Review by LansOperator
"UFO: Extraterrestrials A.K.A. X-COM: UFO Defense 2.0"
UFO: Extraterrestrials aka X-COM: UFO Defense 2.0
After countless push backs this game has finally gone gold and it's time for some aliens to feel the power of plasma all over again. I first heard about this game while visiting the X-COM: UFO Defense forums here at gamefaqs.com. I then looked into it and thought wow another X-Com turn-based type fan made game... wait this looks good, wait this looks really good... so after hours and hours and HOURS of playing this game I finally decided I was qualified to write a review.
Game Play - 10
The game play is where this game shines. Seriously, this is a quality X-com type strategy game. You start out with a small band of soldiers, scientists and engineers and you have to save your new world, Esperanza. There are two main modes to the game, the Geoscape and the Battlescape.
In the Geoscape the game play is all resource management and taking down enemy ships to get to the Battlescape. You will spend about 10% of your time here so you need to make every purchase, research assignment or manufacturing assignment count. You have the ability to make new bases, purchase new equipment or make some if you have researched it. You can also make base defenses, alien containment facilities along with many other options to beef up your base. Later in the game you will need to make new bases and cover more of the planet to deal with the alien threat.
In the Battlescape is where this really shines. You will be spending close to 90% of your time in here. You start out landing on the planet and in early game you are armed with only "weak" human weapons. It will take a few shots of a human rifle to take down even the weakest of enemies. Later when you have laser, plasma or better you can one or two shot close to everything. This game has a sort of hit detection built into the game where you can get hit in the face, chest, arms, legs, etc and it affects your soldiers in negative ways. When hit and wounded you accuracy of shots fired or grenades thrown are cut in half or worse. In the Battlescape this game is an extremely advanced form of chess. You basically have a board where you can move your characters and they can only move a certain amount of spaces. Being a turn-based game you could compare this to almost any "tactics" game like Final Fantasy Tactics for example. The basics to the game is you move around trying to find the aliens and kill them. The aliens are trying to do the same. Later in the game you need to capture Alien Commanders to continue in research and storyline.
Controls - 8
The game has decent controls in the you control almost everything with the mouse. There are no real shortcut keys (unless you download the mod which is great) which makes the game one handed if you will. The only time you use the keyboard is to name saved games or rename your soldiers. Don't take the one handed controls as a bad thing because it's really not. It makes the game straightforward and this is a game about tactics not button mashing or weird finger placement. There is a mod for the game with shortcuts which make the game easier to use later in the game when you have a set way of playing the game and know exactly what you want to do every time.
Graphics - 6
When you first look at this game you may sigh because unfortunately the graphics do look a little dated. They started working on this game in the early 2000's and unfortunately it shows.
The Geoscape looks great but the bases and alien ships on it look like something you could have programmed in high school. The Battlescape looks the worst in the game but overall isn't very hard on the eyes. Almost everything in the game is 3d except the soldiers you command. This looks funny at first but you get used to it rather quickly. If you can get past the early 2000's graphics you will find a diamond in the rough.
I had to give the graphics a 6 only because compared to todays high definition gaming this cannot stand a chance.
Sound - 9
Intense. One word that defines how the sound comes across in this game. There is music for every menu, battle or whatever you come across. They have definitely emulated the scariness of the original X-Com's music. Imagine playing in the Battlescape on a night mission at night in real life in a dark room where the only things visible is your soldiers, maybe some aliens and your shirt moving from you heart beating so hard. You can thank the music. Mute your game, turn on the lights and it will all go away, but why would you want that?
Replay Ability - 10
With three difficulty settings (easy, medium and hard) there will be many challenges for you to run across and repeat with close to the same entertainment value you did the first time. As long as you like the resource management and Battlescape play you will most likely play this game over and over like the original X-Com made you do.
Buy or Rent? - Buy
Since this is a computer game you have no choice other then to buy. Lucky for you it will be worth every penny. With the more then solid game play and replay ability you will get the cost compared to time played down to penny's to the hour.
Get past the graphics and dive into the game play and you have yourself a more then solid turn based strategy game. I cannot recommend this game highly enough. If they would have only done something more with the graphics I would have easily given this game a perfect score.
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 05/07/07
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