Review: X-Com Revival Package

The_root_of_all_evil | 16 Oct 2008 20:53
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X-COM : Terror From The Deep
The alien base is destroyed! The world is saved! So what are these strange submarines doing on radar?

Like the Daleks, the aliens were never destroyed, they just went into hiding. Naturally, it's up to X-Com to save the world again.

Some people would say that this is just X-Com: UFO Defense 1.1, but underwater. They'd have a point, but there are some excellent additions. Things like "Save AP's to duck and fire" are great, and there's something about being underwater that's that little bit scarier than just walking around buildings.

There is one big flaw though: You're still stuck to the ground and all the old research has to be re-done. I can see why this has happened, but it's really annoying when you have to make a 'floating' suit instead of just being able to swim.

While UFO Defense is based on the old ITV series UFO, Terror From The Deep steals directly from stories of R'lyeh and Cthulhu; you even get the strange feeling of breathlessness as you step from behind the coral and see a Tentacula bearing down on you.

The real difference here is similar to that between Star Wars and the Empire Strikes Back: Whilst the first has originality and charm, the second has a compelling darkness.

X-COM: Interceptor
Just like Star Wars, X-Com has its spinoffs. Interceptor represents the Wing Commander vein, where Microprose took the game from its originators.

Earth has been devastated and new resources are only available at "The Frontier". Unfortunately, the Aliens are still there, mining for themselves.

Think Tie Fighter. It's not too bad.

X-COM: Enforcer
The second spinoff. This time it's into the FPS area. Supposedly one of the original scientists created a Terminator-style robot which is there to fight hordes of enemies.

Perhaps I'm doing it a disfavor, because the game itself isn't terrible, but it's far more a console game than a PC game. No COD or Half-Life, but a game you can dip into.

X-COM: Apocalypse
Back to Gollop for the finale, and, like Schubert's final work, it's not quite finished. But there's still a great game here.

We've come back to Earth and there's only one city left, surrounded by a force field. Within it is the Cult of Sirius, who think the Aliens are wonderful.

With turn-based games there was always the problem of running across the ground in slow-motion, and so an element of RTS was added in where the Lego-men (now upgraded to Bionicles) sprint across in real time before dropping to freeze-frame when trouble hits.

With the Gollop games though, like Windows, there are a few things that you will have real trouble working out. The new dogfights across the city have to be carefully controlled or the Cult will be crying for your blood. (Root's quick tip: Don't set the guy with an itchy trigger finger and an incendiary auto cannon to go and check out the Police Aircar Depot.)

Bottom Line: These are games you can play on any PC that give you hundreds of hours of play. And that's a realistic number for once.

Recommendations : Five games at $4.99 each, all five for $14.99 or save up for a new game? I'd plump for all five; at least three are well worth playing and that's $14.97, so you can spare your two cents for the others. And that's my two cents. Or at current exchange rates, one penny.

- by Mike Grace (The_root_of_all_evil)

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