*Sources of screenshots are listed in their respective file-names.
Xenonauts is an Early Access title in a Beta state, which means it is not fully optimized and bugs may be present. However, with a planned completion date of May 30th, 2014—Xenonauts is very close to a final release and feels like a finished game.
Commander, General Mikhail reports a situation on the Geoscape.
Patch me in.
This was the Geoscape at 19:54…:
…And this was the Geoscape at 19:55–two minutes ago.:
Looks like one of their Light Scouts–a couple of Condor interceptors should be able to handle it.
Unfortunately Commander, it isn’t that simple. This is the alert we received thirty seconds ago.
So we have two speeding UFO’s, one moving towards southern Africa and the other towards–
—the Soviet Union. Both provide significant resources to Xenonauts.
I think a single Condor should be able to handle the Light Scout, but I want you to send a squadron to intercept UFO 13–a Condor and a Foxtrot. Be sure to provide the Foxtrot with Avalanche Torpedoes.
I assume you’ll handle things from here?
…What if something goes wrong?
…What could possibly go wrong?
Although Xenonauts is directly inspired by the X-Com series, it quickly forges its own identity through strong use of an atmospheric Cold War setting (a sample of the excellent soundtrack is included below).
After the “Iceland incident” in 1958, the USA and USSR put aside their differences to create a last chance for humanity–the Xenonauts.
This fusion of the superpowers is best seen in the intricately detailed character art found when using sections of your base:
As Commander of the Xenonauts, you’ll direct your unique organization through three distinct and complementary modes of play:
- Air Combat
- Ground Combat
In the Geoscape, you’ll monitor the safety of the world, intercept alien craft and deploy troops in dangerous suicide missions. Since you can’t save everyone, you must make the difficult choice of which countries are worth protecting.
Players can tweak nearly every aspect of the Xenonauts organization in this mode.
From the construction of bases:
To recruits chosen:
To the number of bullets soldiers carry in their packs:
This (and several other details I won’t spoil) allows you to determine the exact type of organization Xenonauts will become.
When a UFO is first detected, you can select both the aircraft launched in response to this threat and the weaponry used:
Outsmart and outmaneuver the alien craft, rolling to dodge shots and using afterburners to zoom out of its line-of-sight. Overwhelm it with cannon and missile fire to finally send the UFO hurtling into the ground.
If you aren’t interested in this aspect of the game or (like me) just aren’t very good at it, you can also “autoresolve” combat in the UFO interception menu.
Ground Combat is the heart of the Xenonauts experience. After watching aliens terrorize our planet, you can now take the fight to them.
Battle is tactical, tense–almost paranoid. You’ll soon learn the value of keeping your squad behind cover and watching every entrance…
Every time you forgo caution, someone inevitably dies.
At some point, these soldiers go from simply being pixels to valued members of your team. You start to recognize their names–Tor, Nina and Masaki…
You’ve transformed them from barely competent fighters to seasoned veterans. You’ve spent hours tweaking their equipment to match their natural abilities. All of this, only to have them ripped away in a single moment by a bolt of plasma.
While Xenonauts uses the gameplay and 2D orientation of the original X-Com, its number of improvements and noticeable polish make it stand on its own as a marvelous strategy title.
For those uncomfortable with this situation, female soldiers may be used in combat.
This is no surprise as the feature has been available since the first X-COM video game (Xenonauts direct inspiration).
Minor amounts of blood (both human and Alien) are shown.
The inclusion of aliens/alien civilizations.
These aliens can harness a variety of psychic abilities including mind control.
Finally, every copy of Xenonauts also includes a prequel novella by Lee Stephen entitled Crimson Dagger (found in the Extras menu). Though well written and informative, it contains several instances of profanity and intense violence not found in-game.
Buy Now! (PC)