UFO: Alien Invasion is one of those few freeware strategy games that's not only well polished, but also impressive enough that it has attracted a robust following and several game reviewers to rave about it. Granted, it's based on X-Com but any game with a modicum of gameplay innovation that's based on this classic is something that no strategy gamer should miss. Considering that it's one of the myriad freeware strategy games that are floating in the ethers of the Net, it's surprising to note that UFO: Alien Invasion delivers; its audio is impressive and its 3D presentation of the X-com gaming experience is a retro gamer's dream come true.
It's not complete yet, but the game can be downloaded from the UFO: AI site. Recently though, the development team has released changelogs for the October-November interim and what caught my eye are these:
- Various improvements on the renderer, including merges from q2w (GLSL shaders, specular lighting, bump mapping, deluxe mapping, ...)
- A lot of fixes and cleanup to maps
- Support for SAM sites and installations
- New models, artwork and sounds
- Particle lighting improvements
- Map fixes and improvements
- Alien morale fix and other AI improvements
- Start of new airfight implementation
- New weapons
- A lot (really) of improvements to GUI, mostly various menu fixes
- Improvements for geoscape (especially 3D geoscape, installation & radar related), soldier stats and equipment handling
Being a digital artist myself, I volunteered to do a painting for the development team of this freeware strategy game several months back (the XVI Census specifically) but --- sigh --- real life work got in the way. I need to eat too. :P
Anyway, I'm excited about the items in bold font; I hope UFO: AI v2.3 is not far off.