I of the Enemy Review
by Kathy Salisbury
I of the Enemy is an awesome science fiction strategy game with a complex storyline that will keep you on the edge of your seat. This is not the kind of game I usually play, but I found myself engrossed, and I really enjoyed completing the missions and watching the story unfold. It's really difficult to believe that this is an indie game. The screenshots, the plot, the acting credits, with names like Ian McNeice (who played Baron Harkonnen in Dune) all seemed more like a retail title. And indeed IOE was actually published as a retail game in Europe.
Chief game designer and lead programmer Mark Temple heads up the talented production company which assembled this great game (incredibly enough!) as an independent enterprise.
Starting it up, I was captivated by the beautiful scenes. The sound is amazing -- the drama, the graphics of the opening scenes and the well-written dialogue completely blew me away. The speaking parts are wonderful; not only by Ian McNeice, whose voice acting is superb, but the other actors did a fine job as well.
I love a good science fiction story, and the story behind the game I of the Enemy is quite intriguing. As it starts out, three races are involved in a fierce conflict against the mysterious Unath race. You are the exhalted Commander of Armies of the Lokob, with your trusted Aide Colonel Yereg Verkkal (Ian McNeice) always by your side.
I don't want to give too much away, because there is quite a startling twist in the plot! Let's just say that things aren't always as they seem when dealing with the alien races. Some of your allies have dark secrets, and they will stop at nothing to achieve their sinister objectives.
Who can you trust? The arrogant Therinak and the technologically advanced race known as the Y'dray? Or the brutish Omond Ageche and the cave-dwelling race known as the Ragha? And what exactly happened to the elite group of Lobok troops known as the Ightan?
If you enjoy tactical strategy games, then IOE is the game for you. Although, obviously, it is very militaristic in nature, the game is not full of gratuitous violence. The enemies shoot at each other, but the combat graphics are not bloody or gory. Combat sequences are handled very strategically with icons, buttons, maps, and symbols. The cut-away scenes are spectacularly beautiful.
Your units gain experience going through four stages: green, veteran, crack and elite. You can customize units too. Your skill at maneuvering is definitely more essential to achieving victory in IOE than sheer brute force. You must figure out how to construct the temporal gates and transport your troops and supplies.
I of the Enemy may be played offline alone, or over the internet or LAN in multiplayer mode with up to 8 players.
Using your wits and strategy to complete the 25 missions on 3 different planets, you are treated to movies and briefings with important dialogues between the major characters.
You'll see the mysteries unravel as you make the 22nd century safer for all the good, peaceful races throughout the galaxy.
An absorbing game that I highly recommend, I of the Enemy has been rated by the PEGI age rating system as appropriate for ages 12 and older. IOE won the 2004 Game Tunnel awards for Best Sound in an Indie Game and was a Top Ten Game of the Year.