It's a big universe
This is the first in a cracking series of space flight/combat/exploration sims that includes X3: Reunion
and which plays out a lot like Elite
. This one is perhaps not quite as polished as its later fellows but it remains a fun and exciting adventure that is worth picking up. This Gold Edition includes a decent expansion pack which just makes the whole package even more attractive. There is quite a complex bit of scene setting here, and the background and story draw on plenty of sci-fi staples for their inspiration but any lack of originality here is quite excusable as it's all well put together. In terms of gameplay, you find yourself in the role of a bold adventurer who is just trying to find his way home, and which involves a lot of flying around the universe, trading, blowing up aliens and all the other sorts of things you get in this kind of game. This entry in the series lacks some of the complexity and depth of later games, and isn't quite as ambitious or open-ended but it retains plenty of choice and certainly delivers in the excitement stakes. The game also looks pretty lovely, with some well designed ships and special effects to enjoy, while the controls and sound effects are equally well implemented. The expansion pack makes the game a bit more open, and you're free to explore without following a storyline, while trading and fighting an even greater range of goods and aliens. Don't let the low price of this one put you off as it's really a first class effort that deserves to be played.