X4: Foundations

Space Sim Giant Leap or Microscopic Misstep?

Our in-depth journey through the universe of X4: Foundations.

last updated Jan 23, 2024
X4: Foundations doesn’t just have a learning curve; it has a learning cliff with a few greased ledges for good measure.

Navigating the Void

X4: Foundations offers an impressive sandbox that can easily gobble up your weekends—and weekdays if you're not careful. The game is a playground for the thoughtful tactician, boasting a living, breathing universe where every choice ripples through the cosmos. However, it's about as daunting as quantum physics; you're thrown in head first with little to hold onto besides a relentless, often head-scratching urge to figure it out. It’s a grind, but boy, does it feel rewarding when you finally crack the code and your space empire starts to bloom.

Symphony of the Stars

Where X4: Foundations truly shines brighter than a supernova is its orchestration of sight and sound. The score serenades you with cosmic tones that make space feel as mystifying as it is terrifying, while the technical sounds of engines, laser fire, and bustling stations give real substance to this virtual void. It's a shame the stars don't always align when it comes to voice acting, which can feel a bit like a mandatory high school play - good effort, Tony, but let’s leave the drama to professionals.

A Visually Vexing Void

Graphically, you’re in for a mostly stellar trip. X4's galaxies are detailed, ships are well-crafted, and space stations are a capitalist architect’s dream. The dance of light and shadows dazzles the eyes, making each space adventure feel freshly painted. Nevertheless, the polish isn't consistent - much like my grandpa's bald spot - as character models are the grandfather clocks in a room of smartwatches. Some players have also noted pesky performance drops when the on-screen action would make Michael Bay swoon, which can be a bit like slapping molasses on your windshield mid-hyperjump.

Tales of Space and Frustration

X4: Foundations doesn’t just have a learning curve; it has a learning cliff with a few greased ledges for good measure. The controls are a labyrinthine network that may have been designed by a maze architect's evil twin. Remapping keys can be as stubborn as a mule set in its ways, refusing to relinquish some default settings. Meanwhile, the user interface seems to hail from the era of the abacus, presenting a deluge of data in a way only your spreadsheet-happy accountant could love. Game Cover Art
STEAM RATING 77 .23% Developer & Publisher Egosoft Release Date November 30, 2018

The Verdict

X4: Foundations is like a galactic-sized box of Legos dumped onto your living room floor. It's overwhelming, intricate, and requires a sizeable investment of your time and sanity. But for those who have the fortitude to persevere, the recent updates and sheer depth of play provide a space sandbox par excellence. The game is a testament to the potential found in indie and small dev teams, with a clear passion for the genre that eclipses its rough edges. So strap in, take a deep breath, and get ready to claim your corner of the universe.