Published on December 10th, 2012 | by Kiron Ramdewar
XCOM: Enemy Unknown
We have had quite an adventure trying to save Earth. Looking back at our journey, we pay our respects to Thomas ‘Kurl’ Joyce, Grantley ‘PHD’ Greene and Daryl ‘Colgate’ Bell, our deceased comrades. From our humble beginnings as a small anti-alien crew, my small team has saved the day and was a rip-roaring ride it was.
XCOM: Enemy Unknown tasks you with creating your own elite crew to battle against a growing alien threat. The game is split into two parts, the first is has you running your base. The aim of this is to keep your crew up to date with the latest kit, have planes ready to intercept any invasions and to make sure the world council is happy with your efforts.
This may sound easy, but balancing your books, making sure you have enough power and that the best research is undertaken can be a daunting task. Do you start building a new facility to help your research, pour money into building new armour for your combat crew or maybe a continent’s not happy with your work, so you need to appease them with a new satellite? This is part of what makes XCOM so riveting, every decision that you make has a knock on consequence.
The second part of the game is the combat which works on a strategy, turn-based style. Players get to move their squad forward a set amount of spaces based upon their ranking and jobs (e.g Squaddie, Sniper). Each player takes their turn in moving their team and issuing orders as you attempt to clear an area. When attacking an enemy you are given a percentage on your chance of success, making each one a gamble. Until you’ve spotted enemies there’s no way of knowing where they are, so you always have to be on your guard.
Each of your squad mates are completely unique, with their own name, nicknames, equipment and sets of abilities. If they are killed in battle, they are lost from the game. When your top commander takes a bullet to the chest it can be gut wrenching and makes XCOM’s combat a tense. Each turn requires a lot of thought when your favourite character can die in a whim, making future missions way harder than before.
What I worried about most with XCOM was how it would work on a console. I can safely say that it’s one of the best controlling titles on the market. For once, we have a strategy game that is not inferior to its PC counterpart.
Saving the world has never been so much fun, if you get a chance, do yourself a favour and pick up XCOM: Enemy Unknown, you wont regret it.
Summary: A brilliant stratergy game that handles well on both PCs and consoles. XCOM: Enemy Unknown constantly has you thinking about what you are doing both inside and outside of combat.