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X-COM: Terror from the Deep (PlayStation) artwork

X-COM: Terror from the Deep (PlayStation) review

"X-COM 2: Terror from the Deep is the sequel to X-Com: Enemy Unknown (or UFO Defence, depending on your nationality) a follow on that tries to change as little as possible. But when the foundations set are already killer, it's not that big a deal. "

X-COM 2: Terror from the Deep is the sequel to X-Com: Enemy Unknown (or UFO Defence, depending on your nationality) a follow on that tries to change as little as possible. But when the foundations set are already killer, it's not that big a deal.

After their last failed take-over bid, pesky aliens return to plague the Earth; or to be more precise, they never left. You see, whereas the first wave came from the skies to reap havoc, the newest breed are their survivors that cleverly went aqatic and hid away beneath our oceans. With a new genetically-engineered army, they plan to take Earth as their own, and avenge their fallen brethren; basically same as, with different aliens coming from a slightly different location. So, once again, it is up to you to put a stop to those inconvenient abductions and those ever so painful probes.

It's in doing so that you'll find X-Com: TftD is basically the same as X-Com: EU, but with a few tweaks and adjustments. You still run on time units, which are spent on actions like walking, shooting etc; you keep going until you run out of designated units for that turn. It's still turn based, and you still need to explore to advance the blacked out map, so what’s new? Not much really. It does introduce a whole new cast of nasty aliens to battle, plus the obligatory new weapons, armour, crafts etc. Your troops are still the same, they still will grow the more missions they survive, and they still gain promotions based on their survivalist skills. But, as the whole Terror from the Deep name suggests, you can now battle under the oceans. The levels themselves are that much harder, and the shiny new aliens are a good deal tougher. Remember our stupid friends the Floaters from EU? Remember how pitifully weak they where? Yeah, now meet the Lobsterman. A walking biological tank with pin-point accuracy and aggravating intelligence. I’d like to say there’s more, but, well, there’s not.

Oh, you can reserve time for kneeling now. You probably won’t.

The controls remain exactly the same; the whole old-school PC interface vibe is still relevant. Moving your troops is as simple as clicking on the desired troop, and then clicking where you want them to move to. Controlling their attacks, defensive posture and auto reserve times is all done via the sub menu below the field of play. The same comfy system for those who know the game, and a new clumsy-at-first-awesome-at-last for people playing fresh.

Perhaps that TftD has changed so little might put some off. Apart from the cuts scenes being more of a serious nature rather then the comic book like scenes from EU, not much has changed cosmetically. Whilst underwater, little air bubbles escape from your troops suits and from random places on the ocean floor; even the underwater plant life is a nice touch, but all the other graphical aspects are clearly copy and pasted. Even the sound is basically the same thing as EU. The (same) music sets the atmosphere well and can at times put you on edge. The explosions and gun shots all sound good and the gurgle of dying alien is as satisfying as the last scream of you troops sound depressing.

But, let’s face it, TftD is much more of an add-on to EU as it is an outright new game, but still manages to give a new thrill to X-Com vets. Here, we find a significantly harder game; make no mistake, the aliens have been beefed up, the AI is better and it’s more work to get those technological advances as easily as you did on EU. TftD is also higher on the frustration level. More then once you’ll find yourself hunting for a single alien which has hidden away because some of the levels are just vast. Still, it's a damn fine game in it own right, and a worthy purchase for X-Com vets and fans of strategic games. For first timers, maybe the first X-Com would be a better place to start.

Cornwell's avatar
Community review by Cornwell (August 18, 2008)

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zanzard posted August 23, 2008:


Good expression! I'll remeber it.

In general, a spot-on review.

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