XCOM: Enemy Unknown Review

Posted: March 15, 2013 by My Geek Thoughts in Reviews
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250px-XCOM_Enemy_Unknown_Game_CoverYea, I know XCOM: Enemy Unknown has been out for a while, SORRY! Been distracted and working through our backlog of reviews. One of the reasons for my backlog is I am STILL playing this game even though I have beat it MANY MANY times on different levels of difficulty. So, you can tell this will be an overall positive review.

XCOM: Enemy Unknown by Firaxis and 2K Games is a great turn based role-playing tactical overview game. It is also a good reimagining of the original 1990’s X-Com: UFO Defense by Microprose. I am a huge fan of the original X-Com, second only to the Civilization series. I still have my laptop with the original version of this game, but the laptop needs a fix right now. So when I saw at last years PAX that 2K would have this released on the Xbox 360 I nearly geek’d myself!  I preordered this right away and played after grabbing it at a midnight release.

How does XCOM: Enemy Unknown stand up to X-Com: UFO Defense? As you would expect, visually XCOM is much better looking then the original 90’s version, which should be no surprise. But I find the tactical flexibility of the original X-Com is missing from XCOM (try to not get them confused!).

  • You are limited to a single base and a single Sky Ranger (troop transport). You can establish Interceptor bases on other areas to shoot down Alien ships thou.
  • The maximum size of your squad is 6 members.
  • You can only go on a single mission at a time, no sending out multiple teams or having the Sky Ranger stop at multiple hot spots while out.
  • No free aiming at th environment when in combat. No shooting at walls or blowing through terrain.
  • For some reason, the crysalids are not as scary as they used to be. They are still vicious but don’t have the same chilling affect on me.
  • No trip to Mars… 😦
  • There are a few more but those are the major ones.

Do these differences hurt the game? No! If you are a veteran of the original you just have to relearn the game and modify your tactics for taking down the aliens. Once I did this my enjoyment with this game increased. One of the things I love is the assault unit!!! There are 4 classes in XCOM; The support (foot soldier), the sniper, the heavy (heavy weapons specialist), and the assault unit. The Assault units are the close combat specialists. There is not any hand to hand combat in this game so when I say close combat I mean SHOTGUNS! These guys run up to the enemy (the only unit that can run and shoot in the game) and can rapid fire shotguns and other more advanced weapons as the game goes on. I usually field 2 per mission that flank and capture and kill aliens left and right.

There are many missions with many different goals where you will meant and fight more and more dangerous aliens as the game goes on, including like I said above the deadly crysalid! And there is some fun DLC available now that I am playing through right now.

Some complaints I have with this game are:

  • I wish there was a way to shut up the 2 docs that are advising you. They comment during combat that can kill the flow of things and have pissed me off a few times.
  • The effect to let me know where noises are coming from is a little too much at times. Sometimes randomly happening in the middle of me doing things and have caused mistaken moves a few times.
  • And make sure when you save a game it actually saves. I’ve had some save game issues recently.
  • There are some line of sight issues when stares or ramps are involved. Sometimes my guys won’t see or target an alien mid way up or down a ramp or set of stairs.
  • OVERWATCH!!! Fix the overwatch fire so not everyone fires at the first alien. Each person takes a shot in turn from the closest and then move to the next.
  • Allow us free aim at terrain.
  • And sometimes I will equip soldiers with alien grenades but they wont be available during missions.

If you are a fan of turn based table top games like Warhammer 40K or the older Necromunda you should like this one. Give it a try and I am sure you will enjoy it!

For me, this game is worth buying and keeping! I bought my copy and still play it. Enjoy!!!

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