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X-Com: UFO Defense - How to Download and Play it for Free on Windows 10


X-COM: UFO Defense - A Retro Strategy Gem




If you are a fan of strategy games, chances are you have heard of X-COM: UFO Defense, also known as UFO: Enemy Unknown in Europe. This game, developed by Mythos Games and published by MicroProse in 1994, is widely regarded as one of the best and most influential games of all time. It combines real-time management simulation with turn-based tactical combat, creating a deep and immersive experience that challenges your strategic thinking, decision making, and resource management skills. In this article, we will explore what makes X-COM: UFO Defense such a timeless classic, and how you can play it today with some mods and remakes.


The Story and Setting of X-COM: UFO Defense




The Alien Invasion of Earth




The game is set in the near-future of 1998, when the world is facing an unprecedented threat from an unknown alien force. Reports of UFO sightings, abductions, and attacks are increasing across the globe, and conventional military forces are unable to stop them. The aliens seem to have a sinister agenda, and their technology and capabilities are far beyond human comprehension.




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The Formation of X-COM




In response to this crisis, some of the most powerful nations in the world secretly form a covert organization called Extraterrestrial Combat (X-COM), dedicated to fighting the alien menace. As the commander of X-COM, you are in charge of directing the research, development, deployment, and combat operations of this elite force. You must build and expand your bases around the world, intercept and shoot down UFOs, investigate crash sites and alien activity, capture and interrogate alien specimens, research and manufacture new weapons and equipment, manage your budget and personnel, and ultimately uncover the secrets behind the alien invasion.


The Gameplay and Features of X-COM: UFO Defense




The Geoscape Mode




The game is divided into two main modes: the Geoscape mode and the Battlescape mode. The Geoscape mode is where you manage your global operations from a map of the Earth. You can monitor the UFO activity, send your interceptors to engage them, launch your transport craft to conduct ground missions, build new facilities and bases, allocate your scientists and engineers to various projects, purchase and sell items on the black market, hire and fire staff, adjust your funding allocation from different countries, and more. The Geoscape mode is played in real-time, but you can pause or speed up the time as you wish.


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The Battlescape Mode




The Battlescape mode is where you control your soldiers in turn-based tactical combat against the aliens. This mode is triggered when you land at a crash site, a terror site, or an alien base, or when your base is attacked by the aliens. You can equip your soldiers with different weapons, armor, grenades, medikits, scanners, etc., and assign them different roles such as sniper, scout, heavy weapons specialist, medic, etc. You can also use vehicles, tanks, and hovercraft to assist your troops, as well as use various items such as flares, smoke grenades, proximity mines, stun rods, etc. The Battlescape mode is played on a grid-based map that represents the terrain and the structures of the mission area. You can rotate and zoom the map to get a better view of the situation. You can also switch between different levels of the map to see what's inside buildings or underground. The Battlescape mode is turn-based, meaning that you and the aliens take turns to move and act with your units. Each unit has a certain amount of Time Units (TUs) that determine how many actions they can perform in a turn. Actions such as moving, shooting, throwing, reloading, kneeling, etc. consume different amounts of TUs. You can also reserve some TUs for reaction fire, which allows your unit to shoot at any enemy that moves within their line of sight during the enemy's turn. The Battlescape mode is where most of the challenge and fun of the game lies, as you have to deal with various types of aliens, each with their own abilities, weapons, and behaviors. You also have to cope with the fog of war, which limits your vision and makes you vulnerable to ambushes and surprises. You have to use cover, elevation, flanking, suppression, and other tactics to gain an advantage over the enemy. You also have to manage your morale, which can affect your performance and even cause panic or berserk among your troops. And you have to be careful not to cause too much collateral damage or civilian casualties, as that can affect your reputation and funding.


The Base Management Mode




The Base Management mode is where you build and upgrade your bases around the world. You can have up to eight bases in total, each with a different layout and purpose. You can build various facilities in your bases, such as hangars, living quarters, laboratories, workshops, stores, radar systems, missile defenses, etc. Each facility has a cost and a construction time, as well as a maintenance fee. You also have to provide enough power and defense for your bases, as well as enough staff and equipment. The Base Management mode is important for expanding your global coverage and capabilities, as well as for preparing for possible base attacks by the aliens.


The Research and Manufacturing Mode




The Research and Manufacturing mode is where you develop new technologies and items for your use. You can assign your scientists to research various topics, such as alien artifacts, weapons, armor, craft, etc. Each topic has a difficulty level and a research time that depends on the number of scientists assigned and their skill level. Researching new topics can unlock new items for manufacturing or purchase, as well as new information about the aliens and their plans. You can also assign your engineers to manufacture various items, such as weapons, ammo, armor, craft components, etc. Each item has a cost and a production time that depends on the number of engineers assigned and their skill level. Manufacturing items can provide you with more resources and options for your missions.


The Mods and Remakes of X-COM: UFO Defense




OpenXCom - A Modernized Version of the Original Game




While X-COM: UFO Defense is still a great game to play today, it does suffer from some technical issues and limitations due to its age. Fortunately, there are some mods and remakes that can enhance your gaming experience and fix some of the problems of the original game. One of them is OpenXCom, a free open-source project that aims to recreate the original game with modern features and improvements. OpenXCom allows you to play X-COM: UFO Defense on any platform and resolution, with improved graphics and sound quality, mouse scrolling and keyboard shortcuts, customizable options and difficulty levels, bug fixes, mod support, and more. OpenXCom is compatible with the original game data, so you can play the game as it was intended, or you can customize it with various mods and options to suit your preferences. OpenXCom is the best way to enjoy X-COM: UFO Defense in 2021, and you can download it for free from their website.


XCOM: Enemy Unknown - A Rebooted Version of the Game by Firaxis Games




If you are looking for a more modern and streamlined version of X-COM: UFO Defense, you might want to check out XCOM: Enemy Unknown, a rebooted version of the game developed by Firaxis Games and published by 2K Games in 2012. XCOM: Enemy Unkn


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