266 of 269 people (99%) found this review helpful 6 people found this review funny
398.4 hrs on record
Posted: February 18, 2015
Oh boy, saying that this game is a priceless gem would be the understatement of the century, considering that this game is almost twenty-years-old and is still absorbing almost 400 hours of my time is an impressive feat, also this is only my time on this computer, as I have another 600 hours on other systems combined. I started playing the original X-COM when I was six and almost instantly fell in love with it, however, with this game It has so much more content (and even more planned). The thing is, I absolutely love this game, it is likely my favorite of all time, the only one competing with it is the original X-COM. If anyone from Firaxis sees this review, create a poll on your X-COM forums and ask about how many would like to see a remake (or even a HD remastering while adding the features planned for it) for X-COM Apocalypse, I promise you, it is worth a financial investment, as it will sell like hot-cakes. This is one of those few games that is so good its just begging for a remaster. If you want to see a X-COM Apocalypse remake, give this review a thumbs up!
114 of 122 people (93%) found this review helpful 88 people found this review funny
48.7 hrs on record
Posted: June 12, 2015
Equip a team of twelve dual-wielding commandos with power swords and mini-missile launchers, pack them all inside a bunch of hoverbikes and go raid a temple of alien worshipping cultists while yelling "XENOS LOVE IS HERESY".
Short version: This game is great. Buy it, play it.
X-Com Apoc is a strange, but completely lovable creation. It's certainly an overly-ambitious game, and not all of its features were fully implemented. But it's not broken.
The cityscape is, like fans observe, a working ant-farm. Organizations raid each other, they raid you, you raid them. Aliens are a big part of the game by they are not your only enemy.
Political and military decisions directly impact on the game and on the environment. If you are at odds with certain groups, there will be consequences. Some are obvious, like not being able to buy equipments from them. Some are more subtle. If you make an enemy of the corporation that runs the public transport system, your new recruits won't be able to reach your base. How great is that?
Forget about the limitations of the (surely great) new X-Com: you can have multiple bases, and stack them with troops and vehicles. You'll need them. Each real estate to build a base have a different price tag and different spacing accommodations. As always, you'll have to choose wisely.
This games feature a very advanced version of the turn-based game mode of the classic X-Com. If you want a good turn-based experience, this game does that.
But the real gem, in my opinion, is the real time combat engine. It's simply fantastic. It's every bit as tactical as the classic turn based, but with refinements and even limited responses from the units. They will not dumbly stick around under fire, but will, while respecting their orders, move in and out of cover to fire. They will behave like actual soldiers would, panic including. You can pause at any time to issue commands, and you can also create groups.
It's a sophisticated tactical real time engine that - make no mistake - have little to do with traditional RTS games. It's a real joy to blast aliens and enemies like that. The missions are more fluid, as well. This game feature some huge maps that are a core to go through on TB but are almost a breeze on RT.
The cityscape interception combat is fully realized on this game, and you can have huge air battles between your craft and the aliens. Sometimes the local police may even help you.
Difficulty is Adjustable. It can be set to easy, and on the hardest difficulty it can give any game a run for its money.
This game is a lot of fun, and I really recommend it.
X-COM: Apocalypse is certainly the best XCOM game to start with if you are new to the franchise. Earlier XCOMs are doubly confusing, (though Apocalypse is still just as strange to a new player), but this entry eases that pain. With less aliens to deal with, a concentrated area to defend, and an interesting array of human enemies to fight, there are many pluses as to why Apocalypse is a great title. This is why I enjoyed it so damn much.
-Internal intrigue amongst the human factions in the city are so, so fun. Building relationships with arms dealers, police, service providers and infastructure moguls makes for a very different play through every single time. Really cracking down on the alien cult? Well their weapon providers won't like you much. Blowing up a Diablo gang block? The police may just pat you on the back. Having an organization supporting you makes things easier, but not much
-Premade alien portals made stationing your defense just a little bit easier. Granted, further on the game your Hovercars are going to be taking a big alien ♥♥♥♥, so its a little stressful. You never truly know whats going to happen with alien assaults, and that does get a little bit annoying. I was taking out a UFO incursion, and a stray missile of mine took up an entire block. Needless to say, I had to deal with enemy Hovercars and UFOs (though it was humerous when a UFO destroyed the enemy fleet!).
-Actual alien incursions are fun, challenging, and very thrilling. Searching for your opponents in giant Hab blocks, shopping malls, and warehouses makes for an exciting chase, and once you get down to the firefight, a brutal battle ensues. What makes XCOM: Apocalypse so unique is its combination of face-paced turns, and really amazing physics (especially for the time). Other similiar titles, like Jagged Alliance 2 and Fallout, don't have gigantic, map changing explosions, massive destruction, and just so much death. Its also very balanced. Like the former two references, you can't take on a huge alien incursion with just 4 guys unless you really plan your ♥♥♥♥ out, while in JA2, if you have 4 high level Mercs, you can take out entire bases. Expect a challenge!
-Tech development and organization managment is really fun. Equipining and specializing your operatives makes for some fun team ups. I personally never tried PSI, but I do love putting heavy weapons on my androids. Nothing says 'burnt as ♥♥♥♥ alien' then an Android firing incendiary with his Megapol Autocannon! Different armours, jump packs, stun guns, and other fun items leaves for interesting tactical situations. You can take aliens alive to study, capture alien weapons, or just Duke Nukem everything not human. Vehicles are varied, with all sorts of different armaments, and can be equiped for many different roles. I like to have a hovercar with heavy anti-structure weaponry, just to give a big 'Screw you' to any cults that may try to attack my base.
In closing, XCOM is a great strategy game for a moderately experienced player who enjoys turn based games. It is challenging, but rewarding, and the memories I've had with this game are truly remarkable. A must buy for any fan of JA2, the Fallouts, or even more conventional RTS fans looking to branch out.
38 of 39 people (97%) found this review helpful 1 person found this review funny
249.7 hrs on record
Posted: January 12, 2014
This is more of a recommendation to buy it on Steam rather than an actual review of the game itself.
I was first introduced to this game as a kid and I spent many many hours playing it. However I probably didn't full understand the mechanics and I did eventually manage to complete it (the difficulty was on novice...). I have returned to this game many times in the last decade or so and more recently had difficulty to the operating systems no longer being compatible. I tried again when the latest X-COM game came out and used DosBox to get it to work. However, last week when I had an urge to replay it I couldn't remember for the life of me how I got it working or it wasn't working now. I did stumble upon it on Steam and bought it immediately. For the price of a couple of quid it's a bargain really! I've invested over 40 hours in the last week because it has to be one of my full time games.
On Steam, it's quick and easy to get running with no fussing around with DosBox and whatever. Steam does that all for you! The only complaint is that some PCs may get a funny resolution when running full screen but that is easily fixed. There's also the issue that if you tab out and then back in again, the game will default to a much smaller size (due to the game's orignal resolution). The final issue, and the more pressing one, is that the game tends to crash a lot with the error "Please insert X-COM disk". This is a common error and a simple fix is to save regulary (I do anyway so it wasn't an issue for me!) to return to points moments before the game crashes. The disk error always happens when the game has to load something so I make sure I always save before having to force the game to load a different part. A quick google reveals that many people have come up with a solution to this and if you have the time (I don't cos I have more X-COM to play!) you can easily fix all the above mentionned issues. So really, if you love this game and haven't already got it working, then I'd buy it if I was you!
56 of 73 people (77%) found this review helpful 3 people found this review funny
150.4 hrs on record
Posted: February 15, 2015
This is the original game, just as awesome as I remember it. It works well and gives the same experience as when I played it when it first came out. The challenge with the game is that it runs in DOSBOX, which starts giving errors once you start expanding your bases and having large numbers of units. You then start experiencing what looks like memory errors in DOSBOX, which makes the game unplayable. The STEAM support option advises that you go to http://support.2kgames.com which for some reason does not exist or open on my PC. There ends my enjoyment of the game... :( If the bug is fixed, I will recommend the game, but with the bug, the game is just not playable.
-Quick Review- X-COM: Apocalypse was developed by MicroProse and released in 1997. X-COM: Apocalypse plays very much like the previous installments, however Apocalypse boasted a real-time combat mode, and a 3d city viewing mode, in addition to old features within the series.
-Detailed breakdown review- Story: X-COM: Apocalypse follows the chronology half a century after the end of X-COM Terror from the deep. Possible spoiler: After the events in X-COM: Terror from the Deep, a worldwide environmental cataclysm destroyed the ecosystem forcing everyone into Bio-domed cities. X-COM: Apocalypse takes place in the city “Mega-Primus”, which is built over the ruins of Toronto Canada. http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=529183940
Gameplay: I should quickly point out for the causal reader: I never actually played these games growing up, so I'm reviewing these games as a newcomer (I always told friends “I could play games with minimal graphics” and I genuinely have enjoyed the X-COM games thus far. If my hours are low, it's because I plan to play more on my laptop when traveling) X-COM: Apocalypse takes “UFO Defense” and “Terror from the Deep” and builds on that foundation to make a newer better and more UI friendly game. You would be amazed how big a difference hovering your mouse cursor over an icon and seeing a tool tip, makes for the player. Whereas to start playing the previous two X-COM games you need to do one of two things: Find a PDF Manual online, or watch/read tutorials and introduction strategies. There were no tool tips, no tutorial, and hardly any substantial 'beginner's help' within the games themselves.
Map Mode: So you get a 3D over-world map that lets you see Mega-Primus, and there's also a 2D Map version of the city. While playing I made note that I had a much easier time looking at the map in 2d mode. http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=529178505 I have a sneaking suspicion that the 3D representation, was partially caused by pressure from other 3D games being released into the market in 1996 and 1997. (To list some of the best sellers: Civilization II, Warcraft II, Diablo, and Final Fantasy VII.) While in Map mode you will micromanage your troops, watch for Alien invasion, build new bases, manage vehicles, and much more. http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=529181726
Combat Mode: There are now two combat modes; the standard turn-based mode that the X-COM player base experienced in the first two games, and a brand-spanking new RTS (Real-Time Strategy).
There are many other features that I don't have space to explain in my review, many of the core concepts are the same but have a different user interface, basically the whole game received a face-lift.
Achievements:There are no achievements linked to X-COM Apocalypse, however playing and beating games like these are an achievement in their own right.
Improve performance I'm adding this section to this review because your experience with the game will improve if you make a slight modification to the dosbox.conf file, change "output=surface" to "output=ddraw" or “output=opengl”. There are many references to this change in games that implement dosbox, I would give credit to those posts but there are to many to reference. Making this small change will fix many graphical problems with dosbox games, but you need to do it to each dosbox game individually and every time you re install.
Price: X-COM: Apocalypse is priced at $4.99. If you already know you like games like these I suggest picking up the X-COM: Complete Pack for $14.99. I purchased my copy from Humblebundle.com.
Conclusion: Hopefully I've been able to do this game justice. The Classic X-COM Series has impressed me every time I've played it. It boggles my mind that MicroProse was able to put so much detail into these games, the detail even rivals strategy games released today. While the graphics might be difficult and turn away many from the game; if you can overcome that (or simply don't care about it, like me.) you will discover the gem in the strategy game genre which is the X-COM series. Thank you for reading my review, I approve this series, and recommend it to strategy game enthusiasts, nostalgic gamers, and X-COM operatives.