This is by far the single most frustrating title I have ever played. I have never seen such a combination of infuriating aspects all compiled together.
I did not play all XCOM titles as I was either too young or just disinterested. I now understand why, my natural instinct to keep me away from terrible titles, was undoubtedly working perfectly back then. I know that XCOM: Enemy Unknown received accolades, awards and 9 out of 10’s all over the place but I just cannot see how any of them are justified. Honestly I was tremendously excited for XCOM after seeing the E3 trailer however my excitement never reached fruition, instead it withered and died upon clicking “Begin Mission”.
That being said let me explain all these maddening aspects starting with graphics which are great if you have a computer that predates the invention of the wheel. There is no depth or clarity and most of the time whilst playing I wished I hadn’t been so harsh criticising COD graphics. To add insult to injury when you move from outside into a building or structure the camera does not cooperate and either flickers from the structures’ roof to the internals or just makes as if there are no walls. This entails not being able to choose your cover correctly as you can physically see it.
Then there is gameplay which will undoubtedly cause your blood pressure and temperature to reach new levels once thought to be impossible. Trying to select a particular block to move into is painstaking process as even on the lowest mouse sensitivity it will quickly jump between adjacent blocks and one miss-click spells death. However once you’ve mastered that problem and you intelligently place a unit, brandishing a shotgun, one block away from an enemy and with a turn in hand, click fire, taking note of the “98% to hit” statistic, and click ok and watch him MISS!
On the contrary have your unit only achieve a “25% to hit” statistic from a billion blocks away click fire and voila dead alien. I asked myself whether this was just great randomising programming or they just didn’t take notice of it in development. Turns out with a little research I am not the only one to experience this phenomenon, I was told to move one block away and try shoot then, thanks for that but my unit is dead remember.
In addition there is no “autosave” feature or checkpoint saves in the PC version which means either you play through this game in one long attempt or save every single time anything happens. If you do not like losing troops I suggest doing the latter and then adapting your strategy accordingly. Though, it is too labour intensive to keep on saving and hoping you do not wait too long in between saves.
I understand that the developers are trying to keep the title as the original as its predecessors but that also entails losing a much larger market of modern-age gamers to keep a few happy. It has the potential to be great but with all the problems I encountered I could not experience this title as I’m sure the developers intended me to.
XCOM Enemy Unknown Rating: 4/10
Check out the XCOM website: http://www.xcom.com/enemyunknown/entry