Review Roundup – One day, two great games as XCOM gets big scores

Having recovered from their Dishonored love-in early this morning, critics are currently heaping praise on another of today’s releases – 2K Games’ XCOM: Enemy Unknown.

Firaxis have proved, along with the similarly excellent Civlization Revolution, that games like this can work on consoles as well as PC,” CVG said in its 9.2/10 analysis.

XCOM is a dense, rewarding, and intelligently designed strategy game from the masters of the genre, and a faithful homage to the original series. But don’t worry if you’ve never played an XCOM game before: the smart tutorial missions will put new players at ease, and the learning curve isn’t too steep.

You might think your Major is invincible, but all it takes is one bad move, exploding car, or chrysalid claw to unceremoniously end their life, which makes XCOM a surprisingly personal – as well as hugely entertaining – game.”

Joystiq scored it 4.5/5, stating: The fact remains thatXCOM: Enemy Unknownis an exemplary turn-based strategy game. Firaxis has deftly blended management, tactics and the sort of gut-level, throaty encounters usually reserved for fast-paced action games.

The mixture is potent enough that you may occasionally forget that the most critical moments boil down to nothing more than a percentage and a choice. On any other day, betting on a 60 percent chance might seem like a no-brainer. When the fate of the world hangs in the balance, you’d better think twice.”

Edge pulled a 9/10 out of the bag, concluding: Charting a course through Earth’s imminent destruction is as unashamedly difficult as it was in 1994’s X-COM. It’s possible, through bad planning and bad management, to doom the planet early on, making the game feel unfair. Get it right, however – survive the stresses of management, and the strains of aliens – and you’ll feel like world’s greatest hero.”

A 9/10 felt right for Eurogamer, too, which added: This game is a winner. So much craft has gone into its atmosphere, into innumerable small details that together add enormous depth and flavour to the world.

Near the campaign’s end, there’s a direct tribute to the original game’s designers, the Gollop brothers, accompanied by an achievement called ‘On the Shoulders of Giants’. It’s a beautiful touch, a nod from one development team to another across the generations. They have something in common now. In their own time and place, each made a fantastic game called XCOM.”

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