The XCOM: Enemy Unknown demo was released by Firaxis recently and, while I will be providing you my thoughts on it below, you could just as easily go grab it yourself and form your own opinions. With that said, my impressions are pretty positive from what I got to play and it really does answer the question that is on pretty much everyone’s mind: Is XCOM: Enemy Unknown a proper X-Com game? To that, at least, we can say ‘Yes.’ Now, I don’t promise you’ll like all of the changes. The tone of the game, in particularly, is radically different. Gone is the 70′s sci-fi feel of the original, replaced – instead – with a sort of grimdark alien saga that is what you probably expect if I told you someone was going to make a ‘modern’ X-Com game. That’s not a complaint, necessarily, but it is a pretty big change.
The other stuff in XCOM: Enemy Unknown, on the other hand, is very much X-Com. You control your squad of soldiers in turn-based combat, you need to stick to cover and keep your eyes out for enemies or your squad members will die instantly, it looks like there are a fair amount of leveling options when one of your squad members manage to survive, there is research to choose, and different squad members have different specialties. I really felt like the gameplay in XCOM: Enemy Unknown does what I want a modern take on the series to do. I am not in love with the ‘cut scenes’ during combat, where it will occasionally cut behind one of your squad members running, but it was a pretty minor thing when I was playing. Some people will miss the greater flexibility (at least at the start, who knows how things develop) in base building, with the old layout choices gone. It looks like you will be far less likely to just completely mangle your finances in XCOM: Enemy Unknown, from what little we see, with choices being offered, but not ‘hey, here are a bunch of things you don’t know what to do with, build a base!’ It’s nice that building in different countries in XCOM: Enemy Unknown will net you different bonuses, and the system where you have choose between competing missions, each of which has its own bonus (money versus scientists in the demo), but not doing one will result in the panic rising in the country you just let go. It’s a nice choice that looks like it might help give gravity to the proceedings.
So, that’s it for my XCOM: Enemy Unknown demo thoughts. Obviously, I don’t have the full game and don’t know how it will turn out, but I’m pretty pleased with what I have seen so far. If you’ve checked out the XCOM: Enemy Unknown demo or have some thoughts, why don’t you go down to the comments and talk about it. If you’re finished here, you should totally take a look at the Related Posts found below, the Recent Posts in the sidebar, or go to a random post on Futile Position.