XCOM: Enemy Unknown

XCOM: Enemy Unknown Features for Xbox 360

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9Out of 10
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Before we knew it, December was upon us and all the games had arrived in stores in time for everyone to buy them as presents. We've got the reveal of our Game of the Year coming after Christmas, but for 24 days starting December 1 we'll bring you a new contender for the title. Please note that these games are in no particular order, but feel free to speculate on where they might appear in our final list.

Tom Orry, Editor

I was prepared to hate XCOM, what with its turn-based combat and uninspiring pre-release videos and screen shots. But I was a changed man after about an hour with the game. I haven't played a more intense game this year, which is saying something considering you spend most of your time planning what moves to make. I've lost count of the number of times I've unleashed a barrage of expletives as a squad member missed an enemy despite standing so close that it's actually harder to miss completely. Even with these moments of insanity I grew attached to my squad, which made losing any of them quite emotional.

Neon Kelly, Video Production Editor

I was looking forward to this one from the moment it was announced, but I'm not sure I expected it to make our end-of-year shortlist. The Firaxis crew obviously know how to make great strategy games, but come on: Remake X-COM: Enemy Unknown?

Well, they did it. The hyphen-less XCOM: Enemy Unknown isn't perfect, but it does a remarkable job of standing up to the original. It's a game that generates horror stories at will, partly due to its uncanny knack of completely screwing you over at the most inopportune moment. When I was a kid, I used to believe that my computer knew exactly what it was doing, that it actively enjoyed wiping out an entire Skyranger's troopers with a single Blaster Bomb. The new Enemy Unknown conjures that exact same feeling; it makes me shake my head in despair, and yet I curiously enjoy being treated that way.

Oh, also: I've loved every second of our Extended Play Campaign. It's given me some of my favourite gaming moments of the year, so cheers to everyone who signed up. Especially if I or Matt got you killed by doing something stupid.

David Scammell, Deputy News Editor

The only game in our GOTY shortlist that was completely off my radar until it landed in the VG office, XCOM: Enemy Unknown managed to suck me in faster than a cow stuck in a tractor beam.

Being a 90s kid (and therefore raised almost entirely on PC strategy titles), I think it was that fuzzy feeling of being beamed back to my childhood that resonated best. I'd forgotten how addictive and taxing the genre could be, or how one false step could lead to crushing consequences. Your courage will never be forgotten, Scammell Jnr.

But putting all that to one side, it was Firaxis' alien yet accessible craft that made XCOM's strategic warfare some of the best seen in the genre, and one of my personal highlights of the year.

Matt Nellis, Video Producer

When a classic game gets remade for this generation I tend to be a bit wary. But in the case of XCOM: Enemy Unknown, and in the safe hands of turn-based strategy kingpins Firaxis, I needn't have been worried. Indeed, having a chat with Jake Solomon and Casey O'Toole certainly put any lingering fears I had to rest.

XCOM: Enemy Unknown turned out to be pretty darn good. Sure, it can be pretty buggy at times, but with a solid layer of strategy and an uncanny knack of creating emotional attachments to your virtual soldiers, XCOM quickly became one of my most played and enjoyable games of the year.

Also in VideoGamer.com's Game of the Year 2012 Shortlist:
Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 | Draw Something | Hotline Miami | Need For Speed: Most Wanted | Spelunky | XCOM: Enemy Unknown

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User Comments

rbevanx's Avatar


Can't wait until I get this off my brother for Christmas, loved the demo and the videos on here have been really good as well.
Posted 12:17 on 07 December 2012
Clockpunk's Avatar



That is all I have to say on the matter of such an excellent 'one I was not expecting at all' title!
Posted 10:57 on 07 December 2012
s_h_a_d_o's Avatar

s_h_a_d_o@ reynoldio

"Scammell Jnr." - euphemism for an oft-mentioned appendage perhaps?
Posted 00:23 on 07 December 2012
reynoldio's Avatar


All seconded; potential GOTY, I want more, etc and so on. Yay!

Did someone else write the Camel's bit here? Sounds too sensible and thoughtful to be our Dave ;)
Posted 18:27 on 06 December 2012
MrGloomy's Avatar


I have to say that XCOM: Enemy Unknown is a definate contender for my personal choice of game of the year. I picked it up fairly late after the initial buzz, but boy, I'm loving it (as McDonalds and Justin Timberlake would say).

I really hope Firaxis make another XCOM: Enemy Unknown based title addressing some key issues such as the game's stability, texture popping and overall performance. I'd also love to see some tweaking with the economy side of the game. Like the original XCOM, I'd like to be able to sell old weapons and interceptors.

It would also be cool if you had the impression that there were other 'anti-alien' organisations around the would you could trade with. In the original you could set up mulitple bases around the world, but I can see why Firaxis decided to complicate things in this way. Surely with the imposing alien menace, other nations would establish there own operations to counter the threat, therefore making the prospect of trading with these organisation an interesting prospect (imagine trading weapons, tech or soldiers).

There are so many ideas I could suggest, but maybe I should just apply for a job there instead, hmmm. Will Smith for the win.
Posted 15:59 on 06 December 2012

Game Stats

Technical Specs
Release Date: 12/10/2012
Developer: Firaxis Games
Publisher: 2K Games
Genre: Turn-based strategy
Rating: TBC
Site Rank: 600 167
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