UFO: Aftershock Download
Systems: Windows 9x, Windows 2000 Windows XP, Vista, Win 7, Win 8, Win 10.
Game features:Single game mode
This Is The sequel to UFO: Aftermath, which we saw in last issue's Budget pages. While Aftermath was in some ways a cut-down version of UFO: Enemy Unknown, Aftershock adds strategic elements to Aftermath's gameplay, making it closer to a Command & Conquer-style RTS than the original X-Com.
In Aftershock you launch missions to the Earth's surface from a space station. The few remaining humans left on Earth are split into factions who can supply you with the resources and soldiers you need S fight the aliens. If you fail to be diplomatic and send you M crap recruits or less goods you need to build stuff.
Squad and soldier management is also vastly improved over that in Aftermath. You can set up five squads, giving you the chance to build specialist teams for different missions - one for infiltration, another for assaults, etc. Also soldiers can . be levelled up in 12 classes ranging 4 from the usual Commando and Snipers, to the exotic Cyborgs and Psionics (psychics).
Base building returns in Aftershock. Rather than stumbling across military installations you can appropriate (as in Aftermath), factions will give you a plot to build a base. Here you can build medical facilities (to heal your teams), labs (to research alien gear, new weapons, and history) and factories (to make stuff), once you've developed plans for the relevant building.
Combat is the same as in Aftermath: pause-move-pause. While this mix of RTS and turn-based gameplay is similar to combat in Baldur's Gate, and recently Dragon Age. Aftershock's system is just annoying. Every time a soldier completes an action the game pauses, so you can give the soldier new instructions. This is vital, as they lack even basic Al, so if you fail to tell them exactly what to do (like, shoot at aliens that pass by them) they'll stand still while monsters eat them. But if you can get used to having braindead soldiers, combat becomes gripping.
The graphics haven't aged well (its maximum resolution is 1024x768), but they're colourful and serve well enough. Aftershock has improved on the original games immensely. While it has a steep learning curve, you'll end up losing hours to this war game.