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Platform

PC

 

Genre

Strategy

 

Publisher

Cenega

 

Developer

Altar Interactive

 

ESRB

T (Teen)

 

Released

November 2005

 

 

- A deep strategy experience for those with the patience

- After the first five or six hours you'll start to have fun

- Good-looking game

 

 

- Stability a real problem until you apply the patch

- The game seems to go on forever

- Interface could have been streamlined

 

 

Review: Original War (PC)

Review: UFO Aftermath (PC)

Review: Savage: The Battle for Newerth (PC)

Review: Darwinia (PC)

 

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UFO Aftershock

Score: 7.5 / 10

 

I get the distinct impression that I should have played X-Com UFO Defense or at least UFO Aftermath to really understand the story that leads into UFO Aftershock, which shows the last dregs of humanity living in orbit around Earth.  Earth has essentially been turned into a bio-super computer by the alien Reticulans and it falls to you and your squad to unit whatever resistance still exists on Earth and drive the Reticulans off.

 

ufo aftershock          ufo aftershock

 

Be warned from the outset, UFO Aftershock is not for the casual gamer.  The learning curve is steep and the campaign extremely long so if unless you have a reserve of patience or enjoy a complex mix of management and tactical strategizing, steer clear!

 

The game is split between life on your space station (called a Laputa) and going on missions, which utilizes a real-time/turn-based mix, but each is marked by an extreme emphasis on details that are accessed by a myriad interface that could have been streamlined at the cost of the some of the details.  It also doesn't help that the tutorial provides the mere basics and not a comprehensive "how to" guide.  So there's a fair amount of stumbling as you attempt to manage the resources collected from "captured" provinces on Earth, get research done, complete base construction on severely limited real estate, and manage the load-out of you squad (with individual member possessing a set of improvable stats).  Even for strategy gamers really on their game may find the details overwhelming. (This accounts for the tardiness of this review, trust me.)

 

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If the multi-layered strategy involved weren't enough to make your brain explode, it's possible that the overall stability of the program will.  UFO Aftershock would let me really start to enjoy myself then eject me from the game.  Fortunately, since installing the latest patch there haven't been any problems.  (In a great nod to customer service, Altar Interactive encourages any reproducible bugs to be reported directly through an email contact.)

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Graphically, UFO Aftershock is quite nice to look at.  My previous exposure to Altar Interactive's design was 2001's budget title Original War, which was also easy to look at and watch.  It's not going to win any awards but in comparison to other "stat heavy" strategy games, which normally , UFO Aftershock scores points.  Also of some surprise on the presentation side of things is that the localization is very good.  Altar is based out of the Czech Republic, but the localization is so good you might not even realize that it's from overseas.

 

ufo aftershock          ufo aftershock

 

UFO Aftershock can be recommended for strategy fans that revel in details that will give them the edge in a fight. (Hint: If you're one of those gamers that takes notes during a play session, this game is right up your alley.)  While the game features its own amount of idiosyncrasies when it comes to the menus and interface, and a steep learning curve, there is some fun to be had, even if it takes a while to get to that point.

 

- Omni

(January 4, 2006)

 

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