Generally favorable reviews - based on 57 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 1875 Ratings

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  • Summary: Enemy Unknown couples tactical turn-based gameplay with action sequences and on-ground combat. Recruit, specialize and train unique soldiers and manage your personnel. Detect and interrupt the alien threat as you construct and expand your XCOM headquarters. Direct soldier squads in turn-based ground battles and deploy air units such as the Interceptor and Skyranger. The fight spreads around the world as the XCOM team engages in over 70 missions, communicating and negotiating with governments around the world. Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 56 out of 57
  2. Negative: 0 out of 57
  1. Oct 16, 2012
    This game will test your mettle in a way that will make old fans tingle with a sense of unforgiving nostalgia, and will make clear to newcomers just exactly what XCOM is all about.
  2. Oct 5, 2012
    Firaxis' outstanding design strips away every last vestige of tedium from combat while maintaining the agency that makes the original such a classic...The PC version is slightly superior thanks to improved textures and resolution and drastically lower load times, but those are minor differences.
  3. Oct 8, 2012
    The fact remains that XCOM: Enemy Unknown is an exemplary turn-based strategy game. Firaxis has deftly blended management, tactics and the sort of gut-level, throaty encounters usually reserved for fast-paced action games.
  4. Oct 8, 2012
    If isometric strategy games are dead, this is the best zombie we've ever seen.
  5. 90
    Enter the story of the fierce war between humans and aliens! XCOM is back in full force, though it's not the same game as its predecessor. [Nov 2012]
  6. Oct 17, 2012
    At a time where FPS, RPG and action games appear on the market everyday, the return of XCOM is welcomed with a great satisfaction. If purists will be sad to find some of the original features gone, the newcomers will be pleased with XCOM : Enemy Unknown and its strategic and pleasant gaming experience that teaches a lesson to traditional and boring war games.
  7. Oct 8, 2012
    Despite some bugs and average production values, Firaxis convincingly restores XCOM to life: its difficulty, management and tactical gameplay are there. Very nice to explore, Enemy Unknown leaves you with but one desire: to play a sequel that is richer and prettier than ever. Get to work!

See all 57 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 91 out of 533
  1. Oct 9, 2012
    Let me just start this review of by saying: This game is fantastic... It is, however, not 1993 XCOM with updated graphics. If that's what you wanted, don't buy this game and please don't bother us by giving 0 point reviews here.

    As I said, this game is different from UFO: EU(X-com: UFO Defence in america) it is however not worse or dumbed down. They may have simplified the tactical combat, but simplifying is not the same as dumbing down. Dumbing down is making the game easier and losing strategic depth in the process, simpifying is making a game easier to understand while trying to maintain or improve strategical depth.

    And XCOM: EU does the latter. The strategic base management is probably even more complicated than it was in the original and the tactical combat is, while streamlined and symplified, just as deep or even deeper than the original game.
    It now involves units working together instead of having 14 nearly identical soldiers just scouting if every direction. Ammo is now more important unlike what many 1993 fanboys are saying. Guns still need reloading you just don't need to equip your soldiers with ammo anymore. And most of all there's the completely new cover system. Now, when you move your soldiers, you actually need to think about flanking aliens, because shooting aliens in full cover isn't going to kill them. I've come across a situation where my assault soldier tried to flank an alien but revealed another alien in the process which left him exposed. I then moved my support soldier in to throw a smoke grenade to protect my assault and used my heavy to suppress the flanking alien to avoid him shooting at my assault... Tactical situations like that would almost never occur in the original X-com so i completely disagree wit people who say this game is dumbed down.

    The things that were simplified are mainly things like Time Units and i think the new system is actually better. It might kill the nostalgia a bit but this system is faster, easier and makes every decision more important and rewarding.

    So, to come to a conclusion: I think this game is absolutely brilliant! I normally wouldn't give a 10 to a game. But I'm sorta doing this to cancel out the zeros that were given. Because even if you preferred the old X-com, it's ridiculous to say this game is worth a 0...
  2. Jun 25, 2014
    If you judge this by how well it is made, it is a complete ten. I've played the entire XCOM series except Terror From the Deep and the UFO Aftermath spinoff. This is the best XCOM game I've ever seen. Yes, it is simplified and streamlined but in a good way.

    However, this game follows the World of Warcraft formula. There is no real end in mind. The game has an ending but you level up to level up to get better gear to level up to level up. This creates addiction. The first time I've played it, I've did it for six hours straight and then deleted the game. I've installed it a second time and played eight hours in a day.

    Since then I gave up on it. If you have a lot of time on your hands, it is worth it. It has enough variety to keep you surprised, the level up system is extremely addicting and the story is very good. It combines a techno-military-thriller feel with hunting aliens. Even if the graphics are not that realistic (by design), it has a very strong military vibe to it.

    I wish I had the 50 - 100 hours to finish it (with Enemy Within). However, the second time I've woke up at 02:00 AM in my bed, with my girlfriend sleeping still playing this game, I've realized I've gone too far and deleted it right away.

    As a bonus though, it works great on integrated graphics. Since it is turn base you don't need big FPS but even on an Intel HD 4000 I can play it on low with decent graphics. If you tweak the ini file a bit, you'll gain 15 - 30 FPS right of the bat.

    So it is hard not to give this a 10 / 10 but since there is no end in mind to it, I won't play it. It follows the same formula as Call of Duty, as World of Warcraft, as Civilization 5. And it works. If only this game was released 10 years ago when I had the time for it.

    One last thing, the action is not that hard.

    As long as you equip your soldiers with the right weapons (or better yet, the MEC suits in the expansion which are way overpowered in the early stages) and place them in cover, that's about the entire strategy you are going to get.

    I could place my sniper high or throw a flashbang or ruin their cover with a rocket but why do so?

    It is enough to place three MEC suits in front, three people in cover, preferably the support class that can fire twice after the upgrade and press "1" and "space" for every single one of them. It works for a large section of the game.

    If you follow the instructions, capture the aliens, do the right research, it is hard not to overpower every alien you meet.
  3. Oct 10, 2012
    The original Xcom made me love turn based strategy games, and since then no game has been able to fill that void... Front Mission series and Incubation were close... This new Xcom is the real thing. Shut up and take my money! Expand
  4. Nov 25, 2012
    The fair rating for this game is 8,5 (9 is too much, so I give 8). I didn't play the original UFO, so this is my first time trying these series. I liked the micromanagement of the base and the planet, I'd say that in some way it's even more interesting than the missions. The main negative thing is the bugs of aiming/chance-to-hit: you can miss point-blank or the enemy can crit you from afar and vice versa. Also I had Sectopod standing in the square where the door was ans my soldiers couldn't unlock that door. The other thing I wanted to mention is the messed up ending. But in total the game is enjoyable and fun to play. Expand
  5. Jan 22, 2013
    Having played the original XCOM when it was first released, in my opinion this new version has ironed out the annoying and unnecessary aspects of the original. Does anyone else remember how irritating and buggy the original was? My only protests: the absence of HQ invasions, the low variety of missions, and the level of creepiness and fear that an alien-themed game should have is lower than I would like. Expand
  6. Oct 7, 2013
    This is my first review, and i'm going to promise all, when you see my tag, it'll likely be the only honest and critical review of a game around. I'm so tired of these fanboy responses, or hater responses.

    Anyway, here's the nuts of it. The new Xcom game is great in many areas (you'll read many of them in these lists: gfx, ambiance, sound, music, art, troop management, resource management, alien threat management, country management, etc all real nice). And it deserves play and praise (still overpriced tho, but all games are when they just come out :)

    Yes, it is a somewhat less depthful than the original (everyone who tells you "no it isn't" is a newbie fanboy who lacks objectivity. I promise). But its not so bad, as this new game brings a lot to the table, plus one its key "depth" failures is actually linked to its awful "enemy spawn gameplay design" which i'll detail next (and maybe its something they could improve on)

    Its "enemy gameplay spawn design" is awful because, essentially it works like an MMO grind. The enemies hang about in "spawns" of 3. Some "spawns" travel short patrol circuits which might cross paths without another spawn. Basically you inch forward, hook the "first spawn" in your way (which ALWAYS consists of 3). then pull back (so you don't trigger any other "spawns"). You kill them, then rinse and repeat. Sometimes a patrolling spawn maybe crosses the battle ground if you did not pull back enough and you might face upto 6 enemies, but this is rare. You also sortof HAVE to do this since the fights are pretty tough, and the percentages weirdly and repeatedly defy what they promise?

    After you realise this what the combat is about, after a couple of missions, it gets boring. Kill 3. move up a bit. kill next 3, move up a bit, etc. During a fire-fight sure some fun stuff can happen, but its always your squad versus 3 (or sometimes 6) enemies and you know more or less where they are. I can't give this game more than a 6 as a result, since the "on ground" conflict is key to the game. And as polished as the visuals are, it can't make up for the flaw of a poorly designed encounter mechanic.

    The original had a better, more natural, encounter system. The enemies patrolled around the map, sometimes near each other, sometimes not, all random i guess, following whatever script was written for them. You had to fan out to find them (a motion detector kit was there to help you) and you NEVER knew when you'd run into them. you'd get surprised, A LOT, cover was vital, but it could get blown away (fun), and you never knew when more aliens would pitch up (attracted by the noise or whatever script dictated them). So you developed strategies to deal with that. More work than this new version of the game sure, but never boring. never predictable.

    I like the newly released Xcom expansion, it certainly looks to add more cool features, etc, I just wish they'd modify the "enemy spawn system" to make the enemies more autonomous and surprising.

    Good Gaming all.
  7. Aug 19, 2014
    As fan of first classic X-Com am disappointed of where this go, and from what I see have no reason to play this. Strategy is better when its more complex and realistic, where apparently here they do everything to make it worst. Expand

See all 533 User Reviews