Released in 1994 for DOS this first game of the series tasks the player with freeing the island of Metavira from the greedy Santino. The player must recruit mercenaries as they explore, capture, and hold new territory. The natives harvest the valuable trees from which a revolutionary medicine can be extracted; a result of the island having been used as a nuclear testing ground in 1952. The more trees the player holds, the more income they make. Income can be used to hire native guards and hire more mercenaries to take the offensive and clear more sectors of enemies.This game featured a top-down perspective of the game field for battles, with character portraits framing the view on the left and right sides. A separate map view showed the entire country broken up into distinct conquerable sectors.
I personally preferred X-COM over this game but a lot of people I know find this game much more entertaining. It is more challenging than X-COM and it’s storyline is perhaps a bit more engaging. What sets it apart is really the ‘personalities’ that the squad members have. Your squad members make snide comments every now and then, some are flirts, some are crazy, some arer serious, and one even can’t speak English. This gives you a more ‘emotional’ attachment to your team and you learn to take care to make sure your favorite soldiers don’t get killed.
All in all, an excellent game that spurned equally excellent sequels. Definitely one of the best all time strategy games.