WeView Verdict: XCOM: Enemy Unknown

I knew there was a lot of love out there for XCOM: Enemy Unknown, but I don’t think I’d appreciated quite how widespread it was. It seems that there’s hardly a bad word to be said about the game, at least not from our community.

I mean sabbat7001 did find that a few of their friends didn’t really enjoy the game, saying that it was “too slow”, “too difficult” or simply “boring”. However, sabbat posits that they weren’t quite aware of what they were getting into when they picked up the game, particularly as turn-based strategy titles are “a very under represented genre on consoles”. That may well be true, and I did have to remind myself that the game wasn’t an RTS when I was writing last week’s WeView.

It’s worth noting that sabbat7001’s opinion of the game was nothing less than glowing, even if their friends weren’t quite on board with it. They’re a big fan of sci-fi turn-based strategy titles, so they “had a lot of hope riding on this one.” Fortunately they absolutely adored it, saying that “It had everything I remembered fondly with (kind of) better graphics and just as much if not more depth,” and complimented Firaxis for “a stunning job”.

They certainly weren’t alone in their opinion of the game either, with bowie loving it just as much, although for very different reasons. They called it “one of the most stressful gaming experiences I have ever played.” This stress comes from the permanence that the game creates around the way you invest your resources, and bowie felt that “Each time you commit to one [item] you feel like what you need is what you didn’t pick.” However, the pay off for this stress and uncertainty comes “when you manage to pull off a successful mission with limited resources by the skin of your teeth it just feels so good.” That’s certainly a great feeling in any game.

There were several of you who talked about the game in almost identical terms, with RocketSOL calling it “Probably my favourite game of 2012,” and Starman saying that it’s their “favourite of last year,” citing the character levelling and tech progression as being particularly satisfying. damoxuk went even further though, saying that it’s “My GOTY 2012 and best game in past 5 years imo.” Now that’s quite a statement.

I think the highest praise for the game comes from matthangzhou though:

A lot of times when I’m playing a game I think about other games I could be playing instead – not with Xcom. Completely absorbing, challenging and extremely well balanced.

I know exactly what they mean about thinking about other games while you’re playing one, and it really is rare to find something that can hold your attention so completely.

Now we move onto the verdict, and it’s one that’s relatively rare on WeView. While we frequently have one sided opinions, it’s rare to get a completely unanimous decision. All fourteen of you who voted settled on Buy It, a very strong recommendation for the game if you’re still on the fence about it.

In last week’s poll Assassin’s Creed III came out on top, so we’ll be visiting that tomorrow. That does, of course, mean that it loses its slot on the poll, as does Halo 4 due to coming in last. Borderlands 2 and Call of Duty: Black Ops II remain, while The Walking Dead and Dishonored make their first appearances. Remember that you’ve got until 11:59pm on Sunday to vote for your choice for next week’s WeView.

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10 Comments

  1. Not my kind of game, despite all the love it received from every person on the internet. ^^

    • Na doesn’t look like my cup of tea either.

  2. Great game, very unique aswell with pretty much nothing else on consoles even similar

    Can get insanely difficult, playing on normal and above is so tense at one point I thought I was going to have a heart attack so I wimped out and started again on easy. Even thinking about a Sectopod makes me want to vomit!.

    That probably doesn’t make the game sound appealing but somehow it’s still a lot of fun

    buy it!

    • Try Impossible you will literally cry. I smashed a controller to bits in impotent rage but managed to get through it and the pure elation was just brilliance.

      1st mission is just pure hell.

      • How?, on my normal playthrough I agonised over every decision and micro managed everything meticuously but still couldn’t do it!

        I salute both your skill and your patience

      • Anyone who completes this game on Impossible (or harder now that second wave is out) has my respect. I just completed the game on Normal. I would like to try the harder difficulties and Ironman but I simply don’t have the time.

    • Takes a lot of patience. The 1st 3 months in game time where the hardest gaming I have ever done but after that it gets easier (a bit) but end game becomes payback time.

      Classic Ironman was a big step up from Normal but the step up to Impossible from classic is just unreal.

      My 1st playthrough on normal was hard as I wasn’t used to the game mecahnics that much or what stuff to research / buy etc.

      Impossible is all about the satelites.

  3. I still stand by my statement. All other games played since just lack that special something.

    I want more DLC now.

  4. Finished Classic Ironman last week. Playing far cry 3 now then maybe time for impossible difficulty!

  5. Some how the original made it passed me so this one took me totally by surprise. I really enjoy this game.

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