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4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 26 April 2016
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on 2 April 2013
I have always fondly rembered the original XCom game back in the 90's and always dreamed of a similar game coming out but turned based strategies seemed a thing of the past - until now.
This is a direct remake of the original but with much better graphics and smoother gameplay, none of the original elements have been lost at all, and I am as addicted as I was to the original.

This is the path Syndicate should have taken, fingers crossed for Terror Of The Deep now

I am literally writing this and playing at the same time

Anyone who loves strategy games or who was a fan of the original needs this game, I am simply blown away, and after 30 hours of play am still excited about sitting down in the evening and annihilating a few aliens
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on 30 October 2012
And the winner of the award for First Decent Strategy Game on the PS3 goes to "X-Com Enemy Unknown". Yes, finally after many dissapointing attempts there is at last an enjoyable and easy to control strategy game available for the PS3.

X-Com Enemy Unknown is a surprisingly good squad based game of alien invasions and B-movie inspired mayhem. You play the commander of the X-Com project, a multinational agency set up to combat the extraterrestrial threat terrorising the planet Earth. By managing your resources you pay for satellites and fighters to protect the skies and build up teams of elite troopers to fight the aliens on land.

At its heart X-Com is a turn based game, the thought of which probably terrifies some gamers. But the controls are simple and the troopers ability to take reactive shots (overwatch) means the action flows quickly and furiously. What is particularly nice is that the aliens play by the same rules as you do, dividing their actions between movement and firing and having to pay close attention to cover. The ground maps are many and varied, requiring different tactics depending on where you are dropped and what species of alien you face.

There are several species of aliens to fight in X-Com, which become progressively harder as you get further into the game. Each is inspired by classic B-movie bad guys, but at the same time the game also invokes the horror genre with gruesome deaths and eirie environments so I would not reccomend younger children play this.

On each mission you get to choose which soldiers you take along from a total force which starts around a dozen men. Squad sizes increase from 4 to 6 men as you unlock more options. Each soldier gains experience from killing aliens and after the first level (rookie) they are automatically assigned a specialty such as Sniper or Heavy (Weapons). Every promotion also includes options of skills based on that specialty, so as a soldier advances they become a lot tougher. However, if a soldier is killed on a mission they are gone for good and all that experience is lost ! This is unusual in modern computer games and makes you think about the consequences of your decisions - do you risk your experienced highly skilled soldiers on a mission, or send along inexperienced rookies who matter less but also have less chance of success. It may sound stupid but the loss of a highly valued experienced trooper can be a sad experience.

Even on the normal difficulty setting X-Com is a challenge to play, and there are two more difficulty settings after that. You soon learn to look after your troopers and develop your own strategies for dealing with different aliens. Somehow the tongue in cheek humour of the game stops it from being too irritating when you do fail and keeps you coming back for more.

In between the ground missions you also have a base to manage. This involves running and building new facilities for research and engineering to keep your troops supplied with the best available technology. Scrounging alien weapons and artifacts allows you to improve your soldiers own equipment, which is a very necessary arms race when you realise the aliens are getting tougher. From this base you also build satellites to detect alien ships and send up fighters to intercept them. Keeping the skies clear around the world is a major part of the game as failure to do this means countries drop out of the X-Com project, and if seven countries drop out you fail. This international flavour is reflected in the soldiers on your squads and is a nice touch, showing more ethnic diversity than most games allow.

Along with the basic game there is an add on which allows you to modify the appearance of your individual soldiers. This came free with the copy I got from Amazon but is also available to download if you pay for it online. Its nice to be able to design the look of each soldier so they stand out, and it makes you even more attached to them. Personally I like to give select uniform colours to each specialty as it helps them stand out, but its all a matter of taste.

By the way there is an online multiplayer option available which allows you to play out the squad battles against human opponents. I have to admit I've not tried this out yet but I understand that there is no long term strategy here so to me it lacks the appeal of the campaign game.

So with all that in mind, are there any flaws? Well, during the action the game does like to show close ups of the soldiers and aliens as they fight and sometimes these go a little awry. It seems the game struggles at times to recognise walls and ceilings as obstacles and soldiers and aliens will fire through what looks to be a solid object. As long as the symbol by the soldier shows he is in cover though he still gets the defensive bonus no matter what the graphics show so this is not a major problem. I have had the game freeze a couple of times as it struggles to sort this sort of thing out, but after a few seconds it carries on. Given the complexity of what it is being asked to do, and the generally intelligent behaviour of the AI this is only a minor glitch and will probably be sorted out with future patches.

Overall though this is a truely outstanding game which is highly addictive and a real pleasure to play. I highly reccomend it to anyone who likes military strategy games, science fiction, or who just appreciates something different. The different difficulty levels and variety of tactics and maps will have you playing this game again and again. It's definitely one of the best games I've seen on the PS3 and is going to be hard to beat in the run up to Christmas.
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I'm going to get this out of the way first, because it winds me up: My first PlayStation console died a couple of years ago. I lost my progress on a lot of games. I don't make that mistake anymore as I back up save games onto a USB stick. I also now have a second PS3 console upstairs for early morning gaming, and often like to copy Save Games to that device so that I can carry on upstairs where I left off downstairs. Sounds sensible so far, right? Well 2k Games apparently don't want me to have this assurance and convenience. They have disabled the ability to backup save games from Enemy Unknown. Apparently the reason for this is to prevent 'cheating' in the Ironman mode, but I don't really care about that mode as I am not brilliant at games and play quite casually. There is still the option to backup to PlayStation Plus, which would do the trick, but then I would have to pay for the PS+ subscription service which as a casual gamer I am not inclined to do. Rant over...

Back to the game.

I had not previously played any X-Com games, but was aware of them from my early 486 gaming years. More interested in other styles of gaming at the time, the franchise fell under my radar. But then on perusing the PS3 free demos, I thought I'd have a look at Enemy Unknown and I found it strangely compelling. So I decided to buy the full game and give it a shot. The mix of base strategy, political decision-making and turn-based pieces-on-a-board-that-you-can't-tell-is-a-board gameplay is very cleverly executed.

You start to get familiar with some of your troops, knowing the likelihood of them shooting straight, or surviving an attack. You find yourself sending new recruits in as cannon fodder to protect your favourites. If I accidentally lose one of my better troops to the alien masses, I have been known to quit the game and re-load.

One thing I am discovering - probably a bit late, is that satellites are pretty key to keeping things ticking over. As long as you have as many satellites up as possible, you will have income coming in and a reduced likelihood of countries abandoning your cause.

I am progressing OK so far, but I imagine that there will come a time in the near future where my skill level will be insufficient to progress, at which point I'm not sure what I will do, but until that time, I am relishing in a game I would not otherwise have gone for.
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on 18 January 2013
Bought this a couple of months ago, was waiting for certain bugs to be patched!

First impressions of this game, I thought it was amazing, graphics & gameplay wise.


You soon realise the aliens are not spread over the map randomly like the original X-COM game on the Amiga & PC. The Aliens seem to have "Trigger Points" making them appear on the map! This kills any tension hunting the aliens as you know 90% of the time where the aliens appear! The maps are a bit small in my opinion as well, compared to the Amiga classic X-Com! I'm currently playing this on the default difficulty!

Another thing that bugs me, is the fact that all the city maps look the same, even if its set in USA or UK or Japan, a bit more regional differences would be nice!

I think there is a bug, where I can shoot through walls killing aliens with a sniper and archangel armour. I hope the next patch sorts this out!

Good game but could be much better with a few tweeks here and there!
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on 29 April 2014
In the first three months of the game you really are shoehorned into spending any and all available funds into satellites and completing missions for engineer rewards and buying workshops and i don't feel the game emphasizes this enough.

The tutorial is really poor and many suggest not doing as it leaves you minus 3 squaddies anyways.

Those that have completed the game in 30 hours simply haven't tried out "iron man" mode.

Doesn't allow you to piggy back incapacitated squaddies/aliens

If you lose a mission your provided all the items of kit you lost. However you abandon a mission and leave anyone behind they are gone for good, still manage to retrieve all their equipment though.

Game can only be saved on HDD/SSD will not allow to save on usb.

Briefing room before mission doesn't provide map of layout prior to flying to destination which makes it hard for weapon selection.

Game difficulty levels Easy is too easy, normal means the missions are v'easy, xcom classic is ideal though quite a shell shock for the vets. Impossible is simply sit and camp.
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on 30 October 2012
This is easily the best strategy title on PS3.

Everything I could say has already been said in the previous reviews. If you loved the original Xcom, then you won't be disappointed with this - it's a modern day reworking. The difficulty levels are quite high, even on Easy the game is similar to default difficulty on other titles. Ironman/Impossible is just that - impossible :-)

I just hope that the DLC turns out to be substantial enough, as the Elite soldier pack and the rumoured slingshot DLC both seem a bit lightweight.

Highly recommended though and well worth the money. As for others getting lockups - I've played it for around 50 hours now and not had a single crash
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on 27 March 2013
To be honest, I dislike gun games, more of a; Little Big Plannet, Car Racing, SSX etc type of gamer.
But when a friend made me play this....
So not what I expected.

Very much a good squad based strategy! You do fight these aliens and whilst doing this, in the background (back at base) you need to complete research and watch the globe for any worrying countries etc. It's a good game that I actually prefer!

Would like to see more like this.

I think this is game defiantly money well spent! :)
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on 27 December 2013
I am a massive fan of the original x com game, I still have them on floppy disk as well as PS1 they are great and very involved and long and this game goes a long way to try and live up to what the originals were however it does not quite make it.
It's a good game and in my option if you are a fan of the original you wont be disappointed with this
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on 1 November 2012
X-Com: Enemy Unknown was one of my most beloved games years ago when I owned a copy on my PS1, I couldn't put it down most of the time despite at the time being terrible at it. When news game that there was going to be a new X-COM game which was loyal to the original I was very excited and since owning the game it has been most certainly exciting.

The idea of the game is quite simple really, you are the commander of the X-Com Commander, the individual in charge of a project who's mission is to safeguard the human race and life on Earth by responding to the threats of alien invaders. The project is a secret international co-operative with funds coming from all the major nations around the world. You must direct your base and squad to tip the balance against the aliens and ultimately end their invasion. The base offers a management side to the game whilst the missions are turn-based tactical combat.

This game will eat up hours and suck you into it, it seems to capture the atmosphere very well with the subtle electronic music in the background whilst you go about your business as commander of the X-COM project. Though elements of the game from the original have been simplified somewhat it is still a very enjoyable and addictive game.

The game is based in the you own base screen/menu mostly with the Geoscape now taking more of a back seat within one of the base locations. The world is divided up into nations who each give a certain amount of funding when they have satellite coverage from X-COM. As the game unfolds events occur which can affect the terror levels in each country. You are given choices when abductions occur to send your squad to a world location... but one one. The other locations will see their terror rise and if a country had a full terror bar come the monthly report, there is a chance that one of those nations will pull their funding. The forces the player to make decisions for the long term politically or benefiting from the rewards of helping a certain nation short-term.

With a base from the start you then need to decide how you want to build your facility, each decision could come back to haunt you come the end of the month. Do you build a workshop to expand your engineers and their efficiency or do you put money into your satellite network and send another airborne? These decisions on the base screen can turn out to be important come your end of month reports where your performance and Terror Levels of each country are taken into account.

Your workshops and labs are the places where you research alien tech that you salvage and collect from missions, this allows you to improve your squad with better equipment and weapons by using the alien's technology against them. As you discover new aliens and items more and more facilities become open allowing you to build more effective Armour and train you squad to to use psy ablilities etc.

When an event happens you choose whether or not you respond to it, a response often means sending your squad to a site in order to fulfill a number of objectives. Your squad is one of the parts of the game that makes it so involving, you shape and direct the soldiers through missions knowing that one wrong decision could mean death for the soldier with no return. This adds tension to missions knowing that a soldier you have worked hard to develop could end up killed in action.

Your squad faces a variety of foes and later on in the game you really do realize how screwed you would be had you not upgraded your equipment and gave your soldiers that valuable experience. One of the reasons I love this game is the fact it can be a real challenge if you want it to, the game offers an Iron Man Mode, which basically means the game auto-saves the consequences of missions and decisions making them that much more important. There is also a classic mode which adds the same sort of difficulty you might have once knew in the originals.

A Brilliant game which has had me hooked since opening it so it deserves it's score I feel, it's nice to find a game that really does provoke enjoyment these days.
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