

      1. Ah, I see. I remembered seeing Hemry on other books but Jack Campbell on these, so assumed different authors. Accursed pen name confusion…

        Having him on the show would be fantastic.

      2. I’m a fan of the Lost Fleet series as well. If you like the technical military sci-fi, you may really enjoy David Weber’s Honor Harrington series — epic battles that also deal with the distance. Right now I’m working my way through Evan Currie’s Odyssey One series — pretty good so far!

        1. Hey Josh, I actually did recently start the Honor Harrington series as well, but then got totally sidetracked by The Lost Fleet. I’ll likely return to it once I’m finished with the Lost Fleet series too. :)

          1. I started reading Lost Fleet and Odyssey One in an attempt to find stuff as good as the Honor Harrington books. I highly recommend them.

              1. Yes. The naming is a little confusing because the name of the series is “Odyssey One”. I’ve read Into the Black, just finished The Heart of Matter, and I started Homeworld this morning.

              2. I’ve loved the X series. I started with X2, and loved even that, so everything was up-hill from there! ;) But when I heard that this game would have only one ship, I took my finger off the pre-order trigger. Man am I glad I did.

                I echo the sentiment a lot of people are touting: I really doubt this can be fixed in a way that makes it good. Because even if the game were very polished, more attractive, and lacked bugs — the core design assumptions are totally awful. One ship, tedious mini games, abusive toward player time, etc.

        2. I quite enjoy technical military sci-fi, so I’ll have to check out Honor Harrington. Heard of the series, but never looked too closely.

          1. I came here to get another take on the this Rebirth fiasco because I REALLY wanted this game to be good. It’s so disappointing to find out it’s really as bad as they say. I thought the previous X games were awesome. The good news is that I found this cool discussion on military sci-fi books. I’m a fan of The Lost Fleet and started the Honor books. Now I have some more to add. It would be nice to get another Nexus game to scratch that space fleet sim itch.

            1. Welcome to the site Lawrence, and I hope you enjoy yourself while you’re here. :)

              1. Actually I’ve been reading your site for a over a year or so now. I just don’t post much. I think I made one other comment earlier this year. Keep up the good work.

                1. Well I hope you post more, and thanks for the kind words and for visiting. :)

  3. This thing was hilarious !! I pretty much kept laughing all the way through it. At this moment the only reason I might get the game is to simply have a look at some of their models and textures so that I’d get ideas for new models of my own :D

    1. That and the ping-pong physics in the space highway might be the only reasons to get this game. Glad you enjoyed it!

  4. Funny you should mention that… I’m reading the honor harrington series right now. XD
    Not the best sci-fi, but I like david webber (i’ve met him in person)

    1. Most of these books are less pure sci-fi and more military/political fiction with a sci-fi backdrop. I like to bounce between that and more pure sci-fi (read the Mote in God’s Eye recently — very good).

      1. Maybe I should read some Alistair Reynolds before i read the next honor harrington.

  5. I was worried about this game when there were no reviews on launch day, but this is even worse than I feared. Oh well, made for a funny podcast at least… :P

    1. Yeah, I wasn’t able to get a press copy after numerous requests, which I didn’t take as a good sign at all.

  6. I’m not sure, rebirth could be rebirthed. Core of the game is broken and over-simplified,comparing to older title . If its gonna happen,Egosoft need to redesign alot of gameplay, and i mean ALOT.
    Give a year and half, I’m not even sure if it would be considered enjoyable at that point. This reminded me so much of Sots2 release, difference is that Ceberus admitted the failure and was willing to refund their royal fan. Bernd,ceo of egosoft,celebrated their 10,000 steam sale on egosoft board,calling it a successful title.While the rest of board raging in flame of performance issue and bad gameplay

    1. Yeah, it’s not sounding like something salvageable at this point, and I hope I’m wrong.

      1. You’re not wrong. I anticipated it eagerly, upgraded my video card excitedly, and played it for an hour or more in utter shock at how bad it really is. Voice acting: Horrible. Character models. Laughably 90-esque. Physics: What?! Highways? Controls: Clunky. Economy: Just run around and open everything you see then sell it. Weee-haaw. Gameplay: There is no gameplay. The only decent thing are some of the ship and base designs. It is also kind of pretty to sit in space and watch stuff go by from the cockpit of the Skunk (an aptly named vessel), but that is not what I paid $$ for, dammit!

        Its a dog. Avoid it.

          1. I still have hope. The engine under it all seems quite robust and very configurable… Things I have seen modders do in only a few days are amazing, what they do in a few weeks, months, or a year should make the game astounding…
            But egosoft has a black mark that won’t go away anytime soon.

        1. Oh and Jam3. I admire your bravery for responding to Brian’s call and going on the podcast (I would have too, had I known). I also need a shoulder to cry on because I also pre-ordered it. I SO wanted to be able to walk around on board a ship for once. Dang.

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