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STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
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PACKSHOT
XCOM: Enemy Unknown

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

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XCOM: Enemy Unknown


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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

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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



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