I cant deny that XCOM: Enemey Unknown is fun to play. But like Firaxis last release of Civilization V, this game has been heavily "streamlined". This is a term I am begining to become very wary of, as all too often it is a double edged sword.
With XCOM the game has been radically simplified in both the tactical and strategic gameplay. Whilst this speeds up game play and removes some of the frustratingly slow bits of the old game, I am left feeling like I have less control over events and the result is perhaps more exciting action, but a less overall satisfying experience.
The fixed character classes, limited inventory (you can only carry one bit of extra kit), inability to swap equipment with characters in the field, unlimited ammo all seems to remove an element of the game I actually liked - ie micromanaging things! Great moments when characters ran out of ammo, and someone throws them cartridge; or characters pick up their dead or incapacitated comrades equipment are gone...
The base management is stripped back now your no longer managing several bases, tessellating rooms into a limited floor plan, or designing bases against outside attack - you're limited to placing rooms next to each other for bonuses. Equipment is made instantaneously, but research still has lead times which is weird. The "ant farm" representation looks great but adds nothing to gameplay.
Dispite people claiming this game proves PC gamers have not been forgotten, I actually think it shows the opposite. XCOM: Enemy Unknown is a fun fast moving game, but the gameplay feels like a made for console casual tactical action game, fun and fast moving, but lacking the depth of control which I for one like in my strategy games. This may appeal to a wider audience but is not what I was hoping from the new XCOM game.