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XCOM: Enemy Unknown Reviewed by Cyril Lachel on . XCOM: Enemy Unknown is an expertly crafted strategy game that improves on the original in every way. It's a cinematic treat that is accessible enough for gamers of all experience. Best of all, it's not a bore. With more than 70 missions and a competitive two-player mode, XCOM is a high water mark for 2012! Rating: 92%
XCOM: Enemy Unknown
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Considering the importance of the mission, there aren't very many people working at XCOM. I know because not only did I hire them, but I spent a few minutes to customize each and every one. I tell them what I want to be researched and they make the weapons that keep the Earth safe. I have less than thirty soldiers working with me, but each and every one of them is a blood-thirsty killing machine. If you don't include the janitors, there are only a hundred people working in my North American headquarters.

We're one of those units where everybody knows each other. Some of my soldiers have been with me since the very beginning. I've watched them grow and together we've saved the world from certain doom countless times. And that's why it hurts so much when somebody on my team dies. This isn't some red shirt nobody, this is Don Rock, a solider that fought heroically in more than two dozen missions. I'm not afraid to shed a tear, because unlike most games, when you die in XCOM you stay dead.

XCOM: Enemy Unknown (Xbox 360)

Based on a classic 1995 PC game (which was also ported to the original PlayStation), XCOM: Enemy Unknown is a retelling of sorts. Much like the original, you take control of a command station whose only mission is to rid the planet of an ever-increasing alien attack. You do this by shooting down UFOs, capturing aliens, researching their technologies and selling extra-terrestrial goodies on the grey market. Along the way you'll figure out what they want and how to stop the infestation once and for all.

But let's not get ahead of ourselves. XCOM has several layers and it's important to give each of them proper attention. At its core, this is a turn-based strategy game. It's a bit like Final Fantasy Tactics, only with laser rifles instead of swords. You control a squad of six soldiers as they hunt down aliens through office buildings, forests, underground bunkers, the city streets, farms and all kinds of other scenic locales. Both sides take turns until you've either defeated the alien scum or died trying.

XCOM: Enemy Unknown (Xbox 360)

Each soldier gets a total of two moves, which can be used a number of different ways. For example, it might be smart to use one move to locate some sort of cover and then use the other move to target an alien. Player may choose to forgo the action all together and run a great distance across the level. You can also use a move to go into a defensive position, which will force your soldier to shoot at all aliens that run past their line of vision.

The scary part is that you don't know what you're facing when you touch down at a waypoint. The only thing visible is what is directly in front of you, and even that doesn't tell the full story. The levels are large, often with houses and stores the aliens could be hiding in. If you're not careful you'll quickly be swarmed on all sides, and then you'll find most of your team going home in body bags. And like I said, when somebody dies, they stay dead.
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