So there I was playing Skyrim like everyone else in the world when Egosoft released a DLC called X3: Albion Prelude bridging the gap between their previous game X3: Terran Conflict and their upcoming X: Rebirth. Now, being a HUGE fan of Egosoft and the X-series, I immediately punted on my current Skyrim playthrough (sorry, Punchy the Khajiit!) and snagged this little gem of a DLC. Not many games will make me put down Skyrim, but an X-series game is definitely one—possibly the only one.
The premise of Prelude is to bridge the existing world of X3: Terran Conflict with the story of Rebirth, which takes place far in the future. During this time of turmoil, the interstellar gates, which connect the systems of the universe, begin to be replaced by hyperspace travel lanes, which is a new technology that will be featured in Rebirth. Throughout all this, the corporations have amassed great power and is starting to push back against the various governments across the galaxy, and the Xenons (a race of advanced AI) have begun a major push into Terran territory. This is a dark and troubling time in the X Universe, where everyone is fighting tooth and nail for their small piece of the galaxy.
The Prelude DLC also brings along many features and UI improvements, such as searching the galaxy map for sector names, a stock exchange system for even more economic control, improved graphics and charts, new station types and ships, and many more. The biggest changes in terms of game play seem to be the overall increase in military presence across the galaxy. A quick jaunt through Heron’s Nebula, which is a core Argon sector that’s pretty far from any hostile borders, showed a handful of destroyers and carriers patrolling that sector. Other sectors near the border were literally swarming with fighters and missile frigates. These military ships don’t just sit around idle either, there are a lot more conflicts in the galaxy, and its not an uncommon sight to see two great big fleets going at it, with explosions and missiles flung left and right.
X3: Albion Prelude is a great excuse to brush the dust off of the best Space Sim game out there (at least until X: Rebirth comes out!)