Ah, the Anticipation

One of the games I'm very much looking forward to this year is XCOM Enemy Unknown.

The game is a remake and update of XCOM UFO Defense game from the 1990's.  I loved that game and played it repeatedly during my college years.  What made it so addictive was its ability to engage me on multiple levels.  Turn based strategic combat, resource gathering, and structure/asset building features are all aspects of my favorite games, and the old XCOM was no different.  I admit I'm a total sucker for games like Sid Meyer's Civilization or Blizzard's Starcraft where I get to sate both my creative urges and blood lusts.  XCOM gave me something of what those other games did, but added the intensity of on the ground style combat to the mix which really raised the level of excitement.

As the game progressed I found myself growing attached to characters despite the limited interaction through dossier style screens and direct control during the 3D strategy sequences.  I even had a favorite computer generated soldier, Wolfgang.  I recall returning to my last save a few times when he got killed.  My friends and I would often play together, naming the troops after ourselves and taking bets on how long our digital avatars would last before biting it.  Grim, but it was good fun too.

The old game let you micro-manage your teams in their fight against the invading aliens.  You could equip them with specialized gear and develop their team roles as the game progressed.  Different combinations of specialized troops led to a different feel for every battle sequence.  This was another highly addictive feature that looks like it's been preserved in the new game.

I've got my fingers crossed that it lives up to and goes beyond the "cool factor" of its predecessor.

You can find the official website here.

Below is the gameplay trailer for the new game, XCOM Enemy Unknown:
(Videos Courtesy YouTube)

And for the truly dedicated, an interview with the game's lead designer, Jake Solomon.


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