Guest Author - Steven Blair
XCOM Apocalypse (APOC) was the last of the XCOM trilogy. This game holds a very loving place in my heart, because it was my favorite out of the three. Released in 1997 by Mythos games published by Microprose (one of my favorites), this game shows what the end of humanity may look like.
The basics are similar to the first two of the series. Detect aliens, fight aliens, study aliens, defeat aliens. However, there are many more elements to this game. In Enemy Unknown, the aliens came from Cydonia, Mars. In Terror From the Deep, they attacked from the ocean. In Apocalypse, they come from another dimension and are in no way related to the other two attacks.
Itís long past the defeat of the aliens in Terror From the Deep, but obviously there is no real protection from alien threats. Using alien technologies, they protect themselves under huge force fields and never leave the city. Most live here in peace. The corporations that once survived in the countries that funded XCOM now directly fund XCOM. The entire game takes place inside one of these cities.
Humanity shows its scars with the battle for earth. Sectoid Half-breed hybrids now live in the shadows of the great city known as Mega Primus. The aliens now travel through dimensional gates to attack the humans. Not only do you have to deal with the aliens but you also need to defend yourself or raid the other corporations.
My favorite aspect of this game is the city. When you detect an alien and go to attack them you need to be careful, your weapons can destroy buildings and the transportation system. The damage you cause to the terrain is deducted from your annual budget. The Hybrids look a bit like their alien parents and fight with you against the aliens. The hybrids have advanced mental control and can utilize psionics on the battlefield. In the event you start running out of resources you can send your team to raid one of the other organizations. But beware, they can also attack you at any time. These raids however are a great source for advanced equipment and elerium.
In APOC there is a new addition to the combat interface. You can choose between the old turn based combat or real time. In real time combat all your units and the aliens move and attack at the same time. The game can be paused whenever you need to. While paused, you can issue orders to your unit. If real time strategy does not float your boat you can always switch to turn based.
The object in the game is similar to the first two: find out where the aliens are coming from, and go defeat them. However, APOC is not nearly as simple as the first two. Many humans feel that by helping the aliens they ensure their livelihood after the human defeat. Humanity and the aliens fighting together can be your most difficult task yet.
Are you up for it?
Buy X-COM Collecters Edition on Amazon.com
Buy X-COM Apocalypse on Amazon.com