By the year 2084, only one city on Earth can support human life: Mega-Primus. The rest of the planet has been contaminated from past wars with aliens, resulting in an atmosphere filled with deadly toxins and a completely altered climate. Mega-Primus was built as the solution to this disaster, functioning as a self-contained city that would shield its people from the environmentally ravaged planet.
While everything was peaceful for decades, recent increases in violence and crime suggest that something is wrong. If that weren't enough, sightings of UFOs have picked up and people are starting to flee to other colonies. It's only a matter of time before complete chaos erupts! Sensing this danger, the Senate has secretly agreed to support an investigation to determine if aliens are indeed behind the unrest.
X-COM: Apocalypse is the third game in the X-COM series on the PC, which began in 1994 with X-COM: UFO Defense. You must once again lead the X-COM unit to investigate the mysterious happenings from an isometric viewpoint, only this time it's set within a futuristic city.
Send your squad into various buildings (after first assigning them to vehicles such as hovercars) to either find evidence of the alien presence or engage in combat to retrieve their technology. Your goal is to recover as many artifacts as possible so your scientists can find ways to defeat the aliens once and for all. In a departure from the last two games in the series, the tactical part of the game can be played using either turn-based movement or in real time.
Things have not gone well since the last Alien War. The world resources have been exhausted, and most of the population have been concentrated into the last hope: Mega-Primus, a self-sufficient city. Things are starting look good until a strange portal opened in the sky, and UFOs emerged from it. It seems that the X-COM is needed again.
X-COM: Apocalypse is a sequel to X-COM: Terror from the Deep, and is the third entry in the X-COM series. It is a real-time / turn-based strategy game that features a mix of research, resource management, macro tactical combat, and micro tactical combat. At the city screen, the player controls vehicles to engage the threats (everything from rival factions to alien UFOs). If a UFO has landed or infiltration has been reported, the vehicles will land/dock at the infestation site and engage in tactical combat with the equipment at hand. Once the player managed to capture aliens and alien equipment, the scientists can research and perhaps even copy them for the player's use.
The player will also need to balance the budget as everything costs money, from agents to equipment. The various human factions must be kept happy, otherwise they might turn against the X-COM. The player must hire recruits, buy weapons, ammo, and equipment to outfit his squads in the vehicles (including weapons on the vehicles and their ammo). The management mode for tracking down UFOs is called the Cityscape; combat takes place in a separate environment, the Battlescape, where the player engages the individual aliens that managed to escape.
Differences from the previous games in the series include reworked graphics, larger maps, a more complex world, and the possibility of choosing between real-time or turn-based tactical combat. Also, instead of just engaging aliens, the player will also have to deal with multiple human factions, from a cult that worships alien invaders to gangs, from industrial giants to security forces.
The third game in the UFO a.k.a. X-COM series. For anyone who has played the first two games (like me), the game can be very confusing at first. Just give it some time, and you will soon enough figure out the controls. The biggest difference between the previous games and this one, is that you now have control over cities and not the world. You may think that this may prove to be a flaw, but you will be surprised at the challenges the game offer. There are many buildings in a city, and each of these may be Alien Infested! Also you will need a good strategy plan for every mission.
As in every UFO game ever made (including Aftermath) you can give each soldier a custommade name. I don't know exactly why, but I love this ability whenever I come across it. Another thing I love in the UFO games is the research. The key to success in any of the UFO games is to always try to be one step ahead of the aliens in terms of science. You need to plan your research very carefully to achieve this.
As for graphic and sound, the game features a nice pixel made utopia city, but the combat sequences within the buildings don't contain the original feel from the first two games. Never-the-less the game is still very nice to watch, and the animations are also good. Graphic-wise the game really shows of what it can do within the different buildings. A school, for instance, will look very much like a school in real life :) The sounds are (as in the first two games) just blips and beeps, but they work incredibly well to enhance the game feeling. Anyone who has played UFO - Enemy Unknown will understand what I mean. The music is also perfect to create the ultimate gaming feel.
So, to put it in short. X-COM - Apocalypse is a all over solid game, well worth any gamers time and effort. An absolute must for fans of the series, and a definative 5 point score!
Just a friendly warning... IF you see some alien that is small, yellow and looks like a booger, kill it at once! Otherwise you might share my sad destiny (Wendy Maree killed me with an explosive round after being corrupted by one of these :( and as if that wasn't enough she then ran off, only to blast Puffin, Titan and Kosta away too...)
Part of the X-Com Series
People who downloaded X-COM: Apocalypse have also downloaded:
X-COM: Terror from the Deep Collector's Edition, UFO: Enemy Unknown Collector's Edition, X-COM: Interceptor, Warcraft 2, Warcraft 3: Reign of Chaos, X-COM: Enforcer, Warcraft: Orcs & Humans, UFO: Aftermath
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