If that video didn’t do it for you, let me tell you why I am more excited to play XCOM: Enemy Unknown than any other game that is coming out this year. This game looks like it will do the best job of any game I have ever seen of giving me the feeling of playing with GI Joes. Based on my several playthroughs of the demo and all of the videos and features I have seen, this game will let you lead your squad of battle-ready soldiers as they take on the fiercest alien threat this side of Galactus.
The gameplay is divided into two parts. The first part is the one that looks good in a game trailer, made up the bulk of the demo I played. This is the GI Joe stuff. The combat in XCOM is a turn-based strategy game, where you move your guys around on the battlefield, give them their attack orders, and then wait as the aliens take their turns. The videos I’ve embedded here give a great idea of the combat, while showing off some of the powerful weapons available in the mid-game. The important aspect of XCOM to keep in mind is the fragility of your soldiers. At every time, you want to end your turn behind some cover. Every single time. Otherwise, you will die, and in XCOM, when a soldier dies, they don’t come back.
The second part is the one they haven’t shown much in videos. Here, you make all of the big choices, like who to save and what type of war you want to fight. In the demo, I encountered one small aspect of this game. At the outset, two separate attacks were taking place, one in China and the other in the United States. I could only help one country. Whichever country I helped gave me a resource and the other became just a bit more panicked. When the citizens’ panic level in a country gets too high, they stop helping fund XCOM and the resources coming in slow down. But, again, I haven’t played any of this part.
If that got you even a little excited for this game, why don’t you watch about an hour of gameplay?