I played the original XCOM for hours on end as a kid with my dad. He played it mostly, and I would watch, helping him make decisions on how to build his base, what to research, and where to move his soldiers on the battlefield.
When the remake came out, I brought it home over Christmas break, and each night when he got home from work, we would play. Some things were new. Some things were the same. A lot of things had been streamlined. But we kicked mom off the TV and had an amazing time.
This game is killer. It's not easy, it's not forgiving, and it's not full-throttle action. You plan, you think, you make tough decisions. You will lose soldiers, you will lose support from countries, but when it's all said and done, you will feel simultaneously like a tactical wizard and a hardened warlord. The story is simple. The graphics are good, not great. But the gameplay is satisfying. You will invest in your base, your team, and your soldiers. When you build your first Firestorm interceptor, or your first guided-missile launcher, or shoot down an alien battleship, you will revel in your newfound power. It's a deeply rewarding experience, and I can't stop playing.
posted by CrkdWookie (MINNEAPOLIS, MN) Dec 31, 2012
Member since Sep 2010
XCOM is awesome. Much like Dark Souls, it can be punishingly difficult, and I love it for the challenge, although it can be played on a lower difficulty while you're learning the ropes.
The only thing holding it back from a perfect score for me is the steep learning curve. Figuring out what to build and research with your constantly limited resources is a critical part of the game and one of the toughest to master.
The between missions meta-game where you build new facilities, research new technologies, recruit, train and equip your soldiers, is an integral and fascinating part of the game. It's a shame, then, that it's not very well explained and you're left to sink a few times until you learn to swim.
You'll be cruising along and then figure out six missions in that you're woefully short on satellites or something, but they are so expensive and take so long to build that often by the time you realize you're missing something like this it's too late to do anything about it. Your game was sunk by a decision you overlooked ten missions earlier and you just now figured it out.
That said, the metagame is fun once you get the hang of it, and the turn by turn strategy battles never grow old. This is one to hang onto and play for a long time to come. A one of a kind strategy game for consoles and a highlight of this generation of games.
I really wanted to like this game, but finally gave up after watching the aliens repeatedly kill my soldiers with a single shot over and over. How I could have 5 guys shoot at and miss an alien standing out in the open, then the alien return fire and kill a soldier standing behind a giant rock is beyond me.