Metascore
89

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

User Score
8.1

Generally favorable reviews- based on 1783 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
    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. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Oct 8, 2012
    90
    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
    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.
  7. 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!

See all 57 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 88 out of 510
  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...
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  2. Feb 14, 2014
    10
    I love this game, every character you make gets you attached to them, i already have completed it, and its just... BEYOND amazing! I love all the different alien types and i would not be playing it if it weren't for a youtuber! Expand
  3. Oct 14, 2012
    9
    This is an excellent game for both fans of the original and newcomers to the series. Please don't be put off by the fanatic 1 in 10 minority who are so blinded in loyalty to the orginal that they can't accept change and would preffer the in-penetrable tedium of counting out pistol clips for half an hour before every mission. The game has been streamlined from the originals and almost entirely for the better, there is enough tactical and stategic depth in both combat and base mangement to satisfy almost all without boggin you down with overly excessive micro-management elements. The gameplay is intuitive and to my supprise works incredibly well on console given the PC heritage of the game. Action is a joy and provides a good challenge provoking you to think before clicking, it will punish the rash and impatient and reward those that have a considered approach. This is simply the best game of it kind in the genre over the last few years; gameplay, depth, accessbility - They really have got the balance just right. It's monstrously addictive and most of all it's fun. I had a slight gripe with the graphics not being quite top end up but in hindsight it's perfectly presentable and I'm probably being harsh to an otherwise excellent game. It's a bit annoying that the game has got lost amongst the big realeases over the last week (I had to hunt around several stores in order to find a copy) as it really deserves to be played by as bigger audience as possible, those who don't are missing out. An exceptional game and a perfectly executed re-imagining of the original that does justice to it's ancestry in the modern gaming era. Expand
  4. Nov 14, 2012
    8
    I`ve disappointed in XCOM 2012 because I am old style XCOM fan, BUT this game made with lots of improvements: graphics, tactical features, base components, storyline, and others. For me this game was a hope, that I`ll see BRAND NEW XCOM. So brand new XCOM disappointed me with: absence of map generator, and as a consequence poor map set, no randomize of enemy spawn, and as a consequence loss of challenging and interest to the game. Developers quickened game release and those who liked old XCOM are disappointed.
    No matter what XCOM: Enemy Unknown 2012 worth to be played and gets my 8 (-2 for generators absence )
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  5. Nov 19, 2012
    8
    I gave this game a pretty bad review earlier, and I agree with everything I said...but I can't stop playing this game. It's the best bad game or the worst good game ever (I can't decide). Expand
  6. Oct 27, 2013
    6
    tl;dr good game built on bad foundations, possibly wrong devs lots of bugs, heavily simplified, base game mechanics broken, but still a lot of fun

    XCOM is a series known for its difficulty, encouraging players to use tactics to defeat a considerably more powerful force. Though it's had some 'rocky' games in the past, the original was met with critical acclaim for breaking a lot of ground in the Turn-Based Tactics genre. For its time, UFO Defense: Enemy Unknown was very well developed, with cover mechanics bringing a whole new level of tactics.

    Since the release of UFO Defense, there have been a total of 9 games released to the series, with XCOM: Enemy Unknown being the 8th. One would think it safe to assume that great strides have been made to the gameplay since 1994, a grand 18 years ago at time of release. Unfortunately, that is not the case.

    XCOM: EU's improvements are decent updated graphics bring the immersion up noticeably, nice customization options to personalize your troops plus gameplay has been streamlined to accommodate for console releases.
    However, the issues are also numerous. Poor QA testing has left many bugs even a year after its release, a large number of features were removed for 'streamlining' (I assume), and the continuation of relying on RNG to decide the outcome of a match flying in the face of 'tactics'. Cover has little effectiveness, accuracy issues meaning a point-blank shot can display a 20% chance to hit, repetitive mission mean a player can lose interest quickly and a lack of randomly-generated maps removes a whole level of dynamic gameplay.

    What is interesting is that, despite these glaring issues, XCOM: EU is still a lot of fun to play. For that I have to give it merit it's clearly a very good game, but I wonder how much that has to do with it being part of the series.

    On my Realistic Review Scale it gets a 4, slightly below being an average game due to some glaring faults.
    However, on the Metacritic Scale where an 8.5 is average, I'll have to give it a 6.

    A very good game marred by poor design decisions and QA but isn't that the tune of strategy these days?
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  7. Jul 4, 2014
    0
    This is not a remake of UFO Defense but only a reboot at best. It is simply a downgraded tactical strategy game but with some elements taken from UFO defense.

    Just another generic strategy game taking advantage of the name of XCOM to monetize.

    On a side note, the technical issues of this game are also notorious for long, so check them first before you decide to give it a shot.

    Fortunately, players cam still have either open xcom project or true remake Xenonauts to choose from, so they can recap the feeling of original.
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See all 510 User Reviews