X Rebirth is a True Single Player Sci-Fi Sandbox - Nothing is "Hardcoded"
"X", the single player empire-building space-sim franchise, has been quiet for many years, but with X Rebirth due for release on the 15th of November 2013, the series is about to be reborn.
The official blurb says:
"X Rebirth represents a spectacular new beginning for the X series, offering loyal fans and newcomers alike a vast, vivid and extremely detailed universe to explore throughout the game. Varied gameplay elements such as action-packed space combat, detailed trading mechanics and high-speed space exploration with fast travel allow players to experience a truly unique space saga that will keep them hooked for dozens of hours." - X Rebirth, Steam Store Description
The preview videos released by developers Egosoft over the last month have shown the sumptuous visuals and an admirable attention to detail and scale. Massive factory complexes and sprawling space cities are apparently "crawling with life" (although the nightclub below looks pretty dead, must've been early).
As well as interacting with such structures from the comfort of your spaceship (which you can also explore the interior of), the player can disembark and interact eye-to-eye with workers and vendors and even crawl through service tubes.
Detail on a macro-scale allows a dynamic economy and expanding frontiers as industry AIs automatically trade goods and search for new resources, whilst the minutae of detail is aimed at the developer's ambition to make the player "feel very small."
The feel of a living universe going on around the player is something Egosoft has striven for:
"Everything is possible in this universe, we don't hardcode it one way or the other."
Previous X games have always delivered an awe-inspiring and sometimes overwhelming sci-fi sandbox, but with X Rebirth's claims of a fully-simulated economy, combat ranging from skirmishes to epic fleet clashes, the ability to build an industrial empire and a rich world with a complex plot, it is shaping up to be the most ambitious yet.
Check out the trailer: