X3TC lets you choose between many gamestarts. A gamestart throws you into the universe from a unique position. It changes the way you look at the universe by showing it from the perspective of a Paranid or a Terran military pilot, an Argon or other of the less frequently played species. It also means you will have completely different ships, weapons, race relations AND sometimes a few special missions to get into the game.
BUT (and thats the key information here): You can usually play all campaigns (we normally call them plots) of the game with all gamestarts. There are exceptions to this rule, but especially the gamestarts available to the player right from the start allow you to play all missions including all the main campaigns.
X3:Terran Conflict has one plot which is designed to start the game with. It is easier and a bit faster paced than the rest. This is the plot about the Terran system and you have to play it on the side of the Terran USC (military). Obviously this is easier to get into, when you start the game as a Terran military pilot. With most other gamestarts you have therefore "bridge missions" which you can pick up to get the right relation with the Terrans and get into this particular plot.
HOWEVER (and this is the second key information many reviewers miss): This game has a lot more unique mission content than just the Terran plot. There is a story that evolves around a special somewhat ancient construction built by the Terraformer for example. The german translator team mentioned this in their blog article and called it the "boron plot" (a term that I didn't hear before. We usually call it something else, but that name may spoil the story a bit, so I will from now on comply with the translator team ;)
So to put it into the language game reviewers love let me give you a nice tabular overview:
- Gamestarts: 4 from start + more than 10 activated later
- Campaigns: 5 each with unique rewards and full voice recordings.
- PLUS: Special gamestart "bridge" missions, corporation specific missions and lots of generic missions.