Review by Snoop54

"An enjoyable game which stands true to the X-Com series"

X-Com Apocaylpse is the first true game that I retain as a sequel to the first and greatest game of the X-Com series, (Ufo Defense).

In the developers’ attempt to change most of the game’s successful build, while still retaining most of the original concepts, I’d say X-Com Apocalypse is a game that could have been even better, if Microprose had given more time to the developers, but it naturally could also have been worse.

Graphics:

First off, this is the first thing you notice. The game has changed drastically in this area, as the game utilizes a more windows-style menu, and uses 32-bit color as opposed to the old-style 16-bit color that had been used in the original. Naturally, the textures have been upgraded, and there is A LOT more detail that can be seen in this game.. Everything from the buildings, to all the small people and vehicles that travel in the city has changed. The aliens also look radically different, none of them actually remember any of the original game. Some monsters will definitely remember some of the older ones for characteristics, but none do so for how they’ve been drawn and animated. I liked the simplicity of the original, but I must say that the developer’s attempt at trying to really change the graphics in this game wasn’t an unsuccessful one. I don’t particularly like this new one, but I must say it is quite nice, and fits in perfectly with the new theme and environment.

Rating – 8

Audio:

Finally, the game has some decent audio. There are some new soundtracks which accompany the game according to its phases (for example, when you are in vicinity of a hostile unit, or just managing your base, etc.). Also, the most interesting parts are in the sound effects that the aliens commit when they are trying to kill you. The spitter (the pink alien without a head, which spits from its neck) makes a terrific noise when it spits which still remains in my head. Other sounds such as the explosions have been made more realistic, and the lasers sound much better now. The audio quality has been improved to support the newer formats such as Soundblaster Pro Live, and such, so that is probably another reason why it sounds better.

Rating – 8.5

Gameplay and Lasting Appeal:

There are many aspects of the game which have been changed, in some cases improved, or made more realistic. However, the Most Important aspect of the game that has been tweaked is the fact that you’re looking over one city now, rather than the geoscape (the whole world). That doesn’t necessarily mean it’s more easier, but this change brings other factors into consideration. First, you cannot buy how much you want, rather, there is supply and demand, where you can only buy the amount that the manufacturer is willing to sell to you. The more supply he has respect to demand, the lower the price that the product costs, and viceversa. There are also no tanks now, rather, there are 3 types of agents (soldiers) which you can recruit. Androids, which are similar to tanks in human form, they can’t use any type of psychic ability, but are also immune to any mental attacks. Humans, they are in between, or in other words, pretty much a jack of trades between the various abilities. The last race is a mix between the Human race and the Sectoid race. They are more skilled in psychic abilities. Now, you have a limit on how and where you can build your facilities. For every base building that you buy, there is a certain amount of space that is given to you, and you can only use that space for your facilities. Scientists have a rating now, instead of being all the same. There are lots of changes here and there. Another important aspect is that you can choose between the classical turn-based combat, or the new real-time mode. In this new mode, you can choose to pause and play the game while your soldiers commit the actions. It’s a very interesting mode, and it generally makes the game faster. One battle can last a couple of minutes in real-time, while lasting 10-15 minutes in turn-based. However, it is also more likely that your soldiers get hurt/die in real-time, if you’re not careful. Finally, beating the game takes quite a while, and doing so in superhuman is quite a task. Again, like most of the X-Com games, the lasting appeal could be infinite.

Rating – 9

Rent or Buy?

I would definitely suggest a buy, since you need the CD to play this game, and I consider it a successful sequel to its original game. It’s successful in having introduced changes to the game, while still having retained the most important aspects. There could probably have been done some more tweaking, but the game is fine as it is.


Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 07/04/03, Updated 07/04/03


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