Wednesday, October 17, 2012

X-Com Enemy Unknown 2012 Review (Xbox 360, PS3, PC)

Xcom Enemy Unknown 2012 Cover Art

X-com Enemy Unknown 2012 Review (Xbox 360, PS3, PC)

After many years of waiting for a true return to X-com, is it worth the wait?

Sectoid from Enemy Unknown 2012
The New Sectoid
  After about 18 years since the last X-com game came out, a new game in the series finally comes out, and many developers have tried to capture to feel of the original series, but lacked a certain something to make it a true successor. Now Firaxis has the rights to the X-com Universe and their latest release, Enemy Unknown, has made great strides in the "Turn-Based Strategy" genre.

  The latest release lives up to the hype of it's predecessors, and this reboot stays true to what made X-Com... X-com. You are given a tutorial to freshen you up on the game, for both seasoned veterans and new players alike, and after some short hand holding you are thrown into the game to lead humanity to success, or failure.  You have one base to play with, and is done in a ant farm style, and the way they made the base and the game, you only need one. In the older games, you had to have multiple bases to scan and deploy interceptors around the world, but in this game you can deploy satellites and have interceptors stationed around the world from the beginning, and can be deployed, stationed, and managed from the base itself.

  For the base there is multiple building options, and you need to excavate in order to open up areas to build said buildings. You can build workshops, laboratories, power generators, and many more options depending on what you research and if you have the materials and cash to work with.

Xcom Enemy Unknown battlescape combat
Combat in Xcom Enemy Unknown
  The soldiers in this game are hardier than the previous game, and you start off with 4 soldiers, but can upgrade to 6 using the Officer Training School, as well as other soldier upgrades. You can outfit your soldiers with armor, their weapons, and an extra item for combat, be it a medkit, grenades, arc thrower, or whatever you have researched.

Xcom enemy Unknown 2012 Geoscape
Xcom Enemy Unknown Geoscape
The game's story does a good job of telling the alien war, through cutscenes, and will offer you "priority" descriptions for items or research that will help advance the story. The cutscenes in the game offer you a greater aspect of what is going on and are done well, without dragging on or interrupting the gameplay.

  The main part of the game is done through the battlescape, in which you move one unit at a time, and then end your turn, however, there is many options that can be used depending on your soldier's class, his rank, and what perks you have chosen. most characters have the option of using overwatch, which ends that unit's turn, but will fire on any enemies that come within range. Hunker down is an option used to reduce your visual range, in exchange for stronger defense, and you will need to decide your best options for each and every turn. If you try to "Rambo" the situation, you can quickly find yourself in a bad situation and could lose soldiers in the process, and if they die, they aren't coming back.
Xcom Enemy Unknown 2012 Soldier Customization Screen
Soldier Customization Screen

  This game really makes your prioritize choices, in research, engineering, and tactical choices on the field and in the air. Do you make better armor and weapons for your troops? Do you expand your base? Do you get more satellite coverage for more money and reduce panic in the countries? Do you take a risky move in the battlescape to turn the fight to your favor? These questions and more run through your mind as you play this game, and it does a great job of showing you the dire straights that the X-Com forces are given, and makes every fight, every advancement worthwhile.

Xcom Enemy Unknown interceptor Combat Screenshot
Interceptor Combat in Xcom Enemy Unknown
 Overall, I found X-com: Enemy Unknown to be an awesome first in the series by Firaxis, and they did a great job of bringing this franchise into the modern era of gaming. I haven't played the Multiplayer, but from what friends have told me, that's its pretty fun, and Multiplayer and Singleplayer are seperate from each other, and do not affect each other in any way shape or form. 


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