It's a big universe
If you're looking for a cracking bit of science fiction action and adventure that mixes elements of Elite, Privateer and X-Wing, then this is just what you're looking for. It's a massive, open universe game where you can explore, trade, battle and do pretty much what you want while having a blast doing it. This sequel to X2 expands on its predecessor with an all new story that is built on an all new engine and which adds in a whole lot of other elements to the mix. You have new ships, a more complex and realistic economy, new enemies and factions with everything taking place in a living breathing universe where your actions really make a difference. The missions that you undertake can go in a multitude of directions and however they turn out, you really do feel as if your small actions can have larger ripple effects in the greater scheme of things. This effect continues with the way that NPCs deal with each, in the way that they trade with each other for example, while pirates are also present and which throw some big spanners into the works. X3 really is a superb example of the space trading/adventuring genre and deserves to be played by anyone with an interest in such things. For a fairly low budget indie affair, this is a remarkable achievement. The visuals are top notch, with some slick and stylish ship designs, but it's the gameplay which is the real star here. It's truly open-ended, allowing you to do what you want, when you want it, and it's never less than enthralling. This really is a sci-fi gem.