XCOM: Enemy Unknown

XCOM: Enemy Unknown Features for Xbox 360

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9Out of 10
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Tom Orry, Editor - XCOM: Enemy Unknown, Xbox 360

XCOM: Enemy Unknown screenshot

I had no interest in playing XCOM Enemy Unknown. But then Dave came in to work saying it was "a game of the year contender", and this was him talking about the one game coming out this year that he hadn't pre-ordered. The flood of positive reviews came in, and I decided to give it a go. I'm glad I did.

I chose to play with squad members named after the Tottenham team, and this lead to Gomes, Kaboul, Vertonghen and Dempsey venturing out while I was still learning the ropes. This was bad news for Kaboul, and his replacement, Huddlestone, who both met their maker early on. More recently my high-ranking Gomes got blasted to an early grave, which hit me hard and has made me reassess things.

On Thursday night I planned to send the guys out on another mission, but Gomes' departure was weighing heavily on my mind. I didn't want to go through that again, so instead chose to watch a maddeningly addictive talk by David Icke about the reptiles that run the world. It sounds crazy, but I simply didn't fancy another night of despair at the hands of XCOM.

Neon Kelly, Video Production Editor – Hotline Miami, PC

hotline miami -

I was going to write my VG Plays on XCOM once again, but to be honest I only have one thing to say on that front: Don't try to play that game if you've been drinking. I sent six rookies to a downed UFO, and only one of them came back.

In any case, I have a new game vying for my affections. Hotline Miami is the most provocative thing I've played all year; if you've not heard of it yet, the chances are you're going to read a lot about it over the next two weeks. It's an extremely violent and worryingly addictive score attack outing, wrapped in a deliberately weird 80s-tinged aesthetic. It clearly takes a lot of inspiration from Drive, last year's Ryan Gosling vehicle, but Bret Easton Ellis' American Psycho also comes to mind – not least because it has a similar tendency to get into your head. Every level is a festival of twitchy slaughter - sliced necks, blown-off limbs and caved-in skulls – and somehow the top-down perspective only serves to make things more disturbing. The whole thing feels a bit wrong, but I can't seem to drag myself away from it... Oh, and the soundtrack is superb too.

David Scammell, Deputy News Editor - XCOM: Enemy Unknown, Xbox 360

Whenever I'm not playing XCOM, I'm thinking about playing XCOM. And whenever I think about playing XCOM, I think of Gery Baboona. Who is Gery Baboona? I'll let the video below explain...

The frequent thoughts of Gery's grammar haven't soiled my experience of XCOM, though. As I mentioned on the podcast, XCOM: Enemy Unknown is the type of game that I thought had long been forgotten by the big publishers, and it's encouraging to see 2K taking risks when other publishers are playing it safe.

It's taken me by surprise, too. Before playing, I had pre-conceptions of Enemy Unknown being an impenetrable, hard-as-nails strategy title that would require weeks of practice to fully understand, a fear that others I've spoken to seem to share. But it's far from it. The learning curve is well-balanced, the gameplay is tense and exciting, and the concept doesn't feel anywhere near as alien as the videos or screenshots may suggest.

But while I have my doubts, I hope it's a risk that pays off. Because if there's any game that's the product of God's sperm this week, it's XCOM. Or sutin.

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User Comments


XCOM, easily the best game of the year up to this point and probably the only game I've been addicted to this year aswell (though football manager comes out in two weeks so that not stay the case) . The tension with every turn is too much; especially with ironman mode enabled. Named my characters after Final Fantasy and took to much enjoyment out of my suicide squad being all FF13 characters.
Posted 19:18 on 16 October 2012
Woffls's Avatar


Just Halo 2 at the moment. Playing it through on Legendary 2P Co-op, though I end up doing most of it myself because my friend gets bored of being killed all the time. It's pretty difficult; by far the most challenging Halo campaign.

We're trying to get them all done in time for Halo 4. Playing in order of release rather than chronology because I'm more interested in how the mechanics developed over time than how the story progressed. I still have no idea what Halo's storyline is about, and I've played a lot of Halo.

God damn Halo is good.
Posted 13:44 on 16 October 2012
guyderman's Avatar


Just Finished Borderlands 2 - which was BRILLIANT! and have started on Resi 6 - Started with Chris' campaign, which I've now completed, as it's suppossed to be the worst part and I didn't find it too bad to be honest. A few annoyances but on the whole it's a pretty solid action game with some lovely presentation.
Started on Jake and Sherry's campaign last night which again seems OK - although I'm not too impressed with having to literally repeat a section from Chris' campaign with little to no difference from before, but apart from that it seems OK - saving Leon's campaign for last as it's suppossed to be the best part of the game.
Posted 16:56 on 15 October 2012
MrGloomy's Avatar


I've been playing a hell-of-a-lot of Borderlands 2 in co-op and it's been pretty sweeeet. With both me and my work colleague/friend being Commando's (not going commando...maybe), we've been slaying all those before us with turret-bullet-spewing fury. Managed to get to level 32 and now I have dual turrets with bubble shield and level 40(ish), I'll be able to attach rocket pods, OVERKILL!

I really want to get XCOM but I must let my finances recover a little bit and get through the massive pile of games I'm yet to complete.
Posted 14:24 on 15 October 2012
Bloodstorm's Avatar


Absolutely agreed with Clock about Dishonoured, i don't see why people are getting hyped about it, it's really.....really.......well, average.
Posted 13:28 on 15 October 2012
Get2DaChoppa's Avatar


I have begun playing Borderlands again, and as with the first time I played it, finding it difficult to put it done.

Managed to finally download the demo for XCOM: EU, really enjoyed it, does remind me of Advanced Wars, which I loved on the DS.
Posted 19:23 on 14 October 2012
FantasyMeister's Avatar


I played 4 games this week, albeit 3 of them were just slight diversions. Forza Horizon's demo left me knowing that it wasn't what I was looking for, XCOM: Enemy Unknown's demo left me knowing that it wasn't for me and wondering if a proper reimagining ala Fallout to Fallout 3 opportunity had been squandered, and finally The Witcher 2: Enhanced Edition left me wanting to urge everyone who hasn't yet played it to go and pick it up and see what great storytelling is all about, with an addendum that the combat is very alien and needs a lot of getting used to.

The fourth game has been that veritable juggernaut - Borderlands 2 - as in everything else currently in my collection or on my radar must get out of the way of it until it has completed its journey. Unfortunately that journey is transcontinental, doesn't require a tachograph and I'm going to seriously struggle to hit the brakes so that I can admire the scenery. So I'll be missing out on a lot of other games for a long time, in other words.

Not necessarily a bad thing?
Posted 18:58 on 14 October 2012
Clockpunk's Avatar


Once again, pretty much only Borderlands 2, despite the gameplay alternating between design brilliance, and stupid and tremendously annoying difficulty spikes (which almost induce controller-throwing rage).

Specifically, the hunt for Jimmy Sodding Jenkins and the Moxxi-style arenas.

Almost finished my first playthorough, though, and the storyline is more than I hoped it would be. It is a shame the first DLC pack will be out next week, as I would have liked a chance to move one, come back, and rediscover in a couple of months time, but that is hardly a reason for complaint! :p

Had a quick go on Dishonored, and didn't care all that much for it. Corny opening, cheesy dialogue, overly simplistic itemising (Bioshock consumption of food, with no storage, treasures/items converted to money automatically - where I fist thought there might be some semblance of crafting, alas), and very linear. My partner, however, loves it, and has convinced me the levels really do open up. I guess I just expected something much more Deus Ex-like...
Posted 15:48 on 14 October 2012
dav2612's Avatar

dav2612@ munkee

It's fast paced enough to hold my attention so far so I imagine I will see it through to the end and never bother with it again. No excuse for that dialogue though.
Posted 14:30 on 14 October 2012
munkee's Avatar

munkee@ dav2612

I couldn't stand Bulletstorm. The dialog was painful to sit through and the gameplay was tedious. It looked beautiful, but that just wasn't enough. I reckon it's a game for O.C.D suffering teenage boys.

There.. I said it.
Posted 13:33 on 14 October 2012
dav2612's Avatar


Played a lot of Just Cause 2, finished all the missions and have been working on my completion percentage. 68% and counting but it is starting to become a bit of a grind.

Finished the first 2 acts of Bulletstorm which is ok but dialogue is dreadful at times.

Was all set to buy Joe Danger 2 but decided to wait until I have a free slot in which to play it. I've also not finished the last one but lost all my progress thanks to the YLOD.
Posted 13:28 on 14 October 2012
Bloodstorm's Avatar


I renewed my xbox live yesterday and i took the MIGHTY Tekken Tag 2 online after weeks of relative training.......MY GOD, what i've learned and put to use now is unbelievable, once you get over the launcher > Bound > Heavy combo malarkey, it's really, really easy.

I'm installing x-com right now.
Posted 13:02 on 14 October 2012
altaranga's Avatar


Finally plucked up the courage to play Heavy Rain again after finding a game ending bug in the mall way back when (I think it was linked to my PS3 model). It seems like a patch is now in place which allows me to meet the clown (yes, it was that early). Early days yet, but it is certainly very different.
Posted 11:55 on 14 October 2012
CheekyLee's Avatar


So, SO envious of anyone who already has Hotline Miami! Can. Not. Wait. Less envious of anyone who has XCOM, but also need to get hold of that one soon. Curse my lack of financial clout!

But then, I find myself questioning why anyone ISN'T playing Borderlands 2. Everything that was so good about the 1st game is back, and then they added stuff to make it even more fun. It's big, bold, stupid, and exactly what makes games great.

I need to play more of The Walking Dead. For whatever reason, I haven't done parts 2 or 3 yet, and I am hearing nothing but good things about part 4.
Posted 10:49 on 14 October 2012


Joe Danger 2 the PS3 extended version. Very good and highly recommended. Pity it won't get too many reviews because the 360 version was reviewed a while ago, but I reckon this is the definitive version.

Also Sonic Adventure 2 and NiGHTS this week, plus Crazy Taxi and ET on iOS.
Posted 10:49 on 14 October 2012

Game Stats

Technical Specs
Release Date: 12/10/2012
Developer: Firaxis Games
Publisher: 2K Games
Genre: Turn-based strategy
Rating: TBC
Site Rank: 767 124
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