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Xcom: UFO Defense is a turn based strategy game in a Sci-Fi, alien invasion setting. Earth is being attacked by UFOs, the world governments band together to make a secret organization funded by the countries of the world to counter the extraterrestrial force on all fronts, in the air, on land, and wherever "they" are coming from. This Extraterrestrial Combat Unit, or Xcom, must maintain bases all over the world, intercept unidentified flying objects, collect and research alien technologies, and most important of all, keep the countries funding the project happy and protected from the alien threat.
Xcom consists of two modes, Geoscape and Battlescape. Geoscape is a 3D representation of Earth where alien aircrafts or bases are assaulted. Battlescape is an isometric view where aliens are encountered in face to face combat by soldiers controlled individually by the player.
The way the player can first ecounter the alien threat is on the Geoscape. This part of the game is in a model of the Earth that can be rotated or zoomed in/out. In the Geoscape you can maintain your base(s), detect UFOs with varing success depeding upon you radar systems (see: Facilities), and detect alien bases or landing sites. There are various speed settings to allow time between events to pass quickly that can be used on the Geoscape. Once an event like a craft sighting or research/manufacting has been completed time will stop and you will be given on option to slow time (to 5 seconds) or continue on. Night and Day is easily shown in the Geoscape by a shadowed part of the Earth. Most countries and major cities are also labeled here.
There are a few Earth made aircrafts at the start of the game like the Interceptor and the Skyranger. As alien technology is researched other types of flying crafts become open to be manufactured with the right materials. These later crafts include the Firestorm, Lightning, and the Avenger.
Aliens have many more means of flight than the people of Earth do. This is due in part to the mulitple objectives the aliens have here on Earth. These ships include the Small Scout, Medium Scout, Large Scout, Abductor, Harvester, Supply Ship, Terror Ship, and the most feared, the Battleship.
- Living Quarters
- needed for your staff to live in
- needed for your scientists to work in
- needed for you engineers to work in
- General stores
- stores all your weapons, alien artifacts, etc.
- needed for aircraft
- Small Radar
- senses incoming UFOs
- Large Radar
- senses UFOs over a larger radius
- Alien Containment Facility
- this is needed to keep aliens alive for study
- Missile Defence
- Protects your base with missiles
- Laser Defence
- Protects your base with laser beams
- Plasma Beam
- Protects your base with plasma beams
There is only one type of soldier you can recruit, but these soldiers can be kitted out with different armour, weapons and items. Each soldier has stats (i.e. stamina, bravery, throwing accuracy) and a rank (rookie, sqaddie, sergeant, etc.) that can improve over time. The soldier names are created by a randomizer that combines a first name with a last name from lists in the software. The name lists are based on names from many nationalities, reflecting the international nature of the organization.
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