Review by monkeyboy85

"Intelligent gaming, well done."

If you liked X-Com, this is your game. X-Com is one of those rare games that crosses genres, creating a strategic ''Sim-Military'' that still delivers action and sometimes suspense. This is a sequel to X-Com, so expect to play X-Com. You build military bases to defend the world from hostile aliens in flying saucers. Sounds corny until you play it yourself. When saucers land or crash, the aliens inside will terrorize anyone nearby, and you must kill them. The land-battles are where this game shines. The fight system takes tactical elements of visibility, range, and even fear into account. Things must be planned to a Tee. However, if you decide to go rambo, you can sometimes surprise the aliens and still win. However, the rambo strategy usually relies on having really good luck.

Graphics (7/10): Rather than judge based on industry standards, I will judge based on X-Com standards. These graphics are a huge step up from previous games. However, they still need improvement, especially as some things still look too similar to distinguish without practice. Some items and vehicles look totally ambiguous; an X-Com tradition perhaps? Maybe its just me, or maybe it's because these things are 'future' or 'alien' inventions.

Gameplay (9/10): I guess it depends on what you value in this department. I like it a bunch, it's just hard enough to make every battle stressful yet possible to complete. The visibility, terrain, and range tactics remain blessedly solid. Strangely, this is one those rare turn-based games that actually scare you. Maybe I'm a big wussy, but there were times when I was in suspense. The panic/fear meter was a great idea and is sometimes a decent measure of your own growing anxiety. The enemies are rarely ever mindless drones, and are often decent at planning and executing maneuvers.

Story (2/10): Hahahaha, story? If you're looking for an involved, emotional, progressing storyline, you must be looking for Final Fantasy 9. This is not that game. The story here is a rough outline of the various groups that inhabit the city and some brief history of the future. That is your story, a set of background notes accessible from the game's interface. Read those notes at your leisure. I prefer to know what's going on, but it's hardly required.

In summary, this is a great game for strategy junkies and those looking for a unique experience. If you liked X-Com, you owe it to yourself to buy this.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 06/12/03, Updated 06/12/03

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