||XCOM: Enemy Unknown is not only a sequel but by itself a wonderful game to play.
When you start the game off, in the tutorial mode or not youíll notice they had no problem throwing you right into the fray from the get go. While players who are new to the genre or not overall fans of the genre might fight it rough at first, itís easy to get used to. Even if you only play through the beginning in tutorial mode and start a new game after the achievement, youíre given plenty of information without the tutorial mode from the baseís big names. The movement and shooting system of the game was obviously well thought out and gives you plenty of decision making to do, even if that decision is to sit and stare at the field for a moment or two worrying about getting flanked from off screen.
The amount of options available to you from the beginning is enough to immerse you in the base.
Whether it is the subtle but demanding ďCommander to the Research LabsĒ etc. or the talking to youíll get from Central or Dr. Know it all, youíll always feel part of the game. The camera and controls are very fluid and easy to use, which is great when trying to decide what cover to take, looking over the map, or even looking around the base. My favorite thing overall about the squad system (besides the size it can be) is that you aren't forced to fill slots of any kind. Having one of each of the soldier classes can be important, but thereís (usually) nothing wrong with taking extras, or leaving someone out. I've make some very interesting mixes in my time, some worked out, and some became goo; but in both situations it was fun to play. The soldier classes are all useful even if they donít seem to be at first. Assault and Heavy both bring damage and survivability to the squad, which youíll need when you come across certain robots etc. with huge health pools that could one shot your snipers. The sniper while weak and limited in mobility, since you canít move and shoot in one turn (even with training you shouldn't the aim loss is almost not worth it.) The support which I saved for last, being my person favorite outside of the SHIVs, are very versatile. They have support abilities (obviously) great tactical options within themselves as a single soldier and can really be a huge help.
While each soldier class is great and when combined correctly can be helpful, thereís something to be said for making sure you have enough. In the beginning of the game, you might feel inclined to stick to a favorite four or five, but once panic starts rising and multiple things are happening in a the truncated time frame you can be given, youíll quickly realize itís worth it to train up a few extras from time to time. Firaxis did a great job giving you plenty to do when youíre not in the field. Besides fiddling with your squads; you have plenty of research and engineering to focus on. Sometimes it can be tough to decide what is more important at the moment or in the long run, especially when so many things are very important to progressions and survival. Balancing resources with construction and research projects can be frustrating at time, especially when in the process of building up your base. Since itís simply my opinion, Iíll only say that the balance of time can seem a bit off. It can take very long to build up rooms necessary to progress and sometimes funds can be rough to come by if the activity is low. Iíve found myself at stalemates many a time deciding if I wanted to get the money from an abduction or go rustle up more engineers.
Once you get into the swing of things the game can be very harsh, and still very rewarding, the designers took their time making sure the choices you make affect the overall course of the game. Whatís great is the overall pace of the game. People who arenít general fans of the genre will most likely be pleased by the speed the game moves at. Each turn is pretty short and can be done quickly, to say nothing of being too hasty; it doesnít take all that long to finish a map. But by no means is it short in my opinion. Iíve spent plenty of time in the field.
A noticeable trait from the beginning is that you are really immersed in the gameplay.
The technical aspects of the game I havenít touched on yet because there really isn't much to say, theyíre terrific. The exploding cars, blowing holes in walls or having cover destroyed by weapons, the sounds and actions of each of the weapons, soldiers, and unique aliens you come across, the music and moods the game conveys, to the voice acting and personalities of your baseís department heads really makes you feel like youíre really in the base from time to time.
While there are already whispers on the internet of ways to improve the gameís overall performance and its visuals, the game plays very well on the average system and with the graphics at their peak levels, itís a great looking and sounding game.
XCOM: Enemy Unknown is a game that can be enjoyed by everyone, and if youíre actually a fan of the hybrid style gameplay, or the Turn Based Strategy genre in general, youíll enjoy it that much more.
The research projects, different soldier abilities, base layouts, starting countries, and of course the squad makeup, difficulty levels and achievements give this game really high replay value, even if some of the actions can be repetitive, I can assure you youíll want to play it over and over.