A whole new galaxy
The X series is a long running set of science fiction adventure games that provide gamers with a pretty hardcore take on the Elite/Freelancer genre, and which mixes exploration, trading and combat to great effect. This is a double pack containing Albion Prelude and Terran Conflict and offers an almost endless amount of content for wannabe galaxy explorers. Neither game is simple to pick up so be prepared to sink some time in to get the most out of them, but if you do expend the effort, you'll be thoroughly rewarded. There are plot elements to both games, but the focus isn't really on the narrative and instead the games give you a truly massive galaxy to explore and just let you do your own thing. You can trade, fight, smuggle goods and pretty much anything else you can imagine. There's missions to run, a complex economic system and if you play long enough, you'll find yourself in control of capital ships, a battlefleet and an empire to call your own. If you've ever wanted to get into space sims, this isn't a bad place to start. There's a lot of eye candy on display in both games, with space proving to be a pretty spectacular place to explore, but it's in the depth of gameplay that they really shine. The galaxy really is as open as you want it to be, and the sense of adventure as you strike out into the unknown is palpable. Both games are complex and it takes a while to learn their intricacies but they are immensely rewarding and watching your empire grow is a very satisfying feeling. Pick them up but be prepared to say good bye to the real world.