Friday, September 27, 2013

Art and science fiction: X Rebirth

I have said it before and I'll say it again: I love it when art and science fiction come together.

That is what seems to be happening in the new game X Rebirth.

Upon reading through this article, it seems that "new" is a bit of a misnomer as the game has been in the works for at least a few years now.  At any rate, X Rebirth aims to be a completely immersive and artistic science fiction experience.  The game appears to not only provide the fanboy service of piloting an interstellar spaceship and being involved in battles, but to also allow the player to inhabit the space of the game.  You can "live" within its buildings.  You can walk a ship's corridors and actually feel as if you are there.  This is a game more driven by character than by action.

The writer of the linked article goes on to drool that the detail of the renderings in the game are such as to be on the same level as legendary science fiction artists Chris Foss and Ralph McQuarrie.  I'm tempted to call such comparisons hyperbole, especially in the case of the latter, but I will reserve full judgement until I actually experience the interface.

What I will say is that it certainly looks pretty.  Check out the rendering I posted above and the detail of line, color, and motion.  More intriguing even than the sexy imagery is the proposed concept of a shared eco-system of both the big and the small.  There are whole planets, space stations, and factories the size of moons.  The user can then dock at such structures and experience the environment on the micro scale, on a personal and one-to-one basis.  You can interact and communicate with other characters, both other players and NPCs the game has generated.  This is Second Life but strictly for the science fiction fan.    

The artists, designers, and programmers bringing us X Rebirth promise an indubitably addictive virtual experience, one so gratifying that we may never want to leave.

And maybe that's what I'm most afraid of...and most vigorously enticed by.

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