User Score
8.4

Generally favorable reviews- based on 321 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 25 out of 321

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  1. Feb 16, 2014
    9
    This is a game that made me feel like strategy type gameplay might be for me. I am not familiar with the old X-Com or Enemy Unknown titles, but this game provided a fresh experience that really stood out among the usual grey and brown shooter games I've seen lately.

    The gameplay felt like it had a lot of depth and the expanding skill tree for weapons and equipment upgrades made me
    really think how I was playing, and take more risky but rewarding strategy in the field. The story was interesting, and over all the game was definitely a title I'd recommend to someone who enjoys things like chess, or strategy type games of any kind.

    That isn't to say the game doesn't have things to criticize. The title is very replayable, but in the sense that if you screw up royal in the field once or twice, you'll get to start all over once it becomes apparent that you have zero chance of making a recovery. The games difficulty gave me a very real sense of the stakes, but it has to be noted that if you make a large enough of a misstep in a mission, you might end up in a situation where you can not recover. And your decisions in what you build or how you set up your base can also affect your chances at playing the game through to completion in a drastic manner. If you don't research or discover the right weapons tech or equipment, the game will not slow down to accommodate you. This isn't a bad thing exactly, but do not expect the game to hold your hand while you play.

    If you've the stomach for a more serious strategy game that is unapologetically consistent with it's difficulty curve, and have the skill or patience to overcome it, then it's easily a recommend.
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  2. Sep 17, 2013
    8
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. XCOM: Enemy Unknown was a GREAT game up until the ending. I love how you can pick and choose every little thing you do in the facility, and how it boosts your soldiers stats and abilities. I was disappointed with the ending because all that happened was one of your soldiers took the mother-ship off the Earth to save everyone. But that was it, there wasn't an after story or anything like that. Over all, it was a very good game. Expand
  3. Sep 17, 2013
    10
    Too dumbed down for a PC title, but ok for the noobs who play games on consoles. If look like a post-pubescent weed-smoker and can't tell the difference between a PC and a fridge this console-oriented remake is for you.
  4. Sep 7, 2013
    9
    A fantastic game, it's certainly an experience to play. Playing on Ironman mode really enhances the atmosphere of the title, as when you lose a soldier you really lose a soldier, no going back. Combat is actually dangerous, which makes the whole game tense as you don't want to lose your most trusted sniper to a surprise attack. There is a very respectable memorial should you lose your top guy.
    I am deducting a point however because of a few small bugs.
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  5. Aug 23, 2013
    9
    XCOM Enemy Unknown is refreshing change of pace in gaming; the market filled with copy, ideas, lazy stories, easy difficulties and lack of replay ability. XCOM has intelligent, play driven combat and contains a campaign that lasts really as long as you want. Though the multiplayer is slightly dull and there are some animation glitches; the well made cinematic scenes, a motivating plot, evolving gameplay and rewarding, yet challenging difficulty makes XCOM Enemy Unknown a most own. Expand
  6. Aug 23, 2013
    10
    I felt obligated to sing up to this website just to tell every strategy games lovers: Buy this stuff.
    Most awesome strategy game i'v play'd in my hole life!
    Challenging, fun to play, freaking awesome learning curve!
    I bet that after 5 hours playing this stuff you'll feel like a Military Anti-Alien Badass commander!
  7. Aug 11, 2013
    8
    a solid RTS game that has tactical and intense turn based combat that is fun but occasionally repetitive, also it has a well delivered base building mechanic
  8. Jul 30, 2013
    10
    I remember playing the REAL X-COM instead of that crap fps version and i loved the strategy. it was good. Then the new X-COM was released at E-3 and i was just hoping that they would go back to the original and BAM! Instant masterpiece.
  9. Jul 21, 2013
    9
    Dumbed down from the original but pretty good still. I wonder why these days you always got to have classes in games. Even in the ones that try to be "realistic" like XCOM. In real life soldiers can't take a bullet in the gut regardless of their rank or experience. They can also carry more than one grenade. They can also choose to use what ever weapons they like. Overall a very nice remake of an old classic with some very annoying features. Expand
  10. Jul 8, 2013
    4
    Prepare to fight a losing battle. When I first played XCOM I really liked it, but the more I played the more I found huge flaws. The game scales in difficulty way too quickly with far too few rewards. You will fail optional objectives 90% of the time and lose troops in the process. Your most valued troops will be killed. You can't choose what types of troops to recruit. You can't equip more than one item (like a medkit AND grenades). You can only shoot at designated targets, so if there is an enemy behind destructible cover (like a wall or a box), you can't actually shoot the cover to destroy it. The game doesn't provide you with certain details that are extremely important, like the fact that it takes 3 days to hire new troops. The controls are not intuitive, sometimes requiring you use the joystick and other times the directional pad. The list goes on. Like I said, I really liked this game when I played the demo, but everything goes rapidly downhill after the intro mission. You will only enjoy this game if you play it on the easiest difficulty or if you enjoy being frustrated. Expand
  11. Jul 4, 2013
    9
    XCOM: Enemy Unknown delivers a thoroughly satisfying, turn-based strategy game experience, leaving few things to complain about. The act of engaging a downed UFO or the means of which you battle enemies may be very cleverly crafted and enjoyable, but the game mostly shines in pre-battle planning and all the essential counter-alien chores you perform back at your base. Witness your soldiers and XCOM HQ evolve or begin to fail, based off the many crucial decisions you make between battles as the head of operations. To watch the XCOM project as a whole unfold successfully as a result of your many efforts as a commander is an extremely satisfying and exciting feeling that few games are able to offer.
    The only thing preventing me from giving this game a score of ten is the fact that it has a noticeable amount of game bugs, some of which can be game breaking. Through the course of the game, you may notice visually unpleasant bugs(such as soldiers wielding the incorrect weapon when firing, or the game camera clipping through level geometry), unending enemy turns(albeit rarely), teleporting enemies(not as a game feature, but as an extremely unfair bug which remains unpatched), and a few other minor bugs. For the most part, these bugs are negligible, but can sometimes interfere with the game's experience. Overall though, XCOM: Enemy Unknown is an extremely well made game, that people who aren't even fans of strategy games shouldn't pass up.
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  12. Jun 30, 2013
    9
    I will preface this by saying I have never played any Xcom games before this one. That being said, this game is great and has a high replay factor. I think the people giving it poor ratings are generally mad that they changed a lot from the original, sort of like what happened when Fallout 3 was released. The graphics are good enough for a strategy game and it is frustrating enough to make you mad but not enough to make you quit or throw your controller through your television. It is fun and interesting to upgrade and research technology and you must use your resources wisely. I highly recommend it and now that it's price is down to about $30, sometimes cheaper, it is worth every penny. Expand
  13. 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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  14. Apr 3, 2013
    10
    XCOM: Enemy Unknown is a great game. For some players it will not be enjoyable due to the sheer difficulty of the game, But that is what makes XCOM so good. IT challenges you to make a decision that could be your downfall later in the game. Move this soldier here to flank the enemy or give the new armor to this soldier. The limited budget at the end of every month gives you some tough choices to make. The amount of player choice in the game is amazing, It beats many choice driven games in XCOM's ow special way. There are no alternate endings, There are two ways to finish the game. Fight and stop the alien invasion to save Humanity, Or have Humanity be enslaved and lose the game. It is the decisions that you make that decides if XCOM wins or loses. Expand
  15. Mar 26, 2013
    0
    Worst game I have ever played. I'm glad this was $25 on black friday and I was able to sell it for $22 on glyde. Game was boring, repetitive and mind numbing. I'm not sure why anyone would give this a 10, or anything about a 5. If you were desperate to play a game because all you do is play games 24 hours a day, then i could see maybe giving it a 5, but you would still probably be better off replaying almost any other game than starting this one. Expand
  16. Mar 24, 2013
    3
    Its a good thing that a got this game for free when I pre ordered Bioshock Infinite through steam cause if I had spent any amount of money on this crap I would have felt extremely cheated. Now this is the first Xcom game I've played and its probably gonna be the last unless 2k Marin come up with something brilliant with their tactical fps interpretation of the franchise. Im a huge fan of Firaxis Games and their Civilization IP but they seriously dropped the ball, lost the plot, went off their heads bonkers and screwed up when they decided to unleash and curse us with this poor excuse of a game... Expand
  17. Mar 23, 2013
    8
    The graphics in this game are surprisingly bad considering how late in this generation this game came out. I liked the turn-based strategy gameplay to a certain extent, but I feel like it would have been better if there were puzzles to solve or something that gave the game a bit of depth. I have no clue why this is rated M. There is a tiny bit of cursing. I give it such a high score because it is a very unique game and its nice to have something that is not a shooter come out. However, there were a lot of things that really bothered me about it. For instance, aliens can often break rules, like taking multiple turns. You can sometimes shoot through walls- aliens always can for the most part. The environments are really repetitive. There was not enough incentive to save civilians. I figured out pretty quickly that I could ignore them and they served as nice distractions while I wiped out the aliens. Expand
  18. 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
    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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  19. Mar 10, 2013
    8
    XCOM: Enemy Unknown is great turn-based shooter game for the old XCOM fans and the new XCOM fans. Aliens have invaded earth and the XCOM prject ants to get rid of the aliens from earth in a not-so friendely way. Combat you make your choice t shoot, move, take extra cover and much more an you don't know whats going to happen. As the game goes on you can research better weapons, armour and some other stuff for your troops. To do that you need money from countries and you gotta choce what countries money you want and its impossible t save all the countries(i've tried). Your troops level up and become very powerful and if they die you feel very sad, but they might have die so others may live. Multiplayer is quite fun were you can have alien units and human units(aliens been great fun). Few erors for this game is the bugs you may experience. Another thing and probally the orst thing is if you don't know how to play your first few play throughs are just hell. I had 4 play throughs until I really got the hand with this game. And the tutorial does not cover everything about the game. Overall a little buggy but a great game. XCOM: Enemy Unknown 8.7/10 Expand
  20. 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 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
  21. Feb 22, 2013
    9
    I am not sure if my old review will go away by submitting this one (please forgive my ignorance). I am writing a new review to reconsider my score of eight in favor of a nine. This game deserves it, plain and simple. If you enjoy strategy games, and you play primarily on the Xbox (as I do), then XCOM is definitely a game you should buy (buy a new copy the developers deserve the money and recognition for their game). Expand
  22. Feb 21, 2013
    8
    Having never played the originals, XCOM: Enemy Unknown was my introduction to the series. Always out-numbered, out-gunned, a constant fog of war, and most importantly varied alien types with their own abilities (Though 3 of which are lamely upgraded instead of new species) this game brings difficulty and real consequences. (You can literally lose this game) This would seem like a no-sale, but it works to XCOM's advantage. Every move is more important, strategy is key. There is nothing worse then losing a character you've named for a friend and has been with you since the start. The ant-farm style look of the base is a sight to behold, the graphics style doesn't do the aliens enough fear factor though sadly. The story of this game, though short is digestible. Unfortunately...this game starts strong but after the 15-hour mark maps repeat, you get the same enemies most times, and the weapon/armor/character lack of content becomes more apparent. Overall XCOM is worthy of your dollar, especially if you like tactical games. The only things holding it back could be fixed with DLC and patches, Firaxis, bring some new alien types, along with better variety to give this game the 10 it deserves. Expand
  23. Feb 18, 2013
    9
    XCOM: Enemy Unknown is a very good game. While a few things are missing, (I'm looking at you, XCOM base defence) the game is very, very good. The strategy in this game is deep, and the emotion factor is high. I once found a portion of my squad pinned down, fighting relentlessly against wave after wave of Mutons, Sectoids, and Thin Men until reinforcements arrived. And yes, while there is an apparent lack of story, you are able to forge your own through the courage and valor of your soldiers, versus the sheer numbers and ferocity of the bloodthirsty aliens in the wartorn continents of Earth. I just wish that there was an explanation as to why the aliens came here in the first place. Progression in this game is awesome, With you upgrading your arsenal from bullets and human kevlar, to Plasma guns, robots, jetpacks and alien battle armor. It is satisfying to destroy the hordes of aliens and make a dent in the alien invasion, but it is a sad day when the hordes kill one of your men, or worse, claim him/her as one of their own. I was morally conflicted when they got mind-melded my own soldier and I was forced to pull the trigger. I cannot say it enough: XCOM is awesome! only a few things are holding this back from my perfect score, but I definately reccomend this game to anyone looking for a good turn based strategy game like me. Expand
  24. Feb 16, 2013
    10
    Like PuzzleQuest, there is a little bit of a learning curve. But wow! Even though there are some things they didn't include versus the older XCOM version, the strategy and new ideas will keep you well occupied. I was addicted to this game for 10 days straight and I'm still not finished. There are some similar looking maps but they vary enough to come up with a different strategy each go around. You do need to play the game a couple of times. The first time after I got half-way through, I didn't realize how important it was to invest in satellites and hence lost the game after all the other countries dropped out. There's a multi-part game strategy here, one which is the overall strategy on how you build your base, the other is each of the games battle strategies where you select your team, move your soldiers, and find a way to kill the bad guys. It gets deep! I didn't read the strategy guide on how to prioritize satellite building and only made it half-way through my first game. I'm planning on starting over again because there were a few other things I would've liked to done better. There is a lot to this game and for me and the amount of time I've been entertained by it justifies the hefty $60 price tag. Even though I wish it were less i still feel like I've gotten my money's worth out of it. Expand
  25. Feb 15, 2013
    9
    I loved the X-COM series back in the '90s when I was a kid and I was kinda scared when Firaxis announced a reboot, but, after playing the game, I can only say they did an awesome job. This game is great and, even if it misses some of the features the old ones had, it manages to bring back the same feelings.
    It's incredibly fun and thrilling, even if it's turn based, and it allows you to
    try different strategies and tricks (one of my best moments was when, in one of the first maps, i used a granade to destroy a wall so that my sniper could kill enemies from outside the building). At higher difficulty levels, the game gets really hard and the A.I. will often punish you even for small mistakes, making it even more deep strategy-wise. The management system while in the base is also very well designed: you are forced to make choices on building structures, items and improvements, while trying to keep every nation in the council and upgrading your interceptors/satellite coverage/soldiers arsenal. I liked the fact that Firaxis did not choose the way of a boring micro-management system, while still providing a challenge even outside of combat: your choices in the base *will* affect how you perform on the battlefield and that is awesome.
    Since they implemented the "Second Wave" options, its longevity has grown incredibly: now you can play with different rules or starting conditions, making every "new game" a really new experience. Multiplayer is not perfect, but it's fun and adds to the many options you have.
    I was about to give this game a round 10, but I won't, since it can improve here and there. Random maps would be a nice addition, if not a must for a game like this (in longest campaigns you may find yourself in the same map twice). Also, some minor bugs that could be fixed. Anyway, don't skip this game. Actually it's about 50 bucks on Amazon: worth every cent.
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  26. 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 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
  27. Feb 8, 2013
    3
    The base building aspect was neat as was the unit development but the game was ugly and the controls just didn't appeal to me. As for the combat it's like playing chess the video game it's slow and got boring quick and let's be honest it's not exactly difficult so it's like playing chess on a computer who can't win.
  28. Jan 31, 2013
    8
    Virtually a remake, albeit an updated one, of an almost twenty year old turn-based strategy game X-Com: Enemy Unknown is one of the most nerve-wracking games you’ll ever play. Cast as the commander of an underground base of soldiers designed to fight against a mysterious alien invasion the game really comes in two parts. The first part involves the actual day-to day running of the base, ensuring sufficient weapons and resources are made available and making sure you can rely on each of the worlds governments for funding are just two examples of the many tasks that you will face. Within just a few hours some very difficult decisions have to be made as losing the support of a country can severely diminish the chances of success. Refreshingly X: Com resists holding the players hand and is quite happy to let you make a mistake early on that makes eventual success extremely difficult.

    The second part is a turn based squad tactical simulation that is more exciting than it sounds. Using an isometric view with a fully rotatable camera each soldier can perform two actions per turn from a set list, this usually means either moving or firing but each particular unit often has additional moves such as laying down covering fire that can also be selected. Real tension is added by the fact that should a unit be killed there is no to bringing them back, this is particularly painful when it happens to an experienced member of your squad that you’ve taken the trouble to level up, customise and even nickname.

    If ever a game proved that you don’t traditional endless cut scenes to provide an exciting, ongoing narrative then this is the game and even those usually adverse to the strategy genre may find X:Com an entertaining prospect.
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  29. Jan 17, 2013
    8
    Firaxis has delivered quite an excellent game that is mostly faithful to the spirit of the franchise. As a turn-based strategy game, the choices available for current consumers is often limited, notably due their lack of popularity it seems. This game unfortunately dumbs down many of the elements of previous games of the series, which some may have found tedious. The stream-lining of this series makes the game feel more down to chance rather than active decisions made by the player. It is the tedium of the old games that often made them feel more rewarding. This game suffers from many bugs and glitches that can be quite game-breaking if you are potentially playing an ironman campaign. These bugs notably include teleporting enemies, unclear lines of sight, inability to move some soldiers, etc. These bugs do not hinder the enjoyment that can be found in this game, however, as patches are implemented many bugs will be fixed. This game is refreshing take of the old series and offers a rarity in gaming today: a challenging turn-based strategy game. Expand
  30. Jan 12, 2013
    10
    This game takes turn based tactics and perfects them. As a fan of Fire Emblem, I can honestly say this game ranks on par with them, or even surpasses them. If you're a fan of tactics, you don't have a lot of recent of options with recent games, but this is a sure buy.
  31. Jan 4, 2013
    0
    XCOM: Enemy Unknown is a fantastic twist off of the old UFO defense. Almost every change made for the new game was for the better: graphics, less units to control, more customization etc... but yes, nobody is perfect and there are some flaws. Maps repeat once you play the game all the way through and you can no longer create multiple bases which lowers the replay value. But none of this has effected me as I absolutely love this game and can look past a few minor blemishes as I am sure is necessary to accept anything in life as 10/10. Except maybe Mila Kunis 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. 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.