UFO: Aftermath

aka: The Dreamland Chronicles: Freedom Ridge, UFO: Kolejne Starcie, UFO:AM
Moby ID: 10575

Description official descriptions

In the year 2004, Earth is suddenly overcome by "spores" launching from an alien mothership. Slowly blocking earth from the sun, in only a week it rains down biological death on the earth... killing most of humanity and larger life forms.

Since then, the few survivors of mankind have sought out each other, and by 2005, enough humanity has joined together to make a stand. Calling themselves the Council of Earth, and working secretly in hidden bases, they must research, recruit and train to the ultimate goal of shooting down UFOs, engaging aliens in combat and reclaiming the Earth from their oppressors and the mutated biology.

This game is VERY similar to the cult favorite, X-Com but with a post-apocalyptic War of the Worlds (or perhaps "V: The miniseries") feel to it. Much of the game takes place on the world map where you choose which missions to attend to, where to build new bases (and what type) and your overall sphere of influence. Additionally, you control Research & Development and current equipment for your squad.

On the 3D map of each "area" however, the game is real-time strategy that pauses to allow you to give orders to your forces. In fact, at the end of queued actions or whenever something 'signifigant' is noticed, the game stops allowing you to put together a strategy. Just as in X-Com, these areas are limited in size, and visibility. However objectives vary.. killing all enemies is not always the purpose of a mission. Soldier development is also fairly detailed. The skills your squad uses out in the field they will get better at (they gain experience individually). Additionally when they reach certain prerequisites in their base stats, they can train to get better at certain skills, including Soldier, Medic, Scientist and others.

Spellings

  • UFO: Нашествие - Russian spelling

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Credits (Windows version)

74 People (69 developers, 5 thanks) · View all

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 68% (based on 33 ratings)

Players

Average score: 3.2 out of 5 (based on 35 ratings with 8 reviews)

An attempt on reviving a classic ... sadly a failed one

The Good
The best thing that can possibly be said about UFO: Aftermath is that, even if the developers claim otherwise, the game is a spiritual successor of the classic X-Com. However, the guys at Altar obviously thought todays gamers would be overwhelmed by the multitude of options and repelled by the time-consuming turn-based battles. Said and done, geoscape was reduced to a minimum. For example, funding now isn't an issue, you needn't worry about the layout of your bases any longer, you just set them to one of three (in the late game four) basic modes-of-operation and be done with it, squad management is now a breeze, because you can never have more than one single squad anyways, etc. Likewise, the squad-battles themselves have been turned into RTS-like fashion, essentially they now play very similar to the combat seen in Baldur's Gate. In an effort to bring in a tad strategy, "important" events, like a friendly unit under fire or the sighting of a foe, will auto-pause the game. All these events can be disabled, though. The graphics, while not exactly top-notch, are nicely done, but you're very likely to be playing at the maximum zoom-out, so you'll miss a lot detail. What you'll notice is that Altar has gone great lengths to give city missions in different locales a memorable outlook, and they succeeded, cities in Russia, Australia, North America and Asia all look entirely different, which is a pleasant feat.

The Bad
If you're out of Elementary School for any amount of time, you'll likely feel that the game has been dumbed down a bit TOO much. Apart from the aforementioned base-simplifications ... You can only produce a single item at a time, and can only have a single research project going. In the late game, you'll have a dozen manufacturing bases around the globe cooperating for a day to solder together a single laser pistol. And you can't even tell them to keep going until 10 are ready. No, single items only. A single squad, 7 members, will be on all your missions around the globe. Sure, you can let it consist of various group-members at a time, but only one active squad is allowed. (And still it's very likely three of your seven squad members have exactly the same voice...) These are only a few examples for the nuisances on geoscape level. But what about the squad-battles? In order to allow for the freely-rotatable 3D real-time environments, a lot of tactical possibilities had to be sacrificed. Remember the height levels in X-COM? Gone, just a "flat" map now. Remember the possibility to enter every building, from the gas-station to the toolshed? Gone, only bases and UFOs can be entered now, effectively switching to an entirely different map. Remember the possibility to take cover? Gone, the aliens will hit you hard, no matter if you're standing upright on open ground or if you're kneeling behind a car-wreck in the ruins of a city, if they can see you, they'll hit you. (Might have something to do with the fact all actual aliens have "heroic", the best level, in all their stats.) I'll stop here, though plenty more similar weaknesses could be pointed out here.

The Bottom Line
All the simplifications I listed above were done for a reason. However, many weren't actually finished to the point they were first planned, because developing time ran out. Others were finished, but don't reach the goal they had in mind. In the bottom line, the game just lost too much profile. Even if you can forgive or live with all the mentioned shortcomings, there's still another aspect: The Story. It's is a patchwork of different "wouldn't it be cool if we had" things that don't really belong into the same storyline, it's presented very badly (apart from the intro and extro, there's only a number of text-windows and the shortish descriptions of the research projects) and, if compared to the original X-COM, UFO:AM just isn't fun to play. That said, this isn't a bad game, not at all. It's quite nicely done and reaches an acceptable level on almost all levels, but it fails to set itself apart from the crowd. It's solid, yet far from good, let alone exceptional. IF I remember this game in a decade, like I fondly remember X-COM today, I'll only remember it because it tried to resurrect a classic that I remember, not because it was a classic itself.

Windows · by Cadorna (219) · 2003

Great tactical game: I got hooked at once

The Good
The combat engine is excellent and the control scheme is fairly vigorous and powerful. The characters are nicely animated and the voices are very interesting with their different foreign accents. They are very realistic and gives the impression u are leading a real international army, made up of people coming from all around the world to fight the alien hostiles. Also the mood music is quite original and contributes to create a catching atmosphere.

The Bad
I would have liked some higher level of customization of bases and equipment.

The Bottom Line
Much fun to play!

Windows · by Robert Seagrove (5) · 2004

Tactical combat freaks will enjoy this game

The Good
There are strong surface similarities between UFO and X-COM, but U:A is a very good game on its own merits. The combination of individual tactics and a captivating plot results in an amazing game where you can use several powerful weapons to combat the alien enemies. The graphics are pretty competent and both the sound effects and the voice over are very good. Also the world map is well done and very detailed.



The Bad
The tactical interface could have been a bit user-friendlier: it takes some time getting used to.

The Bottom Line
I have played the game for a week and I just love it.

Windows · by Tommy Wood (38) · 2004

[ View all 8 player reviews ]

Trivia

Many of the graphics are regionalized. For instance, European cities look very different than American cities. Additionally, you may select your starting region from the GAMES menu.

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Shoddyan.

Additional contributors: Corn Popper, JRK, Stratege, Victor Vance.

Game added October 5, 2003. Last modified May 19, 2024.