Reviews for XCOM: Enemy Unknown Pre-Purchase
A great updateRikjs | Oct. 11, 2012 | See all Rikjs's reviews »
Many have complained that this is not enough like the original XCOM. To me, that means it's easy to get into while still retaining a good portion of in-depth strategy.
This is by no means an easy game. If you want the difficulty, you can choose to play of Ironman or Classic which ups the challenge. However, normal mode provides a suitable but not insurmountable challenge even to those new to the series or turn based games in general.
The tutorial does a fairly decent job of getting you acquainted with the controls and the base mechanics are explained quite nicely.
One of the things I do miss about the original XCOM are random maps. Maps are not randomly generated in this game although enemy placements are, so there's still replayability there and of course the game does change between replays based on your decisions. You won't have the same recruits, for example. Missions are also procedural, so while you might be fighting on the same hand-crafted map, you won't be doing the same mission. Overall, there's a lot to do and you'll have to play quite a bit before you start to come across the same thing again. The aliens also act differently depending on the mission. They might patrol, or guard an area.
There's kind of more than one base. You choose your main base and you can deploy satellites from there around the world to keep track of UFO movements and you can redeploy your interceptors to hangar bases which aren't as functional as the main base, which can be built with things like adjacency bonuses which will please those of us who like to build bases. The main base is also where the bulk of your operations are, such as soldiers and research.
Overall, some things are added and some things are removed but in the end this re-imagining of XCOM stands by itself as a good game.