Game of the Year 2012 – Strategy


Our Strategy Game of the Year 2012 is XCOM: Enemy Unknown from Firaxis Games. This small-squad turn based strategy and base management sim put you in command of Earth’s defence against alien invasion. Perhaps the most difficult part of the whole game – and difficulty did ramp up in quite an unforgiving manner – was keeping the world’s political leaders satisfied with your management skill. Lose too many backers from your international task force and your budget would suffer, making it all the more difficult to protect the Earth.

Enemy Unknown was smart and difficult without being too unnecessarily punishing – unless you were crazy enough to play the Ironman modes which limited you to a single, rolling save file. It also achieved something that many strategy games don’t even attempt: it was equally as playable on consoles as it was on PC.


XCOM: Enemy Unknown was a clear and distant winner ahead of the deep historical Crusader Kings II on PC/Mac. In turn, Worms Revolution was pipped into third place, marginally ahead of Endless Space, but only by getting one more second preference vote than the sci-fi epic.

Here’s our top five in chart form.


And here’s the league table showing every game that achieved at least one vote from us.

  1. XCOM
  2. Crusader Kings II
  3. Worms Revolution
  4. Endless Space
  5. Awesomenauts
  6. Wrath of Heroes (MOBA)
  7. Football Manager 13
  8. SMITE


  1. My GOTY hands down. Spent well over 150 hours on it now and well and truly addicted.

    The DLC was also good but so want more.. Hopefully new DLC adds more tech/aliens/alien ships/classes. On the other hand that would mean me neglecting all other games lol.

  2. Got this for Christmas and am finding it very hard to put down! A very worthy winner. Am playing it through on Ironman on Normal which is fantastically tense, planning on working my way up the difficulties from there!

  3. lol the chart. XCOM was always going to be RTS of the year, Fantastic.

    • Turn Based – RTS is so very different :)

      • True. The chart seems somewhat unbalanced in that respect. Last turn-based RTS I played was Warhammer 40k on PSP – and an absolute legend it was too.

  4. Not the strongest of categories. Definitely a lot more competition with the brawler/fighting games

  5. A well deserved winner. One of my favourite games this year. I’ve only played it on normal mode and I’ve lost 3 times! I have yet to complete the game so its definitely challenging. The great thing about the difficulty is the fact it doesn’t make me want to stop playing, it makes me want to replay until I get it spot on.

    I bought Endless Space recently when it had a free weekend on steam. It’s fantastic. The way it teaches you about the games isn’t so good though so I didn’t really have a clue what I was doing in the early stages!

    • Classic is a definately big step up but going from Classic to Impossible – lol you WILL know rage :)

      Normal to Classic isn’t that big a gap but once Normal done you know the mechanics of the game better so classic only seems slightly harder but Impossible shoves all that experience and sticks 2 fingers up at you and says – see those Classic aliens well they are tougher/hit you more / you panic just lookingat an alien – oh yea and there’s lots more :D

      If you can get past the 1st 3 months game time then it gets easier.

  6. I will buy this, but not yet.

    Even in the Steam sale it’s still a bit expensive (relatively, of course).

    I’ll probably buy it in the summer sale when it drops to 50% off (or more- I can dream! :P) instead of the 33% discount it has now.

    • One of a rare few pathetic deals on steam considering shops and websites sell it for 14.99 at least. (Zavvi for instance (PC))

    • Same here, plus I have so many games on hand that I’d rather hold off on others until a good discount comes my way. Like this one. Well maybe except for Ni No Kuni though, not sure I can resist it for long.

  7. Played and completed Xcom on PS3, loved every minute of it, but….

    Unlike the PSone version, i’ve no urge to replay it.By making it far more cinematic, feel something was lost somewhere along the line, whilst it ‘worked’ for the pacing of the game, once i knew what was going down….that was that.

    The PSOne/Original, i found had so much more replay value as i’d be wanting fleets of the top range fighters (You dare invade MY airspace!), bases scattered around the globe, the very best in soliders, i’d mess around with PSi (how’d you like THEM apples E.T?), just so many ways of replaying it.

    (Where as Terror From The Deep, think i played through twice.)

    But Xcom was the pick from what was a very weak crop for myself-it’s a genre sadly lacking on console, yet to finish Rebelstar on GBA, just started on Warhammer on PSP.

    But this gen? Xcom and Civ.Rev.aside (superb), all i’ve really gotten into was C+C 3+K.W.Red Alert 3 was so dumbed down to point of being a p*ss take!.

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