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Full disclosure 1: yes, I played the game back when it first came out. So one CAN accuse me of a nostalgia bomb. But I am not reviewing X-com UFO defense from my memory of playing it 15 or so years ago, I am reviewing based on recent play throughs. And it still has all the charm that it had from the start.
Full Disclosure 2: I played the Vanilla steam version for a while, then noticed comments on something calld OpenXCom. (easily found on the net). It's a free, extensive overhaul with many mod choices built in. Very easy to set up; you do need to have a vaniilla version (steam version works for me...no disc required, and it is pretty cheap). Some of the many choices are PSI on/off; improved H. Lasers, choices for setting up your first base rather than accepting the default, and so on. Highly recommended.
Ok, the actual review. It is one of my favorite games of all time (not judging it in its release time frame, but CURRENTLY). The graphics are last century, iti is true. But the gameplay is +++++. It is tough; there is a lot to figure out, and things never seem to happen in an orderly fashion. Sometimes you just have to give up a mission; sometimes you just have to give up a game. The aliens like to win, LoL. It's a lot of fun to grind through a mission successfully, but there are no guarantees.
One of my criteria for a top notch game is whether it provides not only fun, dangerous stuff to do throughout, but once in a while something unexpected happens that blows me away. Like when I found out if I through a grenade on a roof, that it could bounce, and if it bounced into an alley it would fall to the ground, and if there was a hidden alien there you would hear a muffled explosion and then....the alien death cry you hardly expected. First time that happened I had to save and quit for a while...I was laughing too hard.
If you like challenges, tactics, and turn-based games, this is a must try out. Good luck, andI I hope you can stop those monsters!