XCOM: Enemy Unknown Review

The first review for Firaxis' multiplatform-but-still-turn-based reimagining of the original X-COM, XCOM: Enemy Unknown, has been released, courtesy of GameInformer. The magazine awards the title an impressive 9.5/10.

These snippets from the text should hopefully help you understand why:
Firaxis' outstanding design strips away every last vestige of tedium from combat while maintaining the agency that makes the original such a classic. Though each soldier's actions are constrained to a basic list, the tactical possibilities are as broad as your imagination: Park a sniper up on a roof and bait the enemy into his killzone, set up behind heavy cover and breach a wall with a rocket, or occupy the enemy with suppression from cover while flanking with a second team.


Occasional line-of-sight problems are the only blemishes on XCOM's otherwise rock-solid technical execution. Sometimes you don't get a shot on an alien that looks like it should be there, or run into a cover bonus when you thought you had an enemy flanked. Losing a squaddie because it looked for all the world like he could shoot an enemy (who instead turns around and splatters him) is far more frustrating than eating a death due to your own poor decisions.


Both of XCOM's layers present life-or-death conundrums to which there is no right answer. No matter what you pick, something or someone is going to suffer for it. This kind of tension and terror rarely occurs within mainstream gaming, and almost never with this level of skill in the execution. Don't let the (turn-based strategy) moniker scare you off; XCOM is a singular achievement that every gamer deserves to experience.