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X-Com Enemy Unknown

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Released: 1994

Genre: Strategy

Format reviewed: PlayStation

Publisher: MicroProse

Developer: Julian Gollop

Submitted by: James Evans

A ported version of the PC game, X-Com are the last stand against alien invaders across the world. You begin the game on a map of the world – you choose where you want to have your base of operations.

From the start, there isn't a great deal you can do – not enough money, nothing of value to research and you don't really need to build any new base facilities. It is at this point that the screen flashes red… ALIENS!

You send out your intercept ships and if it hits a little sonar battle takes place. If downed the alien ship crashes and this is when the game gets fun. Load out and equip your troops then send your salvage team to inspect the wreckage. Only you would if the loading times weren't akin to a C64 multiload game…. 3 brews later….

Finally the game begins with an isometric view of the surrounding area from your troops. Carefully lead them out through the fog of war to inspect the crash site. This section is turn based, so when you've used your points its the alien turn.

Ocassionally the game is quite evil and your troops may not even make it off the plane before ambushed, but after you have killed or stunned the last alien you go to the debrief.

Now you can research alien corpses, if you build containment you can study them live and also their weapons and tech.

Each month you are given new funds as to how you perform and before long you can bend rockets around corners and even mind control the enemy into doing your bidding!

If the aliens see increased activity from your ships, they can even find your base and attack you! so make sure you keep enough spare weaponary!

The end of the game sees you taking the fight to mars where you have no choice but to stop them for good.

A truely classic game, daunting to start, addictive to the bitter end. Just make sure you have a memory card with 15 blocks to save. Yep. 15.