More Than a Reboot (E3 2012)
How do you update an eleven year old series? The XCOM games have had a strong dedicated fanbase since the initial release of the first game, and now developer Firaxis is attempting to reboot the series. They are hoping that their newest addition to the franchise, XCOM: Enemy Unknown, will bring in new fans and please old ones.
The story of XCOM: Enemy Unknown falls into the "aliens invade earth" category. It's up to the elite military squad XCOM to stop them. As basic as the plot may seem, it's looking like XCOM: Enemy Unknown will promise to offer a bit more of a story than some of its predecessors.
XCOM: Enemy Unknown is a turn-based strategy game. Before you throw your hands up in the air and walk away, worried that it'll be a game that is too hard to pick up and learn, hear me out: I got a chance to try out XCOM: Enemy Unknown at the 2K Games booth at E3 this year. It only took me a matter of minutes before I was moving my troops, figuring out how to execute my attacks and working out decent strategies. For old diehard XCOM players, you'll know this is a either a relief or a curse. Back in the early 90s, XCOM wasn't the easiest series for a casual gamer to pick up and play. From the learning curve, to the sheer difficulty of the games, you were in for suffering if you weren't a certain type of gamer. XCOM: Enemy Unknown still remains an in-depth and strong strategy game, yet it simplifies the UI and makes ease of XCOMs past complicated architectures. Gamers who have never touched a strategy game before will be able to dive right in and actually enjoy themselves with XCOM Enemy Unknown.
What made XCOM: Enemy Unknown so cool for old school strategy gamers like myself was, once you've moved your units and set your attacks, the game will then zoom in from its isometric view to a close-up third person view of your soldiers executing everything you selected. It's like watching a scene from a film, but you'll be holding your breath waiting to see if your strategies actually work out and the scene ends well. You'll also be able to customize your units and troops heavily, with ease and variety. Jetpack soldiers, stealth squads, heavy hitters, and unique troop abilities… they're all here to create an ever-changing mix of strategy gaming. Everything controls easily and smoothly too, which is a highlight for the genre and again shows how much Firaxis is trying to make this XCOM release accessible to all.
XCOM: Enemy Unknown captures the feeling of the alien invasion genre perfectly. Even for a strategy game (which many might consider dry), XCOM: EU offers so much in the form of building mood and story and making the alien threat actually seem… well, threatening. XCOM: Enemy Unknown should be able to please the old fans, while bringing a whole new generation to the franchise.
XCOM: Enemy Unknown is planned to be released in October of this year.
Three things describe Rando: Good beer, good food, and video games. On occasion, Rando flies a zeppelin through time seeking power crystals.
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