Written by  :  wossname (210)
Written on  :  Jun 29, 2000
Platform  :  DOS
Rating  :  4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars
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syndicate with aliens

The Good

Well, the game is very large. It's more like 2 or 3 games. Soooo.....

Fighting Battles
The game engine for the battles is simply brilliant. I mean, the core engine used to make this game is still being used again and again and licensed out to other developers (like in Chaos Gate). I liked the realism, how a single alien could sometimes wipe out half of all of your XCOM-Operatives as soon as they stepped outside of the dropship. I also liked how one of your operatives could go into an alien ship by himself and slaughter them all (though this happens less often than the former). The weapons, the graphics, the aliens, the myriad of strategies employed to bring victory makes the battle system an absolute stroke of genius.

Building Bases and Researching
Another great thing about this game is the research system. In Syndicate you researched weapons and other technologies too, but it wasn't fun. In this game it is. You also have to hire engineers to manufacture the weapons, and then you also have to build labs and manufacturing plants for your scientists and engineers, and... Another neat feature in this game is how you build bases and maintain them. You have to micromanage everything, from shipments of clips of ammo for your soldiers' pistols to buying tanks and high tech interceptors. You also have to build bases. The facilities you build allow you to do new things, or get more of something. All employees such as soldiers and scientists require living quarters to live in. Scientists need laboratories to work in. You need general stores to keep all of your items. You need hangers to keep ships.... You can also build more than one base, and sometimes aliens attack your base and you get to fight in them. The location of your base also matters, because it affects your ability to defend funding countries, which brings me too...

Those Ungrateful Bastards
You are running an international defense agency, so you are sent funding by all of the nations on a monthly basis. They pay you a certain amount of money; some more, some less. However, if you do a bad job of defending them they will lower their funding and even withdraw it if you do a really bad job! So you have to build your bases close to your primary funders.

Air combat
This is one of the smaller portions of the game but still is important. Sometimes you send out interception missions to shoot down alien aircraft; there are strategies to this section too but what you actually do in these situations is very limited.

There. The game is absolutely huge and wonderfully built, a technological masterpiece.

The Bad

If you completely blow out the bottom story of a house, or a lower section of a street light, the upper parts would stay intact floating in the air. Alien intervention perhaps =)

The Bottom Line

One of the best games ever made.

July 2000's PC Gamer issue distributes the full version of this game along with a bunch of other full version games such as the original Monkey Island and Descent. It's a great chance to pick up some games you missed out on in the original release.