Thursday, 6 December 2012

XCOM: Enemy Unknown

Over the past two weeks, I've been playing XCOM: Enemy Unknown on the PS3 like crazy. When I was a child, I loved tactical strategies games. Fire Emblem (GBA, Sacred Stones, Path of Radiance, Radiant Dawn or whatever), Final Fantasy Tactics (all variants), Tactics Ogre, Suikoden Tactics, you name it.

In XCOM, you are a commander of a project called The XCOM Project (yeah, that's right). You will lead a small unit of 4 (base) to 6 soldiers to take on various mission throughout the game. These missions include abduction, terror mission, UFO Crash/Landing sites, VIP Escort, deactivating a bomb, and others. Soldiers are promoted or "level up" as they kill a certain amount of enemies. Once promoted, you can select a 1 ability out of 2 of the rank you unlock. Each soldier you command are categorized into 4 classes. The four classes are Assault (front-line soldiers), Support (Various duties based upon situation), Heavy (Offensive class), and a Sniper (self explanatory). By balancing which classes to bring for certain types of alien encounters can highly effect the outcome of your mission.

It is important to note that certain missions also affect countries likely-hood of leaving the XCOM project. This is shown once you are in HQ and going into the Situation Room. Certain missions such as abduction for example provides three different sites to save, which each place offering different rewards (money, soldiers, engineers or researchers). Now here is the catch. You can only choose ONE of the three sites. In doing so, the ONE you choose will have a reduce of panic while the other two sites you didn't choose will have a rise in panic. Tough choices to make, with varying consequences.

All activities other then mission are at HQ. In the HQ hub, you can buy or build weapons, ships, armour at the Engineering Lab. You can research specific items for additional bonuses, weapons, armour, or aircraft at the Research Lab but some require a certain amount of days to past. Barracks is where you can view all your soldiers, change their equipment, customize their appearance or hire new ones. There is also this antfarm like structure where you can build facilities that either create more power, allow more satellites to launch or reduce the amount of days to research things. 

I've been on a massive rage about this game as it brought back old memories. The best part is that the games is very unfriendly on Impossible Mode (the highest/toughest difficulty). It can be very punishing if you don't know how to take on certain missions without a based knowledge of what is coming up.

Overall, I love this game. From it's cool art style, to all the death of my squad-mates (you get attached to them... trust me) to considering long-term rewards to short-term rewards. XCOM keeps you on your feet as you struggle to balance all of it's component as you save the world.

10 out of 10

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