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X-Com - Enemy Unknown (PC)

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This is the first of the X-Com series. A turn based strategy game from MicroProse where you have to save humanity from aliens.

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    16 Reviews
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      15.07.2009 18:03
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      A game worth playing even if it is slightly old

      The time that MicroProse spent developing this game was certainly worth it, there has never been a turn based strategy game that has been able to live up to this standard, the more recent UFO games that were based on the same idea couldn't do it.

      The one thing that made Enemy Unknown great is the re-playability of it, every time you started from scratch you would end up doing something different, sometimes you would be able to survive longer other times you could end up losing in a couple of months.

      Management was a large part of Enemy Unknown and it's sequel Terror from the Deep, you were able to manage every base individually from the building placement to what you were able to manufacture, this also included what armour-ments the aircraft and soldiers you commanded were equipped with. All of which can be a very hard thing as you are technically juggling the fate of the planet while trying to secure funds to further the research and development of alien and human technology.

      After every successful mission completed you were always left with relief in the fact you are one step closer to saving the world but on the other hand there was always a sense of sadness at the loss of a valued soldier. Every mission could be done in a multitude of ways which was possible from the wide range of weapons available, the most frustrating one I would come across would be the mind controlling orb but the reaper was a pain in the backside as it went round attacking people until they also mutated into reapers.

      Although being slightly old and being designed for the amiga it has come a long way, there are a few emulators that make this more stable run on newer machines but it is able to run without the emulators it may crash sometimes as a result.

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      14.05.2009 16:53
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      One of the best games to have graced the old playstation/pc

      This game is a piece of nostalgic legend. I loved this game when it was released on the playstation. Yes the graphics aren't the best, yes it could be mind bendingly slow, yes it could crash but it was a joy. If only Microprose didn't disappear and could unleash a fresh version on the high end entertainment systems of today.
      For the uninitiated this was a turn based strategy/role play game. The Earth is under severe threat from aliens who are looking to conquer our humble planet and a covert organisation called X-Com is our last hope.
      You have to prioritise your spending and then you've got the alien threat. At first all you possess are a few silly pistols and machine guns to go against the alien threat. Expect heavy losses at first until you can get your mitts on some alien weaponry.
      Of course this is useless to your average combat soldier, it has to be researched and adapted by your scientists back at the lab. Once they get to work then you can wage war back at the ghastly invaders!
      There's a vast array of enemies from sectoids (your standard E.T.), snakemen, floaters, sectoids who can possess your mind, chrysalids who are the ultimate terror weapon (they bite you and you turn into one yourself!), mutoids (hard as nails combat aliens) and the dreaded ethereals (weak but have the power to completely dominate their opponents.)
      You're taken all over the planet and believe me this is one epic game.

      Sigh! Alas we can't play it anymore. Come on someone, give us an X-com game for the 21st century :D

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        10.03.2004 22:05

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        An SAS Commandment Sim...with Aliens - Advantages: Turn-Based Strategy at it's best, Military UnitsResearchManufactionPlanesAutopsy'sUfo'sAliens...The Works - Disadvantages: Can get boring after a while, Extremley long game

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        24.07.2002 21:16
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        The 'X-Com' games have a much longer history than people generally believe. Prior to 'UFO: Enemy Unknown', these turn-based strategy games began life on 8-bit home computers under the title 'Laser Squad'. A decade later, and computing has advanced in leaps and bounds to bring us 'Apocalypse'. True followers of the games from the earliest days will appreciate a few nods to the past in the game. The 'Marsec' corporation has been resurrected, as have a few of the old weapons. Those who found the original overwhelming in its fiendish difficulty needn't worry, as in my view this game is much easier. For those unaware of the series, 'X-Com Apocalypse' is a turn-based strategy game which sees you taking control of the eponymous X-Com. Your objective is to defeat an alien invasion from another dimension, while budgeting and managing your bases, right down to the living quarters. However, in a new element to the series, you also now have to contend with street gangs and corporations. This gives a nice variation in the things you have to shoot at, and also adds a political dimension to the game: you can only use the facilities and services of friendly factions, so you may often find yourself having to apologise for being a little too gung-ho during your missions. Someone has to pay for any damage you do to your surroundings! You have an astounding amount of control over the details of your organisation. With even your research scientists varying in competence, you need to keep a constant eye on your progress. This is by no means a simple blast-fest. This increased level of tactics at the management level is new to this installment. In my view, it goes a little over the top at times - I would rather my troops re-armed themselves without having to constantly worry whether or not I've topped up their grenades. Maybe prompts to re-order items would have been a good idea. The other majo
        r innovation of 'Apocalypse' is that you now have the option to play missions in real-time, rather than the turn-based format. I have to admit, I've not really tried this option much, I'm so used to the older versions, but it looks really good fun and I've enjoyed tinkering with it. While the city in which the game is set is an interesting environment with a lot of well-designed buildings and plausible transportation system, the part of the game you want to know about is the battlefield. Because, for all the political trimmings, this is still a wargame, essentially. GRAPHICS The animation and detail level in all the sprites has been improved greatly from the previous games. The effects are also nice, on the whole. The explosions are much better than they used to be, and shots pinging from different surfaces are realistic. The sprites are perhaps a little too small for my tastes, but there's no doubt that a lot of effort has gone into creating them. There's a huge variety in background graphics, and every area has been carefully designed. SOUND I'm not really a great fan of in-game music - just put a CD on! For what it's worth, the background music in this game is pretty good. Atmospheric and varied, but sooner or later you'll just get fed up with it. The sound effects are great. All the squelches and screams are nastily convincing, but you might be forgiven for thinking a few of the guns lack something in the volume stakes. I did feel as though I was firing an air-rifle at monsters at times. GAMEPLAY Your little troops are now capable of running, walking, crawling and kneeling, and they're bright enough to run for cover if they spot an alien. The aliens are just bright enough to make the game playable, but on the easier skill levels especially, they do some fairly odd things. On some missions, you'll scour the whole map only to find th
        em all skulking in one small room. That can be irritating. When an enemy soldier panics, you'll also occasionally have to sit through a good couple of minutes of them firing wildly until they run out of ammunition or time units. Also, by the time you've built up your massive empire of bases full of veteran soldiers and highly-skilled researchers, you'll be extremely reluctant to actually finish the game and put an end to your creation. This is particularly annoying if, like me, you start on the easiest skill level and work upwards. This is the problem with the level of control you have over your organisation. It's fine for a game like Sim City, where you can carry on forever, but for a game with a definite end to the story, it can be a bit of a wrench. For all its little faults, this is a great game, in the mould of all its predecessors. You will stick with it until you complete it, and that's very unlikely to be quickly, even on the easiest skill level. It's only a few little niggles that stop a great game from becoming an excellent game. Shame. This seems to be the last of the traditional X-Com games. Since the release of 'Apocalypse' (which I actually bought some years later for a couple of quid on a budget label), we've had X-Com Interceptor, which changed the game to a space combat style thing of the kind which was so popular a few years ago, and a new one which seems to use the Quake III engine. Typical, another fantastic games concept gradually forced to become just like everything else. See also 'Worms'.

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          19.01.2002 07:35

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          Before I start, let me firstly say that if you haven’t played either UFO enemy unknown, or Terror from the deep, then don’t bother playing this. The way you play the game doesn’t make a difference, but the plot is so intricately conceived that it would ruin the experience. For those who are going to play it anyway without having played the other two: Aliens are trying to take over the Earth and you have to stop them using an elite team of operatives in a group called X-com. It is a government funded organisation and it was X-com who originally ended the alien menace on two other occasions. However, this time its an entirely new race who are after our planet, but guess what… X-com have to kill the aliens all over again. The general basis of the game is still the same as the other two in the X-com series but the geoscape has been made much more advanced, with individual buildings and roads, instead of just countries. This has the disadvantage of making the geoscape much more difficult to control, but in the main it makes the game much better. For instance, now you can actually see your ships battling away with the alien intruders, and more than one ship can attack the aliens at the same time. It makes all aspects of the game very intense. Also, you can actually see the aliens trying to coerce the innocent humans into helping them. The cult of Sirius see the aliens as our masters and are quite hostile to X-com forces. However, the aliens try to spread their influence all over the city and if you aren’t careful you are left battling your closest human allies. The actual battle mode for X-com agents has also had changes. You can now play in real time mode, which I think brightens up the game wonderfully. No longer can the `save at end of turn` trick work, because you never know when an alien will appear. The graphics have had a vast improvement from the original series and there is still as much diversity in the a
          lien species as you would expect from microprose. All in all, a fantastic game which can be played over and over again.

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          11.07.2001 06:51
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          XCOM: Apocalypse is a must for anybody who has played any of the others in the XCOM seris. This game takes place in a city where you are the leader of XCOM and your job is to ceep the alien menace under control. The way you go about this is up to you but be warned if the aliens get in too much companies will side with them and attack you. The whole interface has been redifined in this version as you only have to look after one city, it may not sound much but there is usually 4+ UFO's to deal with at a time, the XCOM craft have been changed to be limited to this city but they will still need to be uprated. There is a lot of research to do as in all of the other outings, but this time you need dedicated labs for the tasks, eg wepons and UFO's are done in quantum physics and aliens are done in biolabs, you will still need to build your own items based on the alien artifacts. The graphics ane sound are improved upon since the others, but the biggest improvement in my view is the abbility to be able to do the combat missions in real time instead of turn based, turn based is still there for those who liked it. The weponary has been improved upon as you start with lasers and other wepons appear with out any need for your research as you buy them from other companies so dont annoy them or they will stop selling them to you. The only people that you need to keep happy is the government as without them you loose your funding! The aliens that you will fight are new and i can say watch out for one called the popper (this one will get you). The best thing to say is go and get this game its cheep now, i would get it even if it was not cheep.

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            24.04.2001 18:01
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            there is one thin i have to say about this game and that is that it rules!!! at first i thought that it was really hard... but that just made me want to play it even more! the game has a reletavly good AI it even seems as if the aliens learn what you do and then either run and hide or come from a different angle and blow you to hell and back!!!! and the suspense when you are trying to find that last alien is a killer! esspecially when he is a popper and your guys are not equipped with decent armour. the graphics in this game are not exactly awsome but for the time they are quite good. there is always the satisfaction of watching you men die in glorious explosions though!!! as the explosions are actually quite realistic for the physics side of it! the explosions are multi tierd so if you are in an overpass and a vortex mine goes off underneath, there is a good chance that the overpass is gonna get wasted and you will come tumbling down with it!! as for the sound...... well!! that i think is what makes the game!! the suspense can be unbearable on some occasions!! and when there is an alien spotted it cuts into the action music, making you feel all psyched up for the battle, which you find is over as soon as your squad gets an eye on the hostile unit! very good sound razor edge suspension but not as much as X-com Enemy unknown! where i jumped out of my seat on many occasions whilst playing in the dark! i would recomend this game to anyone who can get easily adicted!! and for all lovers of the x-com series.

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              15.12.2000 19:37
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              This is the most addictive game I have ever played. If you have played any of the other X-Com games you will be familiar with the basic concept, aliens attack and you either send in men or vehicles to deal with them depending on the situation. However this game has been greatly improved and is very, very good. For the first time in the tactical combat situations, when you control your men, you are able to play in real time as well as turn based. There are also a lot more voiceless to choose from then before, such as hover cars and APCs. The location has changed to just one city and you are even able to take the fight to the alien dimension. You also have to research alien technologies as you capture them, but unlike before you have different research sections, such as biochemistry. There are also different companies in the city which may become hostile towards you and you will also have to fight, this can even include the police. Overall a brilliantly addictive game. The only trouble is both the graphics and sound could do with improving, though they are still quite good. This is a must for all previous players of an X Com game as well as all strategy gamers.

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              08.10.2000 05:01

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              This is the first in the X-Com range of games where you can choose to play in real time if you wish, which makes for a different kind of game to the turn based version.. personally, however I prefere to play in turns, as I'm a fan of classic X-Com gameplay. All the familiar parts of this game are there although the landscapes are much more urban based, no tramping through the middle of farms, or ice fields here, it's almost all based inside buildings, and to my mind it doesn't work quite so well. The research side of the game is again virtually the same as the earlier games, but with even more stuff available to research, although there is a lot more choice in equipment to buy from different companies, but this is where you have ot be careful, as it is possible for the aliens to take control of factions and companies, or for you to annoy them so much they won't sell you any of their good anymopre, and then you're in trouble! A worthy successor to the first two games, but it never felt quite right to me, perhaps it was that the face huggers scared me far too much!

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              06.09.2000 06:31
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              The first Xcom was addictive despite some really cheesy bits like the air combat, and the second was addictive and a definite improvement, but the third game is miles ahead of the first two. It's amazing that you would actually WANT to spend hours doing the same basic plot for a third time, but believe me you will. The game takes place in a city with a few dozen different groups. Some are more important to you than others, because some of them sell you vital equipment. If they are taken over by aliens, you may be in big trouble. There are more weapons, more technologies, a greater variety of aliens and crafts, and a much better air and ground combat system. It's also quite hard, so be careful out there!

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              01.07.2000 01:07

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              The last game in the X-Com series takes us even further into the future – where the human population of the Earth is concentrated in one large city. X-Com is resurrected in order to deal with an Alien threat from another dimension, and have to keep all of the different corporations and political parties happy in the process. This game marked quite a radical shift from the previous two. Thankfully the designers have learnt from Terror from the Deep and really worked on the game dynamics, to the extent that it now takes place in real-time <sharp intake of breath from the readers>. That’s right, all of your little guys run around and fight in glorious real-time, although purists can choose to retain the original turn-based design. The main game sees you trying to shoot down craft as usual, but you can do some interesting things. These range from stationing tanks and troops in normal buildings to attack the aliens (there are a few interdimensional portals dotted about, so you know more or less where the attacks will come from) to attacking hostile groups to reduce their political influence. You can even watch where the aliens are dropping troops off, wait until the UFOs have cleared off, then send the boys round to ‘sort em out’. If you let things get out of hand the different parties will get infiltrated and turn against you – not a good thing. The combat sequences are excellent too. The graphics are a bit poor (in fact, one of my mates can’t stand to play the game because of them – although I think this is a little excessive), but they do their job nicely. Your soldiers can have their AI set to react in different ways, and they usually react how you would hope (stand their ground, seek cover if attacked etc.). Eventually you find a way to follow the aliens back through the portals and can take the battle into the alien dimension. This adds an extra element to the gameplay, as you can send supplies ba
              ck and forth to your men on transports and destroy different alien facilities. However it still falls foul of the same problem as it’s predecessors; the game begins to drag. I accept that there’s no way around this, but I still begin to lose interest as the game wears on. I probably have myself to blame slightly for not expanding my facilities as quickly as I could (if you have more research stations you can pump out advances faster), but still I couldn’t face playing it all the way to the end. The alien dimension bit breathes fresh life into the game, but by the time I reached it I was already getting fed up.

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              29.06.2000 16:22
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              XCOM Apocalypse is one of my all time favourite games. Having played through the entire series (except XCOM interceptor, which I hardly like to acknowledge, because it's almost an insult to everyone who's bought and played the previous ones) I really love this one. The story goes that at the beginning of the 21st century, aliens started taking a great interest in planet earth, and we decided to stop them once they became hostile. XCOM was formed, an elite military/scientific unit with the full name the Xtra Terrestrial Combat Unit to fight and study the alien menace. (This all happened in the first game, UFO Enemy Unknown, which is a classic and I recomend you play if you haven't already) The aliens were defeated, only to return a short time later, and this time attack not from the skies but from their undersea bases which had been secretly built. Again, the menace was quashed, but to return a third time, like athletes foot to try and kill all humanity again. This is where Apocalypse comes in, you take control of XCOM, in a large city full of different organisations, who all have different opinions on you and each other, and who trade and fight etc with each other. Diplomacy is very important, if you upset an arms supplier for example, it becomes hard to get weapons, upset the police and their police cars start shooting at you. Basically your task becomes to shoot down enemy UFO's, visit the crash sites and kill aliens or stun them. You then research their bodies, dead or alive and their equipment - which helps you develop new weapons and technology to better combat them. You also have to visit terror sites, places where the aliens are attacking. If you allow these sites to go unattended, the aliens will take over the area and will take a grip on the organisation/area they attacked. This causes a problem because the organisation will then become hostile to you. Great fun. Lots of action to be had i
              n the combat mode, with a 3d isometric view, moving soldiers about and telling them how to kill and went to kill but this is sadly let down by fairly crap graphics. The soundtrack is also really crap but you should really pay attention to the gameplay, because then you'll ignore these minor points. You can play realtime (new to this incarnation) or turn based in the combat mode, and the more experienced your soldiers become, the better they are. Soldiers are rated in lots of different areas, including strength, speed, stamina etc and these statistics can be in most cases, improved with practise and experience, making your soldiers tougher and harder to kill. Logistics make a comeback in this version of the game, with stores and equipment management becoming very important if you wish to be successful. You need to keep a close eye on your ammunition to make sure you have enough to fight with for example. All in all, a superb game - especially if you liked the previous ones or you like tactical games with a great storyline.

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                29.06.2000 05:12
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                The peril of the secret government founded organization X-com is one which everyone should be familiar with. X-COM have had many games, starting with enemy unknown back in the early 90's i swear. This must have been my first real strategy game i played and i fell in love. The balance in the earlier games was never quite spot on if you ask me, but in Apocalypse it is perfect. The learning curve of this game has got to be one of the best bits about it. The major difference about this game in the illustrious series was the clock contoller used to speed time up, so that your men can recover, munitions arrive, base facilities to be built and accidents to happen. In this game it only takes days for things to be built, delivered (minutes infact) or 'events' to take place. But it is still balanced as it takes a long time to get through a day, where as before you had a time setting to skip days! But now your elite team of scientists can complete research, munitions can be delivered and aliens attack your rather lonesome city. This is one reason why the time scale has been shifted, as you live in the distant future (well not that distant) your city is entirely self-sufficent and without contact from whatever else lies about planet earth. As there is only one city then you need not worry about whats happening on the other side of the globe, this i always found a problem in the earlier X-COM games. In Apocalypse, there are three mysterious dimensional breeches floating in your city, and strange alien craft come out and cause havoc. So the legendary X-COM organisation had been started up again. You must fight the evil alien beings and save the city. With more advanced combat, but still similar for those older users, you can fight in the good old turn based way, or the all new real-time way, a loverly addition to the game as not all were pleased when there men were butchered by aliens and they could do nothing but scream at the moni
                tor. There are new weapons, new base facilities, more to research, more aliens to capture and kill and a lot, lot more fun. Buy this today if you like the oldies, or just couldn't stand the hole turn base part. p.s with the release of another now 3D first person shooter version of X-COM on the horizon you might want to save your pennies for that as it looks to be a blinder!

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                26.06.2000 00:37
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                I really like this game in spite of its flaws. It has the basic elements of the previous x-com games but with new bits tacked on. You start off with a basic budget which you can increase depending on how well you do in the game. With the budget you build bases, ships, and weapons, do research and recruit soldiers to fight an alien menace. But the best bit of the game is fighting the aliens, which you do with a selected squad of soldiers. The battles can be real time or turn based, but i preferred real time as it was frantic and exciting. overall a great game for the price

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                14.06.2000 12:29
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                This game has been around for a long time but it is still very good. Remember the days of dos games there back. The idead behined this game is to stop ufo`s destroying your city and taking over the Earth. Once detected you select your interceptor and shoot them down or force them to land. Downed Ufo`s require a squad of your best me to be selected for a alien hunt. There are 2 methods turn based (normal X-COm) or the newer real time. The real time provides a good challenge especially when you have a large squad to control. Captured aliens/equipment are taken back to base for research to get better equipment. Graphics ar a little dated nowadays and the sound can be tricky to set-up using soundblaster emulation on a modern soundcard but once setup the sound is good for the type of game. The gameplay makes up for lack in other areas I remember playing for hours and hours at a time and I still play it on the odd occasion.

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