XCOM: Enemy Unknown Review - Tinfoil Hats Recommended
It's been a long time coming. Developed by the fine folks at Firaxis, XCOM: Enemy Unknown is a reimagining of the classic strategy game, but without the genre-bending tactics of other ill-fated titles. Will veterans of the original rejoice? Does it remain fresh for a new audience? Have I really been mind controlled? Read on to find out!
Read through Jamie's in-depth look at XCOM: Enemy Unknown and then discuss it here!
That X-Com was redone in pretty much the same vein of the three games that made it a cult is a miracle. I suppose we have Firaxis to thank for. 2K not so much, considering their flagship product for the IP, and where the real money will go for, will be a FPS version. Still, as you remembered me on IRC, Tharic-Nar, 2K owns Firaxis, so I also give my disgruntled thanks to them.
The changes you mentioned are quite considerable. I happened to like the action points in turn-based squad games. Was part of the experience -- and an intimate aspect of the game design -- that would greatly affect strategical and tactical decisions. We got them on everything, from XCom, to Jagged Alliance, Fallout: Tactics and Silent Storm. I'm not sure what to make of this new, simpler system. I guess I would have to try it out. But It's my view again we are moving to simpler gameplay mechanisms when before we had more complex and involving ones that helped in fact create a stronger bond with the game (and that helped make them cult games). The question I put is this: Weren't these, despite all the complexities, the games that really defined our love for computer gaming? So, will simpler be better than that? I have my doubts. I think the harder they were, or the more complex they were, the deeper the relationship we established with them. Today far superior games in terms of technology rapidly move to the recycle bin of our subconscious, simple because they do little more than showing pretty graphics to hook us in.
Anyways, the one squad thing is in fact quite the blow. I felt the pain. Completely changes the strategical aspect of the earlier games. Still, I'm not so damaged by it than by the lack of action points.
I'd love to have this game. And I will eventually. Like you I have a deep love for XCom and I couldn't miss the opportunity to add this remake to my collection, especially when it was developed by one of the companies I respect the most. What I will most definitely skip (unless something really new in the "seen-it-all" FPS genre comes up) is the FPS version being developed by 2K.
Great review, Jamie. I've come to the conclusion from reading it that the game isn't for me, but I might check it out in the future regardless. I had expected it to be somewhat similar to a Deus Ex where I can explore an open-world, but that's what I get for looking at nothing more than screenshots (I do this with all games, because I like to be "surprised").
The game sure does have one hell of a lineage though, and given its cult following, I sure do respect it.
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