Metascore
90

Universal acclaim - based on 35 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 34 out of 35
  2. Negative: 0 out of 35
  1. Oct 11, 2012
    90
    Whether it's letting China succumb to public panic as you divert resources to cover the American continent, or sending in a rookie to soak up damage on a suicide run so that your veterans don't die, XCOM will give you a scary appreciation of the harsh realities of being a leader in a time of crisis.
  2. 90
    At the end of the day I just get this sense that XCOM: Enemy Unknown is one of those sleeper hits in the latter half of 2012. The smooth interface, sharp looking visuals, and surprisingly tense tactical turn-based gameplay are simply a blast.
  3. Nov 10, 2012
    87
    XCOM is something we don't get too often nowadays; a challenging, different, bold game that is not afraid to try new things and also a successful reboot. Yes it has some issues but not nearly any bad enough to stop you playing. And yes, it is hard but that should be commended. No one said saving the world would be easy.
  4. Oct 24, 2012
    100
    XCOM: Enemy Unknown is a wonderful game, which, despite being based on a near 20-year-old release, feels somehow fresh and stands apart from its rivals. It's deep, engaging, intuitive and inclusive, and is likely to invade consoles and PCs for quite some time.
  5. Oct 17, 2012
    90
    Firaxis has created an excellent update of this classic franchise, producing an addictive and solid strategy game that should be considered as one of the finest releases of 2012.
  6. Oct 5, 2012
    95
    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.
  7. Oct 15, 2012
    95
    XCOM: Enemy Unknown is challenging, satisfying, and heartbreaking. It's also one of the best strategy games this generation, and potentially of all time. If you're itching for a game that will either last you a long time, or challenge both your mind and your fortitude, this is it.
  8. Oct 17, 2012
    90
    Don't be fooled by low-fi visuals: XCOM's as strategically sound as Advance Wars. [Dec 2012, p.68]
  9. Oct 8, 2012
    90
    It's a game that should absolutely be played by anyone interested in a more strategic take on the cliched alien invasion story--so long as you're not afraid to lose a fight once or twice.
  10. Oct 18, 2012
    100
    Despite some of the tough love that XCOM: Enemy Unknown dishes out, it's a game that definitely, absolutely should not be missed.
  11. Oct 16, 2012
    100
    The cleverest part of XCOM: Enemy Unknown is how it bundles up all of its complexities and interdependencies and presents them in a package that, while not easy, is at least easily digested. It's often overwhelming, but in the best way possible.
  12. Oct 11, 2012
    100
    For those players who can exercise a little patience and restraint, it's quite simply one of the best games you'll play all year.
  13. Oct 8, 2012
    90
    An alien invasion is coming. We are in charge of XCOM, a military organization that will put end to this extraterrestrial assault. XCOM: Enemy Unknown offers a full package tactical turn-based strategy game, with tons of options for single-player which uses a mind-blowing squad customization system, and interesting modes in multiplayer. Old school meets new age.
  14. 90
    Not just one of the best strategy games of all-time but one of the best video games of any kind – and one that excites your emotions just as much as your brain matter.
  15. Oct 14, 2012
    90
    A rare gem, especially in the console environment: a demanding but highly satisfying game that will fully please every strategy lover. A must buy.
  16. Oct 24, 2012
    90
    Thankfully the combat controls are simple and intuitive.
  17. Sophisticated, unnerving and reliably unforgiving, XCOM: Enemy Unknown isn't just Xbox 360's finest strategy experience - it's also a strategy game which changes how you think about strategy games. Go into it expecting a deadening flow of unlocks and build queues, and you'll get a nasty surprise. Approach the game as you would an odd noise in the basement, and the Earth might just have a fighting chance.
  18. Oct 13, 2012
    88
    Very simplified re-imagining of a true classic. Now it is scripted, very fluid, very fast tactical turn-based action game, and luckily not a bad one at all! I'm still waiting for a technically modernized carbon copy of original UFO, thank you very much. [Oct 2012]
  19. Nov 12, 2012
    100
    It's [a] tough and punishing game, but in the best way possible. Every loss compels you onward in the war and the story. Where most games are frustratingly punishing, XCOM delivers a masterclass in challenge and escalation.
  20. Oct 8, 2012
    90
    XCOM: Enemy Unknown will have you swapping horror stories at the watercooler, and loving almost every minute of it.
  21. Mar 6, 2013
    100
    By virtue of how it stokes more parts of my brain than any game of the past decade, I’m inclined to consider XCOM: Enemy Unknown one of the most important titles of this generation. This game will test your disaster-management skills, levy you with suffocatingly difficult choices on how to spend your resources and cause you to grow so fond of your chess pieces that each skirmish takes on the flavour of a Whedonesque drama.
  22. Oct 10, 2012
    91
    XCOM: Enemy Unknown is the best approach in delivering deep strategy to the consoles without dumping down the level of complexity we've seen so far. Literally every step you make in XCOM is linked to a tough decision with direct consequences. If you're even slightly interested in turn based strategy, XCOM is the best thing to spend your money in many years.
  23. 90
    It's like The Sims, but with much shorter life expectancies. [Issue#91, p.66]
  24. 95
    XCOM: Enemy Unknown is not just the best strategy game this year, it's the best strategy game this generation and possibly the best ever strategy game on consoles.
User Score
8.3

Generally favorable reviews- based on 331 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 80 out of 95
  2. Negative: 7 out of 95
  1. Oct 17, 2012
    3
    First off, this is really not an X-Com game and if you go in looking at it as a new IP then you will be a lot better off. The game is heavily streamlined/dumbed-down from its origins and rather than a turn-based strategy game like the original X-Com games, you are buying a turn-based ACTION game, like a turn-based Gears of War. You are limited to 4 squad members to start, you cannot build or manage new bases, the maps are pre-done rather than random (and can repeat through a game), and virtually all of the strategic portions of the original X-Com have been deleted. I suspect this was done to "attract the CoD/GeoW audience" but it just makes the unsuitable for any true strategy gamer and its slow pace will certainly keep away the FPS fans. Now this is not specifically a "bad" game, and if you are the type of gamer who thought "wouldn't it be cool to command a Gears of War squadron (dressed in Mass Effect armor) in a turn-based game but without all those unnecessary strategic elements, new base building, and micro-managing" then this is the game for you. X-Com EU has loses the overall strategic gameplay, and is all turn-based action with Mass Effect armor and guns. Not for me, but who knows, there might be an big undiscovered market for this game type. Full Review »
  2. Oct 10, 2012
    10
    Firaxis has definitely delivered with XCOM: Enemy Unknown, as it's as polished as you could ever want it to be across all three platforms.

    New players to the game will soon find themselves becoming indulged in the decision making process of the game. Should I invest in better armor? Should I help China or USA? Each decision comes with it's own rewards, which greatly benefit your fight against the alien menace.

    The control scheme on all systems is excellent, even though the original XCOM was a PC game, they fit on both consoles too.

    The story of XCOM is long and rewarding, and the loss of teammates only spurs you on to fight harder.

    Overall, a superb game, I have yet to find anything bad about it.
    Full Review »
  3. Oct 31, 2012
    9
    XCOM is a beautiful game that has taken elements of two distinct genres. First there is a fluid turn-based shooter that is seamless in its frame rate and that delivers both integrated cinematic and large degree of creativity in the strategy it allows players to explore. Then behind the scenes is an in-depth management system that provides users with the ability to tailor their experience to fit their desired strategy. There is incredible depth in this management system. You can decide to spend money and man power in building new facilities, or focus on upgrading your field units in order to best utilize the different classes available, or you can focus on trying to mitigate the outcries of nations who you are not able to help. XCOM even allows you to trade on the black market and provides an easy to understand balance sheet that tracks your revenue and expenses (Yes I Know those are Income Statement Items). On top of that level of management XCOM has added a small yet incredibly effective element in that you can personalize your squad. This adds a level of emotion rarely brought to games. Being able to tell your friends they have been promoted or killed in action is a unique conversation point that drives word-of-mouth exposure for XCOM. Overall addictive, strategic, unsympathetic, and worth your money. Full Review »