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Xpiratez is a 'total conversion mod' of X-Com: UFO Defence / UFO: Enemy Unknown.

I first found out about Xpiratez from this article on Rock Paper Shotgun. I think the article does a pretty good job of describing what the mod is about, and what it's like to play - so I'm going to keep this post brief. If you want a bit more detail, check out that article.

Xpiratez plays like a sequel to the original game. It's set in the same universe, but it has is described with a lot more depth and breadth than the original. There is a wealth of in-game lore which is not only interesting and well written but also very consistent with all of the official xcom games. It includes elements from TFTD, Apocalypse, and even the xcom remakes. The in-game world is fully fleshed out and rich with detail.

Although the game mechanics are the same, it has a lot more tactical and strategic depth. There's a huge amount of different equipment and enemies, and it's balanced in such a way that there are a lot of different tactical options.

The amount of content is somewhat overwhelming; and so I wouldn't recommend this game as a first-step into the xcom world (except maybe to an expert gamer), but I would certainly recommend it to anyone who has played and enjoyed any of the other games. The game includes everything I liked from UFO: Enemy Unknown and Terror From The Deep; and pretty much everything I liked from Apocalypse as well. There are a bunch of things that I thought Apoc did better than UFO - and this game essentially replicates those improvements. In fact, there are parts of xpiratez which remind me of features which were intended for Apocalypse but cut due to development time constraints.

In short, I think I'd go as far as to say that Xpiratez is best xcom game I've played. I highly recommend it. (Although I think it would be best enjoyed by people who already have some experience with xcom games.)
blind3rdeye: ...
Thanks... just from the RPS description it looks like there goes ANOTHER week (at minimum!) of my free evenings. As if the recent playthrough of Apocalypse and TFTD on hardest difficulty wasn't enough. Do you know where I could buy few weeks of time? GOG is too damn slow with fulfilling the corresponding wish, I think I might have to look elsewhere...
this definately does look interesting
once the vanilla game goes stale for me it will breathe new life into it
+1 for the heads up on this dude