Why You Should Care About XCOM: Enemy Unknown

by Adam Biessener on Jan 13, 2012 at 05:00 AM

Not sure if XCOM: Enemy Unknown is for you? Come see why fans of other popular franchises should have Firaxis' upcoming strategy game on their radar – or just to see three more new exclusive screenshots.

[Click any of the three screenshots on this page to view a larger version.]

Sure, Battlefield and XCOM are in two entirely different genres, but the core concepts of squad tactics and lethality are common to both. Do something stupid like poking your head out of cover with no support in either game and you're just as dead. On the plus side, since you're in control of everything in XCOM, you won't lose match after match because some idiot insists on flying a chopper filled with squaddies into a hillside.

This one is obvious, but worth mentioning. Civ developer Firaxis is making XCOM as well, so that's an easy connection. Additionally, the strategy layer will resonate with any Civ fan with its global politics, gradual buildup of capabilities, always-improving technology, and resource management. And instead of doing lame things like building aqueducts and managing tax rates, you're immediately locked into a desperate fight for survival where the only way to win is to beat the enemy in the field.

Resident Evil

Any player of the original X-COM can tell you just how creepy a turn-based game can be. Ordering a soldier you've named, trained, and equipped to poke her head into a dark cabin in the woods that might house a gaggle of angry aliens is a nerve-wracking moment for any commander. Scraping together whatever resources you can in an effort to stave off impending doom should make any survival horror fan feel right at home in XCOM.

Mass Effect
Hmm, defending humanity from an alien invasion...sound familiar? Turning their own weapons against them ringing any bells? Mass Effect's tone and XCOM's couldn't be more similar. The sense of having your back against the wall and being forced into making tough decisions to win the larger war is XCOM's bread and butter. No hot blue chicks, though. Probably.

Final Fantasy Tactics
XCOM is certain to be a lot more difficult than Final Fantasy Tactics, but taking on turn-based tactical challenges with a customized squad is the heart of both games. You just know that the dude you name Thunder God Cid is going to end up with a face full of plasma blast, though.

Valkyria Chronicles
Who am I kidding? If you're a hardcore enough strategy gamer to be a fan of Valkyria Chronicles, you've already pre-ordered XCOM.

Did I miss your favorite franchise? Is one of the descriptions above way off base? Tell everyone why in the comments below. Alternatively, click the hub banner to see the rest of our month-long exclusive XCOM: Enemy Unknown content.