Tuesday, October 9, 2012

XCOM: Enemy Unknown

I rarely get the time to play video games anymore.  What with kids, the house, the race truck, work, etc., my life is pretty full as it is.  Finding time to mindlessly pour my efforts into a bunch of pixels on a TV screen is not usually anywhere near the top of my list of things to do.  Add to the fact that console video games tend to shy away from strategy, military or simulations my interest has waned greatly in recent years.

That may change today with the release of XCOM: Enemy Unknown for the Xbox 360.  I was a huge fan of the original game back in the very early 90's when I played it on a 486/66 PC.  Those of you who remember such DOS computers will likely know of the original game as well.  It was an excellent turn based shooter where you would manage small teams of your UFO Defense team on missions to take out invading aliens.  In between missions you had to manage your resources to reverse engineer captured alien technology and defend the planet.  I never got to the end of the game but it somehow managed to build feelings of care and nurturing for your little team and palpable fear about what may be hiding in the dark, unexplored, unseen areas of the battlefield.  The original XCOM was one of the most addictive and enthralling games I've ever played.
Some 20 years later Firaxis games, the same company that handles all the Sid Meier games (Civilization, etc., also some of my favorites) has gone ahead and re-booted the original. Early reviews have been excellent and state that it stays true to its roots and has not gone "arcade" and remains a turn based strategy game at its core--an anachronism these days to be sure.  I'll be buying it today and trying it out tonight to be sure.  I won't have as much time to play it as I used to but I'll give it my best.  Can't wait!

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