Ask fans about X-Com: UFO Defense and you'll likely be told enthusiastic stories about what's largely regarded as one of the turn-based genre's seminal strategy games. The game put players in the role of the Extraterrestrial Combat Unit (X-COM, for short), a secret squad responsible for fending off an alien invasion by assimilating their technology. Tactical combat, global strategy, UFO lore, and a heavy emphasis on resource management joined a host of player-driven customization options in order to create X-Com: UFO Defense's incredibly beloved formula.
Shacknews user (and X-Com super-duper-fan) mastermike569 explains why tactically and strategically saving the world from aliens is so rewarding. "I've personally pumped easily over 1,500 hours into this game playing it over the years and am an enormous fan," he begins. "This is the only game that I really go back to time and time again."
"This game has so many ways around situations that the amount of strategy you can put to use is only limited by your imagination," he continues, touting X-Com's flexibility with regard to player-strategy.
"The attention to accuracy regarding UFO's, the addicting game play, ever-changing maps and environments, and the nearly limitless strategy and music to tie it all in are some of the things that keep me coming back time and time again," he concludes.
In the year 1998, the amount of reports of UFO sightings has been drastically increased. Stories about abductions and alien attacks became more and more widespread. Finally, after various nations of the world have failed to intercept the UFOs, their representatives met in a conference of global importance in Geneva, Switzerland. It was eventually decided to organize a secret paramilitary group, dubbed Extraterrestrial Combat Unit (X-COM). Starting with one base, two fighters, one transport, and a few soldiers, X-COM must locate the aliens, learn about their origins and technology, find out where their base is, and destroy it.
Moby Games Classic is our chance to look back at the games that helped shape the video game industry with the help of our sister site MobyGames.com. It combines a short history lesson on the title and anecdotes from the Shacknews community.