The Incubation: The Wilderness Missions wiki last edited by ka_tet19 on 01/20/14 05:19AM View full history

Overview

Incubation: TWM Logo

Incubation: The Wilderness Missions (also known as Incubation Mission Pack or Incubation Mission Pack: The Wilderness Missions) is the official expansion pack for Incubation: Time Is Running Out, Blue Byte Software's 1997 turn-based tactical squad combat computer game. It was released in 1998 roughly six months after Time Is Running Out, and is mainly notable for adding a new single-player campaign equal in length to that of the original game. New enemies and weapons are introduced, and the game's multiplayer was also expanded to allow for cooperative play. Finally, The Wilderness Missions also shipped with a map editor that allows fans to create custom scenarios of their own.

The story picks up immediately after the events of the first game, and once again focuses on Alexander Bratt, now a sergeant, and his squad of space marines. In the wake of the successful Scay'Hallwa evacuation, Sergeant Bratt and his men find themselves stranded on Scay'Ra, surrounded by hostile Scay'Ger with no foreseeable means of making their escape. With the odds quickly mounting against them, Bratt's team must secure exodus off-planet before being overcome by the planet's native inhabitants.

Gameplay

See also: Incubation: Time Is Running Out

Tough foes, like the two Gor'Ther pictured here, are encountered early on.

Although the core gameplay mechanics of The Wilderness Missions are essentially indistinguishable from those of Incubation, the new campaign seems to take into account many of the common criticisms leveled against the previous title. Incubation's missions were at times criticized for being brief, puzzle-like (meaning that they could only be completed one way), and short on difficulty; overall, the scenarios in The Wilderness Missions are longer and more difficult, and often include more than one path to victory. Similarly, the new Gore'Coo enemy introduced in the expansion seems to be specifically designed to address complaints that Incubation's enemies behaved in simplistic and highly predictable ways. By comparison, the Gore'Coo (which is nicknamed "Einstein" within the game's fiction) prefers to fight at range, and has the ability to open doors and take advantage of defensive fire in much the same way that the player's units can.

Aside from the differences apparent in the enemies and the missions themselves, as well as the additional weapons, equipment, and environments that are to be expected in an expansion, The Wilderness Missions' campaign is still a linear progression of scenarios very much in keeping with Incubation's original structure, right down to the occasional opportunity to choose one's next mission from among two preselected options. Standard network and Play-by-Email (PBM) multiplayer modes return, and the inclusion of an external map editor was likely specifically designed to give the game's fan community the tools it needed to give the game additional longevity.

New Enemies

See: Scay'Ger

New Weapons

The four new weapons introduced in The Wilderness Missions, though they may take after some of the preexisting armaments, are all unique in some way, offering additional possibilities and scenarios to consider when outfitting one's squad. For the most part, they seem to err on the side of Heavy Weapon Proficiency requirements, though the Light Plasma Gun offers new possibilities for Light Weapon users.

Mine Thrower Enhanced

Mine Thrower Enhanced

  • Prerequisites: +3 Battle Fitness, +5 Heavy Weapon Proficiency
  • Cost: 80
  • Ammo Capacity: 5
  • Damage: 10
  • Range: 2-20
An interesting alteration to the standard Mine Thrower, the Mine Thrower Enhanced in its primary mode creates a large blast with a substantial area of effect. In its alternate mode, rather than placing regular mines, it unleashes spider mines that can be controlled by the player upon subsequent turns, where they can be guided into enemy units.
Enhanced Laser Gun

Enhanced Laser Gun

  • Prerequisites: +3 Battle Fitness, +5 Heavy Weapon Proficiency, +3 Technical Skill
  • Cost: 80
  • Ammo Capacity: 5
  • Damage: 2 (Ignores Armor)
  • Range: 0-40
The Enhanced Laser Gun is something of a special-purpose weapon. In primary mode, it does two points of damage to any target, regardless of any manner of damage mitigation it might possess. Its secondary firing mode can give control of an enemy unit to the player, though this is likely to fail if said unit is not already low on hit points.
Chain Saw

Chain Saw

  • Prerequisites: +3 Battle Fitness, +2 Heavy Weapon Skill, +3 Technical Skill
  • Cost: 50
  • Ammo Capacity: Unlimited
  • Damage: 10
  • Range: 1-1
The first and only dedicated melee weapon in Incubation, the Chain Saw can be used with impunity seeing as its wielder does not have to worry about running out of ammunition. The obvious downside to this is that its user must be right next to its target in order to do any damage, which, depending on the situation, might not be advisable.
Light Plasma Gun

Light Plasma Gun

  • Prerequisites: +4 Light Weapon Proficiency, +3 Technical Skill
  • Cost: 50
  • Ammo Capacity: Unlimited
  • Damage: 4
  • Range: 1-10
Unlike the standard Plasma Gun, the Light Plasma Gun is self-sufficient, requiring no external ammunition source. Unfortunately, a few compromises had to be made in order to facilitate this change. Its damage potential is nowhere near the Plasma Gun's, though it is still quite respectable, and its effective range has been similarly reduced.

New Equipment

The two new equipment upgrades of The Wilderness Missions are designed to aid with two of the most crucial concerns of Incubation's combat: damage mitigation and weapon overheating. Both of the new items can be found within crates inside of particular scenarios, though even these found versions still require that their users meet certain prerequisites before they can successfully be equipped.

Absorber

  • Prerequisites: +2 Battle Fitness, +3 Technical Skill
  • Cost: 70

The Absorber's effect is quite straightforward. Anyone equipped with it will be able to sustain four hit points of damage from any source and of any type before their actual hit points will begin to be depleted. Though this upgrade will obviously improve the longevity of any unit, marines who are likely to have frequent close encounters, such as Chain Saw wielders, are perhaps the best recipients.

Cooler

  • Prerequisites: +2 Battle Fitness, +3 Technical Skill
  • Cost: 70

The heat buildup of weapons is cut in half for any soldier in possession of the Cooler item. This can dramatically increase the frequency with which a unit can use its weapon, especially in cases where a soldier's chosen armament would normally overheat quite rapidly. These units should naturally be prioritized when purchasing Coolers, since they will receive the most benefit.

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