Grizzly Gaming

Friday, November 2, 2012

First Impressions - XCOM: Enemy Unknown

“XCOM: Enemy Unknown” is a turn-based, strategy game developed by Firaxis Studios puts you in control of humanity’s last lines of defense against an extraterrestrial threat to our planet. As the Commander of XCOM, you will develop new technology, create and maintain a base of operations and lead soldiers in the field to defeat and repel any alien invaders. Though this game is essentially a remake of the original 90s strategy game “XCOM,” every aspect of the game has been updated, giving it a modern look and feel.
Usually, I’m incredibly wary of strategy games on the console. It’s often a great challenge for developers to simplify all the commands and actions necessary in strategy games for a console, but Firaxis is one of the foremost strategy game development companies in the world and have created a game that not only works very well but is also a whole heap of fun.
In “Enemy Uknown,” you’ll split your time between base building and turn-based combat. While in your base, you can research new technology, build weapons, recruit/edit soldiers, and expand your base down into the depths of the earth. You’ll need to make considered decisions on how to spend your money so you don’t overextend your resources. You’ll also scan for enemy activity and engage the alien threat in the field.
Once in the field, you initially have control over a squad of four soldiers, though you can eventually control more. Soldiers can have different designations like heavy weapons, support or sniper once they have accrued enough XP. Traditional turn-based tactics apply to these battles, which usually take place on smallish maps, which emphasize using movement/attack points wisely as well as other aspects like terrain and cover. Often these battles are to neutralize an alien threat though you will occasionally have other objectives like capturing alien specimens alive or rescuing high-value targets.
“Enemy Unknown” isn’t open-ended, though, as there will always be a set of objectives you need to accomplish en route to an end-game scenario. Though no two games will follow the exact same path (aliens activity is always different each time you play) there are numerous “set-piece” missions along the way which are always present.
I’ve been having an absolute blast with “XCOM: Enemy Unknown.” It’s a simple yet effective strategy game that remains consistently challenging while not overwhelming. I’ve also had a great amount of fun (and near nervous breakdowns) by naming my soldiers after friends, making each conflict feel personal. You wouldn’t necessarily care about the faceless soldiers under your command, but if you name them after close friends or family members, you may be a bit more reserved about sending them out into the open to draw fire.
Be sure to check out my full review sometime next week. But if you’re really jonesing to punch an alien in the face and say “Welcome to Earth,” I was able to find a copy of it used already so finding it below full price should be no sweat. (And yes. That was an Independence Day reference.)


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An avid gamer and long-time pro wrestling fan, stay tuned to Grizzly Gaming and the Delco Elbow Drop for game reviews and pro wrestling news.

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