X2: The Threat

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X2: The Threat
X2 The Threat Cover.jpg
Release date: December 3, 2003
Developer: Egosoft
Publisher: Deep Silver
Series: X Series
Platforms: Windows, MacOS
Technology: X2 Engine
Media: CD-ROM

Summary

X2: The Threat is a computer game developed by Egosoft for Windows. It is part of the X Series. It was released in 2003 and is a sequel to X: Beyond the Frontier. Freeverse Software ported the game to Mac OS X in 2004/2005, while Linux Game Publishing produced their Linux port in 2005/2006.

The sequel to this game is X3: Reunion (2005).

Gameplay

As with the originals, X2: The Threat is a Space trading and combat simulator set in the fictional X-Universe, a network of sectors, linked by large space gates. The game features a new graphics engine, a much expanded Universe and 60 different flyable ships, along with a number of new missions available to the player. Unlike the expansion pack, X-Tension, which was almost entirely open-ended, X2: The Threat has a clear background story involving an aggressive alien race known as the Kha'ak. However, the game remains open-ended and the player is free to pursue the plot at their own pace, if at all.

X2: The Threat was generally well received by critics, with many reviewers praising the graphics and the amount of freedom offered to the player. Common complaints were that X2: The Threat, like its predecessors, was quite slow paced and had a steep learning curve.

Plot

The player takes the role of Julian Gardna, a Pirate and thief. Early on, the Kha'ak, a hostile alien race, emerge to threaten the X-Universe. The player is asked to undertake a series of missions to uncover their origins, their intentions, and to determine their connection to his missing father. Ultimately, Julian must fight off a massive attack by Kha'ak, rescuing numerous other characters in the process. Key non-player characters include:

  • Bret Serra: rogue, pirate and Julian's closest friend;
  • Ban Danna: the head of Argon Secret Service who shares a close relationship with Julian's father dating back to the previous game, X: Beyond the Frontier;
  • Elena Kho, Chief Executive in the influential Terracorp corporation;
  • Saya Kho, daughter of Elena Kho;
  • Kyle Brennan, Julian's father, founder of Terracorp, and protagonist from the previous games.

Due to the expense of completing the plot, the player is periodically prompted to break away from the plot and increase their resources through trade and other open-ended play.

Open Ended

X2 is set within the X-Universe, which consists of 130 sectors connected by two-way jumpgates. The main area of each sector typically contains several stations and at least one gate. The game is open-ended allowing the player to go where they like, when they like, doing whatever they like; a player is limited only by their in-game status and resources. As such, a driving force of the game is to acquire credits - the universal currency - and status.

Using credits a player can buy wares from a station, for a price. These wares may then be flown to another station where they can be sold, ideally for a higher price. However, prices vary - from minute to minute, second to second - depending on demand. The less of a ware there is, the higher its price. As such, the X-Universe has a truly dynamic market-driven economy. A player can capitalize on emergent trends to make vast profits; or as easily, can waste money and time on a bad cargo choice. As a player builds profits they can buy equipment, weapons, ships, and even stations (to produce more wares, weapons and equipment). The player can acquire an unlimited number of ships and stations, of varying size, shape and function. A player can set their own goals, and devise their own missions, and choose their own path in how they wish to shape the universe.

The game contains numerous races. Status affects how races, and individuals respond to the player, and what kind of missions are offered. A player status is categorized according to 'Mercantile' skill, 'Combat' skill, and a 'Notoriety' ranking for each race.

Links

Official Website


X
X: Beyond the Frontier, X-Tension, X2: The Threat, X3: Reunion, X3: Terran Conflict