Here's a summary of the first 10 hours of trying to like X4:
- 2 hours of tutorial learning to fly
- 1 hour of googling what you're supposed to do at the start of the game
- Giving up.
- 2 hours of flying around trying to find a shipyard to buy a resource probe to finish the first quest
- 2 hours flying around trying to find some missions to do
- Giving up.
- 2 hours of mining enough crystals to buy a mining ship
- 1 hours of googling how to buy a mining ship and assign it, why I can't tell it to go somewhere else, what a resource probe is for, what effect crew have on a ship
- Giving up
As is often the case with game series that have a long history, many of the reviews are of the nature "This game isn't exactly the same as the last game, so I don't like it". Looking past those I could see that playing this was going to take some serious investment but it would apparently be rewarding in the end. I was determined to give it a decent shot and hopefully find an excellent space sandbox to get lost in. I'm sure that underneath all of the terrible UI and lack of information there IS a decent space sandbox here, but the developers seem to have done their best to turn away anyone who isn't already a hardcore fan. I'm sure if they hired a UI designer to completely overhaul the interface it would be far friendlier to newcomers, but as it stands, the lack of information in-game and confusing interface make it impossible to like.
Everything. EVERYTHING I wanted to do required me to Google it. From how to traverse systems, which faction to join, how to earn money, how to find a shipyard, how to find crystals, where to buy a resource probe, how to set up a mining ship, what a trade computer does, all of it had to be found in random forum posts on the internet.
I would love to recommend this, but only with a heavy warning that you're going to need to be extremely patient, and be ok with Googling everything.