UFO: Afterlight PC

Playing UFO: Afterlight was my first trek into the UFO series of games. I had heard of UFO: Aftermath and UFO: Aftershock before, but both games never seemed like titles that would interest me and even though I was near buying each of them many times, I always saw something else I thought better deserving of my money on shelves. But when given the chance to play a preview copy of the game a whole 3 months before its release, who was I to say no?

The first thing that struck me upon playing the game was how complete it was… I was really expecting a few glaring omissions so far from release. For those not keeping up to date with all things extra terrestrial, UFO: Afterlight is turn-based 3D strategy game. And when we say strategy we really mean it as you get to take part in all different kinds of research, development and survival as you manage people, manage your base as you build it, manage the planet, try your hand at diplomacy as you manage your colony and view the many statistics on show. There is so much to see and do it’s almost overkill and it is possible to get lost in the masses of text you see before you.

The two modes of play in the game are very similar. In strategic mode you take control of a limited number of colonists on Mars (which we have found water on as I write this… ohhh!). Each of the guys you control have their own skills with some being the scientific kind and others specializing in combat. You then progress with these guys through territories on the Red Planet, colonizing the place as you advance. There is a long list of things you can do as you advance… I have not even scratched the surface of the possibilities in this preview and as I am playing the game without an instruction manual I am sure I even missed out a few different aspects of the game. Tactical mode then offers you even more options than the other… even down to choosing what kind of attack to use as you move forward. Combat in the game is your basic right click on an enemy affair seen in most other games in the genre. Nevertheless I felt the game was full to the brim with options at all times with almost too much to do.

There’s not much to write home about when talking about the visuals, there are many games out there light years ahead of UFO: Afterlight when it comes to pushing the polygons. The game boasts a unique style of visuals which resemble a basic form of claymation. Of course when saying claymation the first thing most people’s minds goes to is Wallace and Gromit but the quality on show in UFO: Afterlight in no where near the quality. A lot of the characters in the game also seem to lack personality and can be very bland at times. Thankfully the voice acting in the game seems to be well above average and also seems very complete for a game three months away from release.

Personally, UFO: Afterlight seems far too in-depth for me – there is just so much to do that it begins to overwhelm you just a few minutes into the game. Just as I thought all those times I was going to pick up the game’s predecessors it really was not my kind of game. That said though there is definitely a market for UFO: Afterlight but in my mind the market is extremely niche. Afterlight is not a game you play because it fun – it is one you play because it is rewarding. If you have the time and patience to put in hour upon never ending hour into the game you will go away with a feeling of huge feeling accomplishment

Regardless of what was said in the above preview you will probably already know whether or not UFO: Afterlight is the game for you and you will also have most likely been counting down the days to its February release long before you stumbled onto this site!