XCOM: Enemy Unknown (PC) Review

Site Score
Good: Challenging Tactical Battles, Deep Customization, Manage the Finances, Robust Multiplayer
Bad: Camera & Control Issues, Maps Can Get Repetitive
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(21 votes)
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Back in the early 1990s, one of the strategy games that made the genre famous was Mythos’ UFO: Enemy Unknown. With it’s deep tactical gameplay and customization, many fans of the genre immediately fell in love with it, hailing the game as one of the best. Almost two decades following its release, Firaxis has remade the classic game under the semi-new title XCOM: Enemy Unknown, which offers brand new visuals that take advantage of the technology available now, giving this generation a chance to play a classic they may have missed.

Can XCOM: Enemy Unknown retain everything veteran gamers loved from almost two decades ago? Will the new generation of gamers dig this remake of a once renowned strategy game? Let’s take a look at what’s HOT and what’s NOT in our review of XCOM: Enemy Unknown.


Challenging Tactical Battles
Being a tactical strategy game, XCOM is very challenging, as it offer fans of the genre satisfying, yet-hard missions. With a majority of strategy-based games tending to be easy, XCOM’s difficulty can spike randomly, resulting in either giving gamers an entertaining challenge or an annoying obstacle — one wrong move can kill a soldier in your team in an instant.

Through several lengthy missions that you will go through as the Commander of the XCOM team, you will command your troops in a battlefield through similar-grid like stages. When it comes to gameplay, nothing has really changed when it comes to how strategy games play. Simply pick your character and put them through positions. With a cover indication that appears on top of your character, you will know if they are prone to alien attacks. Because of the game’s random difficulty spike, even an alien stationed a mile away can shoot and kill you. Oh, if anyone in your team gets killed, they will never come back. That’s right, death is permanent (this only backs up my comment on difficulty). Don’t worry though, for every successful mission you pull off, you will feel satisfied in knowing you overcame the problems that laid before you. The sense of accomplishment is a reward in its own and helps drive players forward.

Deep Customization
Aside from just putting your team in the battlefield to kill aliens, there are other things that you have to worry about, and that’s customizing your character and the whole XCOM base. Throughout the game, you will have an opportunity to do research, develop a new weapon and expand the base to make everything easier for you when figuring out how to take care of the alien invasion problem. For every mission that you complete, you can go to the research lab and ask them to research certain things that can be used in upcoming missions. If you found a blueprint that gives you an a weapon, simply give it to the engineering team and have them make it for you. As for expanding your base, when you manage to expand it to its fullest, you will have everything you need to tackle any mission. This includes increasing the amount of soldiers you can have in your party and much more.

For character customization, it’s very simple. Before every mission, you have the option to edit their loadouts, making sure you have the necessary weapons needed for the mission. All of the soldiers available in the game have expertise in certain weapons, making it crucial to balance out the team. Be sure that there’s a medic with you, a sniper or even a soldier that carries a lot of frag grenades. A balanced team will tips the odds in your favor.

Manage the Finances
Another aspect that you have to worry about are the finances. Since the XCOM team was built with the support of various nation, you will have to know who or which one to prioritize in every mission. Since each mission given to you has a certain amount of money and support involved, it’s best to think what is better for the XCOM team. The entire operation depends on the funding available. Lose the money needed to run the XCOM team and you will see a ‘Game Over’ screen. From the very beginning, prioritize the mission that you think will be beneficial to you, save as many countries as you can to ensure there will be no panic around the world and don’t overspend. Every little thing you build, like expanding the base, will have a monthly payment that you have to worry about.

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XCOM: Enemy Unknown (PC) Review, 8.6 out of 10 based on 21 ratings
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