Pages: 1 2 3
Review by: Emil Pagliarulo
Published: June 7, 1998
I am completely convinced that no matter how many strategy games are released between now and the day I die, no matter how exciting or technologically advanced, none will ever have the impact on me that the original X-COM did. Not terribly impressed by the demo, it wasn’t until I read scores of reviews, lauding the game’s originality and limitless depth, that I finally “broke down” and bought a copy. From that moment on, it was true love. I played through the whole thing twice; refused to wuss out and reload a saved game when my squad got completely wiped out; and pretty much bought a Playstation just so I could play X-COM with better graphics, on the larger screen. From that first great entry into the series my love only grew, encompassing Terror From the Deep and even Apocalypse. Ahhh…those were the days.
X-COM: Interceptor is Microprose’s fourth entry into the unbelievably popular X-COM series, with a twist: The turn-based tactical combat has been replaced by real-time, fast-paced space simulator action, a la X-Wing. Set in the year 2067 (which is actually several years prior to the “Mega-Primus protection” gameplay of X-COM: Apocalypse), the story of X-COM: Interceptor is a rather desperate one. Over-consumption and uncontrollable population growth have led to the virtual depletion of the Earth’s natural resources. In a desperate bid to save human civilization, the planet’s mega-corporations have set their sights on the “Frontier,” a mineral rich area of space that could well prove the Earth’s only salvation. Unfortunately, however, there are some other denizens of the galaxy who are less than pleased with humankind’s self-importance and claims to the riches of the Frontier….
Just as in the first three X-COM games, your forces face familiar alien foes, like the Sectoids, Mutons, and Etherials. And, just as in past X-COM games, your forces must do everything in their power to stop the extraterrestrials from advancing on any human installation or X-COM base in their way. In Interceptor, though, the battleground is as far removed from the farms, waterways, and mega-cities of Earth as you can get. This time around, you face your alien adversaries among the very stars, battling it out in brutal, lightning fast (and that’s not a good thing, but more later…) ship-to-ship combat against the UFOs that once looked so innocent as burning wreckage in the middle of a corn field. After a few sorties, you’ll gain new respect for the fighter pilots of the past three games. They always made it look so easy. It’s not.
Fortunately, by 2067 human weapons and aerospace technologies have reached the point where the Earthlings actually have a fighting chance. Players of the original X-COM will remember the simple Interceptor fighter, and its primary job of bringing down any UFOs that violated Earth’s atmosphere. In X-COM: Interceptor, the fighters are strong enough to take the battle to the stars themselves. There are three primary ships available, and each has its specific role. The Lightning II light fighter sacrifices armament for increased speed and maneuverability; the Firestar multi-role fighter is a good all-purpose ship, with a good balance of speed and firepower; and the Super Avenger heavy bomber can be considered the Y-Wing of the game, slow and lumbering but thickly armored and packed with heavy weapons.
As in most space and flight sims, X-COM: Interceptor also allows the player to configure the ships’ weapons loads and systems before a mission; everything from engines, shields, armor, and different missile and beam weapons can be outfitted for maximum customizability. You can even choose the wingmen who will accompany you on any given mission, and they’ll actually gain experience and improve in ability over time, just as the soldiers did in the previous X-COM games.
Pages: 1 2 3