X: Rebirth – Falling short of ambition

This was meant to be a new beginning but instead it is stillborn, which is a real shame. There are plenty of reviews, all of which are very negative. The average star rating on Amazon is 1.5 though I do wonder about the sanity of those that gave it 2.

There is little about the game that feels natural: the space highway is a tedious mini-game; the dialogue of NPCs is stilted and artificial; and the universe just seems like a string of space stations with little to differentiate between them.

I was expecting a modern day version of Privateer 2 but this is just a mediocre copy with no redeeming features. At least with Privateer 2 it was possible to buy different ships and upgrade them. In X:Rebirth there’s only the Albion Skunk which has been balanced so that it can take on anything in the universe. To make matters worse 40% of the screen is taken up by the cockpit and there’s no radar. Luckily there are mods to improve the screen and also to allow NPC interaction without having to land on a station again. My PC is hooked up to a 42″ TV and the radial menus, and text in general, are too small to read and there’s no way to increase the size. This was possible in World of Warcraft which is a much older game so this just seems very lazy.

The short promotional videos released by Egosoft demonstrate the ship being controlled by an XBox360 controller. However, the ship can only be rolled by using the keyboard which is just ridiculous.

Women: the co-pilot wears a spacesuit with a window cut out to show her cleavage and it seems every space station has a strip bar. It’s not sexy, it’s embarrassing. Luckily there are mods to correct this. It’s not about being prudish, this is just dated objectification.

This was my first foray into the X Universe and it has been a massive disappointment. The problem is that it is a beta product that has been released as a finished one. For something that has apparently been in development for seven years, it raises serious questions about the management team at Egosoft. They were very ambitious in trying to change the game* to entice new players, but have fallen short.

Just don’t buy it.


* my understanding is the old X series was very different and required some dedication.

Dual booting 2013 Haswell Mac with Ubuntu or Fedora

Has anyone had any success with this?

Using a 2013 Haswell Mac Air using the rEFInd boot manager, I’ve managed to dual boot OS X and Ubuntu 13.04 but wireless did not work out of the box. Using the development 13.10 build it was possible to connect to WPA2 but not to an enterprise network.

Dual booting Fedora 19 resulted in the error “no boot device found” and I was unable to get it to boot.

Installing Ubuntu 13.04 or Fedora 19 on their own was successful.

The only reason I have even been looking at dual booting is for the firmware updates that Apple release every so often. Perhaps not critical, but some of them have been for the wireless and battery.