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UFO: Aftershock (PC DVD)
- Global strategy game, with tactical missions
- Sequel to the successful UFO: Aftermath
- New amazing technologies and items for development
- New enemies and allies
- Resource and base management
- Improved SAS (Simultaneous Action System) and RPG systems
- Strong story
- Platform: Windows 98 / 2000 / Me / XP
- PEGI Rating: Suitable for 16 years and over. Not for sale to persons under age 16. By placing an order for this product, you declare that you are 16 years of age or over.
- Media: Video Game
- Item Quantity: 1
UFO: Aftershock is the sequel to the highly successful 2003 title UFO: Aftermath and follows directly from one of the endings of the first title, where the player agrees to hand over the Earth to the Alien scientists, who are trying to change the planet into a giant living organism. The Council of Earth and their followers take refuge on an orbiting satellite prepared for them by the aliens, but not all the survivors of the original invasion were re-located.
The game starts after many years in their new home, with no sign of the aliens and a failing life support system--the player must find out what happened to the Earth, the people left behind on the surface and the new visitors.
UFO: Aftershock is a mixture of squad based tactical action and global strategy with the gamer controlling the actions of elite ground troops, and the running and construction of an intricate network of interlinking bases.
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UFO: Aftershock is the sequel to that game, and takes a more original storyline approach. Rather than fighting off an alien invasion, in this timeline the aliens have already won and the last vestiges of humanity have been imprisoned in decaying space stations orbiting the earth. When one of these is sabotaged the survivors begin reexploring the abandoned earth below them, now inhabited by mutants, aliens, as well as disparate tribes of psionics and cyborgs.
The 3D engine has been much improved from the last game, as has the quality of sound effects and the control interface. A few niggles remain however, that won't suit everyone. The simultaneous action system (as in Combat Mission or XCom Apocalypse) won't suit everyone who prefers turn based things like Fallout 2 or Jagged Alliance 2. For my part it speeds up those missions where there's just one more alien hiding somewhere, which was a sore point in the XCom series. Secondly, I find the weapons a little underwhelming at the moment; meatier sound effects and some more impressive special effects might have improved things. But finally, the biggest problem is that in its current form the game has quite a few serious bugs.
There are forums over at Cenega flooded with people who can't get it to work due to an "assert_fatal" error. The trick is to delete your "options.txt" file from within your profile, but it took me a long time to track this down. Also, you need to have downloaded the latest drivers otherwise the tactical screen can be very jerky. I got so frustrated at one stage I was about to send the game back, but now that I've got it working I'm very happy with it and look forward to losing many hours to it. There is a patch on the way, but I wouldn't recommend this game for the technically faint-hearted!
The tactical combat is quite good, but the camera management can be a bit boring. Perhaps the system used in UFO Aftermath for viewing was a bit more user friendly.
The story is envolving, as you have to rediscover and rebuild all human based earth technology and history, apart from dealing with the surviving humans on the planet and the new extra-terrestrial threat. Overall UFO Aftershock can take you through several weeks, if not months, of adictive non-stop gaming.
In the early parts of the game I was convinced that this was going to be a 5 star game but as it carried on it slid down the scale. The reasons for this are mainly
(i) the repetitive nature of the tactical missions of the game which although short and punchy are a little too much of the same. It is a little too easy to rely on just a very limited selection of character types to get through every encounter and some weapons are a little overpowered in later stages of the game.
(ii) the speed of the storyline is governed by the research time of your main lab which you have no control over. Later on in the game you can easily find yourself with the game speed turned right up for long periods waiting for something to happen.
All in all it is disappointing to see that the game at best does not appear to have moved on since the last of the X-Com series and at worst has gone backwards in that time.
A couple of years ago, UFO Aftermath was released, which tried to update classics such as UFO: Enemy Unknown, and X-Com Apocalypse (a great, complex game for its time). It was good but fell slighlty short of the mark on several counts.
This sequel attempts to improve yet further on the flaws of its predecessor, and succeeds very well in my opinion.
Highly addictive, and wonderfully in-depth, you begin to get a sense of attachment to your squad as they train and develop over time.
The Worldwide strategy section of the game is tricky and a bit scary to look at at first, but great once you get the hang of it.
Only real criticisms: there are a lot of bug reports on the offical forum, (although I haven't experienced the worst of these myself). Despite having a powerful PC, loading times seem to get rather slow sometimes, so make sure your machine is up to the job.
Cerebral and tactical - the ability to pause the action and stack up orders makes you really think about your squad tactics.
Really really good and well worth buying. Thumbs up.
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