It seems that unfortunately the glorious return of the X series has gone the way of Sword of the Stars II. After much interest and fanfare to see a new title in both a well-respected series and largely ignored genre, with lush visual graphics and settings, many reports have come in of major problems with the game.
Many users are reporting bugs ranging from crashes when trying to save to many innate design flaws, and the title is simply plagued with issues. The Steam Community Page at this time has multiple topics with players criticising the release and some even suggesting simply going back to X3. Some arguments have gone further, as Craig Pierson of Rock, Paper, Shotgun has cited points where he believes the game is critically flawed from its most basic design elements. Specifically in how the game feels dumbed down and the critical failings where the title has simply felt like a step back to him.
Despite this, Egosoft is well aware of the issues with the title and has apologised for the game’s state. Along with making an open apology, they have created threads on the Steam community page citing the “showstopper” bugs they have overcome/are still fixing and a guide on how to deal with them.
While such work is appreciated, it is hard to overlook the fact the developer sold a title which was simply unfit for release with a laundry list of major failings. Time and time again video games have been released in an obviously unfinished state with patches simply expected to fix critical design errors post-launch. Many have been released with no warning of its unstable state upon release or how major issues will require the game to undergo considerable work post-launch. We saw the same thing happen with X3, and it wasn’t acceptable there either. While vast sandbox titles are expected to have bugs with some developers becoming infamous for their problems on release, at least they are usually playable. This? It looks as if it belongs on Steam Early Access at this time.
Even ignoring the design flaws inherent within the title such as poor voice acting and linearity, it is currently unknown how long patching will take. Perhaps we’ll get lucky and it might start to resemble the series it is supposed to be a part of once more.
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