Conclusion: Firaxis, against all of its own set of odds, manages to balance all its interweaving systems with grace and individualized importance. Every researched item feels useful the moment you receive it and every call to your attention feels essential to success. It makes ignoring some calls in favor of others, or choosing an assault soldier over a heavy for a given mission, feel real and impactful. It turns a game into a mission. And it's a special mission indeed.
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.
Excerpt: Is it just me or does it seem like if we were to take games and movies to heart that we have absolutely nothing to worry about if we were to actually face an alien invasion? There's always some over the top gun wielding soldier who somehow knows every weakness of this previously unknown enemy.
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.