It's a pleasantly surprising addition to the award-winning online game, so what prompted it? "We always planned to develop Laser Squad Nemesis in this direction," comments Julian Gollop. "We have spent the last six months developing an advanced AI computer opponent and a series of challenging missions organised into separate campaigns for the Laser Marines, the Machina, the Spawn and the Greys. There are twenty missions in total, each taking around 3 hours to complete, and players can select from 3 difficulty levels." The game is available for $19.95 directly from www.lasersquadnemesis.com, with free updates and patches for 2 years, and 1 month online subscription included for free.
How does it play? Well, you can find out for yourself by downloading the demo version from www.lasersquadnemesis.com, which includes one of the single player missions and the option to create a free trial account for online play. With all this activity on the single player front you might not expect many developments for the online game, but according to Gollop this is not the case. "We have recently added a web interface which makes it very easy to organise games and play turns - email is no longer necessary, but it's still an option. We have also added a fourth race, the sinister Greys - familiar to many X-Com fans. We have also introduced a new tournament system, with different types of competitions. Thanks to our great player community the game is now available in six different languages."
Laser Squad Nemesis has come a long way since its launch over two years ago, and threatens to drastically widen its audience from its devoted cult following. This will be greatly helped by retail distribution in Europe through publishers JustPlay and Merscom, an unusual step for a game that trumpets its online origins. "Not at all" replies Gollop, "retail is a great way to reach players who haven't found us yet, but we are still very much an independent developer." And what are the plans for the future? "Laser Squad Nemesis is a continuously evolving game system, and we have many plans for improvements and additions. We will be developing a massively multiplayer strategic game, using the tactical battles to resolve control of territory. The graphics and sound will get a facelift with a new 3D engine. We will also keep developing the single player game, adding a strategic meta-game along the lines of the original X-Com games."