Egosoft, the company behind the X family of sci-fi space-faring games, has announced two in-progress projects which will bring a smile to fans' faces: X Rebirth VR Edition and X4.
Catching a ride on the virtual reality hype train, X Rebirth VR Edition is exactly what its name implies: a re-engineered version of X Rebirth: Home of Light, the second expansion to X Rebirth, built with virtual reality hardware in mind. The game, Egosoft's Bernd Lehahn has explained, will launch as a standalone title, though those who already own X Rebirth will be given a discount if they choose to upgrade to the VR-ready version.
Egosoft's reasoning behind releasing the title as a standalone game rather than a patch or expansion to the existing game takes the form of what it has claimed is a considerable amount of tweaking required to make X Rebirth VR-ready. In particular, the universe and economy have been altered, making save games incompatible between versions; there's an entirely new Vulkan-compatible graphics engine at its heart; new missions have been added; the pace and balancing have been tweaked; and the user interface modified to make it more suitable for VR use.
'X Rebirth VR Edition is a super-exciting development for us,
' Lehahn claimed in the announcement
. 'Playing this with a VR Headset feels like finally playing space games the way they were meant to be played all along. There is, however, also another project that we are working on and which is equally exciting to us: X4. It is still too early to talk about many details of this, and it doesn't even have a full name yet, but we are making good progress and I wanted to share a few words with you about what we have been doing in the last couple of years.
X4, Lehahn has claimed, will prove a more satisfying entry into the X franchise than did X Rebirth. 'When we worked on X Rebirth we needed to make a lot of simplifications. We removed some features in order to be able to concentrate on others. But when X Rebirth was released, many fans expected it to be an "X4"; a game with most of the key features of the X3 games and then some. [We] realise that there are still many unfulfilled wishes, some of which would require extensive changes that couldn't be implemented in the existing game. Many of these are things we would also like to see in a space game and these, along with the foundations laid by all the work and feedback that went into X Rebirth, have been the basis for the big project that we have been working on for the last few years: a real X4.
While full details on X4 have not been provided, Lehahn has claimed that support for flying 'many different ships
' and managing large fleets as well as complete freedom to build stations from individual modules will be included - all features missing from X Rebirth at launch. A release date has not been provided, though Lehahn has promised 'to show some really cool things later in 2017!