Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr
Empire
Trending On Empire
Star Wars: The Force Awakens Teaser Trailer
The Farewell To Middle-earth Issue
Review Of The Year 2014
Subscribe: Get 12 Issues For £25
Buy the perfect Christmas present this year
Farewell To Middle-earth
Full details of our Peter Jackson-edited issue
Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

PACKSHOT
XCOM: Enemy Unknown

GAME DETAILS
Released
08 October 2012
Format
PC, Xbox 360, PS3
Developer
Firaxis games

LATEST GAME REVIEWS
Kingdom Hearts 2.5 HD ReMIX
4 Star Empire Rating
Elite: Dangerous
5 Star Empire Rating
Lara Croft And The Temple of Osiris
3 Star Empire Rating
World Of Warcraft: Warlords Of Draenor
5 Star Empire Rating
WWE 2K15
2 Star Empire Rating



5 STAR REVIEWS
Elite: Dangerous
5 Star Empire Rating
World Of Warcraft: Warlords Of Draenor
5 Star Empire Rating
Super Smash Bros. Wii U
5 Star Empire Rating
Grand Theft Auto V Reissue
5 Star Empire Rating
Dragon Age: Inquisition
5 Star Empire Rating

XCOM: Enemy Unknown


submit to reddit

XCOM: Enemy Unknown (2012)
Review
Bloody aliens – always invading for the flimsiest of reasons. Except in XCOM, Firaxis’ reboot of the classic tactical strategy game, there’s clearly something more sinister surrounding the extra-terrestrial threat, the smart plot just one of many shining delights of the game.

Playing as commander of the Earth’s defence efforts, gameplay is broadly split into two sections. Turn-based strategic combat sees you direct soldiers to kill or capture invaders, recover artefacts and rescue civilians. Then, using the items your forces have gathered, building and upgrading the XCOM base and training your military demands keen resource management.

The balance between the two styles feels spot on – you’ll never be mulling about the base screens for too long before you’re alerted to a mission, and the time you do spend researching new technology and improvements pays off ten-fold in the field.

The only exception to this is during the earlier, tutorial-driven missions, a period of the game that goes on far too long. Being dragged from one alien incursion to the next with little time to explore other facets becomes frustrating, especially as the game does a great job of making you feel comfortable with its systems long before it lets go of your hand. Occasional targeting errors in combat present another frustration, normally when a soldier is positioned directly in front of an enemy yet the percentage of hitting remains low.

Once given full command though, missions play out pleasingly quickly. An initial four-person squad can be expanded to a maximum of six, and inputting commands for each member is swift and intuitive. Maps are perfectly sized – large enough to experiment with different approaches or tactics, but not so vast you’ll lose track of objectives. Despite its nippy nature, XCOM never quite becomes a full-on shoot out, but then it’s not meant to. Instead, XCOM is a strategy game the Call of Duty crowd can enjoy for its immediacy, without losing the depth long-term fans of the series crave.


Reviewed by Matt Kamen

Write Your Review
To write your review please login or register.

Your Reviews

Average user rating for XCOM: Enemy Unknown
Empire Star Rating

Best Strategy Game On Consoles

As a rule, I don't play strategy games - I'm absolutely useless at them, and tend to get frustrated with them long before I've got anywhere. XCOM, however, is brilliant; tough, but it gives you all the tools you need to succeed and makes sure you get comfortable with its mechanics. The juggling of base management and the tactical battles are thrilling and addictive - rushing to get satellites up over panicking countries, shaking with fear as you come up against a pack of angry Muton Berserkers i... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by SDHoneymonster at 20:10, 08 March 2013 | Report This Post


A true sci-fi, but doesn't quite reach the mothership

X-com:enemy unknown......well where do I start? A very addictive game that allows people to experience a game from a commanders point of view rather than the classic soldiers.To me this game is a classic thats format has only been tried by a few such as Lego or the makers of Tom Clancy's End War which are both 2nd rate games that give this type of game a bad name.The game is mostly underrated and should really be given credit for what it is and the fact it's this kind of game which usuall... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by silence1 at 13:10, 23 January 2013 | Report This Post


A true sci-fi, but doesn't quite reach the mothership

X-com:enemy unknown......well where do I start? A very addictive game that allows people to experience a game from a commanders point of view rather than the classic soldiers.To me this game is a classic thats format has only been tried by a few such as Lego or the makers of Tom Clancy's End War which are both 2nd rate games that give this type of game a bad name.The game is mostly underrated and should really be given credit for what it is and the fact it's this kind of game which usuall... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by silence1 at 13:10, 23 January 2013 | Report This Post


SUBSCRIPTION OFFERS

SAVE UP TO 69% GET 12 ISSUES FOR ONLY £25
Get the best seat in the house by subscribing to the world's biggest movie magazine today. Save up to 69% and every month you'll get exclusive subscriber-only covers, access to the biggest stars and the best news, reviews and behind-the-scenes reports straight from the set. Click here to find the perfect offer for you


CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
Empire's Three Favourite Scenes Of 2014
A hat-trick of moneyshots from the last 12 months

The 32 Funniest Movie Moments Of The Year
2014's side-splittingest scenes

The 10 Best Games Of The Year
2014's top pixel-pushers duke it out for the number one slot

Dan Stevens: The Breakout Star Of 2014
We congratulate The Guest star on his year to remember

The 15 Most Memorable Character Deaths Of The Year
2014’s RIP honour roll

Watch: Night At The Museum's Cast Share Their Favourite Robin Williams Performance
Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson and Ben Kingsley pay tribute to the actor

Watch: Jack O'Connell And Luke Treadaway Talk Unbroken
On POWs, panto and how to name your bomber

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Get 12 Issues Of Empire For Only £25!

Get exclusive subscriber-only covers each month!

Subscribe today

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Get The Empire iPad Edition Today

Subscribe and save maney on annual digital subscription

Subscribe today
Buy single issues

Get 12 issues of Empire for just £25!
Get exclusive subscriber-only covers each month Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire iPad Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  iPad  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Editorial Complaints  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)