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

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 1872 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. May 1, 2014
    Turn based strategy at its finest with a variety of gameplay options. Play it on ironman where every decision matters. Nothing beats the moment when your favorite Sniper (named after yourself, of course) is down to one health bar, low on ammo, Thin Men dropping in from everywhere, and your Support Class Girl sits on the other end of the map. Be sure to get the excellent Enemy Within as well. Expand
  3. Oct 9, 2012
    Well, at first it seemed alright, i would have originally gave it like a 6 or 7. But just as i was about to get off, i realized there was alot more to do. that bumped me up to like a 8. I saw the game being good because i could experiment with different stuff like equipment and tactics. But then that was about it. So just as im about to get off to write my review, im playing a mission to escort a scientist to safety. Just as im about to extract him, a hiding alien kills him with overwatch...that ended my happiness. And then the next mission after was a terror mission! Now get this. The only species of alien in this entire mission were im not going to give away what they are if you are new to xcom, but lets just say too many of these buggers on a terror mission and not even maxed veterans can fully survive. So i lost 5 out of my 6 men while taking 23 of those little buggers with me. Thats when i decided this game deserves a 9. Not only does it create a challenge. But it has a good feel to it where you dont get bored. It gives you just enough uniqueness to think its something new. But thats where i think it may have a hard time. Today's kids drop anything they can't really beat the first or second try. Well ladies and gentlemen. If this is your first xcom. You aren't going to beat it your first or second try. Possibly not even your tenth. Then again i am playing on iron man...oh well. I'd surely recommend XCOM:Enemy Unkown to all players that enjoy a good challenge and have fun doing so. 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