4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
An incredibly fun game that balances complexity with accessibility,
This review is from: XCOM: Enemy Unknown [Online Game Code] (Software Download)
Although I purchased XCOM: Enemy Unknown to play on my PC, I'm extremely happy that this game was released on consoles as well. This is the exact type of game that is needed in the console landscape...a turn-based strategy game that puts a huge amount of responsibility in the hands of the player, yet does so in a way that is accessible and easy to get into.
XCOM: EU re-imagines the classic and beloved PC strategy game for modern audiences. You assume the role of the Commander of XCOM, a secret, international group that rises to the challenge of repelling an extraterrestrial invasion of Earth in the near-future. In this role, you serve two major functions: overseeing the development of XCOM's base, and directing small teams of soldiers in direct combat with the alien hostiles. The base building and development is the part of the game that will take the most getting used to for newcomers to the strategy genre. You are in charge of every detail of XCOM's operations, including what scientific research is conducted, how soldiers are trained, what new gadgets and tools are engineered, and what countries you will protect, as you seek their funding and assets in exchange for protection. Once the initial shock of the overwhelming nature of your role settles, you'll appreciate how well put together this part of the game is. The interface and menus are very easy and quick to navigate, and your team of advisers will always be there to help guide your decisions. It's incredibly satisfying to watch your base develop from a small, desperate group of teams into an incredibly powerful fortress of technology, weaponry, strength, and innovation.
The combat segments of the game will likely be easier for newcomers to pick up, but will also eventually prove to be incredibly challenging as the game progresses. The game shares many characteristics with RPGs, as you assemble squads of soldiers of various classes, each with their own skill trees that are filled as the soldiers gain experience in combat operations. The combat, despite being turn-based, is extremely intense and exciting, as the prospect of your beloved soldiers dying in combat, never to return, constantly hangs over the battlefield. However, similar to the base-building portion of the game, winning a major battle against overwhelming odds never ceases to deliver huge doses of satisfaction. This is especially true of the way the combat directly ties into your research projects back at the base. That alien you managed to capture alive rather than kill? Your interrogations of that creature helped develop a new ability that you were able to teach your soldiers, which ended up saving their necks in the next huge battle. XCOM: EU is filled with moments like this, and it makes this game one of the most satisfying, addictive, and purely enjoyable games of 2012.
XCOM: EU was perhaps a risky game to make in today's climate. Fans of the older PC game may call this a simplified or watered down version of their beloved title. And the game may appear to be too complicated for console gamers who have been playing games that have, by and large, gradually been becoming more and more simple as the number of gamers worldwide continues to multiply. But I believe that both groups would be wrong in those assumptions. XCOM: EU is one of those rare games that does very little wrong. It is unique that given its incredible depth, it manages a level of accessibility that actually makes it a very welcoming game for any open-minded gamer out there, whether they be a newbie or old school. It's refreshing to see a game like this hit both the PC and the console platforms, and I sincerely hope we see more big budget projects like this in the future. This is, without a doubt, one of my favorite releases for 2012. It is deep, challenging, and rewarding in ways that few AAA, multiplatform-released games are nowadays. Give this game a chance if you're on the fence, and let these publishers know that we want to see more stuff like this in the gaming landscape. You won't regret it.