The story is situated on Mars. It starts where UFO: Aftermath left off and runs simultaneously with UFO: Aftershock. While the Laputans on Earth are fighting Wargots and Starghosts and finding out what caused the destruction of their home planet, a small colony on Mars is trying to survive and flourish.
User reviews: Mixed (211 reviews)
Release Date: Feb 8, 2007

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About This Game

The story is situated on Mars. It starts where UFO: Aftermath left off and runs simultaneously with UFO: Aftershock. While the Laputans on Earth are fighting Wargots and Starghosts and finding out what caused the destruction of their home planet, a small colony on Mars is trying to survive and flourish.

The player will gain more details about the activities of intergalactic organisms, called Myrmecols, in the solar system. The scientific research and communication with different factions on the Earth gives him a different perspective on the events of the two previous sequels. In UFO: Afterlight, the players will meet with brand new technologies, unusual environment and enemies both old and unknown.

System Requirements

    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows XP or newer
    • Processor: Intel Pentium® III or AMD® Athlon - 1GHz
    • Memory: 512 MB RAM
    • Graphics: nVidia® GeForce™ 5700 or ATI Radeon® 9500 *
    • Hard Drive: 2550 MB available space
    • Additional Notes: *Intel integrated cards are not supported at this time. We are looking into a fix.
    Recommended:
    • OS: Windows XP or newer
    • Processor: Intel Pentium® III or AMD® Athlon - 2GHz
    • Memory: 768 MB RAM
    • Graphics: nVidia® GeForce™ 6600 or ATI Radeon® 9700 Pro or better*
    • Hard Drive: 2550 MB available space
Helpful customer reviews
345 of 399 people (86%) found this review helpful
39.6 hrs on record
Posted: January 6, 2014
Don't listen to Veggie, there is a tutorial. It teaches you the basics of moving in the tactical map... Which is... You know, pretty standard RTS fair, you know, Right-Click to move/attack.... Wait, that's it.

As for the base part... Once again, dead simple to understand, perhaps if you've never ever played RTS's before you'd get confused, but it's not that hard at all. You put Researchers (Green Stat) into Labs and such, Technicans into Workshops and such, while using your Soldiers and Soldier + Tech/Research to fight.

If you've ever played UFO/XCOM/XCOM:EU you're going to understand the entire thing from the get go. You set research, you set production, you then let time run. You then defend your territories (many of which hold resources, which, once again, is so simple, each node = 1 resource, so if you have 2 Metal Mines, you can build anything that requires 2 Metal Mines as many times as you want) and attack others. At which point you go into the combat mode. While it isn't turn based, you can pause the game to issue orders, similar to other games like Dragon Age: Origin. You then gather loot, which opens up more research options.

Your NPC's all level up, Techs and Researches included. This is done by Soldiers via fighting battles, while for Tech + Researchers it is done by researching and producing/building. Every time a Soldier levels up, he gets a point to put into attributes, like Strength and Willpower (there are several) these stats in turn affect skills, like Aiming, Snap Shots, Manipulation, Charisma. Each attribute, when clicked, tells you want it improves and each skill tells you want it does. You also get Training Points to spend on various abilities, such as being able to Equip Heavy gear. As for non-combat NPC's, you can train them with Training Points too, these points go into things which help them speed up or improve various other things. Such as Research Speed or Production Speed.

Hybrid's are interesting, such as Soldier + Researcher, as while they are not as dedicated as others, you often need Researchers/Techs to go with you on combat missions in order to get various things. Which of course give benifits. Not to mention, you're not only getting human NPC's, but Alien's too, which have their own Training Point abilities.

The Conquest Map is pretty simple. You click areas to capture, then build stuff, which is all done automatically once ordered. If you get attacked, you're warned and a Red mark appears so you can click it and enter a fight to free it. If you expand far enough, you'll bounce into other races borders, at which point, you'll be able to invade their area and get their resources and such.


Overall, it's a DIRT CHEAP game which has lots going for it. Combat is decent, lots to research and upgrade, specific NPC's talk and argue with each other over stuff to do. It's enjoyable for the price and I recommend it to anybody who likes XCOM:EU/XCOM/UFO series, or perhaps Xenonauts. For £5.50, it isn't bad at all.

I also believe there were two prequels to this, UFO: Aftermath and UFO: Aftershock, both set in the same universe at different points in time.

Aftermath is fighting the Aliens
Aftershock is the rebellion
Afterlight is truce and leaving for Mars

I think. Can't remeber this late.
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161 of 181 people (89%) found this review helpful
14.4 hrs on record
Posted: January 7, 2014
I've never played any previous XCOM or UFO game before XCOM: Enemy Unknown / Enemy Within which I DO love! But compared to this one, the latest XCOM is a little bit more board-game like and Afterlight is a little bit more complex without overstrain the gamer.

You'll like this game, if:

- you liked the most recent XCOM but looking for a more complex XCOM/UFO game
- you like strategy games generally
- you like squad-based strategy games with RPGs elements such as Jagged Alliance, Fallout Tactics

You'll probably don't like this (so I was told), if you're looking for an first hour XCOM successor or can't overlook the outdated graphics.

Let's get more detailed:

Afterlight is "more" real time like XCOM: Enemy Unknown. Let's say there is an enemy attack on one of your territories you have e.g. 3 days to react. In the mean time you can keep on training or squad (which takes time actually), keep on with the production and so on if you need to do so. The opportunity of the attack doesn't vanish if you ignore it just to do one day more of research or you need additional time for producing a item (that is instantly ready in XCOM: Enemy Unknown).

Also your scientists and technicians you take on a mission (which is quite a good idea because of some bonuses) are not available at your base and since getting to an attack spot needs a bit time it is important to manage well your base, squads and as well as the equipment.

In combat it reminds me a lot to Jagged Alliance. You just can't spray and pray on an enemy if one of your squadees is in line of sight because the travel distance is actually calculated instead of simple numbers on hitting a target or not hitting like in the latest XCOM. The odds are showed to you so you know what are the chances of hitting own soldiers, in such case, or the enemy.

The combat system is very transparent and is comparable to Jagged Alliance Back in Action (pausable real time with each individual plan for any squad member). I don't want to bad mouth the newest XCOM. I still love it and it features much better graphics, innately better customization possibilities for your soldiers and it is more user friendly (interface, micro- & macromanagement) and feels just "more modern".

This games got me hooked right from the beginning that many games aren't able to nowadays so you probably should get it.
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71 of 78 people (91%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
46.2 hrs on record
Posted: November 30, 2014
Here's a simple bullet point list on the pros and cons about the game:

Pros:
+ Great Soundtrack
+ Unique, timeless artstyle
+ Very versatile engine, runs like butter even on the ♥♥♥♥♥iest machines
+ Hard as ♥♥♥♥, encourages use of actual strategies to outmaneuver the enemy
+ Unforgiving as ♥♥♥♥, one guy dies, you'll never get him back and you can't hire new personnel, makes you value your resources even more
+ Good variaton of maps featuring three dimensional combat
+ Research is actually a sophisticated procedure
+ Terraforming has global effects on the entire playthrough
+ Great variation of gamemodes, including base infiltration and target assassination
+ Multiple, personalizied factions, bringing great variation and competition, even letting you trade and negotiate peace with aliens
+ Great array of equipment which can also be customized and upgraded
+ Can have aliens/beastmen/drones/martians as your own soldiers, each with unique abilites
+ Extremely well made geoscape, let's you construct things like mining facilites, terraforming sites, etc...
+ Laputians are bro-tier
+ One of the most realistic simulations of terraforming and humanities last stand I've ever experienced
+ Usage of mods further improves experience
+ Base management is very complex and in-depth

Cons
- Animations are pretty rough
- Voice acting varies in quality
- Camera in combat mode can be a pain (fixable with mods)
- Certain enemies seem to have ridiculously good aim
- Beastmen hate you, even though you're helping their asses

If you come along some reviews that aren't recommending this game for completely nonsensical reasons (with like 0.3h playtime), ignore that garbage. They're just some casual kids that don't know how to play a genuinely good game. This review right here is the way to go, coming from a true XCOM and UFO fan, telling you that this game is the real deal. One of my favorite games of all time.
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58 of 66 people (88%) found this review helpful
39.0 hrs on record
Posted: July 20, 2014
I've played both XCOM:EU/EW And UFO:AL for a significant ammount of time now, but I like Afterlight better overall.
The depth of the game easily rivals if not outright defeats XCOM. The weapons can be modified with various attachments and ammunitions, and there are dozens of weapons, most of which are still useful by mid-lategame. Equipment loadouts range from weapons to inventory including spare magazines and more weapons or tools.
It also does not burden you with pre-selected classes and equipment restrictions [Which cost me quite a few XCOM:EW playthrough attempts] since all your crew are capable of the same training and skills [Though alien teamates have different training from humans], which are also more indepth than XCOM. You can train military personell to run faster, damage specific species better, use heavy weapons/suits, or handle weapons faster to name a few categories.
In XCOM's strategic play, you have to manage your money, alien resources, and research projects while scanning for alien ships. In Afterlight, you also have to attack and seize territory, and decide who to be friends with. Will you create lasting friendships or do eye their territories, looking for more land and resources?
The game also has lasting consequences and effects. Team members aren't generic soldiers who happen to be a notch above the rest of millions. You've got a colony and a couple-dozen people to staff it, and those who die are gone, they aren't cloned or replaced, just dead.
On that topic, terraforming [Because thats an obvious goal, right?] has visible overtime effects that ever-slowly escalate visibly on both tactical and strategic play. As terraforming carrys on over the days, you'll see the world turn green with blue slowly, and tactical maps will gain plants and grass graphics too. On top of that, more overgrown areas tend to have lower environmental hostility ratings for tactical battles.

The biggest upside it has, Afterlight's action is real-time with pausing and planning rather than XCOM's turn-based action. Running head-on into previously undetected enemies or missing a shot is no longer a death sentance for your troops, though avoiding the former is still advised. Realtime action and positioning all play a role, where a sniper lying prone on a cliffside can spot enemies and clear them out quickly, and cover is less important and less of an invasive mechanic [though when you get the chance, use it]. Stealth is also an option, with smaller suits, stealthy movement training and silencers all present and accounted for. In a rescue mission, I snuck into the camp, and extracted my target without having to kill more than 2 or 3 enemies patrolling that area.

Although Afterlight is in many respects more realistic than XCOM, it still has downsides. The graphics aren't up-to-date and the dialogue switches tones and word-accents [You'll see what I mean if you watch videos with story dialogue.] The most invasive bugs such as the "Green Grid Error" as I call it where most of the map in tactical battles covered with green grid squares. [There is no explanation at all for these grids. Could they have something to do with graphical errors related to terraforming? I think it's an unknown error with my settings but who knows?]
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92 of 121 people (76%) found this review helpful
37.6 hrs on record
Posted: January 7, 2014
CAUTION! This game will not run on modern Intel graphic drivers. It's an old (by now) bug, that have no workaround and seems to never be fixed.

Though game itself is pretty nice.
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