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X-COM: Apocalypse (Windows)

84
MobyRank
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
3.9
MobyScore
5 point score based on user ratings.
Written by  :  Late (98)
Written on  :  Apr 03, 2001
Platform  :  Windows
Rating  :  3.6 Stars3.6 Stars3.6 Stars3.6 Stars3.6 Stars

3 out of 4 people found this review helpful

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Summary

City planning made easy (BOOM!)

The Good

You can blast almost everything to bits! A very easy (though not always smart) way of killing your enemies, whether they be aliens or evil cultists, is using high explosives to level all the buildings and structures on the screen - and a very pleasing way at that. Never mind the civilians, they always get in the way anyhow (you often have to murder a couple of innocent fools just because they block doorways). The aspect I like most about all the UFO (or X-Com) games is the fact that while they are essentially tactical wargames, they acknowledge the fact that raising hell is actually a tactic.

The ability to choose between real-time and turn-based combat from mission to mission comes in handy, as certain types mission do not require a lot of control over the units, and combat can be quite tedious if you command a dozen or so agents in turn-based mode.

The retro-futuristic hi-res graphics are also very nice, and the sound effects are quite rewarding (aieegh! boom! zap!), though the music is quite hum-drum.

For a game that needs no storyline the storyline is OK, but the overall atmosphere and the constantly increasing difficulty kept me motivated enough to actually finish the game (which for me is something quite rare).

The Bad

As with the first two UFO games, some of the combat missions tend to drag out, but Apocalypse is much more playable than its predecessors in this sense. Also, on more difficult levels of play the bases tend to get very crowded right at the beginning, which is not a good thing, though it does make the game more difficult all right.

The music could have been more inspiring, or inspired.

The Bottom Line

Running an X-Com operation in a self-contained metropolis of the future means having to deal with evil cultists, criminal gangs, political organizations and mega-corporations while fending off (and eventually destroying) evil aliens from another dimension. While most of the action takes place at UFO (or IFO, if you research them) infiltration and crash sites in fierce isometric combat, but you also get to look at the city map while building your base, researching alien technology, arming your troops and using you craft to shoot down enemy vessels - in short, this game has it all! (Including hulking monsters rampaging through the city, destroying buildings.)

Though some aspects of the game could have been developed further (like the political and economical life of the city, space travel, etc), this game is one of the best in its genre as far as it goes. It's no Jagged Alliance 2, but well worth the price if you can find it!