If you’re at all into X-COM, turn based strategy games and mobile games, then have I seen the game for you; this year at Gamescom, I was fortunate enough to get hands on with the fantastic, X-Mercs: Invasion from Game Insight.
With solid narrative elements, don’t let the fact that it’s a mobile game put you off. As the leader of a Military Corporation, your tasks, outside of battling for survival, include creating a base of command, researching new technology and crafting new weapons for your operatives.
If you’ve ever played games such as X-COM or Shadowrun, you’ll know what to expect; if you haven’t, then why not?! Gameplay involves strategic turn based combat where movement, positioning and planning are all keys to success. In classic isometric style, you’ll be able to flank enemies, take over and choose whether or not to attack. Special abilities that individual characters possess will also dramatically alter your choices in combat too.
It’s not only the classic gameplay that should get you excited either, outside of the addictive main game, you’ll also have plenty to tinker with too. Customisation runs rampant throughout X-Mercs, whether it be the trivial, yet unaccountably vital option of deciding upon the aesthetic character choices, or the more integral upgrade trees. Each character can rank up, select a bonus from an extensive tree and equip different weapons and armours. Not only this, but there’s also an extensive technology tree featuring over 100 options to work through too.
For those worried about the longevity of this free to play title, they need not be, as content certainly appears to be a key factor. On top of the main missions, there are hundreds of side objectives to complete, over 50 enemy types and more than 50 diverse buildings with which to construct your base.
Due to their incorporation of the Unity engine, X-Mercs looks the part too, the characteristic isometric view is punctuated with zoomed, angular shots, rotation of the camera and a myriad of locales. Deserts, ruined cities and alien ships each have their own unique styles and artwork to further reinforce the feeling of scope and scale.
Out soon on both Android and Apple devices, X-Mercs: Invasion is almost certainly going to be one of those games that I’ll end up turning off my PS4 to play instead; with the favourably huge amount of content on show so far, I imagine I won’t be the only one!