As the gamespot review notes,Afterlight has a considerably engaging story for a strategy game that is delivered convincingly enough.It has very good strategical and tactical depth with many options in terms of equipment,several skills to choose from and satisfactory soldier development.While the game requires of you to make the right decisions,especially on the planet strategy part,it allows room for some error and it is not totally unforgiving,which is good.
What keeps this game from being really good are two major and some trivial problems.The trivial are the annoying autozoom function
which requires CONSTANT adjustment in combat mode,the monotonous mars environment,and the not so good interface.
The first major problem is the lack of a helpful tutorial and explanation of certain mechanics in the game.Mainly how you can upgrade buildings and gain more resources.The ONLY way to find these things out is to save your game and keep playing until figure it
out.By that time you will have lost precious game time and inevitably you will be forced to return to your previous save or even start all over again.This happened to me at least 2-3 times.
The second major problem is the difficulty.Right from the start of the game the difficulty is above average-which is fine-and continues like this until approximately midway through the game.
When i took over about half of Mars,the battles became next to impossible for me,since the game threw at me around 20! alien chiefs(i don't remember exactly how they are called,but they are tough ones) all packed up together.Until then you would face 6-7 at most in a mission,it was just crazy.At that point i gave up.
Despite it's problems i can't say i didn't have fun and i can recommend it to strategy fans.Just keep in mind that it requires all the more patience as you advance in the game.