Review by GargerathSunman

"A complex yet very engaging game."

I've been playing it for about three weeks now, and I'm enjoying it tremendously. It's got the perfect mix of complexity/simplicity. It starts out complex, but as you play it gets simpler and simpler. The tactics change throughout the game as the aliens get different guns, armor, shields, tactics, and varieties as you go along. The organization system is designed very well, you can play with organizational raids/bribes if you want, but you don't have to. My favorite option would have to be taking manual control of my vehicles. There's nothing like hand controlling a hawk air fighter and watching the aliens die left and right.

Now on to the specifics.

I give the music a 10/10.
It was very ambient. It stayed behind the scenes setting the mood for what was going on. While the music did have a few problems on my XP system, that's to be expected from an old game.

Once again, a 10/10
The sounds complement the game nicely, especially during the pitched gunfights you have on the tactical screen. The sounds are reminiscent of X-COM UFO Defense, and I guess I might be a little biased due to that, but it was still very well done even without the nostalgia.

And again, 10/10
I've never really played a strategy/action game with this level of gameplay. You head straight from manually controlled (if you want) pitched gunfights to ground-ops and highly dangerous base defense. (if you aren't careful) The aliens never stop changing their tactics and abilities, and due to this never stop making you guess. The programmers ability to make a game this engaging and, yet, never repetitive, makes this an excellent game.

Sadly, 7/10
The interface didn't seem a very built system at first, but my main beef was the steep learning curve. Due to the fact that the manual is practically unbuyable these days, there's no written instructions. Also, ingame there's no tutorial to get you started. While this isn't a big handicap for those of you who learn hands-on, this does make the game a little too complex for those of you who like to learn through study. The game does get simpler after you spend some time experimenting, but it has a little too high a learning curve for the average gamer.

Final score, 37/40 or 9/10 rounded. This game is a highly recommended buy for any X-COM fan, and is also a very engaging game for all of you who enjoy a solid strategy game with a dash of action. You can play either all strategy, (Turn-based combat for ground-ops and never manually controlling) or you can play it all action. (Real-time ground-ops and manually controlled firefights.)

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 03/05/03, Updated 03/05/03

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