#353 X-Com: Apocalypse

Posted: 16th September 2016 by Jeroen in Games
Tags: , , , ,

542nd played so far


Genre: Strategy
Platform: PC
Year of Release: 1997
Developer: Mythos Games
Publisher: Microprose

We played the first X-Com game a few years ago, and I remember it as being outdated – no in game tutorial or handholding, just putting you in there and wishing you good luck.

The second game isn’t on the list (I believe you would uncharitably describe it as the first game… under the sea!). Instead we get the third, set in a (mega) city instead. Will that work?

Our Thoughts

X-Com Apocalypse works – sort of. Setting it in a city makes the game feel smaller in scale, and the involvement of businesses who like or dislike you, rather than countries, makes for something more organic feeling – it seems more reasonable they’d shift allegiances. On the other hand, the diminished scope makes the game seem smaller, which reduces the “saving the world” feeling you had before and makes things like having multiple bases seem a bit stranger.

While travel has changed – possible by car now, which has to follow the streets, but has obvious price/capacity benefits – and the changes really change how the overworld works, the all-important crew battles are broadly the same.

I mean, there’s an improved UI and you start off a bit stronger, but there were some oddities with the AI control and walking around that took some time to master. They also started out tough early on, which made for a few frustrating experiences. It feels like slow going really, especialy without it being clear what happens when you go in.

Final Thoughts

I love the idea of X-Com. The games have an interesting world and interesting mechanics. What I still haven’t gotten over is the difficulty – not only is it high, there’s no real ramp up and feels like you’re forced into it from the start. It’s a shame, it puts me off really trying. I hope the recent revival – the first of which is on the list – will at least solve part of that.