2008-08-20:

UFO: Alien Invasion

game
About 14 years ago I've got my hands on UFO: Enemy Unknown (in USA it was released under the name X-COM: UFO Defense, but I prefer the European version), a strategic/economic/tactical game released by one of the rulers of computer game market in the old days - Microprose (they released such titles as, inter alia, Civilization, Colonization, or Transport Tycoon). The game was a solid product, from the storyline, up to the gfx and gameplay. In UFO:EU, the player controled an anti-space-alien organisation, both from the strategic/economic side (building bases, research, etc), and from the tactical side (controling single units on a battle field). After some time a sequel named X-COM: Terror from the deeps was released (based on the same engine). In the sequel the action was brought underwater (some on-land action also remained). Later the third part - X-COM: Apocalypse (on a brand new engine) was released - it cut down the game world to a single metropolis... and then I broke up with the series (I didn't like the 3rd part, the game lost it's touch imho).


I've heard again about the UFO series about a year and a half ago, when I was looking through some games for Linux-based OS'es (games are the main reason I don't use a Linux-based OS) - I've found an open source project called UFO: Alien Invasion. UFO:AI is a try (quite successful as afar as my opinion goes) at recreating a similar game to both first UFO games, but at the same time a little more graphically advanced. The game was based on the Quake 2 engine, but I think it was decently modified, because the game feels like the good-old UFO, even though it's 3D (I hate when developers try to force 3D everywhere, but here it looks really good, and you can switch to isometric mode too ;>). When I first found the game, only a TechDemo was available (You could play one or several (I don't remember) tactical missions) - I played the TechDemo, and it was good. And now I just had to wait for a fully playable version...

Something like a year and a half later I've the game came to my mind once again (it's not entirely truth, since I visited the project site from time to time), and I started to search the Internet for it. Alas, the old domain (ufoai.net) had expired, but fortunately google told me that on SF the project still exists, and that the project site is available through a different address. I also found out that a fully playable version (YAY!) has been released (tagged with number 2.2.1). I've downloaded it and started playing.


I must admit that they were able to recreate the awesome feel that the first two UFO games had! I especially like two things: texts in UFOpaedia (every found item is described there, before and after the analysis; additionally there are also descriptions of the aliens themselves, as well as descriptions of earth technologies, etc; someone did a great jobs writing them), and the tactical missions (snipers are REALLY snipers!).
However, the game is still in development, and there are some bugs left, balance to be tweaked, and some stuff to be implemented. But you are still able to play, so if You have 30-40 minutes free time from time to time, I really recommend the game ;>

I've also found on the project site that in version 2.3 they are planning to release a new UI theme, which I like very much (it reminds me of Syndicate and Syndicate Wars - really good games).

OK, thats all > Try UFO:AI, and think about helping them out with the project in free time ;>

PS. On the last screen You can see that Rzeszów in year 2084 was moved to the south of the Europe ;D

Comments:

2010-06-17 17:53:39 = sociasoc
{
Good tour-tour game idea. Using many interested scines on process (Airstrike, base activity in planet zones) and possible play with opponents(multiplayer) online.

Thats related links for two online UFO - ENEMY UNKOWN GAMES:

FREE ONLINE MULTIPLAYER GAME http://www.7kplay.net (free) - UFO2000

and

http://invasion-enemy-unknown.x10.bz (0.75$/month club monthly payments) - UFO2000, UFO_TTS
}

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