Monday, July 16, 2012

X-Com: UFO Defense 1994 review

X-com UFO Defense Cover Art
   X-COM: UFO Defense (Or X-Com: Enemy Unknown, depending on localization), is a Strategy game from Micropose back in 1994, and has spawn several sequels and spinoffs, and inspiration for countless other games. You are in command of the X-COM unit, a military force composed from all nations of the world to fend off the alien menace, research new technologies captured from your enemies, interrogate living aliens, fight off UFOs and defend the populace from said aliens. Your biggest goal is to repel the aliens, use the technologies found, and bring the fight to them and force them from Earth.

Xcom UFO defense Base
    At game start you get to pick the location of your first base, get supplies, build additional facilities, and begin hunting down UFOs. At the begining, you are limited to only your human weaponry, but after you intercept a UFO and send a Skyranger (troop Transport) to assault it. Once there you get to go to the battlescape, where you equip the loadout of your troops with the armament you equipped within the Skyranger.

Skyranger Battlescape Xcom UFO defense
Xcom Ufo Defense Dreadnaught battlescape screen
   The battlescape is presented in a grid-line style with several vertical and horizontal tiles, as you can be attacked from above as well as ground level. Once you are ready you select each individual soldier and move them on the battlescape. You have several options for each soldier and can be overwhelming at first, like selecting kneel/stand, your overwatch settings (snap,auto-fire,aim) and other options.  You basically use the terrain to your advantage and scope out in search of the aliens present, using cover to help reduce the mortality rate of your troopers, which is very likely, as a single shot on an unarmored trooper can kill him instantly if it hits.

     This game is a classic PC game, and the strategy is the real draw, and remains a cult favorite to this very day, and a re-imagining in the works come October 9th, 2012.  The battlescape's combat presents very intense moments, and the musical score adds to the atmosphere, especially when doing a terror mission at night, not knowing where or when the next shot will be fired. The graphics may not hold up that well nowadays, but its overall presentation is still impressive, even by today's standards of fancy graphics and narrative.
Xcom Ufo Defense Ethereal AlienPersonnel Purchase Screen UFO Defense XCOM

Xcom Ufo Defense soldiers in Personal Armor
     Overall, If you never got to play this game, and you are a lover of great strategy games, this is a perfect game to add to your collection. If you are still wanting more, you can also play it's sequel, X-COM: Terror from the Deep, where you fight the alien menace in the sea.


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