Monday, March 5, 2007

Let us speak of games.

I've discovered two games recently that I am quite happy with. Both are blasts from my past and although I don't feel like digging through the archive I think I mentioned both of their predecessors.

1.) UFO: Afterlight
The original X-Com series was and still is one of my favorite strings of games. I will say that Terror from the Deep was a bit of a turd but it was still fun to play. The UFO series has lived up to the lofty but humble beginnings of the X-Com series. I started off playing UFO: Aftermath, then UFO: Aftershock and now UFO: Afterlight. I will say that they have all been quite inventive up to this poing and UFO: Afterlight does not disappoint.

The mars colony started by the Laputians of earth has been out of contact with earth for over fifty years. Of course some have given up hope and others have continued on. During a routine dig one of the colonists is slain by a strange ‘Mech’ of unknown origin. As the story goes on the colonists are suddenly faced with some sort of ‘gate’ that opens up and the aliens that immerge from it. The reticulans (grey aliens) that have helped you are now your allies in a battle for survival.

Graphics (1-10) – 8
The graphics are good, very smooth and detailed. When you change your gun it changes in the small model’s hands, when you change your suit your suit changes. Each person has their own skin so aside from the fact that everyone is a different color you can still tell everyone apart. Of course since this game perspective tends to prevent you from going too graphics heavy there is a lot going on all at once.

Sound (1-10) – 5
The sound effects are good but some are louder than others, a little more balance is needed when you’re trying to play early in the morning and you have someone trying to sleep through the next wall. It gets annoying trying to turn the speakers up and down to compensate for a laser blast that is a bit louder and higher pitched than the sound of a rifle going off.

Game play (1-10) - 8
I love the story line; every game further develops the lore of the alternate progression of earth. The first thing you need to do is familiarize yourself with the options. You can set when the game pauses, pans the camera, or gives you alerts. Other than that the game play is great. There is a lot to manage though, so you have to be careful. Your research, production, training, resource gathering and building are done by a limited staff of people. You really have to micro-manage your people. At first the training and people management can be daunting but they provided more than enough documentation to get you started.
The only reason I gave the game play an ‘8’ is because it takes a bit of time to get yourself up and running and figure out the best way to manage your people between missions and building stations.

Overall: 9
Despite a little hurtle to get yourself over and a few problems with overly loud sounds the game is worth the purchase. Support the company, lets hope they keep producing fun games.

Multiplayer - None

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