XCOM: Enemy Unknown Review

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XCOM: Enemy Unknown Review

Firaxis have managed to pull off a splendid modern remake.

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Wait, this is out already?

...

Curse you Aussie release dates, curse you!

Zhukov:
Wait, this is out already?

...

Curse you Aussie release dates, curse you!

My sentiments exactly. Gonna have to try to avoid spoilers until the 12th from now on. Stupid, arbitrary 'America gets the game first' system.

Woohoo, can't wait. I'm glad to see Sid Meier back doing something else than Civ games. I've been a huge fan of his since his days at Microprose (about 60% of my game box collection still bears their logo, I'm a hipster, I know). I loved XCOM back in my 486 days and I'll have a ton of fun playing this one. Thanks Sid!

There are ways for rest of the world to unlock the game on steam as same day as the US players gets their game... just browse around on reddit.com/r/xcom and you might find some solutions to this 'problem' ;)

Solid review, and it's just like I thought I need to buy two games now, X-Com and Dishonored. My wallet doesn't seem happy.

Both Dishonored AND XCOM are getting good reviews? "sigh" my poor poor wallet.

Im looking forward to playing this game. My only gripe is the visual design and music, i think the marines and alien designs are awfully boring and uninspired, and the music seems to be your standard booming orchestral score. The problem is that these two things were on the reasons that the first Xcom game stayed with me for so long. I love the design, art style and soundtrack, it saddens me that they had to make everything so bland this time around. But stille seems like it will be a lot of fun, i like the gameplay decisions, seems to be an improvement over the original in a lot of ways.

Bernzz:

Zhukov:
Wait, this is out already?

...

Curse you Aussie release dates, curse you!

My sentiments exactly. Gonna have to try to avoid spoilers until the 12th from now on. Stupid, arbitrary 'America gets the game first' system.

Both this and Dishonored are actually out on the 9th in North America, so I just think they got early copies for review. So, at least for me, just one more day, and my fall gaming collection will be complete...

Zhukov:
Wait, this is out already?

...

Curse you Aussie release dates, curse you!

They got a pre-release review copy? It's not out till the 9th tomorrow at the earliest and the 12th in full swing.

Not my normal type of game, but this one looks REALLY interesting! I never played the original, but I'd like to try this out and see how it is.

Tucker154:

Bernzz:

Zhukov:
Wait, this is out already?

...

Curse you Aussie release dates, curse you!

My sentiments exactly. Gonna have to try to avoid spoilers until the 12th from now on. Stupid, arbitrary 'America gets the game first' system.

Both this and Dishonored are actually out on the 9th in North America, so I just think they got early copies for review. So, at least for me, just one more day, and my fall gaming collection will be complete...

Well yes, I knew this. I was more bitching about the fact that I have to wait an extra three days because I had the nerve to be born somewhere apart from America, that's all.

i preordered mine through gamersgate. it was worth getting it $20 cheaper than steam even with the loss of civ 5 for me (ordering from australia) nice suprise to find out i got civ 5 credited to my account too.

apparently there is no base invasions in this and the new ant nest view doesnt really show any small details like the fact you now have more engineers for instance.

also apart from rockets and grenades there is no free shoot mode where you can shoot at terrain. apparently a trade off for the console version and kept for the pc unfortunately.

still looks good even if i do question why they made basic customisation options for your soliders a preorder incentive

Bernzz:

Well yes, I knew this. I was more bitching about the fact that I have to wait an extra three days because I had the nerve to be born somewhere apart from America, that's all.

Sometimes the reverse occurs, and America gets it last or much later (*glares at several Nintendo properties*)

Local laws, trade laws and regulations differ according to region, though these normally don't inhibit a multi-region release much.

Though sometimes the publisher staggers their releases in regions so that if something breaks (DRM, gamebreaking glitch, a hurricane annihilates their servers, etc), they can aren't immediately overwhelmed by everyone else calling in.

Still, it kind of sucks when you're last in line. :\
Though you do get the marginal benefit of some immediate word of mouth (assuming you can speak the language of whoever got the game first).

Sounds pretty awesome! However, I have a couple of questions:

Does it have cheats? And if not, does it support mods?

Tahaneira:
Sounds pretty awesome! However, I have a couple of questions:

Does it have cheats? And if not, does it support mods?

Well considering how easy the game can on Normal, the Easier difficulty setting might as well be cheating.

The last word from Firaxis was that they would be adding mod support for the PC, but it wasn't a launch push.

2 questions
1.Can you sell stuff to governments, PMCs and organized criminal organizations?
2.Is laser cannon mass production still a viable business solution?

blackrave:
2 questions
1.Can you sell stuff to governments, PMCs and organized criminal organizations?
2.Is laser cannon mass production still a viable business solution?

1. Yes, there is a "Grey Market" that will buy alien artifacts, technology and corpses. You will also occasionally get requests from nations for specific manufactured items or alien stuff, at a nice bonus value if you can spare them. However, you can't sell everything at any time though. Most of your researched items, like say laser weapons, can't just be sold to the Grey Market.

2. See above, but no.

Slycne:

blackrave:
2 questions
1.Can you sell stuff to governments, PMCs and organized criminal organizations?
2.Is laser cannon mass production still a viable business solution?

1. Yes, there is a "Grey Market" that will buy alien artifacts, technology and corpses to. You will also occasionally get requests from nations for specific manufactured good or items, generally at a greater value. However, you can't sell everything at any time though. Most of your researched items, like say laser weapons, can't just be sold to the Grey Market.

2. See above, but no.

So selling alien corpses to McDonalds is not an option anymore?
That's sad :(

Also, how humanity can fight alien invasion without every person being armed with laser cannon?

That seems to be the only downside of Xcom (other then those who scoff that its not a "pure" graphics update of X-COM), is the maps.

They really should should have figured out how to make generated maps..

I wish Steve Butts were still with the Escapist. He's gone on record stating X-Com: UFO Defense is his favourite game of all time and I was long looking forward to his review on it.

Justin's review was solid, but I don't know his prior experience with the series. It could be a fun game, but is it really an x-com game? That's what matters to me, and what determines buying it now or buying it in a year.

10 hours until my steam copy unlocks!

The worst part about this game is that it came out on the same day as Dishonered. Oh how I wish these two games had come out in different months! They both look excellent and definitely deserve (and need, considering the markets' outlook to new IPs and strategy games) support, but I can only afford one right now! It makes me sad.

AC10:
I wish Steve Butts were still with the Escapist. He's gone on record stating X-Com: UFO Defense is his favourite game of all time and I was long looking forward to his review on it.

Justin's review was solid, but I don't know his prior experience with the series. It could be a fun game, but is it really an x-com game? That's what matters to me, and what determines buying it now or buying it in a year.

Some, but certainly not as much as other people. The 90's was mostly flight sims and fantasy RPGs like Baldur's Gate for me. I actually tried to avoid overly elaborate comparisons between this new remake and the original game, because most of the audience isn't going to be familiar with it.

That said, I did try to include a few "yeah, it's still XCOM moments" like chryssalids still being total BS and my soldier panicking and blowing away the VIP. I might not agree with every single change (lack of random map layouts, for example), but I do think that on the whole they are mostly removing tedium.

Dishonored is also out this week, so it'll have to wait. Probably a good thing as it means it'll be cheaper when I do get a hold of it.

I like how this is going to outshine the FPS money-grab on the name

karamazovnew:
Woohoo, can't wait. I'm glad to see Sid Meier back doing something else than Civ games. I've been a huge fan of his since his days at Microprose (about 60% of my game box collection still bears their logo, I'm a hipster, I know). I loved XCOM back in my 486 days and I'll have a ton of fun playing this one. Thanks Sid!

I think that Sid Meier wasn't involved in the proyect at all (I might be wrong), the Lead Designer, was Jake Solomon, although I can understand that the Firaxis name is heavily tied to Sid Meier's, but still, it's a damned good and respected name throughout the strategy genre and for that, I can't wait to get my hands on this game :)

SupahGamuh:

karamazovnew:
Woohoo, can't wait. I'm glad to see Sid Meier back doing something else than Civ games. I've been a huge fan of his since his days at Microprose (about 60% of my game box collection still bears their logo, I'm a hipster, I know). I loved XCOM back in my 486 days and I'll have a ton of fun playing this one. Thanks Sid!

I think that Sid Meier wasn't involved in the proyect at all (I might be wrong), the Lead Designer, was Jake Solomon, although I can understand that the Firaxis name is heavily tied to Sid Meier's, but still, it's a damned good and respected name throughout the strategy genre and for that, I can't wait to get my hands on this game :)

While Jake Solomon had the final word on what aspects of the game made up xcom, many of the interviews Jake noted he spent many days/hours/weeks hashing with Sid over many game design aspects. So in a way, Sid did have a major help, but yea, its not Sid's game.

Can not WAIT for this! The demo was all I needed.

Going to pass on dishonored though until it hits the bargain bins. 5 - 10 hours is not even close to justification for paying full price.

That was unexpected. I tip my hat!

And I'm stuck in a military camp until Saturday afternoon...

And I've pre-ordered both Dishonored and XCom...

WHERE DO I FIND THE TIME?!

Tahaneira:
Sounds pretty awesome! However, I have a couple of questions:

Does it have cheats? And if not, does it support mods?

You can also summon various 'hero' units by changing solider names, for example naming a solider Sid Meier will turn the unit into a super psi unit with a plasma rifle, psi armour and all psi powers unlocked (all powerful end-game items/abilities) but achievements are disabled)

People over at the 2K forums have already modded the demo so even if there isn't any official support (which I doubt) you could still fiddle around with it.

nikki191:
also apart from rockets and grenades there is no free shoot mode where you can shoot at terrain. apparently a trade off for the console version and kept for the pc unfortunately.

This is utter uninformed nonsense. The choice to not have free aim has nothing to do with consoles. The reason is simply that now that soldiers cary "enough" ammo to get through the mission then people would could just free aim at all the walls an cover and blast it all away, this would not make the game a good tactical game.

Pre-ordered, preloaded, ready to play... and Friday afternoon can't come sooner!

Great review. I have to say, I'm glad reviewers aren't going into the "story" of X-COM too much, but having played the original I can't see too many curveballs as far as plot goes.

I've heard on the wire that you only get the one base. Does that by extension mean you only have the one transport vehicle? Or is there never a time when two ships come down?

Henriot:
Pre-ordered, preloaded, ready to play... and Friday afternoon can't come sooner!

Great review. I have to say, I'm glad reviewers aren't going into the "story" of X-COM too much, but having played the original I can't see too many curveballs as far as plot goes.

I've heard on the wire that you only get the one base. Does that by extension mean you only have the one transport vehicle? Or is there never a time when two ships come down?

I think it's more of a case that you deal with specific cases, the armies of the world etc do the heaviest lifting in terms of big conflicts, but you strike hard at the crucial points like a special ops group.

Slycne:

AC10:
I wish Steve Butts were still with the Escapist. He's gone on record stating X-Com: UFO Defense is his favourite game of all time and I was long looking forward to his review on it.

Justin's review was solid, but I don't know his prior experience with the series. It could be a fun game, but is it really an x-com game? That's what matters to me, and what determines buying it now or buying it in a year.

Some, but certainly not as much as other people. The 90's was mostly flight sims and fantasy RPGs like Baldur's Gate for me. I actually tried to avoid overly elaborate comparisons between this new remake and the original game, because most of the audience isn't going to be familiar with it.

That said, I did try to include a few "yeah, it's still XCOM moments" like chryssalids still being total BS and my soldier panicking and blowing away the VIP. I might not agree with every single change (lack of random map layouts, for example), but I do think that on the whole they are mostly removing tedium.

Do you have any idea what Greg Tito thinks of the game? I've heard him several times on Three Moves Ahead and he seems like he loves some strategy. Would be interesting to know.

That aside, I liked your review and you covered the bases, ahaha, nicely. We'll see if I like the game on Friday when they actually bother to release it.

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