Review -Xcom: Enemy Unknown

I {like a bajillion of you} was recently watching this year’s E3 footage and while the announcements have me uber-psyched for the future of gaming it also reminded me that there are some brilliant games out there that I haven’t given the time they deserve. Xcom I feel is one of those.

Xcom turn based strategy game in which you attempt to save the planet from an alien invasion. To do this you must take care of your base of operations, research new tec to keep those damn filthy aliens from ripping you a new one, keep countries at a low-ish level of panic so they don’t decide they’re better off without you AND try not to let all your soldiers die in the field.

Do not shoot that green shit at me!

Do not shoot that green shit at me!

The turn based combat feels like simplified version of the kind of ‘roll a dice for damage’ system used in table top games such as Warhammer, giving the game a much more dangerous feel. Very few shots are guaranteed, making each move that little bit riskier, and taking a little control out of your hands.

The first experience I had with this game was a bunch of friends and I crowding around a pc to customise a soldier to look like and be named after each of us. Watching them rise from rookie to squaddie and receive a class {virtual me was a Heavy}, cheering as we cut through the alien hoard,  shouting encouragement as we took risks, and ultimately mourning as our characters died {permadeath is a serious thing kids}.

While I know some people don’t get as attached to their squad as I have become to mine, listening to the developers talk about naming one of their soldiers after their mother and then loosing that soldier/mother on a mission makes me feel that this is exactly how it was made to be played.

When your squad is looking on point

When your squad is looking on point

As with just about all games there are some small glitches {freezing at inopportune moments and such} and you need to remember to save if {like me} you just can’t stand to loose half your squad in one mission, and need to do a sneaky revert to last save-point.

If you need to have total control over a game to be able to enjoy it, Xcom probably isn’t for you, But if don’t mind a chaotic element, love a game that makes you really think about what you’re doing, gives you the opportunity to form a real attachment to your squad and can be picked up and put down in short bursts with ease, give the Xcom franchise a shot.


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In every generation there is a Chosen One. She alone will stand against the vampires, the demons and the forces of darkness. Emmalene is not that one. But she does her best and that’s really… Well it’s something

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