Review by Kharillle

"Turn based Action with good graphics and voice acting"

Just finished this game for the first time. 60 enjoyable hours. It was like a fun interactive movie. I played the original xcom and decided to give this a try. Some elements were simplified so that the game is intuitive and easy to grasp. Minor bugs which I suppose will be ironed out. The game is a visually and audially entertaining turn based squad level tactics game.

Gameplay

A simplified system of move and move, move and fire/action, or fire/action. Easy to grasp. However I've played on classic on my first playthrough and its hard to do anything except the same cautious tactic. Also I had to restart because when you don't obtain sufficient engineers you're stuck unable to do anything or take advantage of your research. A lot of it feels irrelevant, I don't see how having more scientists helps since all research is accomplished eventually. Seems theres only one right way to go about managing your base.

Combat is fun. Your soldiers are animated well and aliens have their own mannerisms. My first encounters with the sectoids made me feel they were some kind of chimpanzee or small child with the way they jumped over walls and lowered themselves around.

The more you progress the more advanced the aliens get. However its more of the same. They never created an intelligent AI so harder difficulty means the aliens are more accurate and can take more hits. Theres very little in the way of tactics, they predictable charge into your overwatched soliders all the time. I was disappointed in an encounter where ordinarily the aliens had 6 heavily armed individuals who could ordinarily take my squad apart but instead they behaved like they were made of glass.

Story

The story is interesting with some nice voice acting thrown in. Some things I felt were not covered like the way some early ufo pilot seemed to be formed from pure energy. No technology leads or anything that suggests you could replicate that technology nor a strong reasoning why they're being piloted by such beings. The ending could've done with some suggestions on how the franchise might evolve in a second game. A lot of story elements that were not addressed or answered. Theres a reasonably good script and voice acting but still not of any great depth.

Graphics/Sound

As I mentioned a fun experience overall. Music changes to address the current situation whether that is base management or combat. Small elements like reflection on the water in rural areas and disturbed birds flying away add to the effect. In the city, expect after a brief firefight that parts of the buildings will be burning. Overall a very attractive game.

Replayability

The start is not fun, not with the fragile soldiers and lack of interesting equipment. If you want to prolong it, make your end game last longer and equip your rookies with simple equipment. However by the end game you're up against aliens who have a high capacity for lead and plasma discharge so its not fun to not equip them with the obsolete equipment. Unfortunately this is a low aspect of this game. If they restricted higher ranks, skills, equipment to classic and impossible level it would give people a better reason to reply on the higher difficulties. No reason to replay on higher difficulties really except to consume time with more of the same tactics.

Final recommendation

Overall a nice game and an enjoyable experience but this game won't last 20 years like the first one did. I plan to uninstall mine. I'm sure an element of micromanagement, personalization and hidden secrets would've made it a more interesting game. Perhaps every map could have things to discover or reveal. They've certainly created a contemporary version of the old squad level tactics game but its lacking in a lot of what could have been, more complexity. Quite a well rounded game if simplistic. Minor bugs that didn't disrupt my game too much.


Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 01/07/13

Game Release: XCOM: Enemy Unknown (AS, 10/12/12)


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