User Score
8.3

Generally favorable reviews- based on 365 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 32 out of 365
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  1. Oct 10, 2012
    7
    I eagerly awaited the release of XCOM: Enemy Unknown and have been playing it for about 10hrs so far and I have mixed feelings. First, let me give you the positive aspects. - Great graphics and audio. Everything you would expect from an updated XCOM game. - The AI seems to be pretty good so far. - If you're new to the XCOM games or prefer a less complex system then your in luck. -I eagerly awaited the release of XCOM: Enemy Unknown and have been playing it for about 10hrs so far and I have mixed feelings. First, let me give you the positive aspects. - Great graphics and audio. Everything you would expect from an updated XCOM game. - The AI seems to be pretty good so far. - If you're new to the XCOM games or prefer a less complex system then your in luck. - Good customization of your characters - A much better 3D environment were height has more influence on strategy and tactics.

    Now the cons: - If you're a previous enthusiast of XCOM and like all the control over your characters
    you're going to be disappointed. Like several others have stated in their reviews its a dumbed down version of XCOM. - TUs have been replaced with two action moves so you can only move so far and then shoot or you can dash for twice the distance. The real big issue I have here is that if you move 1 tile or 10 tiles in your first move, you've burned half your actions. - No crouching, changing directions (FOV), backpacks for carrying extra ammo (oh yeah, no ammo!), No single fire vs auto, No aiming. etc - Character leveling and load outs are a joke. Your character get assigned a class type (Assault, Support, Heavy, Sniper) after (I think) their first mission. I'm not sure if there is some method to this or not but than only certain characters can carry certain weapon types. Strength, Dexterity, etc have no bearing on this. Leveling your characters means choosing from two choices of advanced abilities at that rank and you can't pick two from the same rank. - Base building has been totally revamped and although I like the ant farm style layout, building, manufacturing and research are really dumbed down. The new system will have you scrounging for cash and trying to keep every nation happy which is nearly impossible.

    Even with all its flaws its still a good game to play and I am enjoying it. It was NOT the XCOM game I was hoping for though. I think a lot of people who gave it really high scores are just trying to make themselves feel better after realizing its not the game they were expecting. Its still pretty fun though and for that I'll give it the 7 rating.
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  2. Oct 21, 2012
    6
    The game has a fun factor, but it gets repetitive after a few hours. I have stopped playing it because of the repetitive nature of the game. When I first opened the game I THOUGHT WOW! Its look awesome, then after putting countless hours into the game, I found its lacking. I wanted a sandbox style hunter where I felt in control of EVERYTHING! Instead the game has a scripted feel to itThe game has a fun factor, but it gets repetitive after a few hours. I have stopped playing it because of the repetitive nature of the game. When I first opened the game I THOUGHT WOW! Its look awesome, then after putting countless hours into the game, I found its lacking. I wanted a sandbox style hunter where I felt in control of EVERYTHING! Instead the game has a scripted feel to it and it has a story! So every time you play, you must do the same story over and over, and the story begins and end in the same way every time, which sucks. So 1 playthough and you will have your fill, I probably made it 60% of the way through the story, but its so boring now I can't bring myself to beat the game.

    I didn't give the game a lower rating because its still a decent game, worth $50? No. Worth $25? Yes. Worth a try? Yes. However after a few hours I am sure you will feel as I do, the game becomes repetitive, and the missions become drawn out to challenging on higher difficulty levels. The game allows you to name your character and customize them fairly well... the bad, your characters die often, so its worth to get the feeling of attachment to them or have a ultimate plan for each character, which ruins the mood. The game has good qualities but I feel the bad outweigh the good slightly, and the game quickly becomes boring.
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  3. Oct 15, 2012
    5
    There once was a game that ONE sequel which felt like a reskin/expansion pack, a sequal that totally divided the user base and the rest is better not spoken about in polite company.

    And so, now we get the 2012 re-imagining of the classic. Does it live op to the original. Short anwer: No. Long answer: It is UFO: Light Edition. Really long answer: The game is a true turn-based game,
    There once was a game that ONE sequel which felt like a reskin/expansion pack, a sequal that totally divided the user base and the rest is better not spoken about in polite company.

    And so, now we get the 2012 re-imagining of the classic. Does it live op to the original. Short anwer: No. Long answer: It is UFO: Light Edition.

    Really long answer:
    The game is a true turn-based game, with a bit of flash during re-action of your soldiers, where all soldier react at once for some nice action. So far so good, at least it is not a FPS or space-sim, that would be a terrible idea that no sane person would entertain for more then a second.

    The game has some nice moments, like when my entire team grappled up two buildings, blocked the ladders for the aliens and had a deadly cross-fire on two berserker's raging impotently on the ground floor.

    On its own, the game is decent... but it does NOT stand on its own. The original gave you full control over your soldiers. Here you don't even get to decide their role. The original have you a full inventory. Here you get 1 inventory slot. The original saw you blow buildings up, here you have to make do with blowing some walls away, with the upper floors supported by magic. The original saw flame and smoke be a hazard and strategic asset, smoke could knock you and aliens out. Flames could kill you and aliens.

    Flames still exist but seem harmless, they are to small I never saw them as anything more then set dressing. Compared to their strategic use in the original games, this is just weak.

    Inventory is another big issue, you got max six soldiers and unless you play perfectly, you are going to need med packs. I like to equip three soldiers because just with just 1 medic, you know who is going to get it first. And it is not like you can take medpacks of fallen soldiers.

    The original left you space, for grenades, demolition packs, types of missles, ammo. Your soldier carried a lot and needed a lot in 1994. Not so in 2012, your xbox silly overmuscled goon only carries 1 grenade and 1 missle reload.

    Worse are the static maps. In 1994 the game mixed and matched various terrain elements to create large maps where you both knew the terrain, and didn't. In 2012, rather small maps are used that are always the same. The 3D engine frequently has trouble when you try to target a destination, making it more of a choir in maps with complex height differences then fun. Missle and grenade targetting frequently results in wild swaying of the camera for no apparent reason. All this for a 3D engine that betrays it console roots far to strongly, the grahics are nothing to write home about in 2012. Decent for consoles perhaps but on the PC, more is expected.

    The real issue is that games like Jagged Alliance and Silent Storm have been the true successors to Ufo: Enemy Unknown and pushed the genre ahead. XCOM: Enemy Unknown doesn't push the genre, it dumbs it down and expects to get away with calling it a re-imaging. But in 2012, I expect more. It has been 18 years. Some players today won't even have been alive when the original launched but that doesn't mean you can do a dumbed down copy and get away with it.

    The most damning of all? 1 weekend is all it took me to finish the game. 1 weekend on Impossible. And no, I am not that good a player. This is Ufo: Enemy Unknown for console players. PC gamers should expect more.
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  4. Oct 28, 2012
    6
    Satisfying but often annoying due to a bunch of glitches. Being able to shoot and be shot through a wall, Sectopods appearing out of thin air in the middle of my squadron, hover droids becoming invisible and unusable and numerous more. I also didn't like that when on Overwatch, all of your soldiers will fire at the same time if they see an alien. So even if the first hit kills it, anySatisfying but often annoying due to a bunch of glitches. Being able to shoot and be shot through a wall, Sectopods appearing out of thin air in the middle of my squadron, hover droids becoming invisible and unusable and numerous more. I also didn't like that when on Overwatch, all of your soldiers will fire at the same time if they see an alien. So even if the first hit kills it, any others in your squad that see it still fire and are left defenseless. Maybe that would be the case in an actual scenario. But this is suppose to be turn-based. The game is very good visually. Especially to those who played the earlier versions. But I have to agree with ransom34. It just doesn't feel like a true X-Com game. Your control over the game is very limited. Finally, there is an actual guide to use with this game. It just points out how random this game isn't, one of the strong points of it's predecessors. Expand
  5. Feb 14, 2013
    5
    When I bought the game I thought: "WOW, finally a game like Final Fantasy Tactics"... Well, it's similar, but is not great as FFT. Because there is few classes, very little classes, with few abilities. So I got disappointed... But it's fun, before getting really repetitive. There is some intuitive problems like enemies appearing from nowhere... breaking your strategic sense and becoming aWhen I bought the game I thought: "WOW, finally a game like Final Fantasy Tactics"... Well, it's similar, but is not great as FFT. Because there is few classes, very little classes, with few abilities. So I got disappointed... But it's fun, before getting really repetitive. There is some intuitive problems like enemies appearing from nowhere... breaking your strategic sense and becoming a cheat for them. I needed more diversity, 10 classes or more, and a lot abilities, like was in FFT, the best in genre. But not, get repetitive fast... Expand
  6. Mar 12, 2013
    7
    Despite it's flaws and there are more than a few game breaking glitches this game still manages to keep me coming back for more.
    Great turn based strategy, where the experience system actually makes you very protective of your troops to the point where I for the first time in a long while felt the need to name each of them.
    Has it been dumbed down from the originals? Yes. In regard
    Despite it's flaws and there are more than a few game breaking glitches this game still manages to keep me coming back for more.
    Great turn based strategy, where the experience system actually makes you very protective of your troops to the point where I for the first time in a long while felt the need to name each of them.
    Has it been dumbed down from the originals?
    Yes.
    In regard to the micromanagement that's actually a good thing and the two moves system works surprisingly well.
    Very satisfying to see a developer listen to the fans and not do a Syndicate.
    Now, if we can just get rid of the glitches and maybe add a few more troops, a less restrictive load-out and more control of the base...
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  7. Oct 10, 2012
    7
    This game is fun... when it works. Encountered multiple serious bugs that require a mission restart or worse within the first 5 hours of gameplay. Might want to wait for a patch on this one.
  8. Jan 2, 2013
    6
    It starts out fun but soon becomes dull and repetitive. Your soldiers see some aliens. The aliens kill a soldier. You kill the aliens. Repeat. Maps are premade and repeat frequently. No weapon variety just ballistic, laser, plasma in ascending order of power. Extremely linear wait to find a UFO or, more likely, defend an abandoned gas station. Can't procede without completeingIt starts out fun but soon becomes dull and repetitive. Your soldiers see some aliens. The aliens kill a soldier. You kill the aliens. Repeat. Maps are premade and repeat frequently. No weapon variety just ballistic, laser, plasma in ascending order of power. Extremely linear wait to find a UFO or, more likely, defend an abandoned gas station. Can't procede without completeing certain objectives. Eventually it got to the point where I began to dread going on missions and ended up sitting around waiting for research to finish. Expand
  9. Jun 12, 2014
    6
    This game survives on the merits of its gameplay alone because nothing else in the game is done well. The story, well, if you read the 2 sentence synopsis of it then that is all you need to know. That's all that really happens. The characters, whose deaths are permanent if you don't choose to reload a save, have no personality. How upset you get about losing one is based on how high rankedThis game survives on the merits of its gameplay alone because nothing else in the game is done well. The story, well, if you read the 2 sentence synopsis of it then that is all you need to know. That's all that really happens. The characters, whose deaths are permanent if you don't choose to reload a save, have no personality. How upset you get about losing one is based on how high ranked they are (essentially levels). The cutscenes make made-for-the-scyfy-channel movies look like academy award winners. So, you really only have the gameplay to keep you going. The gameplay while good is tedious. I played about 14 hours of it and realized I really had no desire to put the disc back in the tray. I did enjoy myself for a lot of that time but I got tired of the "kill all aliens" turn based maps and with nothing else to keep me playing I stopped altogether. The game could have been a lot better if there was just one other game mode that alternated with the one they have already. This game is leveling characters and turn based kill all enemy scenarios. Nothing more. Expand
  10. Mar 3, 2013
    5
    I was excited to start this game because I had heard from multiple sources that it was a great game, a wonderful strategy, and so on and so forth. I must not be part of this majority opinion, because while playing this game I have been nothing but frustrated. The gameplay is irritating. Two moves per turn might seem like it is a great idea because you can move and then shoot, but yourI was excited to start this game because I had heard from multiple sources that it was a great game, a wonderful strategy, and so on and so forth. I must not be part of this majority opinion, because while playing this game I have been nothing but frustrated. The gameplay is irritating. Two moves per turn might seem like it is a great idea because you can move and then shoot, but your soldiers are borderline useless in the beginning. I like to imagine that my soldiers are all asthmatic and near-sighted to explain how they can't shoot at something 25 feet away from them and then move afterwards. By winning missions you can upgrade and promote your soldiers, which is cool and I do like the choices between skills so your soldiers can at least play a little bit more like competent individuals, but not being able to choose your classes is just another facet of wretched RNG at work. The game certainly looks good in action. The aliens are interesting to look at until you've seen them a dozen times and then they become more of a nuisance that you need to fight than an enemy you care to destroy. The ambiance of the levels is well done and I do like the settings and the lighting, but the levels get repetitive after a while and sometimes you have an alien that just doesn't appear to be on the map. Sending your soldiers running around the map, turn after turn, without any idea of where they are is just as fun as it doesn't sound when you have about 30 feet per turn. Another interesting thing just happened: while I was sitting here typing this review, game on my TV, it sat for about 5 minutes and then my camera dragged across the map and now it won't respond to the controller. Neato, right? Because I know that this isn't actually a bad game, just torture redefined as an enhanced interrogation technique, I can't give it less than a 5. It's well made in aspects that people who would enjoy this sort of thing would like but I am not in that group. TL;DR: It's probably a decent game for folks who enjoy this sort of thing, but if you're not in the mood for a turn-based slog give it a rent before a buy. Expand
  11. Jun 8, 2013
    5
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I bought this game specifically because it was a remake of the 1994 game that I played for a good part of the nineties.
    Well, it is similar to that game, but it's completely hollowed out. It has far less features, far less things to do and figure out, far less to manage and the maps are no longer semi-randomly generated. There are a handful of fixed maps in the game and it doesn't take two playthroughs before you've seen them all.
    Two playthroughs is about how long this game will entertain you, so maybe that is not so bad, but compared to the shelflife of the XCOM it's based on it's pitiful.
    The problem is that once you have figured it all out there is no real incentive to keep playing. It becomes boring to do the exact same thing over and over again. The skeletal remains of the original game simply do not allow for enough variation to keep engaged.
    It is XCOM: Lite

    The game mechanics itself are decent to good. The strategical gameplay is fluid and intuitive. Enemy spawns are simplified compared to the original and enemies no longer wander the entire map before you find them so the biggest problem of the original, finding that last hiding alien, no longer happens. The downside of this is that it all becomes a bit predictable. The button layout is ergonomical and easy to use. Tge graphics are decent. Biggest issue is clipping while firing from cover so a lot of the times it will look like your soldier is poking his weapon straight trough a wall or other solid object. Conversely, if there is a window or other breakable object in the way your soldier will give a cool little animation of smashing it before firing.
    The cutscenes and little bits of dialogue are fun and engaging, the first time you play.
    Luckily you can button-skip them so you don't need to see them a second time, apart from some of the NPC-comments during missions, (For instance on first spotting a new type of alien) those always happen and get annoying.

    My biggest gripe apart from very little replayability is that the story of the original was changed.
    I thought that the original plot, where life on Earth was seeded by the aliens who now came back to harvest the fruits of their labour, was thrilling and engaging. It gave a grand, seemingly doomed from the start, air to the storyline. The cows are revolting against the (evil) farmer.
    None of this is left.
    Now the story is seemingly about how the alien (No longer a diverse selection of forms for a single consciousness, now the different alien types are slave races of planets the master race invaded before Earth.) wants to find the perfect combination between physical strength and psionic prowess for some never explained reason. It's.. bad. Generic, hokey and ill-defined.
    I miss the: "You can't kill us, you are part of us!" twist to the narrative. This gave a lingering feeling of disquiet. The new storyline is just about beating an invader.

    Conclusion:
    Do not bother buying this at full price. The shelflife/ cost ratio does not warrant it. You will get an enjoyable weekend out of this game but unless the limited strategic elements and repetitive gameplay are particularly engaging to you, it will be shelved after one weekend max.
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  12. Oct 20, 2012
    0
    For me XCOM: Enemy Unknown takes the best of the original XCOM and refines the rest into a better game in almost every way. I like to start with the negatives which are... 1. The LOS (Line of Sight) can be a bit unrealistic and lead to a frustrating death of a squad member from time to time. For example, I had two soldiers behind a huge metal shipping container, and an alien killed themFor me XCOM: Enemy Unknown takes the best of the original XCOM and refines the rest into a better game in almost every way. I like to start with the negatives which are... 1. The LOS (Line of Sight) can be a bit unrealistic and lead to a frustrating death of a squad member from time to time. For example, I had two soldiers behind a huge metal shipping container, and an alien killed them both in 2 moves from an impossible angle, shooting thru the solid container without damaging it but killing my men... plus the alien had no LOS of my soldiers... frustrating. On the up side, this happens rarely. Because of the randomly rare LOS issue I save my game at the starting of each turn. 2. A minor gripe, but it is annoying to have to use the R & L bumper to switch between team members. Allowing me to just move the cursor over a soldier and selecting them would have been nice. OK, on to the good stuff. There are basically three parts to this game, building a base, putting up satellites and shooting down UFO's, and lastly the turn based tactical assaults with your squad. All this is tied together with a financial system. You have to balance research of new tech, with building your base up, while buying fighter aircraft and launching satellites, while arming and gearing up your squad... and the order in which you do this will make or break you. It can be a difficult to choose a priority, when so many pressing issues present themselves at any given moment... but this is what makes the game great. In the tactical combat part of the game, then alien enemy are as varied as the tactics to take them down. Your squad starts out as a bunch or peons, but if they can survive 10+ missions, they will become elite warriors and the bane of the aliens. It takes time to level your soldiers and resources to arm and armor them. Because of this, you do not want to go Rambo in a mission and get them all killed. Always think a move ahead, when in doubt send up a scout (Assault troop is good at this). And remember, always use cover and Overwatch. My favorite tactic is Rope-a-dope... being, set up an ambush, send my assault solder out as bait, when he makes contact, have him retreat towards the rest of the squad, then blunt the aliens attack with Overwatch fire... then just kill the remaining aliens and watch the rest of them run for their lives. Rinse & repeat. This works in most but not all situations. Some enemies take some creative tactics to defeat. Minor gripes aside, XCOM; Enemy Unknown is an excellent and in-depth tactical game with countless hours of fun to be had. I give it a 9 out of 10 Collapse
Metascore
90

Universal acclaim - based on 35 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 34 out of 35
  2. Negative: 0 out of 35
  1. 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.
  2. X-ONE Magazine UK
    Dec 1, 2012
    90
    It's like The Sims, but with much shorter life expectancies. [Issue#91, p.66]
  3. 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.