Metascore
89

Generally favorable reviews - based on 57 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 56 out of 57
  2. Negative: 0 out of 57
  1. Oct 16, 2012
    100
    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. 100
    Is this the only shape a fresh new XCOM could have taken? Definitely not. What it is though, is a sincere and absolutely splendid tribute to one of the best games ever made; undyingly in love with the source material, but at the same time absolutely determined to be its own beast. 'On the shoulders of giants' one of the final achievements says. Firaxis just put another giant there.
  3. Oct 8, 2012
    100
    Firaxis has made an absolutely wonderful modernization of a classic strategy game. The deep and evolving gameplay is among the best I've experienced in a game like this, along with the fact that everything feels extremely polished and crafted with a a great deal of love for both the genre and the original game.
  4. Oct 8, 2012
    100
    I don't want to leave you with the impression that XCOM: Enemy Unknown is anything less than an amazing, triumphant game right down to its core. It's XCOM's Batman Begins, in effect -- it does a magnificent job of rebooting the series with its soul intact, delivering an awesome modern experience and paving the way for a future that doesn't just recreate the tense tactical battles and global strategy of the 18-year-old original, but builds on them.
  5. Dec 18, 2012
    95
    XCOM: Enemy Unknown is a worthy tribute to its progenitor and hopefully the start of something brand new for players who've been dying to get a good squad-based strategy game that lets them not only think, but feel as well.
  6. Oct 18, 2012
    95
    From its tough yet fair challenge to the way that all of the systems interconnect, XCOM: Enemy Unknown is an absolutely fantastic game and somehow balances what could have easily been an overwhelming palette of gameplay elements into one ridiculously engaging package.
  7. Oct 9, 2012
    95
    To say that XCOM: Enemy Unknown is a phenomenal remake would be selling Firaxis' monumental accomplishment short. The developer hasn't just managed to capture the spirit of the original; they've also tweaked, trimmed, and innovated enough to deliver the freshest, most engaging strategy game in recent memory, if not ever.
  8. Oct 5, 2012
    95
    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.
  9. Oct 15, 2012
    92
    Even if you don't like strategy games, if you love action games and have an open enough mind to try out something a bit slower-paced, you will be rewarded with one of the most thrilling, thought-provoking, and heart-pounding games of the year.
  10. Oct 11, 2012
    92
    Firaxis took the essence of the beloved 1994's classic X-Com and didn't just perfectly modernize it, the Civ-makers even expanded the great concept with new mechanics to deliver an even deeper experience. Thanks to the addictive gameplay, Enemy Unknown is easily the best tactical game since Jagged Alliance 2 and my personal game of the year.
  11. Oct 9, 2012
    92
    A great reborn of the series. Addictive, dynamic, challenging, deep and fun. It's a surprise for the fans of strategy games, whose only -very slight- issues are the story and the multiplayer. Not that they're bad, it's just they could be improved, but we quickly forget about it when playing. Way better than we expected.
  12. Oct 8, 2012
    91
    XCOM makes a complicated design feel smoother and more elegant without losing the feel and nuance of the original work.
  13. Nov 14, 2012
    90
    Amazing tactical complexity, satisfying strategic depth; slightly dodgy ending, but your own stories are more important anyway. A modern classic.
  14. Nov 9, 2012
    90
    For every flaw of XCOM, there is a dozen virtues.
  15. 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]
  16. Oct 30, 2012
    90
    Control an agency with the goal of defending the earth from hostile aliens in this fantastic mix of management and strategy. A perfect example of how the integrity and legacy of a classic game can blend with modern game design.
  17. Oct 23, 2012
    90
    If you played the original, then this is a no brainer purchase; if you haven't, then you are in for a lot of gameplay hours that will both challenge and enthrall you.
  18. Oct 22, 2012
    90
    Overall, I've got to say that once again Firaxis has proven itself to be a house of very smart game developers. They've grabbed a great franchise that has lay dormant a very long time, and done an excellent job modernizing it while staying true to the original vision. Whether or not modern audiences flock to a game of this kind of difficulty level of course remains to be seen.
  19. Oct 22, 2012
    90
    It's intelligent, rewarding and challenging and with any luck it will find the audience it deserves.
  20. Oct 18, 2012
    90
    As enjoyable as it is reverential, Enemy Unknown is a superb reimagining of a favourite series from days past.
  21. Oct 17, 2012
    90
    Many hours spent with XCOM: Enemy Unknown turned out to be breathtaking. The atmosphere is unforgiving, but the immensely satisfying gameplay convinced me, that Firaxis Games are true masters of their craft. This is an XCOM game that should bring new fans to an almost dead genre. This game is a truly engrossing strategy and one of the contenders for the game of the year title.
  22. Oct 16, 2012
    90
    I look fondly at XCOM: Enemy Unknown. It's the kind of game that gives me a glimpse at what games should be. It's a $50 title that has already burned 20 hours of my life, and refuses to be satisfied with that much.
  23. Oct 11, 2012
    90
    Does Firaxis' re-imagined XCOM perfectly bring back the tactics and excitement of the MicroProse original? Not exactly, but they've still made an excellent tactical game that works just as well on all three platforms.
  24. Oct 9, 2012
    90
    Firaxis has made the miracle to revitalize an old series without altering its nature. A great work of art.
  25. Oct 9, 2012
    90
    XCOM: Enemy Unknown is like complicated scales with their many weighing pans. It's almost perfectly balanced. Firaxis did a great job by transforming the old graphics and atmosphere as well as by optimizing the original gameplay for the 21st century. XCOM is not a game that wants to compete with the old time classic. No, you don't even need to know it - XCOM expands on it. XCOM is the game that deserves a sequel.
  26. Oct 8, 2012
    90
    Even if you never played the original, XCOM: Enemy Unknown is turn-based tactics and management at its finest, and a perfect introduction to the genre...It's an exceptionally solid return for the series, and one that every turn-based tactics fan should experience.
  27. 90
    As long as you enjoy action, sci-fi and a rich amalgam of gaming styles, there's loads to enjoy right here.
  28. Oct 8, 2012
    90
    It's clear that Enemy Unknown was made by people that both really loved the original XCOM and understand how to make games more approachable and enjoyable. Yes, some of those adaptations cause Enemy Unknown to lose some of the bite that the original had, but it's an unquestionably better game for it.
  29. Oct 8, 2012
    90
    If isometric strategy games are dead, this is the best zombie we've ever seen.
  30. 90
    It's nothing short of exemplary how Firaxis has taken a true classic and updated it for modern times without compromising the essence of what made it great. XCOM: Enemy Unknown is a worthy heir and more than lives up to our expectations.
  31. Oct 8, 2012
    90
    Charting a course through Earth's imminent destruction is as unashamedly difficult as it was in 1994's X-COM. It's possible, through bad planning and bad management, to doom the planet early on, making the game feel unfair. Get it right, however – survive the stresses of management, and the strains of aliens – and you'll feel like world's greatest hero.
  32. Oct 8, 2012
    90
    It's a worthy and far more appropriate reboot of the franchise, easily the most addictive game this year, and one of our favourite Firaxis games ever.
  33. Oct 8, 2012
    90
    It's about controlling the terror levels of the countries you need money from, calming the alarm of your squad members as their leader is killed and their behaviour grows erratic and your own fears as you try to remain level-headed in the face of a terrified populace, a concerned council, and the sharp, poisonous appendages of a trio of chittering creatures advancing towards your wounded sergeant. After all, remaining calm under such overwhelming pressure isn't so easy when the person in mortal danger is named after your partner or best friend.
  34. Oct 8, 2012
    90
    Re-imagining? Remake? Whatever it is, XCOM brings back and revitalises a classic...This game is a winner.
  35. Oct 8, 2012
    90
    Against all odds, Destructoid managed to save the galaxy, even though we barely manage to keep this site running. That's a story worth seeing to its end, even if I'll soon forget it as many more stories play out in my future XCOM sessions. All the small nagging complaints I have with the game fade away when I recall all the great moments I've had with it.
  36. Oct 8, 2012
    90
    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.
  37. 88
    Is it better than the original? No. One can’t imagine X-Com 2012 being an all-time-classic and people still playing with it, months from now (let alone, years). Is it a ‘true’ X-Com game, however? Definitely. Remorseless geeks are in for shivers and swoons when they meet their beloved foes: mind-controlling sectoids, zombifying Chrysalids, Cyberdisks, Ethereals… [December 2012]
  38. Oct 24, 2012
    87
    Sure, online multiplayer matches can be great when played with friends, albeit nothing beats the feeling of slowly upgrading your XCOM HQ and starting to see the fruits of your hard work when your military leadership starts to match the might of the alien foes. So, again, it's more of a single-player treat and it's about time we had a game like that.
  39. Oct 10, 2012
    87
    Intense turn based tactics combined with challenging funds and army management – XCOM portrays Earth's defense as a comprehensive SciFi-thriller.
  40. Oct 8, 2012
    87
    Enemy Unknown is a great and addictive turn-based strategy game, but not as deep as the first games of the XCOM saga. More strategic options would have been great to struggle with.
  41. Oct 8, 2012
    87
    Brutal, beautiful, emotion-wringing turn-based storytelling muffled by flat base design.
  42. Nov 6, 2012
    85
    The developers of Firaxis did a great job of transfering the old PC-game into the year 2012. The view and the optics are not high-end but they are prefect for this genre, while the speakers, the loading-times and the multiplayer-mode are weak points. The gameplay is deep and tactical and the good old XCOM-setting is omnipresent. XCOM: Enemy Unknown makes round-based strategy socially acceptable again.
  43. Oct 17, 2012
    85
    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.
  44. Oct 13, 2012
    85
    Xcom: Enemy Unknown is one of the best recently released strategy games.
  45. Oct 12, 2012
    85
    It's a different beast to its predecessors, but it's incredibly addictive and easy to start playing at 4:00 and only realise you haven't moved since at 11:00. The way Firaxis have used personalisation to give you a sense of attachment to what are otherwise personality free characters is excellent and makes XCOM an excellent addition to any gamer's library.
  46. Oct 9, 2012
    85
    Quotation forthcoming.
  47. Oct 8, 2012
    85
    A wonderful and worthy strategy game with a layer of campy charm that makes the stone-faced seriousness of the game's characters all the more endearing. It's also remarkably accessible, thanks to a great interface that feels comfortable whether you're using a keyboard and mouse or have a controller in your hand.
  48. Oct 8, 2012
    85
    XCOM: Enemy Unknown lives up to its expectations, mostly, and is a successful remake of the 1992 strategy classic. Strategically the game is still as deep and challenging as it used to be, but don't expect a direct copy of the original. It's more accessible, options are more limited and the gameplay is faster. This is good news though, because it provides XCOM: Enemy Unknown with a modern look, while the strong concept of the original remains intact. It can, without a doubt, be recognized as one of the best strategy games of the year.
  49. Oct 8, 2012
    85
    The scope of Enemy Unknown is immense, both thematically and mechanically...In these ways, Enemy Unknown is peerless in modern game design.
  50. Oct 22, 2012
    82
    The game boils down to a power house of a tactical experience, though at times it feels a bit simplified XCOM: Enemy Unknown pays good homage to a classic while bringing it into the realm of a modern game. Planning and management of research and resources mix well with the action and ties it all together that makes you hope for some add on campaigns because it is that addictive.
  51. Oct 8, 2012
    82
    You're still likely to want a bit more depth and surprise in the tactical game, but the campaign is full of tense moments that are sure to keep you coming back for more.
  52. Oct 27, 2012
    80
    With XCOM: Enemy Unknown Firaxis brings back a diminished genre and proves that turn based tactical gameplay is just as fun now as it was 15 years ago. With its great depth the challenging combat aspect overshadows the mediocre storyline to make this a great revival of a classic series.
  53. Oct 16, 2012
    80
    It knows. It understands. But not blindly, not slavishly. More than a fan of X-Com, this game is a fan of the tenets of modern game design. It's doing exactly the right thing, in exactly the right ways, at exactly the right time.
  54. Oct 15, 2012
    80
    Though the strategic side suffers, this XCOM remake still offers a worthy tactical experience.
  55. Oct 8, 2012
    80
    XCOM: Enemy Unknown is a good remake of the Microprose's original game. Old fans may find it too simplified, but the new XCOM is, however, a modern and spectacular turn-based strategy game. It is not perfect but it's a game that many people will love.
  56. Oct 24, 2012
    75
    A solid game that failed to reach the level of the wonderful, more complex original from 1994. The 'just one more mission syndrome' is still very strong though. [12/2012, p.54]
  57. Oct 8, 2012
    70
    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!
User Score
8.1

Generally favorable reviews- based on 1809 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 91 out of 517
  1. Oct 9, 2012
    10
    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...
    Full Review »
  2. Oct 9, 2012
    7
    Aaah, remakes. Many of those, lately. After the Jagged Alliance one (true mess), here it comes XCOM.
    Being an old XCOMJAFTSStorm veteran, i
    think i'm allowed to a little cynism. Well, let's recap the pros and cons, shall we?

    UP:
    -New Graphic Redone: after 18 years, it was expected. Visual glitches and cameras bugs? They were expected too. If we wait, the patch will come.
    -New Turn System: simpler, faster. Nothing to discuss about it.
    -RPG Characters Personalization: faces, voices, armour colors, perks, nicknames. Nice adds.
    -More Objectives: very limited(defuse bomb escort save), but always a plus.
    -PERMADEATH MODE: for serious gamers.

    DOWN
    -Inventory Is Gone: EH?! What the...? I cannot pick objects, i cannot use objects or weapons unless i equip them before mission? I cannot save my dying fella with a soldier who didn't start with a medi?Unrealistic at least. Dumbed down at worst.
    -Only One Base: HUH?!? No more transfers, no more base specializations, NO MORE BASE DEFENCE MISSIONS?? Guess the magichated words: dumbed down.
    -Enemies wait like morons until you see them: i didn't believe it, then i saw it. What the hell? You're the invaders, brainless idiots, just invade! You expect me to blast you, and only then you make your whole turn?!
    -DOOM3 Greatest Hits: exception to last rule, sometimes they appear FROM NOTHING, like teleported, in your line of sight. Alien Powers? Human Bugs?
    -All the World is country: you can kiss goodbye desert, arctic, farm scenarios. Gonna fight in Egypt? Pennsylvania market! Well, I was expecting way less from the guys who ruined the civ series with the V chapter.
    The game is fun, dynamic, entralling. But dumbed down. Don't compare to the original, and you've a good game. You DO compare, and you've some irrealistic, simplified remake that's better than others(after-series, extraterrestrials, ecc).
    I am an old player, the original was my life, yet I mantain an open mind.
    But I'm gonna beddy-bye with two night demons in my ears: Dumbed and Down.
    Full Review »
  3. Oct 9, 2012
    4
    If you've never played an XCOM game before, this game can be a simple and modern introduction to the concept. If you were a fan of the original though, you may be disappointed by the range of tactical options that have been eliminated to streamline play. Full Review »