Being the resident baby here at Destructoid, I've never played any of the original XCOM games back in the mid-to-late '90s. Of course, I respect the series' legacy and understand its place in gaming history, but I've still never played it. So, I had no idea what to really expect going into the hands-off demo of XCOM: Enemy Unknown that Firaxis put on at E3.
Even though the demo was really quite brief, I came away absolutely excited and impressed by a game from a genre I thought I would never be fond of. But I'll be damned, Enemy Unknown is something I truly want to play when it launches later this year.
What we're first shown is a point later in the game where a small squad of standard soldiers walk into an utterly decimated city that the invading aliens have ultimately taken over.
The soldiers move into an area that contains beaten-down cars and an empty building to the right. They notice a few aliens, which turn out to be horrifying re-imaginings of the Chrysalids. One by one, the marines become sliced up by the legendary foes, but not before a call for back-up can be made.
That's when the elite squad you'll be controlling enters the battlefield. All suited up in reverse-engineered alien tech (something you'll invest in throughout your time playing the game), the four soldiers are ready to kick some major ass. And with a telepathic Sid Meier himself leading the soldiers (as a joke put together for E3), you can bet on them doing just that.
The fallen comrades from earlier have already made the transformation over to becoming zombies, but it's nothing our saviors can't handle. Sid uses his mind-control power to tell one of the Chrysalids to throw a grenade at itself, and the rest of the team use each of their unique capabilities and expertise to take out the rest of the infamous aliens in no time at all; it's as if they've done this a thousand times before. However, a giant Sectopod comes into play right as the demo ended, leaving me feeling anxious for what's next.
Now, I'll be the first to admit that I'm not really into strategy games at all. They were just never able to click with me all that much. Sure, there's the rare occasion that they do, but for the most part it's pretty consistent. Having said that, something can be said of the fact that I absolutely loved what I saw of XCOM: Enemy Unknown. I dug the game's presentation and how fluid it seemed to play out.
I can't speak for what the hardcore XCOM fans might think, but just know this is a game I will most definitely be playing come October 9th.
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