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Console Strategy At Its Best

Started playing XCOM: Enemy Unknown a couple of days ago. At first, this new type of game took a bit of getting used to, after a long stretch of action-adventure\shooter games, but it’s become pretty captivating afterwards. The combat system is very well implemented and ported to consoles and you don’t feel awkward at all with a controller in your hand, as opposed to a mouse, in front of a PC. As for the game’s world in general, it offered an enjoyable environment, although at places, certain elements felt less than smart. Nothing too ridiculous, but some descriptions and animations could have been better thought out.

We finished our play trough the X-Com Enemy Unknown campaign yesterday. The game was quite challenging, even on normal difficulty and given that deaths are permanent, we replayed a few missions after our soldiers were killed in combat. We did this partly because of their strategic value and partly because of the attachment we had developed to them during the numerous hours we devoted to improving their skills and watching out for them. Resources in the game are quite scarce and apart from the obvious combat strategy a large part of the game’s outcome is decided by managing them carefully and appropriately.

The strategy remained engaging throughout the game, however the story elements where a bit predictable and thus somewhat boring. There isn’t much of a story to speak of, except for the intro/setting and for the final mission when an attempt to tie everything together was made. This doesn’t mean that the story elements that were there were bad, it’s just that the strategy part (combat\ missions\ units\ upgrades) was done quite well and it would have been nice to see an exceptional story(a)In an ideal world, there wouldn’t be a need for an “exceptional” story, that would stand out from the crowd, as there wouldn’t be a crowd. Each story would be original and stand on its own. as well. That being said, the story doesn’t hinder from enjoying the gameplay at all and the descriptions for the researches available throughout the game are written pretty well and actually add to the overall experience.

There were a few minor annoyances, like the repetitiveness of the soldier’s confirmation reply, after receiving an order (the line “Roger-Doger” stood out in particular), and the attribution of Western settings and civilians to countries in Africa or Asia where they clearly couldn’t have been, probably done for the sake of painting a globally united Earth. But these didn’t manage to ruin its engaging and captivating strategy side and ultimately, that’s what makes the game stand out and makes us look forward to playing its expansion XCOM: Enemy Within.

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