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The blog brought my attention to X3: Terran Conflict. Since I haven't played the predecessors but I'd like to know the whole story I wonder if there is a possibility to play them with X3TC's graphic engine instead of the rather ... nostalgic ... look of the original?

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There isn't a graphics mod one as far as I know of, but the story of the X-universe can be skimmed through by reading about each entry on wikipedia. Most of X games aren't heavily story oriented. – z ' Jun 26 '11 at 13:25
@yx_ so if your suggestion is starting directly with x3tc without worrying too much about the old story please feel free to post that answer. also, when's your next suicidal squid post ready? ;) – Zommuter Jul 29 '11 at 5:27
Its been a while since I visited that squid, I really should do so at some point... too many other games to go through in the mean time. – z ' Dec 6 '11 at 13:11
@yx. ah, I already feared it didn't make it... But I can understand what you mean. Let's call these other games Skyrim, shall we? :-P – Zommuter Dec 6 '11 at 14:39
hmm... I'm aborting my Skyrim playing to drown in the glory that is X3: Albion Prelude. Though I may have to restart my suicidal squid since its not backwards compatible for saved games. – z ' Dec 15 '11 at 22:32

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You can totally start your X3 experience with Terran Conflict. The background you need about the history of the universe is provided by the many informative texts in the game, if you want to read them all - but you can also skip them and still enjoy the game.

As has been said in the comments, X3's not Skyrim, it is much less focused on scenarized quests and universe history.

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