XCOM: Enemy Unknown Image
Metascore
89

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

User Score
8.2

Generally favorable reviews- based on 2419 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 inEnemy 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
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  • Developer: Firaxis Games
  • Genre(s): Strategy, Turn-Based, General, Sci-Fi, Sci-Fi, General, Tactics
  • # of players: No Online Multiplayer
  • Cheats: On GameFAQs
  • Rating: M
  • More Details and Credits »

Trailer

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Last Stand - XCOM: Enemy Unknown E3 2012 Trailer
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. LEVEL (Czech Republic)
    Nov 4, 2012
    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: 90 out of 579
  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 youLet 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. May 17, 2013
    10
    Where to start.... First of all, don't let the fans of the old X-COM scare you away, they are just angry that this game isn't an exact remakeWhere to start.... First of all, don't let the fans of the old X-COM scare you away, they are just angry that this game isn't an exact remake of a game they remember from when they were young. This is a new generation and this game is MUCH more entertaining than the old game it is inspired by. X-COM: Enemy Unknown is incredibly various in gameplay, player choices and story progress. You instantly grow an attachment to the crew, and if your favorite soldier gets killed then you'll fi yourself yelling "WHYYYYY" out loud. It's *that* immersive. If you're expecting a copy of the old game from '93 with updated graphics then you'll be disappointed and will probably give this game a bad score and scare away people who would love the hell out of it like I do. Expand
  3. Oct 12, 2012
    9
    The best way to review this game is to address the "problems" other people have mentioned:

    "blah blah the thing i loved about xcom was i
    The best way to review this game is to address the "problems" other people have mentioned:

    "blah blah the thing i loved about xcom was i could have loads of different soldiers and customise their names etc" - hire new soldiers from the training school. Customise them in the barracks. You need to diable the tutorial in the options menu first. (only the suit colour was pre purchase bonus - play the game before writing a review.
    "you cant duck behind cover and there is unlimited ammo...this losies strategic variety". You can duck behind cover by hitting the shield icon called Hunker Down after moving. Ammo was deadwood and needlessly over complicates the game and loadout -play the game before writing a review.
    "the difficulty is too high and i can lose my best soldiers all in one mission and countries leave too easilly" - the original had elements of needing to be predictive too. You can lower the difficulty at any time. Save before every mission. - Buy easy games then look up walkthroughs on the internet if you don't have the brain for this kind of game.
    "the camera angles are bad my soldiers often rush into the wrong area rather than changing levels". This is true, that element could have done with some polish but you can avoid most problems by simply being more careful before moving between levels and using the keyboard to change height in steps rather than spinning the mouse wheel. Also get into the habit of using the rotate camera buttons that are pointless in most other games but essential here.

    Overall it's a faithful and competent re-imagining of an all-time classic. A very slightly flawed masterpiece. 9.5
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  4. Nov 17, 2014
    8
    A highly enjoyable and strategically strong game borders on being perfect aside from some annoying glitches and bugs. Fans of the turn basedA highly enjoyable and strategically strong game borders on being perfect aside from some annoying glitches and bugs. Fans of the turn based action games will enjoy and those looking for a challenge will love it. Expand
  5. Oct 17, 2012
    8
    So here is a flawed gem.
    In so many ways true to the "spirit of the original" there *has* been dumbing down to streamline the gameplay
    So here is a flawed gem.
    In so many ways true to the "spirit of the original" there *has* been dumbing down to streamline the gameplay (partly to cut down on 40 mins turns on the tactical map and massive complex infrastructure on the geoscape but clearly this has mostly been to fit the game on consoles) Gone are the big teams as sky ranger now only fits 6 (4 at start of the game) however the shiv tank is one slot now not 4, gone are having multiple bases worldwide although there are hangers for interceptors on each continent but only 1 skyranger at main base. Most of the soldiers stats are gone and AP's have been reduced to 2 (move and shoot, move and move or big move, there are some exceptions with the skill unlocks) And most of the toys have been locked into a soldier "class" speaking of which, the troops now are not general purpose grunts that have stats on every weapon type they are given classes early on which locks them into a weapon type (again less stats to worry about) and the inventory is locked in pre mission so if one of your guy drops (say your sniper) then no one else can pick up the sniper rifle.

    And then there are the bugs.... OH so many bugs, this game could have done with at least a couple of months of QA and bug squashing. There's bugs with nearly every aspect of the game, some are just cosmetic amusements like xbox control highlights showing up on base GUI when you are running in mouse only mode, some impact gameplay such as making it difficult to accurately select the right tile to order a soldier to inside a UFO with multiple levels (they have a tendency to jump over the wall I want them to hide about and stand in the open on the other side on the lower level) and the UFO roofs tend to come in and obscure stuff forcing a camera rotate to see what you are doing and then there are bugs that can break the game outright such as the first time I played multiplayer my mate started to chat to me in my turn and then I killed one of his guys and his chat box broke stopping him from doing ANYTHING thus ending what was turning out to be a great little match, oh dear.

    So why the high score? - Well the truth is the game is actually REALLY REALLY GOOD FUN!
    Yep, sure this game kind of makes the hardcore xcom fan in me rage a little that AP's are gone, the tactical was previously a "frightening foray into the unknown" and is now a chest high wall cover simulator (like playing a turn based gears of war) which sort of reduces it to a move here and cover creeping ambush style where as in the first xcom you would end up with a cluster**** of grunts all over the place trying to stay alive. So why is it so great? Difficult to pin down really, I mean on the technical side pacing is better, there is now genuine interaction with the environment (guys jump over walls, lean out around corners etc) and oddly enough the class based squad thing actually works (having spent so long with a mixed class team game like TF2 etc) and surprisingly enough although the inventory and multi role sides are gone out of the tactical side of the game it's actually LESS frustrating to play then the first (not sure at this point if that's just the 30 something me who is approaching it then the teenage me of the first game) as you get down to working with guys skills and abilities you have in the field.

    You don't spend so long micromanaging your base(s) and the geoscape which was once the nerve centre of the game where you moved it round to select bases ufo's and missions is now a "click here for next event" button, that said there's still a robust tech tree to research, the usual autopsies and interrogations are present and correct and you still have to balance your finances between costs, expansion and getting new toys for your guys.
    Base building is quite interesting with adjacency bonuses forcing you to plan your base layout instead of just plonking anything anywhere and you have quite a lot of choice even if it's just a single base. Overall I can see where the die hard fans of the original game might be a little upset the changes that have been made make the game much more accessible to a larger demographic and by and large it actually pays off.
    I'm a real fan of the original but I for one am not disappointed in the game (apart from the bugs which I hope get patched out) - those that want to retread the original game with fancy graphics are served with the open source UFO AI game (also built on the unreal engine) which is also a great game and the contrasts are interesting to see as that game in a lot of ways is truer to the original XCOM then this is.
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  6. Mar 20, 2013
    6
    EU is a simplified remake of the original X-Com with dumbed down features across the board. Replay value is severely limited by the heavilyEU is a simplified remake of the original X-Com with dumbed down features across the board. Replay value is severely limited by the heavily scripted nature of the campaign and a limited supply of hand-crafted(as opposed to randomly generated) battle maps. Console-inspired UI is a constant source of annoyance. However, EU's biggest fault lies in the combat. Enemies pose no danger to your troops until they've been revealed. This reduces battle strategy to basically not revealing additional enemies. The multiplayer component seems like an afterthought. It could have been fun had there been more than 5 maps. Still, those of you willing to leave your sky high expectations for this remake at the door and don't mind a simplified X-Com game with shiny new graphics will probably enjoy EU. Expand
  7. Dec 30, 2013
    0
    Worst purchase ever, Installed 13GB and it wont let me play a single player game without updating 6GB first.
    Firaxis and 2K games are just
    Worst purchase ever, Installed 13GB and it wont let me play a single player game without updating 6GB first.
    Firaxis and 2K games are just insulting players with this.

    The whole point of buying a retail disc is to avoid huge downloads, I can understand requiring up to 1GB update in order to play multiplayer. But 6GB just to play a single player...... i'll never buy anything from 2K games or Firaxis again.

    And they wonder why PC retail is dying to console games, least a console game you buy from a store you can play single player out of the box without updating. I would rather they didnt bother at all with a retail store copy if they are going to be like that, it just wastes my time.

    This one is going back for a refund, misleading packaging does not state anywhere on the package that it requires an update to play single player, only that online activation is required.
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See all 579 User Reviews