UFO - Enemy Unknown

Title		UFO - Enemy Unknown
Game Type	Combat simulation
Players		1
Compatibility	AGA and ECS versions
Submission	Isaac Abraham

I remember telling myself when I saw the previews of this game "Woah. This
looks quite good.". And after it`s release, I rapidly got hold of a copy. It
tells the tale of an alien invasion, and as the head of the recently founded
XCOM, your job is to stop alien incursions, by destroying enemy ships, and
to learn all that you can about them. There are two parts to the game, the
first is the "management" section. Here, you can buy and sell equipment and
staff, build new bases and tracking stations, send planes out to search and
engage enemy craft, and to research / build new weapons. This is possibly
the best part of the game. You can hire scientists and engineers in order to
research new weapons, such as lasers rifles and cannons, tanks, and so on.
Whenever you locate and enemy ship, you can send one of your F14s to
intercept it. Should you successfully knock it down, you can now send in
your "Skyranger" craft, which is a transport vessel. On landing at the alien
crash site, the second section of the game loads in. This is the
Laser-Squad/ Space-Crusade part. It is viewed in 256 colour 3D. This slows
things down on standard A1200s. On an A500 I hate to think how slow it would
be. However, as it is turn based, it doesn`t really matter, it just can be a
little frustrating having to wait a second or two for the game to respond
to a mouse click, instead of it being instantaneous. The game employs a "line
of sight" way of playing. This means that if your soldiers cannot "see"
behind a tree, that square appears black until explored. Tactical play is
the order of the day - hug walls and buildings instead of standing in open
spaces, to minimise the chances of aliens spotting you (watch the first half
hour of Aliens to see what I mean). At the start of the game, your soldier
have no armour, simple assault rifles, poor reactions, and panic easily.
With time, their abilities, such as reactions, aim, and so on, will all
improve. And if a mission of yours is a success i.e. all enemies are killed,
you will loot the crashed enemy craft for any interesting items. Dead
corpses can be examined, alien weapons can be studied, and ultimately
copied. It can be immensley rewarding to take out a Sectoid alien in one
shot with a plasma rifle when it might have taken two or three with a
standard rifle. Thus, it pays to research heavily in this game, as better
equipment such as armour, alien grenades, and even telepathic powers can be
used against aliens.
There really is very little to fault this game. It is sluggish on an A1200,
if you don`t have a hard drive, is only really of use if you have two floppy
drives. If you have an 030 based machine and an HD, you`re laughing,
however. The easiest difficulty setting should take a few months to
complete, and even then, you won`t have really "finished" with this game,
because the chances are you won`t have researched everything in this game -
there are tons of weapons to research, which will keep you coming back to
this game again and again.
It was released on budget a few months ago, so you could have bought it for
just 15 quid then. And as it was given away free on Amiga Format`s CoverCD
(albeit without the instruction booklet, although there was a fairly
extensive guide in the magazine), you really have no excuse as to not owning
it. Wonderful.

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