XCOM: Enemy Unknown is a turn basked strategy game where you control a small squad of soldiers to defend Earth against an alien invasion.
You've heard the story a million times before. An unknown vessel arrives on Earth with a big crash. Aliens inside start killing everyone and a full scale invasion begins. While XCOM: Enemy Unknown doesn't have an original story, it tries to differentiate itself from other alien invasion games by including an interesting turn based combat system and RPG elements.
The graphics in XCOM: Enemy Unknown are solid but won't blow you away. It uses the Unreal Engine, which is solid, but fails to impress in the era of Battlefield 3 and Skyrim.
There are plenty of pretty pre-rendered cut scenes but the character models lack some of the intricate details to make them seem realistic. In game, the graphics are good with a top down, 3rd person view. XCOM: Enemy Unknown has plenty of neon highlights for guiding players through a level and in its menus.
This is where XCOM: Enemy Unknown really shines. While turn based gameplay in a strategy game isn't new, it combines elements from shooters. You will rely heavily on cover in XCOM: Enemy Unknown. If you place your soldiers behind poor cover, they will take plenty of damage and may even be killed instantly.
You start off with 4 soldiers under your control with the ability to add a couple more to your squad when you've leveled up enough. Having a small squad puts more pressure to keep them all alive or you will be at a severe disadvantage.
One interesting feature that XCOM: Enemy Unknown included is the ability to climb on top buildings, giving the player more ways to strategize on how to approach a level. There is also an interesting attack mechanic in XCOM: Enemy Unknown. You are given a read out of your probability of hitting an enemy and the chance of a critical hit. This type of combat reminds me of Fallout 3 and makes careful planning important.
The soundtrack of XCOM: Enemy Unknown is good with swelling orchestral scores to increase the weight of the alien onslaught. Most of the music will be irrelevant as it's clearly written to be background music as you decide on where to place your soldiers.
The sound design in levels is good, creating a creepy and tense atmosphere. The noises that the aliens make in XCOM: Enemy Unknown can be terrifying, adding to its creepy atmosphere. Still, XCOM: Enemy Unknown won't scare you with its sound design.
XCOM: Enemy Unknown is a solid strategy game that introduces RPG elements to create a unique experience. While the story leaves much to be desired, XCOM: Enemy Unknown's gameplay is enough to keep players engaged.
Clicking 'Download' will take you to the Steam store where you can download the demo.
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