UFO: Aftershock is the sequel to UFO: Aftermath set fifty years later in the year 2050. After the life support system on the Laputa (read=space station or city), the peoples of the Laputa revolted against the Human Council, who tried to silence their objections. Armed conflict was soon unavoidable and the Laputa was destroyed soon after its engines exploded. The few survivors, who barely made it out alive by escaping in space shuttles, find another deserted Laputa in space. This Laputa is equipped with a landing pod to Earth, rumored to be long lost. Now you lead the remaining survivors of the Laputa and re-establish contact with Earth and the mysteries within.
UFO: Aftershock is a real-time tactical squad strategy/RPG, following in the gameplay footsteps of X-Com. Gameplay revolves around the player conquering provinces around the world, research technologies and fighting-off the various enemies on Earth.
The Geosphere (political map) allows the player to view and move the Laputa anywhere on Earth. There are 4 different time speeds selectable, from pause to very fast. Earth is divided in to 2 (two) different areas. Countries and provinces. Countries, for example France consists of (according to the game) 5 provinces. The provinces are divided into 2 (two) different types, a capital and a resource province.
A capital (one per country) allows the player to access the resources of the provinces in the same country and most importantly, allows the player to build a base. Other capitals (and surrounding resources) are accessible, when the player controls that province and builds a track (road) from the starting Stuttgart base to that province.
Resource provinces provide the player with one out of the 3 (three) different resources available in the game: Basic, Mineral and Alien resources, all of which are used for upkeep, creating buildings, weapons/armor and research.
The first race the player meets is the Human race, who provides you control over your first two provinces. Soon, the player will meet the Cyborgs and the Psionics. All three races may be negotiated for resources and new people to join your ranks. The higher the relationship with either one, the more resources and better people they offer. Assisting their provinces when they are under attack or sending resources will improve relations, while ignoring their requests or even attacking them will devastate relations. Later in the game, the player will meet a few more (hostile) races.
The player is originally provided with 4 team members, which may be increased by recruiting new members from different factions. A single landing squad consists of 5 members, but later may be increased to 7 members. Each member introduces an RPG style system of statistics. Members have experiences levels, skills, and attributes. When a member levels up by reaching enough experience through missions, he/she may increase one physical or mental attribute (e.g. strength, intelligence, etc.) which will in affect, increase his/her skills (e.g. rifles, throwing, health, etc.).
If his/her attributes qualify, the member may later acquire specialized training, such as Commando, Medic, etc. A member may train up to 3 different types from the available 12. A training skill may be leveled up three times, allowing unique bonuses for tactical combat.