Why I'm Excited For XCOM: Enemy Unknown - Features - www.GameInformer.com
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Why I'm Excited For XCOM: Enemy Unknown

As someone who hasn't owned a gaming-worthy PC for the better part of a decade, I guess I can safely be called a console gamer. While I don't miss the hassle of installing and configuring games or playing them at my desk with a keyboard and mouse, PC games still offer some gameplay features I wish I could get on a console. That's why I'm excited for XCOM; not only is it a new installment in the revered PC strategy series by the equally revered developer Firaxis, but it's coming to consoles as well. Here are the aspects of XCOM that I'm looking forward to.

A Welcome Dose Of Strategy
As a console gamer, the vast majority of my game time is devoted to shooting things. I love explosive action as much as the next player, but sometimes I want to flex that gray lump of matter between my ears.

XCOM: Enemy Unknown may star an unending supply of alien-blasting soldiers, but it's still a strategy game – something we don't see a lot of on home systems. The turn-based tactical action is still a novel and appealing game format to me, and I'm looking forward to XCOM's base-building and resource management elements as well.

I still don't understand how shooters haven't added this layer of decision making to their formulas. Giving Call of Duty players the ability to decide where to allot their forces and what supplies to equip them with in a more open-ended theater of war would be awesome. Alas, I don't plan on calling the shots in a console shooter any time soon, but XCOM should provide the dose of strategy I'm looking for.

Same Campaign, Different Experience
The only thing more disappointing than a short-lived story campaign is a short-lived story campaign that plays exactly the same should you try to replay it. While some console games offer players a new game plus mode, these still pale in comparison to a game structure that pits you against an AI opponent capable of providing different outcomes and gameplay experiences. Strategy games are especially appealing in this manner, as they function more like board games than scripted narratives. The stories may not be as engrossing or feature as many plot twists, but that's a small price to pay for being tested against an opponent that makes actual decisions.

This is another game design that's woefully absent in console games. For instance, what if in the next Saints Row, you actually had to vie against a rival gang that reacts to you instead of moving down a list of scripted missions to take over the city? There'd be a lot more incentive to play the game more than once, and finally bringing down the rival gang boss would be more rewarding as well.

We still don't know how much replayablility XCOM: Enemy Uknown offers, and I was disappointed to hear the game doesn't feature randomly generated maps this time around. However, it should still easily provide more replayability than the scripted campaigns I'm used to.

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