XCOM: Enemy Unknown

Welcome to XCOM: Enemy Unknown. Except we know the enemy, they are aliens. A bunch of jerk aliens that want to come over here to Earth and charge us taxes on necessities like tea. Well the humans of Planet Earth have had it with those imperialistic bastards and now we’re dumping that tea off of our ships. We refuse to pay your outlandish tariffs, you greedy aliens! XCOM is the name of the elite team of 6 people or from all over the world who are given the responsibility of protecting the entire planet. These 6 people are rotating in and out of a slightly larger group, depending on who gets killed or injured. Unfortunately, the shadowy “government” has only given the team a budget of a couple hundred simoleons a month. Which is just absurd considering you are the last line of defense for the entire world but whatever, that’s totally just like the government, always trying to screw us.

XCOM: Enemy Unknown basically plays like Oregon Trail. Except instead of your poor, loving sister who dies of dysentery, it’s Corporal Santiago who dies of a laser blast to the face. He was the heart of the team, dammit! I don’t see how we go on anymore. And for that reason I refuse to play the game for several weeks until I can forget about his poor, sad, dying face. I let him die. It was my fault, and I feel bad about it. And such is the XCOM experience. The key to the game is to name the people in your squad after your friends. And if you don’t have any friends, well, then your squad will become your friends. You will become emotionally attached and you will not what to put them in harm’s way. But you will have to and it’s pretty sad when they die, because ultimately IT’S ALL YOUR FAULT.

As long as your squad members survive, they will remain under your command for the whole game. They level up and you can give them special abilities and outfit them with cool new weapons and armor. Eventually you get to the point where each unit has a specific specialty, and this will give you a balanced attack. Until the sniper that you strategically placed on the rooftop to flank the enemy gets shot in the back by a half robot/ half corpse that just teleported behind you. Back in the day we called that cheesing. Now they call it artificial difficulty or some crap I’m not really sure. But it’s all part of the game, baby, because on the next turn with the way karma works that alien’s face is going to have a 3% chance of getting melted off but you’re going to take that chance anyways and BAM! Captain Michelle Rodriguez came through and blew him away, game over, aliens lose, you win.

This game is addicting which is a great quality, and it is difficult. You really have to be strategic with your moves. And make sure you have a support class with a ton of medkits, they are totally underrated. The problem is it’s only 50% off and it’s $14.99. This is a little steep- it was on sale for less than that several months ago. But the game is really good, so if you don’t want to wait and hope for the Summer sale then you should probably buy it. Verdict: Buy it.

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