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4.0 out of 5 stars
4.0 out of 5 stars
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on 3 June 2017
I'd never been a fan of strategy games and bought this by mistake thinking it was a first or third person shooter! I was a bit shocked when i read the back and realised it was a strategy game but decided to give it a try and I absolutely loved it! Great fun to play, the game doesn't take itself too seriously but it is very immersive and engaging. Slightly addictive so you can fins yourself spending hours on there and wonder where the time went, but that's the sign of a good game right? A lot of fun to play and the novelty doesn't wear off after a few hours unlike some games. Really glad i bought his as it has opened my eyes to a new genre of game. And for this price it's an absolute bargain for the amount of gaming you'll get out of it. Would highly recommend if you have the free time to spare.
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on 7 April 2017
Did not realise that this was a steam client game: preowned discs won't work, as the code attached to them are tied to steam accounts.
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on 4 July 2017
Played this for hours on an Amiga, just as good with better graphics.
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on 25 January 2013
husband loves strategy games so this was ideal he loves it great buy would highly recommend, solely desserves the 5 star rating
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on 19 February 2013
It took me 33 hours to play through, and it is a game i will return to.

You have to be a fan of turn-based tactical games in order to enjoy XCOM, but in that case you will not be dissapointed. You start feeling responsible for your troops, you get excited when you develope a new weapon and try it in the field for the first time. And with the Ironman setting your tactical sense is being tested. Your choices may have dire consequenses for your team. Lock and Load Commander
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on 15 October 2012
As with many reviewers here, I grew up with the original XCom, playing it on my Amiga back then. It was amazing and I have been hooked ever since. As no real update for the original ever arrived until now I salved my need to play it by playing games like UFO: Aftermath and its two follow ups. They were pretty good, and very close to Xcom's legacy.

Now we have the updated, 21st Century vision of XCom, and its not to bad really, but far from perfect. After reading all the current reviews here I have to agree with most opinions, although I have to say Steam wasn't an issue for me and after all this time I wish people would simply rate the game play, not the Steam. Everyone knows Steam sucks, we don't need to keep hearing it, nothings going to change so get over it.

The game has been simplified, it has to be said. Whether to accomodate the new surge of young teen game system enthusiasts who can't seem to handle proper PC games with a little thinking required, I don't know. But its a shame developers seem to think they have to make games that Wii and Xbox players can manage rather than us PC gamers.

As for the game itself? The downside first. I really miss the inventory for soldiers because this games inventory is terrible. You have four spaces, armour, main gun, back up gun, and extra. The armour and weapons choices upgrade as you research new tech, so no problem there. But where are the spaces for extra ammo? Why can I only have one extra item? And why are the extras so stupidly listed? I mean you can have one grenade, a medkit, a sight for your gun, extra body armor, but they all go in the extra slot rather than upgrading existing items, so you can only have one at a time. You can't have a sight, extra body armour and a grenade. Why can't the sight go on the main gun? Why can't the extra body armour upgrade your current armour? Why only one grenade? Also, as someone else mentioned, you are now told what your soldier has upgraded to rather than having the choice. I want to be able to choose if soldier A has the skills to be a sniper and not have my game tell me thats it, no choice allowed. Also once that soldier has been pigeon holed into his class, his main weapon is immediately changed to that class and you can't change it back. So if a sniper he gets a rifle, if a heavy he gets a light machine gun, etc, etc.

Also you only get one base. You can send satellites to watch over other countries, and even a couple of interceptors to be stationed there as the ones at home base won't reach most other countries, but thats it. You'll get alerts occasionally that always list three emergencies, but you can only ever respond to one! So the other two countries suffer and their opinion of you drops accordingly. I was hoping this kind of thing would be handled a lot better for this game. Why not be allowed to have more than one team? You could respond to a number of emergencies then as long as you had the money and resources to accomodate all those soldiers and aircraft. Also the storyline is very rigid. Things seem to happen at set times no matter what you do which gets a little boring as you don't feel in control.

Lastly on the negatives, the learning curve for difficulty seems higher on this game, even on easy. I might be looking back with rose tinted glasses at the original XCom, but I don't recall massive alien invasions so soon into the game. I remember many enjoyable hours of shooting down UFO's, stopping abductions, doing enough research to actually stand a good chance at fighting off the oncoming hordes. Not so here. About an hour in, after completing a few pretty easy site recovery op's and 'stop the abductions' op's, I get notified that a major alien incursion is occuring and I have to immediately go stop it ... with my five soldiers. So I get to the scene and immediately am set upon by about ten aliens, of different types. I hardly have time to do my first few moves before my guys start dieing around me. I don't know if there were more aliens past those ten, I guess so, but as I died so fast I don't know. Also I should quickly point out, I'm no newbie to strategy games, I know how to move soldiers around a board.

On the good side, however, the tactical battles are still as gripping as the original XCom to my mind. I love the two stage movement, the way cover is handled, the little mini movies thrown in occasionally when a soldier moves. The graphics aren't incredible, not when you consider whats possible these days, but they easily handle the job at hand. Being able to climb a drainpipe to send your sniper to the rooftop for maximum overwatch is great to see. The story is just as captivating to, researching all the cool alien tech, cutting them open to see how they tick, its all there from the original game.

So, to close this rather long review, yes, its XCom, but its also suffered the curse of the console playing community. Gone is the cool and indepth micro-management, in is the streamlined, compact gameplay that significantly reduces the length of the game, and to my mind, the replayability. Its a shame that XCom's rebirth seems to have been handled in the glib manner most of our golden oldie games that have resurfaced recently have been. For my money? Glad I bought it, fun to play, but I think I'll go back to UFO: Aftermath for a proper XCom fix.
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VINE VOICEon 15 October 2012
I was a big fan of the original Microprose XCom release, and keen to see what the 2012 update would bring to the table. As with a lot of games, this is a mixed bag. The tactical RTS side of XCom has been massively face-lifted, and remains a difficult and absorbing sub-game in its own right. Most of the tactical skills from the original are transferable, but there's also been some notable changes. As noted, a lot of the "micro-management" has been removed, and it's not all for the better - e.g. if I wanted, I could load up a trooper with any combination of weapons they could carry. 12 grenades ? If you want. Throwaway 1-shot rocket launcher ? Sure. This is all gone in favour of pre-selected loadouts with only moderate customisation. For example, only "heavy" soldier classes can carry heavy weapons, and nothing else. Support classes carry assault rifles & pistols, and nothing else, and so on. If I want to load-up on grenades, well, you basically just can't, and only the support-class can carry more than 1, and then, only with the "deep pockets" perk after several promotions. If you want to pack a med-kit or a stun-gun, you can't carry grenades anymore - and so on.

Base management is also very different. You no longer have total control over the base's inventory (largely because this is no longer needed with the aforementioned pre-selected weapon loadouts). If you want more engineers, you simultaneously need to build workshop space for them and they come bundled with the facility, and, if necessary, build power generators beforehand to power the workshop, or you can't build the workshop at all and- it can all get rather needlessly complex. Further, early in the game, it's very easy to find yourself chronically short of cash, which has knock-on effects later. The tutorial also doesn't help much here, largely forcing you down a particular path to potential financial ruin early on (i.e. it doesn't emphasise that you earn cash by building & deploying satellites over supporting nations, and instead forcing you to build an alien containment/interrogation facility which is kinda useless early on - you don't have weapons or armour to safely try capturing bad guys.).

With that said, the tactical combat is difficult (as a veteran, I started on the "classic" difficulty level) which makes winning all the more satisfying. There are also some new twists to the combat. Weapons are tied to their alien owners, so if you kill an alien, whatever weaponry they were carrying self-destructs, leaving you only with fragments to research more slowly over time. Getting an intact weapon requires you to stun and capture it's wielder, and that's stupidly dangerous early on in the game. On the plus side, while weapons still need to be reloaded, troops now have infinite ammunition (except grenades & rockets) and you don't need to worry about supplying it in the loadout. Another huge change is that your squad is limited to at most 6 troops on any mission, whereas in the original game, you could have as many as would fit inside your Skyranger and you could be bothered handling.

In all, thinking about it makes you consider it to be a mixed bag, but, I started playing at the weekend, blinked, and a couple of hours had gone past in what felt like minutes. I'm enjoying it, anyway.

EDIT : Finished this, playing on and off since the original review was posted. I'd be surprised if I've put less than 20 hours into a single campaign, but I did feel it was all becoming a bit of a chore towards the end, so replayability will probably be limited. In all, I can see how some people feel it's been dumbed-down, while I think that to some degree it's been streamlined in some ways. I encountered a few bugs over the whole playthrough, only one of which was semi-fatal. The game needs some rough edges filed down - there needs to be an "overwatch all" button, and the graphics go annoyingly mental on the multi-level UFOs, changing your vantage point and sometimes, where you think you're pointing. The semi-fatal bug occurred on the end-game level, where I couldn't progress until I found & killed the last bad guys, which was tedious. The end-game itself as a whole is pretty disappointing too. Terror From The Deep, anyone ?
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on 3 September 2013
This game is a lot more simplified as opposed to Apocalypse, but it's still a good XCOM game. You shoot down UFO, kill aliens and research their technology while trying to stop the aliens from taking over the world.

What I miss in this game is the ability to shoot at walls to create new entrances into buildings, the ability to pick up weapons and ammo (there's no ammo at all, just infinite reloads) on the battlefields. I also miss being able to send out multiple interceptors in case one gets too damaged, or being able to send out multiple skyrangers to take on multiple abduction sites at once. I really like these features in XCOM Apocalypse.

What I do like is the impact of flanking and elevation and the levelling of your recruits to get different roles with unique skills (suppression, lightning reflexes, double tap, etc). All in all I spent many hours in this game, having good fun.
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on 22 June 2013
The title of this review is what I kept saying last night. Until, eventually at 2am, I decided I had reached an appropriate stopping point. That being, the point where my eyes were beginning to close and opening them again was tantamount to a Herculean task.

Things this game does well:
Makes you plan your every mission. Impatience will get you punished or make you feel you were extremely lucky you weren't punished (which is correct. You were lucky. Don't risk your soldiers lives like that again commander.)

Gives you choices which cannot just be mindless. You need to balance the panic of nations. You can't keep them all, so who do you let go? Do you need the mission reward bonus more than you need to reduce panic?

Puts you in the hot seat: You are in control. In the immediate sense, the lives of your soldiers are in your hands (soldiers who you can rename after real life friends and family for that added association. I can tell you, I was pissed when my Uncle Toby got sniped across the map by a thin man). In the bigger picture, you start thinking about the fate of the Earth.

Bad things:
The AI can sometimes pull out a giant extra terrestrial dildo gun and critical hit you up the ass with it. See my mention above of dear Uncle Toby. R.I.P. 21/06/2013 - 21/06/2013. You will be missed.

Movement isn't allowed when people you are saving are talking. It's annoying because the scientists go on and on. And you need to keep them alive to succeed in your mission.

This game is at its absolute best in Ironman mode and on Normal or Classic difficulty. I would definitely suggest going straight for Normal Ironman, doing to tutorials and getting stuck in. Playing in Easy mode where you can reload after a soldier dies doesn't give you the same feeling of 'Every action counts towards saving or condemning the Earth'. You can fail the odd mission without losing the entire game. So risk it. Risk it for the freedom biscuit.
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on 16 July 2013
I played the original Xcom and dearly wanted to play this on release, but wasn`t going to give anyone who uses `forced-Steam` £30. So I waited until I saw it going for about £5. I`ve said it before and I`ll say it again, don`t force this draconian `DRMS` on us and I`ll pay more than £30 for a good game on release.

Anyway, started the game off. I chose the Tutorial mode for anything different from the original. It starts you off with a nice cinematic of the Alien first attack then has a noob team, unsure of what to expect, meet their first Aliens... with rough results.

First things I noticed once the game actually gave me control was how I couldn`t run and grab a weapon off a fallen comrade, a tactic I was well used to doing. I can`t even grab a Medi pack from what I can tell. Then I discovered there was no rotation control of my troops so I can face them the right way... Not so bad since the soldier tends to face the right way, but still... Oh and they never run out of ammo, but bazookas are bizarrely restricted to 1 missile shot. Gone are the days when I used to pack 3 shells in a bazooka man`s backpack for use.

Back at base, again, I found myself limited with my troops. I can`t really control what they become. One will automatically be a bazooka guy or a sniper and then they`re basically stuck with that weapon. Forget using them with other weapons in emergencies. Even if they may not have the skills some weapons should be usable by all. It`s all quite limited, unrealistically so. Others have already mentioned how a sniper scope takes up a whole pack slot instead of just being placed on your rifle.
Also, smoke bombs are confusing; I thought they would obscure the view of the Aliens, but the Aliens just shoot through it and kill everyone anyway.

The way stats upgrade are VERY basic. Childishly so. I`m never quite sure wht they`re real stats are... Maybe I`m missing something. They unlock (how I have come to dislike this term) and some of them don`t feel very natural. Some feel like they should already be available while others just feel a little stupid, like now she can use a medipack 3 times instead of restricted to once - she needs an unlock to use a Medipack more than once??? Why?

I don`t like needless gamey-ness when realism would actually be more enjoyable. Just give her a pack and let her use as many medi-packs as she has space and time to use. simple.


They have managed to capture the old Xcom atmosphere still. This is because the Devs smartly kept in crucial aspects...
1. The game is actually still very tactical and strategic.

Even on Normal you need to plan what missions to take to quell the Alien menace and exactly how you`re going to fight the tactical battles. The Aliens soon become very unforgiving of errors. Stand your troops in the middle of nowhere and they will likely die. You must use cover, use 2 X 2 cover system and try to send NO ONE out alone. It doesn`t take much for troops to panic sometimes. I had one girl panic at the sight of her squadm8 being killed, turn around and shoot her own other soldier! In another instance one panicked and ran out into the midst of Aliens to meet an Alieny death.

Countries who are a part of the Xcom project will soon cease funding if you do too badly or ignore them as panic envelopes them.

You find yourself in a race to develope more weaponry, more research and more facilities because the Aliens soon start to ramp up the pressure further. Being slow on this I sent my improving troops on another mission to meet new killer Aliens that wiped out my crew- On Iron man rules (No reloading) it can be deflating to watch your perfect trained Squad, customised and named all bite the dust.

But this is why it captures the whole Xcom atnmosphere. You become attached to your crews and feel bad for them when even one die; just like the old game. We don`t like them dying, but that possibility must be there and the Devs have understood this. Good stuff.

2. Very atmospheric cutscenes.

I`m not really a fan of cutscenes and flashiness, but the Xcom cutscenes do a good job of bringing Xcom to life. You see your assault plane takeoff and land with the soldiers running out. They`re quick so they don`t get in the way of successful kills. It also keeps that dark, evil broodiness when searching for Aliens.
Back at base you get a lot of waffle of your Superintendent telling you what`s happening (in a nice 1st person way) with the shadowy Xcom Nations Leader appraising your progress each month. Even when he is happy with you he sounds angry!

But I`m disappointed with the Jet to UFO take downs, it`s just a very plain screen. I`m sure more could`ve been done to add more atmosphere.

3. The game does escalate the situation bit by bit.
Take too long, be too slow and you`ll soon know about it. The Aliens don`t wait for you. They make abduction attacks, forays for some unknown reason into countrysides, then terror attacks, etc. I like the terror attacks because you have to rescue civilians- but it isn`t easy.

Graphics are good. Sounds are pretty decent and troops waffle on the situation. Customisation is not bad (I installed the addon pack), but voice options are week, for example, there are 5 voices... choose American, hard American, soft American, stern American or angry American! For a game that`s supposed to be international it seemed to forget all the other possible voice options. A German, Indian and \or Japanese accent voices would`ve been nice.

It was nice to see in Germany that Police cars actually were German colours, though.

Control-wise, it was ok with the mouse, but I didn`t like how I always have to `double-ok` a command. I hit `Fire` then the game wants me to also confirm with `ok` again as if I`m stupid. I`d like Fire to just Fire, like in the old X-com.

Anyway, the game does suck you in and despite my whines, it`s actually very enjoyable. I just wish they had not gone so far in dumbing the game down for the kiddies; a little more realistic depth would not have hurt it at all.
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