Summary: Firaxis, best known for the 'Civilization' series, has already proven itself brave. The long-standing strategy game developer is putting its reputation on the line by revisiting a similarly long-standing boon of the entire genre. Firaxis is rebooting 'XCOM' with 'XCOM: Enemy Unknown,' taking on the challenge of modernizing a beloved series while keeping it exactly the same, so-to-speak.
Conclusion: I could go on about the virtues of Enemy Within, about how good it was to play through the whole campaign again, but ultimately it’ll come down to two factors: The fact that the ending hasn’t changed a bit, and the fact that, ultimately, you’re still playing the same game. The former is perhaps the most disappointing, and as for the latter, it’s easier for something like Civilization to get away with, as XCOM is more narrative focused.
Excerpt: Whoops! Did you forget to upgrade your interceptors? Because now there's a UFO over Russia that you're not equipped to take down, and transferring or manufacturing more jets will take more time than you have. Oh, and the craft is going to shoot down your satellite. Oh, and Russia will pull its funding if that happens.
Conclusion: MARS ATTACKS!Preparing for Galactic War: Single player and multiplayer are pretty much the same. Going through the campaign you are given the typical vague premise: you are a commander of a private global defense organization attempting to expel aliens from wreaking havoc on Earth by seeking and removing them at sometimes any cost.
Excerpt: The best stories about XCOM always end in failure. The wipeout of a veteran squad member, the panic, destruction and downward spiral towards failure. In an age of broadened gaming audiences, lowered difficulty barriers and constant hand holding XCOM manages to stand out by being one of the few mainstream games that allows you to fail permanently.
Excerpt: In a world where aliens have come to Earth armed with a dastardly plot to abduct humans in an attempt to take over the universe, nations must unite to form a task force of unmatched strength. XCOM: Enemy Unknown is the tale of such a unified project. In this epic sequel, a type of Wizard’s chess meets the 3-D Star Trek chess of the future.
Summary: Tension runs high in the excellent XCOM: Enemy Unknown.
Pros: Tension-filled turn-based matches Great sense of progression makes you feel increasingly powerful Complex interconnected economy makes each decision important Soldier perma-death gets you invested in the fate of your veterans
Cons: Map repetition Camera foibles and other visual glitches
Conclusion: XCOM: Enemy Unknown is bound to be contested when compared to the original from the ‘90’s, but Firaxis has managed to create a thoroughly modern game based on the core ideas of the classic. The tactics-based action is enhancing, well balanced, pleasing and frustrating at the same time and manages to make hours pass by incredibly quickly.
Pros: + Strategic depth, + Tactical complexity, + Character development
Cons: - Some plot points could be better explained, - Barebones multiplayer
Excerpt: XCOM: Enemy Unknown - Slingshot asks the question: is more of the same enough to satisfy you? If so, and if you don't mind starting a new game from scratch, then you already know what you need to know about the first major downloadable content for this great turn-based strategy game.
Pros: Three new fun, atmospheric missions, Enemy placement and timed objectives lead to tense strategizing
Cons: You have to start a new game to see the content, Adds too little, and is too unmemorable, to justify the cost