XCOM: Enemy Unknown Preview From PAX Prime 2012

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XCOM: Enemy Unknown is a reboot of the very popular franchise from the 1990s. While the original franchise was a little before my time and I have no experience with it, I do know that the first two games in the series are considered to be all-time classics by many.

In this installment Earth is threatened by an unknown enemy (get it?) and so its governments unite to form an elite military organization known as XCOM to defend the planet. You play as the commander of XCOM and control its global defense team in a battle against an alien invasion. You do this by creating an operational base, researching alien technologies, planning combat missions and controlling soldier movement in the heat of the action.

XCOM, at its core, is a tactical strategy game with some very neat features to it. The story line from what I saw is pretty straight forward, but it feels like 2K may have some twists up their sleeves. There are some interesting aspects of the aliens, including the fact that they can use mind control to turn your allies against you.

I wish I could give a better synopsis of the game, but my experience with it at PAX was minimal. I got to see a little bit of their demo where they talked about the different attacks and movements that were available in the game, and then they set us off to play. And of course I got thrown onto a system that wasn’t working and had to wait for it to be booted and loaded. So I only had a limited amount of time to play.

But once I did get to play, it was great fun! I usually dislike going through tutorials, but this one kept you moving at a good pace while you were learning the controls of the game. Once you get used to the button set up, and the abilities and limitations that you have during each “turn”, it was just plain fun. This is a game I am definitely looking forward to picking up.

Look for XCOM: Enemy Unknown to release on October 9, 2012 for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC.