Review by Adanis

"A decent game that just scrapes a 7/10"

Introduction
Aliens are at it yet again, this time they're appearing through dimension portals in a bid to take over the world. So it's up to you to use your resources as X-COM Commander to make sure that Mega Primus is safe.
X-COM Apocalypse follows on from the previous 2 games and is set in the year 2084. You have most of the old alien technology at your disposal, as well as a few other neat things such as psycic human-sectiod half breeds to help out. You also have the option to choose real-time or turn-based combat, the space ship battles are still present and research/engineering make a welcome return.

Graphics
Satisfactory for a game of this ilk, the graphics are smooth and detailed. However the do look a bit tiny, and when there's to much on screen the game can slow down a lot.

Sound
Atmospheric music that creates a tense-ish cyber-alien feel, and a rock-like encounter soundtrack are present. The atmospheric one is great whilst the rock one is annoying. The sound effects are suitable and the screams and screeches are all well done. Overall goodness, but nothing mind-blowing.

Gameplay
Microprose have taken a step side-ways here and opted to concentrate more around real-time action than turn-based stratergy. Seeing as the original X-COM's main strength was turn-based tenseness God knows why they've done this. It does work OK in real-time mode, but your soldiers can still be as stupid and irrational as in the first game, and in real-time mode it's all to easy to end up all over the place. The turn based option is quite similar to the original, but most main flaws from the first game still remain (eg. clicking somewhere really close to you and having a soldier taking a crazy long route there etc.), however it's still good enough to enjoy playing. Politics play a part in the game, the variety in locations and backdrops is rather large, overall it's a larger game than it's predecessors, and combat is still really good fun.

Replayability
Irrational and erratic computer politic logic as well as an easy difficulty setting means that you play through it only 1/2 heartedly. You'll probably go through it between 2-3 times, but here's not much to see after that though and it can get a bit repetative.

Buy or Rent?
Rent it. You'll probably need to buy it to finish it, but rent it first to see whether you're overcome with dissapointment or love it.

Graphics: 5/10
Sound: 7/10
Gameplay: 7/10
Replayability: 6/10

Overal Score: 7/10

BUT IS IT AS GOOD AS X-COM: UFO DEFENSE??!?!!???.....

Right here are the main differences:

+ The senior soldiers aren't as feeble as they were. Being a sergent makes a difference this time round.

- The sprites are just too small and weedy.

+ Big explosions, major structural damage, loads and loads of aliens in parts make for some great action.

- A lack of tenseness and worry in & out of combat. You will probably end up being defeated by politics instead of lack of funds/soldiers.

- Not enough items to research or suprises. The best items are really weedy as well.

- Annoying multi-level buildings with little nooks and crannies can really get on your nerves.

Summary: It starts good but never really gets going. Fans of the original will curse some aspects of it and you get the feeling as if some magic has been lost from the first one somewhere along the line. HOWEVER, it is still fun and shouldn't be dismissed without trying. It's the kind of game you'll play a fair few times, but can't be bothered with about 1/2 way through.


Reviewer's Score: 7/10 | Originally Posted: 09/20/00, Updated 09/20/00


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