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XCOM: Enemy Unknown (for PC, Xbox360 and PS3)
For someone who has played his fair share of turn-based games, there are certainly more bright moments than there are dull ones. There are the Civilization games which stand on a plateau all by themselves, and the Alpha Centauri games that were spawned with such great success into the market. Looking for more examples of great franchises is easy, Heroes of Might and Magic was a powerhouse in the Fantasy genre and even if you added the Art of War military franchise into the picture, you'll get nothing to complain about.
So, what about XCOM and why should one care about this game? XCOM: Enemy Unknown is the reboot of the hugely acclaimed UFO: Enemy Unknown, which was surprisingly a cult hit in its time. For a game that applies such a simple premise as Earth's forces repelling away strange and dangerous extraterrestrials, it delivered a deep turn-based strategy game that holds up to the test of time. This modern remake brings with it a huge, new coat of polish and an engaging combat system that amplifies the depth even to the point of excellence unseen in the genre.
You can certainly play this game like a mad man and ignore all aspects of cover and concealment, but you will slowly get your *** handed to you. Your soldiers will drop like flies. You will cry a great deal. You will lament the game's unforgiving difficulty, when it throws yet another impossible-to-kill mini UFO that can possibly wipe out anyone of your soldiers with a single blast at any time. You will be get so angry and get pulled into this tactical strategy game, in the vein of Company of Heroes but with a turn based slant.
Deceptively complex under a simple system is how I would describe this wonderfully made game in which you attempt to repel an imminent Alien invasion. It sounds epic because it is, but you aren't the hero like in Halo, but a commander of common men and women, all required to be equipped with tech more similar to Doom's or Quake's, maybe with just a little more sophisticated science fiction feel.
You'd often question every tactical decision, which are, in fact, dilemmas brilliantly presented perhaps as a unintended consequence when every known urban combat practice is thrown in. You will discover a good deal of combat philosophies going in, and that makes for pretty much all the fun you'd want to take away from the game.
If a game studio sees fit to put on some rather impressive stylized and 3D graphics on a game that really has unlimited ways of expanding itself, XCOM isn't to be taken lightly. Stable, very intriguing and the poster child for the idea of games as a benchmark for a gamer's respectability, XCOM can pull you in and not let you go.
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