Genre | Turn Based and Real Time Strategy
Developer | Mythos Games and MicroProse
Platforms | PC, PlayStation
Website | http://www.xcomufo.com/
X-COM: UFO Defense is a strategy game in which the player takes control of the eponymous X-COM organization in an effort to defend Earth from an alien invasion. The player manages the organization in real time by setting up bases, sending out planes to shoot down the eponymous UFOs, and conducting research and manufacturing. The player also controls X-COM’s soldiers in turn based battles at the sites of crashed and landed UFOs.
X-COM: UFO Defense features eighteen weapons, four kinds of armor, six kinds of equipment, twelve enemy alien types, seventeen kinds of base facilities, seventy nine research topics, six aircraft weapons, five types of robotic tanks, sixteen ammo types, four kinds of explosives, three kinds of armor, and infinite randomly generated levels. The game is divided into a real time geoscape mode where the player builds X-COM bases, researches technology, and sends fighters to shoot down UFOs, and a turn based tactical mode where the player sends up to twenty six soldiers to fight against landed and crashed UFOs and to defend cities under attack by aliens.
Soldiers and aliens in X-COM: UFO Defense have varying amounts of time units which can be spent to accomplish actions. Moving, picking things up, throwing things, firing, crouching, and turning cost time units. Soldiers can also reserve time units and use them to automatically fire at enemies that move near the soldier during the enemy’s turn. Soldiers can only see in front of them and partially to the sides, allowing aliens to sneak up on the player’s soldiers if they are not positioned in such a way as to view much of the battlefield. UFOs and buildings the player can enter have multiple stories and corners, providing locations for aliens to hide. The player can destroy the walls of buildings to allow their soldiers to see inside.
The graphics in X-COM: UFO Defense are in a pixel art style. On the geoscape they depict a globe and the X-COM and UFO craft and bases that the player is aware of. In the tactical mode they depict the location of the mission, which varies from forests to snow to desert to farms depending on where the UFO was shot down or landed, and the corpses of soldiers and aliens. The sounds in X-COM: UFO Defense include the screams of dying aliens, the screams of dying soldiers, and a beeping noise when UI elements are clicked. The music in X-COM: UFO Defense features low droning and pulsing tones.
Each soldier in X-COM: UFO Defense has ten different statistics and an inventory which can be arranged before battle. Soldiers carry equipment that the player loads onto the soldier’s transport vehicle at the base before a mission. Soldiers can carry explosives, which are capable of destroying most parts of a level, additional ammunition for their weapon or for another soldier’s weapon, gear that can be swapped in and out of their hands when needed, and mind probes. Items on the ground, including alien technology, can be picked up by soldiers during a battle. Some UFOs feature cow dissection machines.