I know I making this review a bit out of time, but I hadn't enough money neither time to play it, until now.
For those who doesn't know the game or doesn't played the original version, Xcom: Enemy Unknown is a turn based strategy game, in this game you take command of a squad of soldiers in an attempt to stop an alien invasion.
The story is simple at it's base, the aliens are invading Earth and you will try to save it. The player takes the role of the commander in charge of a small base armed with the latest technology and a couple of soldiers, I have to admit that there is a lot of effort in trying to make the progress through the game the most interesting possible, even if there is almost no plot, as you advance you discover some mysteries and the motives of the aliens, among other things. It is not the great story but also is not boring.
This is the part and where the game is really, really good, the game is divided in two main parts, the missions and the base.
In the base basically you manage all your resources, soldiers and other things. For example you decide what soldiers to take on the next mission, what weapons the use, etc. You can also research the alien technology you find, giving you access to new technologies, weapons and other things. Another thing is that you can build things, from equipment to new buildings for your base. Everything needs money and time to be done, so one of the things you also do is make time advance, as the days pass, the things you began to do will be finished. Also as time passes there will be alien attacks, from ships just flying over to full scale attacks to cities. Here you will decide what missions to take.
This take us to the other part of the game, the missions.
There are several types from missions with different objectives, from scavenging downed ships to rescue civilians in a city under attack or saving some hostages, etc. Independently of the type of mission the basic gameplay is the same, you control a squad of 4 to 6 units, the games is turn based so each turn you can move your soldiers or attack a fixed number of times, then the aliens make their move and then the player again. As you advance in the game and discover new technologies, you get new weapons, armor and equipment. Also as the game advances you will face more dangerous aliens.
There are some things that make the game really good and I loved that they preserved from the original game, for example the permanent death. If a soldier is killed in a mission he is dead and dead for good, and there is no way get him back. Also if you lose a mission by getting all your soldiers killed you actually don't lose the game, you just lose your soldiers but the game continues. To actually lose the game you need to fail a lot of missions and perform pretty bad at protecting the earth. I like this because it makes possible to slowly learn how the game works, winning sometimes and losing others without actually failing the whole game and forcing you to restart.
Old vs new
Its impossible to me to make a review of this Xcom game without comparing it to the original.
It is better? It is worse? In my opinion neither of both, the new game is simply just different. Most of the elements of the game like weapons, enemies and other things are basically the same. There are some changes in the details, the original game was more difficult but near the end of the game there where some elements that make the game extremely easy. This new game is more balanced the starting missions are really not that difficult but also you don't get overpowered at the end of the game.
The new game is also more complex in some ways, managing the base feels much more strategic that in the original game, the resources are much more scarce and you can't spend as freely as in the original game. I think the reason for this is the size of the missions and the base itself; in the new game you control just one base and a maximum of 6 characters per mission in the original you could control a maximum of over 20 soldiers and have as many bases as you see fit. So I think the original needed to be more forgiving with the base gameplay just to make possible to manage so many things.
Probably the only flaw I found in the game is that missions are much more scripted that in the original game. Once you reach a new month inside the game all the next missions inside that month will be scripted and will happen in the same days. It is not a really big problem but if there is one difficult mission is easy just to load a previous game in the same month and you will know the exact time and place of the mission and easily plan ahead. This also makes the game more predictable that the original.
Well at the end I think the game is really really good probably as good as the original. I recommend it for anybody who loves strategy games. People that don't enjoy strategy games probably won't find too much fun in it, because it can be difficult to get used to the gameplay and learn how to play it without constantly dying.
Next week review: Metal Gear Rising.
By the way, what do you think about my English? I usually write thinks and I don't even know if my English is really that good.