X-Com Enemy We Know

Pahn, Gremio, Cleo and Valeria board the Skyranger hurriedly as an emergency situation has begun in Germany. Aliens have been sighted and they are abducting people. After what seems like a long flight, every minute getting more tense they touch down outside a small construction site.  There could be some close quarters fighting, things may get nasty.

Pahn moves into the site behind a crane conveniently parked at the entrance, Cleo then moves up into cover behind a plow to the right of the entrance. Still no sign of the hostiles. Gremio and Valeria move up to the site entrance but decide to hang back at the gates. After a moments waiting 2 Sectoids appear, Pahn Gremio and Valeria all react quickly firing at the approaching hostiles but in their haste all 3 new recruits miss their mark.  Cleo peeks out from behind the plow and spots one covering itself behind a small stack of girders, she lines up the shot with her rifle and shows the others how it’s done and neutralizes the target.  Gremio then takes a good aim on the second target and bags his first kill. Everyone’s adrenaline pumping we can do this! they think to themselves. Pahn moves towards a small office building a spots a second pair, takes aim and gets his shot dead on. Valeria moves up cautiously and leans out and takes down the second of this new group. Further examination of the site reveals no more hostiles. They clean up the area and head back to base.

X-Com Enemy Unknown by Firaxis released in 2012 for PC – Windows, Xbox 360 and PS3 is a turn based strategy game and is a re-envisioning of the Microprose classic we all know and love but how does it measure up to earlier incarnation. Well for me, I think it does really good at what it does, the sounds and music of the game are kept in style with the original and do well at setting the atmosphere and tensions in the game. The graphics in the game are much improved in the amount of detail in the characters you control, the aliens themselves, their ships (which are quite different to the original game) the terrain that you walk over and hide behind too. As for game play it is engaging in it’s own way with different types of terrain offering different levels of cover and height giving an advantage in being able to hit your targets at the expense of cover (usually). There are however some niggles I have, for example I can no longer free aim, it’s either shoot at the alien or nothing, I can’t deliberately shoot down walls to create my own exploration paths. Inventory is different each unit only gets 1 item aside from their weapons, and grenades explode when thrown, meaning i can no longer prime a grenade on one person then throw it from unit to unit like a rally team with a hot potato until the person close enough can lob it at his/her foe. There are also new aliens, without giving too much away one of these is extremely frustrating, when shot this creature becomes enraged and gets a free movement turn to rush the person that fired at it. This would be ok if it happened once but it happens every time you injure the creature, allowing it to quickly gain ground on you if you don’t manage to finish it off in time. It also annoys me when you discover aliens they get a reaction that lets them seek out nearby places of cover, this reaction doesn’t happen to your units when aliens discover you and a bit unfair.

All these niggles aside and now rating it as a stand alone game not comparing it to the original game, this is a really good game and easily worth your money, the PC version allows play with a mouse and keyboard or an Xbox 360 controller if you have one, both control schemes work well and are easy to play. If you like these types of games then I would definitely recommended losing a few hours of your life playing this game. I rate it a 7.5 / 10 just because of the various niggles I have with it.

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