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135 of 151 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great game -- hopefully won't go the way of the original...
The X-Com series dates back to the early 90's -- I still remember the hours I spent on X-COM: UFO Defense... In fact, the game is considered by many to be one of the greatest (if not the greatest) strategy games ever developed. With the randomly generated maps -- concept of fog of war and line of sight -- getting shot at from nowhere -- permanent death -- and that...
Published on October 9, 2012 by Quentin Gerlach

versus
132 of 144 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It's a fun game, but often frustrating
I pre-ordered this game on the strength of its demo, and I have not played the first game. So I'm approaching it from scratch. As a fan of strategy games, I like the idea a lot, and it's a fairly elegant combination of base management and tactical turn-based combat. Here's some pros and cons from my point of view:

Pro's:

- Customization: Of...
Published on October 17, 2012 by Raoul Ortega


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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars it's great, December 30, 2012
This review is from: XCOM: Enemy Unknown [Online Game Code] (Software Download)
never played the original. I'm loving this game, strategy turn base with a twist. Please note that the multi-player is a little glitchy and can be somewhat boring. The campaign alone though will keep you busy for weeks! definitely re-playable
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great tactical game, December 29, 2012
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This review is from: XCOM: Enemy Unknown [Online Game Code] (Software Download)
XCOM is an amazing comeback from an old fan-favourite franchise. Deep and interesting despite some remaining bugs, the game manages to run on all sorts of computers while staying at a good level of graphics.

Probably its least known feature is its capacity to allow players to create their own stories with the various teams they manage: as you can "easily" lose your soldiers, you become really attached to them, and there go the stories of their achievements and heroïc doings on the battlefield.

A masterpiece for fans of turn-based tactical game that deserves to succeed so that we can get more of it !
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Addictive and fun, but plateaus, December 28, 2012
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This review is from: XCOM: Enemy Unknown [Online Game Code] (Software Download)
I've only played the PC version, single player campaign on normal. (completed)

I have never played any of the original XCOM games, but do love strategy games; and I found this game to be extremely fun and addictive. I found myself never getting any work done and my sleeping schedule being askew from playing this game well into the night, easily losing track of time! I also love how much effort into detail the developers went into making all the environments for the game. The HQ base, where you can construct different facilities that upgrade different stats for the player, didn't NEED to be as heavily detailed as it was, but they did it anyway! Which is awesome!

Some cons: As much fun as I had in the beginning of the game, I found it eventually plateaus and becomes heavily repetitive, waiting for the player to just win already (or lose.) Essentially, waiting for the player to buy specific things and upgrade specific items to unlock the last level of the game. Until that happens, what little story there is, doesn't progress at all, and you end up doing the same missions over and over with the same baddies. Also, I felt there could've been a bit more variety in enemy units. There seems to only be a small hand full of enemies to encounter, before they just start reskinning them, adding a few more HP and DP to their stats and calling them a "new encounter."

The biggest kicker, for me is the copious amounts of showstopping bugs in this game. (note: I have a very powerful computer build) I found the game either crashing, or getting "stuck" perhaps every 20-40 minutes, to where I had to restart the game over several times. On average about 5 times a play session (couple hours). To elaborate on "stuck", the game would suddenly shoot the camera off the map and lock itself. I wouldn't be able to shift to any characters or move it. Gotta restart. Also, some times it would lock onto one of the characters you're cycling through when choosing who to move next. If the character had already made it's 2 turns, you're SOL, because it seems the game demands you take an action with the character, but can't. Gotta restart. And, another notable bug is that your characters can only overwatch and the bad guys choose not to move. Nothing happened for a good 5 turns. Gotta restart.

In conclusion, I definitely would recommend this game for those who like strategy games, but I would not recommend it for full price. I got it for about 50%, which, to me, is reasonable. I also do not recommend people playing on the hardest difficulty, "Ironman." As it involves permadeath and autosaving, but mixing in with all the bugs the game has, you can find yourself getting screwed over pretty hard.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great sequel., December 28, 2012
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This review is from: XCOM: Enemy Unknown [Online Game Code] (Software Download)
I played all the original incarnations of the game by Micropose and this game stays true to the original.
Some of the mechanics are streamlined, and can be a turn-off to die-hard X-COM fans, but otherwise the game is well worth the purchase.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Turn-based strategy with RPG elements, made with excellent attention to detail., December 28, 2012
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This review is from: XCOM: Enemy Unknown [Online Game Code] (Software Download)
This game smartly combines tactical game play, RPG elements, and base management. Combat is turn based, but the action never drags. You never feel like you have enough time. And like in Civ (this game is also developed by Firaxis), your units can "level up", gaining improved stats and new skills. Since the focus here is on combat, the RPG aspect of the game is stronger than in Civ and will appeal to RPG fans. However, unlike many RPGs where high level units become virtually unkillable, the strategy required in placing and utilizing these units in battle are still much more important than their stats. Mid-game especially, the units are extremely vulnerable and you might have to restart many battles to find the best strategy of dealing with enemies. Although only a handful of units compose the strike team used in each mission, game mechanics require rotating a large number of units in and out of your team, so balancing using high level units and training lower level ones is part of the fun and challenge of the game.

Base management is also a challenging task. As other reviewers have mentioned, there is never enough money or resources to get everything you want, and figuring out what your priorities are is important to success.

One small thing that I also appreciate - when a shot misses, the animation distinctly shows a miss, and when a shot hits, the animation shows a hit. This is something that's bothered me in a lot of other games where even when a shot misses, it looks like it hit and you see either the word "miss", or you don't see the enemy HP drop. XCOM shows you the miss, rather than tell you in words or force your mind to override your eyes. The details in XCOM are truly impressive and this just goes to show the level of care the developers put in to make this game great.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great game with fantastic strategy, also, bugs., December 28, 2012
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This review is from: XCOM: Enemy Unknown [Online Game Code] (Software Download)
Such a fun game if you can learn how to work around the bugs. The bugs are plentiful and frustrating but easy enough to deal with, especially because the game-play draws you in so well.

I would rate it 5 stars if there were less bugs. Also, paid DLC packs so soon after the game comes out? If the content is already created by the time the game is released why make me pay for it? Seems sketchy. But still, core game is awesome.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The extreme difficulty will turn most players away, December 27, 2012
This review is from: XCOM: Enemy Unknown [Online Game Code] (Software Download)
The Good: Lots of unique and interesting upgrades and research, cool alien designs, intense battles, great UI

The Bad: Maps repeat too often, extreme difficulty nearly breaks the game, camera can be screwy, losing soldiers permanently makes the game even harder

XCOM was a popular turned based strategy game back in the 90′s and everyone was surprised how well this game turned out. Enemy Unknown keeps the series vibe and atmosphere while updated to today's standards. Enemy Unknown is one of this year's best strategy games, but there is one reason why most people will never complete this game: It is too damn hard. Not the fun and challenging type of hard, but the kind that makes it impossible to move on no matter how well equipped your soldiers are.

The game does a very good job introducing new things to you as you move on. The UI is very simple and uncomplicated but pretty deep. You get to see a cut-a-way of a military base and you can click on each department. Research is where everything starts. By gathering all intact materials from missions you can research new things like weapons, armor, satellites and various other things. Engineering is where it is all made and upgrading as well as keeping track of other buildings. Workshops, laboratories, generators, hangars, all these things determine how fast you can upgrade and how you become more powerful. The barracks are where you can equip your squads loadout, upgrade soldiers, hire new ones etc. Finally there is the situation room and the command center. Here you can advance the days until you run into missions, trade alien parts on the black market, and view how in distress the world is. It is all very simple and an almost revolutionary design because most strategy games are Excel sheet based and are pretty complicated and hard to navigate.

Once you assign things to engineering and research you can advance the days until you run into something such as a UFO sighting. When this happens you scramble your jets and depending on how good the equipment you gave them is they'll take it down. Most of the time you will run into abduction scenarios where you eliminate all hostiles or have to rescue someone. When this happens you get a choice as to what country to help. Each one gives you a reward such as money, scientists, engineers, or other items. Usually you pick the one that's in distress the most because if you don't they will remove themselves from the XCOM operation, and if they all withdraw it's game over. Once you go into battle this is where you see how hard this game gets.

Each soldier gets two moves. The area around them is blue which means that's one move, and yellow means it takes both moves to get there. Performing an action takes one move, and that is usually shooting alien scum. All soldiers start out as regulars with assault rifles until after their first mission and they rank up. The class is chosen randomly which I really hate because you can be stuck with 5 snipers and just one assault guy. When you are ready to shoot you will see how accurate your shot is. Once all turns are taken it's the alien's turn. This back and forth is normal for strategy games, but the objectives you are given, or the difficulty of aliens, is absurd and completely unfair. You will shoot down some small greys, get through a few thin men. Maybe you will lose 2 or 3 guys in the process, then four freaking Mutons will show up and wipe the rest of you out in one turn. Or don't forget the damn spider things that can turn your squad mate into a zombie in one hit. This gets frustrating because every mission is like this. I rarely got through any unless it was on an easy difficulty mission.

This would be ok if it were during main missions and you could go back and grind a bit to get better equipment, but you have to do that with EVERY single mission. You fail almost more than you succeed, such as losing so many soldiers. Once a soldier dies they are dead forever and won't come back. Once you lose a fully ranked soldier you have to stat from scratch again with a new guy. Completely unfair in a game this difficult. Most missions you will be lucky if you get out with 2 or 3 guys, but you are probably thinking that's because I suck at the game. I would restart and try all different strategies and nothing would work. The whole point of the game is to take cover and NEVER be out in the open. Once you advance and are just standing there you're dead. The fog of war doesn't help when you run around the map trying to figure out where all the enemies are. Forget rescue mission where you have to save a certain amount. Saving 5/25 people is a lot harder than it sounds. All 20 will die before you get to your third guy. This game is just a nightmare and not in a fun way.

That doesn't make the game bad though. There are a lot of great research projects that make a huge impact on everything you do. You have to decide carefully about what you want or you're screwed. You get a very limited amount of money every month and you have to stretch it. I found this a bit unfair as well because there's no compromise. Even if just one element was easier it could make this game more tolerable. As it is I had this game for over a month and barely got 25% through the game before I gave up. Spending 45 minutes on a mission and then dying at the end is just ridiculous. Reloading quick saves doesn't always work either because you realize you forgot to equip someone with a medkit, or you need to be more accurate on certain missions and forgot to equip scopes. This game is just a pain.

The production values are at least nice with great looking aliens and some decent voice acting, but overall this game requires extreme patience more than skill or brainpower. The game is well done with intense battles, but maps repeat often, the camera is screwy where it zooms out of buildings, and the graphics are a bit underwhelming. The main thing is the extreme difficulty which practically ruins the game. I have never played such a hard strategy game before, but there's someone out there who will like this.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fun turn based tactics, December 9, 2012
By 
Tim K. (husking corn) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: XCOM: Enemy Unknown [Online Game Code] (Software Download)
I never played the originals, but I heard good things about it. This is a really fun, but brutal tatics/strategic game. A few of the controls are wonky (probably better with a controller) and it's pretty difficult for someone like me who is more used to other genres, but on easy, it is definitely doable. I enjoyed this game and during the annual summer game drought, will be playing this on harder difficulties.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not quite the old XCOM, November 30, 2012
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This review is from: XCOM: Enemy Unknown [Online Game Code] (Software Download)
I quite enjoyed the new XCOM" Enemy Unknown. There was enough meat for the strategy side and the tactical combats were generally fun. I played the original years ago and while there is a lot that's similar, the newer game, as tends to be the case with new versions or new takes on classics, has much less to it than the original. Gone are the multiple bases, simultaneous attacks, and alien attacks on your bases to mention a few. As always, changing 2d combat to 3d requires dumbing down of the system. It's not bad but the battle fields are much smaller then the original, and there are some places that you just can't get to no matter how much camera swinging you try.

Generally this is a fun and reasonably decent tribute to the old XCOM series. Worth the time, though the time will be less then what you would have invested in the original.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great Game, Bad Bugs, October 26, 2012
By 
Miriam (Provo, UT, USA) - See all my reviews
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
XCOM: Enemy Unknown has had a lot of publicity and fan love. A lot of it is deserved.

Pros:
- Updated graphics with realistic movements: I love how the unit crouches when hiding behind things and scans the area when on Overwatch.
- Great turn-based play: With two move phases and different abilities, you can apply tactics to the situation instead of just running and gunning your way through every level.
- Fun: It is great to be able to watch your squad mow down baddies and be able to use your brain to strategically win the game. You earn the wins you get and it feels great.

I can't say enough about the wonderful game play, but the glitches are game breaking at this time (10/27)

Cons:
- Glitches everywhere: In the first 15 minutes, I hit two glitches.
1. Double Interceptor: If you send two to intercept the same UFO, prepare for glitch and to restart your game. Game breaking.
2. Some levels end and you get stuck looking at the hologram world, not being able to do anything. I haven't determined why that would be. Game breaking.
3. Sometimes the game pauses for 10-15 seconds when actions are being taken by either side. Not a game breaking glitch this time.
4. The menu to select soldiers gets stuck open during unit selection. Even going back to the anthill view just makes things worse because you cant enter any rooms. Game breaking.
5. An alien started shooting my units through a closed door and when it moved, it shot through walls and I couldn't find it until I retreated my squad to a different room where it happened to be shooting from.

Results: Great game. Wait for the patch(es) that will undoubtedly come.
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