Allsorts of Stuff

XCOM: ENEMY UNKNOWN – First Impressions

So Sony, decided to drop XCOM:Enemy Unknown into my collection, with a recent PS+ update. I have never played it or heard much about it and fancied something different, so rather than going for my planned trip into Assassins Creed 3, I opted for this little gem.

I started off on easy(still am btw), instantly the game appealed to me, I want to get better at the game, I can’t say I’m ever good or enthusiastic about tactical stuff in games, particularly as when I lose, especially against AI, I get pretty miffed and shout at my tv. Suppose its kind of like shouting the answers at a seemingly thick contestant on a quiz show. So at first I wasn’t expecting to like it, I am a big fan of Dr Who and also the Borderlands series, so as you might expect alien stuff often grabs me.

The movement system being turn based was familiar from Civilization games, but slightly different I guess, heard it described as movement pips, so yeah the pips did seem to work well although I still sometimes find myself hankering for a little more freedom, a leg up if you will seen as I was on easy.

The first negative thought on this game is related to that “easy” setting, I did get an A on my first month and maybe 2 deaths in the whole run, but I felt this was largely down to silly things. Aliens have superior weapons and blew up cars causing my soldiers in cover to take extra damage. I spent a lot of time, considering the game was on easy, missing shots. I found it particularly hard to believe that snipers would struggle to hit a guy in half cover. Still if I was getting an A on my first report, I must be doing quite well.

The next negative thought I had was the balance of the game. By that I mean, the speed at which you develop your squad, with the speed at which the enemies and missions increase in difficulty. I have having started again and improved to some degree, seen this slightly eliminated, but I feel the balance is not quite right for easy, players can clearly go up a level if they want a greater challenge. I think it might help if I could somehow get experience for my rookies, using for instance side missions, the game seems very linear. I could see great potential in the soldier system, couple extra side missions, these could possibly be abductions or regular requests for assistance, maybe sending rookies to other countries for a few days to help out and then add a bit more flexibility to which solider becomes what class, it could really take the game to a new level.

I would breifly like to mention something I saw in a video online, but haven’t been able to access on PS3. I saw Sacriel42 on youtube, customizing his different soldiers, giving all his snipers one colour, his Assaults another and so on. I do not seem to be able to do this, is this a mod for pc version, a feature not available on PS3 or what? I’d love to be able to do this on my game and if it is a mod, are there a lot of mods for the pc version? Considering looking at other XCOM games, but am concerned that they may lack what I’m looking for.

I really think this still deserves a look, I am enjoying it and if it had the slight tweaks I mentioned, basically turning it closer to a sandbox game mode giving me more freedom to build and develop, then I could see myself putting some serious game time in and making this one of my top games, that said I still want to play it and see if I can’t just improve enough to ignore the little things I feel its missing.

Feel free to comment, I’d love to hear what people think of it, if people think it might be interesting if the changes I’d make were implemented. Oh and also feel free to search for Sacriel42’s XCOM introduction 6 parts I believe, on youtube.

Thanks for reading,



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