XCOM: Enemy Unknown was 2012’s dark horse.
Emerging among a glut of sequels and yearly franchise updates, XCOM differentiated itself from the competition with old school gameplay and compelling encounters.
Impossible Ironman became the new Dark Souls as a measuring stick for difficulty, and its multiplayer suite, though limited, was tense and thrilling in a calculated manner rarely seen on consoles.
Named Game of the Year by sites such as Kotaku and Giant Bomb and enjoying financial success, particularly with digital versions, the future of XCOM is secured right?
Speaking to MCV, senior games designer Anand Gupta said, “The future depends on how well the expansion is received.”
Following sister title The Bureau’s critical and commercial mauling which no doubt played a part in the closure of 2K Marin, the need for XCOM: Enemy Within to be a financial success has never been higher.
Of those players I introduced to XCOM: Enemy Unknown, those who enjoyed the title the most were players relatively new to turn based strategy. XCOM is an approachable and refined introduction to the genre, even if its difficulty curve is more of a cliff at higher difficulties.
The focused and nerve shredding combat, emergent narrative and unashamedly belligerent nature of your enemy on harder difficulties made XCOM: Enemy Unknown one of my favourite games of the last year.
With a new alien sympathizing terrorist threat, new resources, squad upgrades, maps and much more to be discovered besides, Enemy Within looks set to repeat the success of its predecessor.
Let’s hope consumers not upgrading to next-gen embrace something a little different this Christmas, and furthermore, that Firaxis gets the chance to continue making XCOM.
XCOM: Enemy Within is released November 15th in Europe for Xbox 360, PS3, PC and Mac.
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