Reviews for X-COM Complete Pack

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A representation of how a great franchise declined

taigatsu | March 2, 2014 | See all taigatsu's reviews »

Taken as a whole, the X-COM Complete Pack is a very lacklustre bundle. While the original X-COM, and arguably, it's follow up, Terror From the Deep, still stands as a near timeless classic, the other games in the pack suffer from increasingly diminishing returns in terms of quality.

X-COM itself remains as playable today as when it was originally released. The blend of strategic and tactical game play is very compelling. Being able to engage the aliens in direct combat is just as important as understanding the need to research new technology and co-ordinate logistics. The graphics are definitely dated by today's standards, but retain a bright, cartoon character to them. It can be a bit fussy at times, with the degree of micromanagement required, but for some, that's part of the appeal.

Terror from the Deep is basically the exact same game, but with an aquatic re-skin and blistering difficulty level. There's very little to differentiate it from the first game, but anyone looking for more will be satisfied. Apocalypse attempted to do something different, introducing the option for real-time gameplay. It succeeds on some levels, but disappoints on others. The sheer destructibility of the environments opens up new tactics, but the new strategic considerations aren't as deep as the original. Aesthetically, it lacks the cohesiveness and charm of the first two. An interesting footnote in the franchise's history, but far from being a must play.

Interceptor and Enforcer are where the franchise really falls apart, and bring down the quality of the entire bundle. Both make an attempt to co-opt the X-COM name for a more action oriented game, and both fail. Even when they were released, they were considerably more shallow than other games in their genres, and are worth little more than as curiosities today. Other than a few token inclusions, they are devoid of the character of the original games and completely miss what made them so captivating.

By itself, the original X-COM is almost entirely worth the price tag. Aside from that, however, most of the games here serve more as relics of an earlier period in gaming than as worthwhile games in their own right.