UFO: Aftermath, is a 2003 real-time strategy game with real-time tactical battles from ALTAR Interactive, being a homage to the X-Com series of games. It started as The Dreamland Chronicles: Freedom Ridge being produced by the Mythos Games, original developers of the X-COM series, until 2002 when it was bought by ALTAR and restarted.
In concept, the game is similar to unreleased X-COM: Genesis. Player assumes the role of the Earth's last hope - the commander of the last, scattered humans left on the planet. It is up to him to guide your forces through the planet's time of crisis, and overcome the alien threat. UFO: Aftermath combines global strategy with tactical missions, weaving them together with a storyline and a strategic, RPG-like approach to each soldiers attributes and skills.
With its roots deeply in the X-Com series, the game combines elements of strategy with squad-based tactics. The game therefore consists of two separate parts which are played alternately: A strategy phase in which the player controls and expands his organization, and a tactical phase in which player-controlled units do battle with alien enemies.
The strategic phase allows the player to outfit his/her troopers for action, acquire new equipment and personnel, and conduct research to enable the production of more advanced equipment. Mission markers pop up on the globe indicating locations where a team can be dispatched to do battle. Winning or losing a battle may have the effect of expanding the player's territory, allowing more access to resources which enable further expansion. This is much in line with X-Com strategic mechanics.
The tactical game can be described as pause-based real-time combat. All combatants on the tactical battle area move and act simultaneously, rather than using turns. The player can pause time (or tell the game to automatically pause on certain events), and issue orders to his/her troopers, which will only be carried out once time is unpaused. Also in deviation from the X-Com series, the battlefield is presented in fully rotatable 3D, and as such dispenses with the technical limitations of isometric view.
In May 2004, a giant spacecraft approaches the Earth. Silent, it hovers ominously over the world, and begins to release great clouds of spores into the upper atmosphere. Rapidly multiplying, the spores soon darken the skies, and before long obscure the sun completely. In later days, this period will be known as the "Twilight".
Having reached critical mass in the skies, the spores begin to rain down, and over the course of several days, begin to clog the streets and bodies of water, smothering people in their homes, and burying animals in the wild. During the "Nightfall", as it would come to be called, most of the higher life forms on the earth were wiped out.
During the Twilight, all human responses were futile. Choosing caution over aggression, the governments of the world didn't realize how quickly the end could come, and were buried alongside those that they governed. A few, however, did survive, sealed in underground bases with stocks of food and oxygen. After several weeks, the spores seemed to have disintegrated, decomposing and settling into the soil. The world seemed safe again, for a time. This is where the player comes in: you must gather together the remaining peoples of the planet, find out what has happened, and, if possible, get your revenge.
The aliens the player encounters are known as the Reticulans, who are heavily based on Greys; in fact Greys are also known as Reticulans.
- Official UFO:Aftermath homepage
- ALTAR interactive homepage
- Cenega homepage
- UFO: Aftermath at MobyGames