Game Over Online ~ UFO: Aftermath (c) Cenega

UFO: Aftermath (c) Cenega

Published: Friday, September 12th, 2003 at 04:50 PM
Written By: Jeff 'Linkphreak' Haynes

Aliens and space-based science fiction stories have definitely become part of our common lexicon, with franchises like Star Wars and Star Trek influencing science, filmmaking and (to some degree) societal interaction. In fact, plots with extraterrestrials are so commonplace that friendly aliens like ET, Stitch or even the less than threatening creatures from Men in Black pose less of a threat to our existence than our fellow human beings. But what if aliens didnít want to be out friends, but wanted to exterminate all life on earth? What if we werenít able to withstand a global attack by invaders from outer space? What if all the people we dismissed as insane for believing in alien abductions were actually right? Altar Interactive poses this bleak scenario with their latest title, UFO: Aftermath.

Bleak is actually an optimistic way of putting the situation in Aftermath; apocalyptic is more like it, a facet thatís immediately impressed upon the player from the opening movie. Set in the future, Aftermath hosts the nightmarish vision of a world thatís fallen before the onslaught of a massive invading UFO. Rendering the armed forces of the world powerless to its defenses, it released thousands of spores into the atmosphere, creating massive clouds that blocked all sunlight from reaching the surface. When the spores finally fell, their resulting plague eliminated most life on Earth, transforming just about anything it touched into an odd, viscous living tissue. Unfortunately for the few survivors on the planet, this stuff is growing at an insane rate, threatening to consume and alter the remaining world into an alien shadow of itself.

Whereís Will Smith and Bill Pullman when you need them? Most likely, they were fried during the initial assault on the UFO. Instead, you command a rag-tag group of soldiers. Recruited from the few remaining survivors on the surface, your squad will consist of a diverse group trained in numerous skills such as marksmanship, medical knowledge and research. While the obvious need for accurate marksmanship to dispose of aliens is self-evident, youíll really need some of the other skills to survive, especially during later levels. Medical knowledge, for example, is necessary for any potential battle injuries that occur out in the field, while research is vital for developing new weaponry and technology.

At first, players are equipped with normal firearms, such as Barettas, Uzis or AK-47s, but later on, soldiers can get equipped with laser rifles, powered body armor and psionic weaponry. These leaps and bounds in martial technology are only acquired after successfully completing sorties in various regions around the world. Alien incidents appear on your headquarterís radar in various cities and landscapes, and the decision is up to you to venture forward to address the new threat. Donít leave your base, you wonít acquire the technology you need when the really powerful creatures show up on Earth. Whatís more, you wonít be able to repel the creeping sludge thatís threatening to absorb the world.

One quick glance at UFO: Aftermath, and youíll be impressed with the level of detail on every level. For instance, city landscapes are so sharp that you can see the cracks between individual bricks in buildings, twisted scrap remains of cars, and tattered flags hanging on flagpoles. Character models are equally as detailed, with observant players able to discern between soldiers by simply looking at the weaponry they hold. While the build we had was early, UFO: Aftermath is coming along quickly, and should still be on track for its invasion of stores in late September. Check back here soon for a full review!

Questions or comments about the upcoming release of UFO: Aftermath for the PC? Talk to us!

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