UK Charts: Dishonored 2, XCOM 7, Scunthorpe United 0

a queue to buy a turn-based strategy game, yesterday

The UK game retail charts are about as relevant to PC gaming – and indeed gaming as a whole – as Mars Bars are to the red planet, knickers are to a fish or kindness is to the Murdoch dynasty. Nonethless, I feel compelled to mention this week’s, purely because they suggest that even the most mainstream field of games isn’t as resistent to new ideas and thoughtfulness as the moneymen who think Call of Honor is the only profitable game in town might believe.

While the deathless Fédération Internationale de Foot-to-ball Association retained the number one spot, Dishonored snuck straight in to 2 and XCOM to 7. Hurrah for new things doing well!

These are ostensibly new IPs, at least as far as the high street is concerned (while XCOM’s obviously a sequel, the near-20 year gap between it and the last proper X-COM game probably negates that in terms of high street sales), so that is some good going. This would imply Dishonored is the year’s biggest new IP in fact, snatching that trophy from Sleeping Dogs.

As always, the UK charts don’t include digital sales, thus are entirely useless, irrelevant and nonsensical, but hey ho – Dishonored and XCOM’s relative success in them might still mean that couple of more ambitious projects are greenlit by publishers. Also: a turn-based strategy game making 7 in a chart that represents the mainiest of mainstream? By golly.

It’s not a given that big new releases make the top ten, by the way – spare a thought for Kinect spin-off Fable: The Journey stumbling in at 37.

Those numbers refer to all formats, by the way, with the rest of that top ten largely occupied by console mainstays such as Pokemon, Resident Evil and Just Dance. Let’s look at PC-specific instead now. Again, this is retail/etail only, and does not include download sales in the slightest:

1. Dishonored
2. XCOM: Enemy Unknown
3. World of Warcraft: Fog of Koalaland
4. Guild Wars 2
5. The Sims 3
6. The Sims 3: Some Manner Of Expansion Pack
7. Borderlands 2
8. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
9. Diablo III
10. Command & Conquer: Ultimate Collection

Only two Sims titles in there? Truly, this is a changed world. The big question for me is where XCOM and Dishonored would have placed in the all-formats chart had download sales been included. I suspect those games are doing rather well with the PC faithful on Steam.

In fact, here’s the top ten for Steam over the last week:

1. XCOM: Enemy Unknown
2. Dishonored
3. Borderlands 2
4. Borderlands 2 Season Pass
5. Torchlight II
6. Counter-Strike Global Offensive
7. Arma II: Combined Operations
8. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 Collection 4: Final Assault
9. Borderlands 2 Mechromancer Pack
10. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim – Hearthfire

Dishonored’s great and all, but how good is it to see a turn-based strategy game, let alone one bearing the name of one of the PC’s most revered games, sitting right at the top there? (Plus, I think XCOM will probably edge out Dishonored for my personal game of the year, although FTL’s very much up there too).

I do hope publishers are looking very carefully at combined sales for XCOM, Dishonored and Borderlands right now, and also at their PC sales. A few market expectations could well be shifting.

The comments thread below will now be filled by joyless people moaning about Dishonored and XCOM.


  1. Gap Gen says:

    Over the weekend, there were around 3x more people playing XCOM on Steam than Dishonored, so perhaps that did better in digital sales. I’m guessing Dishonored did better on consoles than XCOM, but it would be interesting to see the actual figures.

    EDIT: OK yeah, so XCOM did do better on Steam, then.

    • Inglourious Badger says:

      As one of those lucky/greedy people who got both on Friday I can concur that I played a few hours of Dishonored first, then went to try XCOM and now I can’t stop playing XCOM. At all. Not even to play Dishonored which seems wonderful from what I’ve seen. They’re too different too compare which is ‘better’ but XCOM is definitely more addicting, and the one that’s most fun to regale your friends with stories about.

      • Nallen says:

        Agreed. Something about XCOM is more playable or more compulsive. I do love Dishonored though.

        • Ansob says:

          I completely disagree. XCOM is great, but I finished Dishonored in two sittings of ten hours each over the weekend. XCOM just doesn’t have that kind of pull.

          De gustibus, of course.

        • DiamondDog says:

          Disagree! I also got both and I’ve yet to touch XCOM. Dishonored is just so absorbing I want to immerse myself in it.

          I should say I’m of the opinion Thief and Thief II are the two greatest videogames ever, so even the vaguest similarities have got me hooked. It was actually exciting when I managed a level without killing or being detected by anyone.

          The atmosphere, the level-design, the character of the whole thing. I’m in heaven. Although someone desperately needs to mod in a blackjack instead of that stupid blade. I’m never going to use the thing.

          • Terrajax says:

            I disagree with you sir, got to the return to the tower and realized it was like 8 or 9 enemies repeated and its pretty much bioshock with a crossbow and different powers that get old pretty quick. and once you figure out enemies its easy way to easy. x-com on the other hand is like a big ball of addictive pain and agony that makes me think about every move at least three times. It is probably the most nail biting filled experience i have ever had i actually think about the choices im about to make in dishonored the consequences for making choices poorly is a worse ending if you make bad choices in x-com its all over. both games are great i just think x-com is the real jewel here.

        • Steed says:

          +1 for the XCOM camp, though I have only played the very beginning of Dishonoured up to meeting the man about his thing to take you to the people (suck on that, spoilers!)

        • S Jay says:

          Same thing, played a few hours of Dishonored (seems great), but already on my 2nd play of XCOM and I didn’t even venture multiplayer yet.

        • Sparkasaurusmex says:

          Yes. XCom is maybe my favorite game ever. I don’t say that lightly (but a “maybe” helps). Dishonored is awesome, but I don’t feel like it should be compared to XCom. That’s just not fair.

        • Underwhelmed says:

          In the first few moments of playing Dishonored I said to myself “god help me, this is going to be a Bioshock spectacle with System Shock depth, this is going to be the Thief sequel that never got made, the real Assassin’s Creed starts here!” And after about 2 hours I went back and played some more XCOM despite having beaten it the night before.

          There is something almost gravitational about XCOM, it’s like I won’t be able to touch anything else with any degree of commitment until I am completely burned out on it.

        • subedii says:

          One more for the “just had to go back to XCOM but that doesn’t say anything bad about Dishonored” camp.

          “Oh hey the new rookie is here. Congratulations! You get to field test our new experimental weapon. It’s called the “Arc Thrower”. I’m sure you’ll love it.”

          • Supahewok says:

            “Don’t mind the blood, it’ll wash out.”

          • yurusei says:

            “This weapon is extremely effective within it’s operating range of… 2 feet. I hope you’re a good runner!”

            I love giving the Arc to my heavy, with him being a large badass brick and all that. Highlight of his stunning (pun!) career was when he failed to Arc an Ethereal, and in disgruntlement mumbled ” Permission to use a real gun. Sir.”

        • Thiefsie says:

          Take a guess which one I’ve been playing, and I’ve got both. 16 hours so far and I just finished the bridge level.

      • Gap Gen says:

        Yes, it has the metaphorical one-more-turn factor, where you just want to see what the next bit of research gives you, or fight just one more engagement. Then again, I know someone who basically didn’t sleep last week so he could finish Dishonored, so I guess it depends what interests you the most. In many ways it’s a shame that they have to compete for my attention, but there it is.

      • JuJuCam says:

        I was complaining (quietly, to myself) at the time that for whatever reason the gaming gods decided to bless us Australians with Dishonored in the wee hours of Wednesday morn and XCOM at 10 in the morning on Friday. Turns out this was just about perfect timing for me to spend all of Wednesday and Thursday in a Dishonored bliss before XCOM ruined any chance of me returning to Dunwall. Good work, publishers(?)

    • JoeGuy says:

      I’ve already had one of those epic stories you always remember where only one squad member pulls the mission out of the fire at the expense of two others, in a bloody epic mission mid-to-late game. 2 pips of health left and was revived from a critical state too. That chap goes on all the missions now.

  2. Ross Mills says:

    This comment is full of joy regarding XCOM, although I have not played Dishonored yet, the concept gives me joy.


    • Ginga121 says:

      What is this Joy you speak of? You are meant to be miserable and joyless in the comments section! Did you not READ the actual article? You are allowed to moan about how good the games are but you are NOT allowed to be joyful about it!

      • Sweedums says:

        I’ll be miserable and joyless for you then, since i want both of these games, but can’t afford either! so bah humbug!! you all smell, you smelly people and your games… greaaawgghhh blah blah bah bugger bugger bugger

        • EPICTHEFAIL says:

          Shall I tell him that there is a new CoD coming out? That should get the sudden cheerfulness in order.

    • Bootsy81 says:

      ….grumble grumble grumble, rabble rabble rabble…. *down with this sort of thing* etc.

      (I’m actually delighted XCOM has done so well because it is fantastic and I got to quite like the Firaxis guys in the videos I watched in the build up to release. It’s nice to see guys that were passionate about the game they were making be rewarded by having it do well.)

  3. Shakermaker says:

    I haven’t played Dishonoured yet, but I can agree with you about XCOM. What a game. If I am not playing it, I am thinking about it. Lets hope this – seemingly – commercial success leeds to a resurgence of TBS games.

    • Xardas Kane says:

      You mean the resurgence that has long-since happened? Endless Space, Fallen Enchantress, an expansion pack for Civ V, Legends of Pegasus, Warlock: Masters of the Arcane and XCOM all in a single year. I call that quite the resurgence, even if not all were a success (LoP for one)

    • Underwhelmed says:

      A real Jagged Alliance sequel maybe?

    • vonkrieger says:

      I’d like to think XCOM isn’t the herald of the return of TBS as it is a shining example of a game which contains some decision making.

      You know. games which allow you to see the GAME OVER screen and feel great because that means you get to try again and apply the things you learnt.

      FTL was another example, albeit on a far smaller scale and budget than XCOM, of what I hope will be one of many great games to come.

  4. DarkLiberator says:

    Loving Dishonored so far, favorite thing to do is knock out the guards then leave them on a roof and watch them wake up and like wtf?

    • Sheng-ji says:

      Holy hell, do they wake up!!! That explains a few things that went wrong in my last mission!!

    • kael13 says:

      How long do they take to wake up?

    • Bostec says:

      They wake up? I have experienced guards appearing out of thin air. I chocked one guard out upstairs in an empty room and another one just appeared right beside the unconscious guard while i was downstairs and that put him in a state of alert. Do they all have that ninja ability the first lot have in the opening scene?

      • Sheng-ji says:

        Guards can cross level changes, could that be what happened? Also, most of them have reasonably random patrol routes – could it have been, seeing as you were downstairs, a guard who patrols through that room every now and again but you didn’t realise that was part of his patrol route?

      • DiamondDog says:

        I’ve noticed if there are a number guards patrolling an area, the others will take note when one of them disappears and then change their route to include the area where the other guard should have been. Basically, you have to hide bodies pretty well, you can’t just knock someone out and leave them in the middle of the room.

        I was caught out a few times when I thought I’d worked out all the guard routes and was happily looting when a dude walked into the room.

        The waking up thing is interesting though, not seen it myself, but it’d explain why areas seem like they get repopulated with guards.

        • SkittleDiddler says:

          I’ve been playing the game on Medium difficulty, and I’ve seen neither guard replacements or guards waking up. It might depend on which difficulty level one is playing at.

          • Sheng-ji says:

            I’ve definitely seen guards adjust their patrol; they say something like “I’m going to check over here” – I don’t think they wake up though by themselves though

    • tomeoftom says:

      WHAT?! Oh god.

      • Niteowl says:

        Actually, I’m not sure if they wake up on their own, but I do know if another guard crosses one that’s knocked out, he will wake him up.

    • 89thIncarnation says:

      I see what you did there ;)
      I think the most awesome thing was pouring beer into the glass at the bar. It’s a bit tricky to get it in the right position, but it’s worth it.

  5. Kreeth says:

    I really want to enjoy Dishonored, but I have discovered that I am utterly crap at playing first-person stealth games in the way I want to play them, all stealthy-like. I’m giving myself this week to really try and be stealthy, and then I’m just going to slaughter them all. Dammit.

    Love the setting etc. I’m just rubbish at the game.

    • Mollusc Infestation says:

      Three suggestions:
      Quick save like you’ve never quick saved before.
      Guards don’t look up very often.

  6. DyvimTvar says:

    Skyrim is still in the top ten? This boggles my mind.

  7. JackShandy says:

    Please don’t put “Dishonoured 2” in headlines, I don’t think my heart can take it.

    • subedii says:

      No need to worry, there’s very little chance of that happening.

      They use the American spelling.

  8. varangian says:

    I’d like to moan in a joyless fashion about XCOM. Wait, hang on, turns out it’s pretty damn enjoyable. Has had me swearing in rage about a couple of minor things but otherwise it’s as good as it gets and deserves to do well, so it’s gratifying that it has. And I’d probably say the same about Dishonored except that my games backlog is so big that I couldn’t justify shelling out for two new titles. Sorry Dishonored, see you in the Steam sale.

    • robovinnie says:

      Wait, hang on, turns out it’s pretty damn enjoyable.”

      I hope this was intentional

  9. McDan says:

    Still waiting for my copy of Xcom, was meant to be here on Friday. I’m sure the wait will be worth it though. Dishonoured is a far-off Christmas dream for me anyway.

    • MrMuse says:

      Joy is on its way to you too. I’ve been a gamer pretty much my entire life and I’m 40. I bought the originals and every clone that followed as they were released and this all-time classic is now a modern classic. Some purists have moaned about everything from the removal of carried ammo (reworked into the need to reload only) to the randomness of recruits and the twitchy camera. The ONLY valid criticism I can see with the entire game is the camera (which is minor if you are careful) and could easily be solved with clearer deliniation of height levels).

      The simple fact is that it remains better than the originals in every way and changes like the removal of having to constantly check to see if you put ammo on each character leaving on every mission are improvements rather than faults. Other faults (“why cant you rename characters”, “they removed the crouch function” etc etc) simply dont exist and have been made by people who haven’t really played the game.

      Add to this that my preorder got me a free copy of the excellent Civ 5 (which I gave to my fiancee who loved it) and this has been THE best gaming purchase I’ve made in many years.

      • MrMuse says:

        Opps – forgot the only other issue being that the tutorial mode is buggy and should be turned off. (no idea why it’s tucked away in advanced options either)

        • Xardas Kane says:

          No random maps, only a single deployable team and a single base are minor problems I have with the game, but otherwise I completely agree

        • aoanla says:

          I’ve watched a lot of Let’s Plays of XCOM in the last few days, and, in fact, no-one is complaining about the lack of a “space based” inventory, or lack of explicit ammo. What almost everyone does seem to miss (to various degrees) is free-aim (usually expressed as “I know he’s behind that wall, why won’t you just let me SHOOT THE WALL?”) and the ability to give your team “inappropriate” weapons for their class / pick up weapons/items from downed comrades. Oh, and the camera and the tutorial seem to be points of annoyance (which you have to admit, seems to go on for rather longer than it should do before returning decision making to you).

          Of course, they all enjoy the advantages more than the flaws annoy them, but it seems unreasonable to claim that XCOM is wholly better than the original in every way when all the complaints from people who play it are the same complaints ;)

        • Crimsoneer says:

          and no free aim. That’s infuriating

          • Underwhelmed says:

            There is a good reason though.

            Having Free aim would totally trivialize the entire game. Do I take a 25% shot at that Muton behind the wall? Or do I just take the 80% shot and vaporize the wall, and then get 80% shots on the Muton from my other squaddies in range? How about if the aliens start doing that? Keep in mind that in the late game you are outnumbered 3 or 4 to one on most missions on classic.

            Destroying cover is what grenades and explosives are for, and rightly so, their quantities are limited.

          • aoanla says:

            Really responding to Underwhelmed here, but there’s no “Reply” dohickey under his name…

            1) plasma weapons do perfectly well at destroying cover, so grenades and rockets are only “for destroying cover” because they’re the only thing you can free-aim currently. This is basically tautological.

            2) free-aim didn’t make the original X-COM trivial (but it had larger maps, for a start…)

            3) in choosing to free-aim at cover, you’re still wasting one of a maximum(?) of 6 shots just to remove some cover for one enemy. I’d guess that not all cover is 100% likely to be destroyed by a volley, so you’re probably actually wasting on average a bit more than 1 shot to take the cover. There’s still a trade-off here between how many shots you use to kill an enemy (here, a minimum of two), and you’re also depriving yourself of cover that might be useful to you if you advance. And, of course, some cover can’t be destroyed (cars, for example – but being able to ignite them would also be tactically useful).

            4) As you yourself have noted, it wouldn’t trivialise the game anyway, if the aliens could also use it (probably only Mutons and later, since they’re supposed to be your counters in the setting). You’d be forced to move around more, or find more resilient cover, making the late game more dynamic.

          • Napalm Sushi says:

            I chose to interpret the lack of free aim as an abstraction based on the ammo system: Your troops aren’t carrying unlimited ammo; they’re carrying enough ammo to get them through the bads so long as they don’t try to mow down every desk, bin and milk crate that dares stand before them.

            As has already been mentioned, this isn’t a simple reskin of the 1993 game. Cover is extremely important, and deliberately destroying it needs to take something special.

          • aoanla says:

            At no point has anyone said it is a reskin of the 1993 game in this discussion (nor has anyone said it should be). It’s getting more than a little tedious that all responses to mechanical criticisms (even where the general tone is positive) are met with this kind of strawmanning.

            (And no-one is saying that they want to blow up all the cover, either. Most of the frustration I’ve seen on Let’s Plays hasn’t even been “I have a 25% to hit, I want to blow up his cover” complaints. They’ve been “I saw him just go behind that wall, I just want to speculatively try to shoot through that bit of it”.)

          • specksynder says:


            I completely agree with you, with one hopefully humorous exception:

            Outnumbered in the late game? I wonder what I’m doing wrong. It seems, even with incredibly cautious cover/movement tactics, I’m perpetually beset by far more enemies than I can handle. On one of my first missions in April, I faced 6 mutons, 6 sectoids and 3 floaters all in one firefight. I learned so much about tactical retreats that day.

        • Arglebargle says:

          I have noticed a UI screwup though: Combat manuevers should always be on the same key, with additions coming in later, preferably on their own particular keys as well. For example, Overwatch should always be ‘2’ on all types of soldiers, instead of being different number on different classes. Instead of being able to automatically put soldiers into overwatch when I want, I have to check and see if I am instead going to be healing someone or some other unintended action. Same with Hunker Down, etc.

          Simple basic design element mucked up.

          It’s not as painful for me as it could be; I am only playing the game in the brief bits I can steal on a friend’s computer. Dang the long pay cycles!

          • Highstorm says:

            I agree with you about this annoyance, however I thought I’d point out that you can bind a key specifically to “Overwatch” in the options, negating that specific niggle.

            Doesn’t mean I haven’t wasted more than a few turns by pressing the same buttons as a previous soldier and hunkering down or some such. Argh.

      • Highstorm says:

        I love the new game. It’s fantastic and as someone above said, if I’m not playing it, I’m thinking about it. But saying it’s better than the original “in every way” is a smidge overdoing it, don’t you think?

        They’re different games, built on the same foundations. XCOM:EU is more streamlined and thus less deep in a lot of ways, but it’s no less fun for it. X-Com still has greater depth and a much wider spectrum of decisions to be made, both in the tactical and strategic layers. I don’t think one needs to be (nor should be branded) a “purist” by recognizing and even lamenting some of the omissions in this new game.

        However if someone says XCOM:EU sucks because they changed X, Y and completely left out Z, then by all means, pity them for their loss of a fantastic gaming experience.

        • mouton says:

          And in that case, they can just go play the original game or xenonauts.

          Myself, I have no problems with some evolution in my games.

        • MrMuse says:

          Seems a lot of people are jumping on some of the phrasing of my comment and perhaps “EVERY way” was a slight, and only slight, exagerration. As for who complained about what you can see each of the points I quoted in low-rating user reviews on metacritic. The point I was trying to make is that there appears to be a gaggle of fans of the original who delight in pointing out this small omission or that part about the game they don’t like in comparison with the original. At the same time THOSE people fail to discuss any of the MANY improvements. I could list so many little faults (such as the fact that there are no large maps with large open spaces of rare cover) in the same way everyone else does but I still believe that the improvements massively outweigh any of them and so generalise my point rather than posting a three page monologue that no one will bother to read. Whilst I agree that there is no reason you can’t still enjoy both games I still hold that the new XCOM is, for me, a better game. I could again roll off dozens of reasons such as the improved and expanded underlying storyline, the tense atmosphere that just isn’t the same in the original, graphics, cutscenes, run-cam and blah blah blah and, whilst I’m in no way trying to deny that there are areas for improvement, I also hold to my feeling that it is churlish for people to decry one of, if not the, best game(s) of modern times simply because a few things they liked about the original have been cut in the interests of mainstream accessability. Now you all have fun jumping on the relevance of “in the interests of mainstream accessability” ; ).

  10. Evilpigeon says:

    I bought both, loving dishonored so far but I can’t get into XCOM yet. I know it’s a bit petty but the fact that all the characters sound like americans, regardless of supposed nationality annoys me so much that I can’t play the game. Just waiting for someone to fix this with a mod or for Firaxis to either patch it or make me pay to fix it so that I can really get stuck in.

    • Gap Gen says:

      Yeah, that does bother me. I’d like to have seen at least one voice actor of each gender for each of the nations represented, although I think they have soldiers from non-Council nations too, which could make this complicated. I have a few gripes about XCOM (gimping my early game because I didn’t know what to/not to buy at first, and soldiers retaining their kit even when they’re cycled out of the squad) but overall it’s a great game so it’d be petty to complain too much about it.

      • JB says:

        “soldiers retaining their kit even when they’re cycled out of the squad” < This minor niggle and the dodgy whizzing about on free-aim are the only "moans" I have had with XCOM. Other than that, JOY!

        Also, Dishonored looks fab, I need a PC upgrade though =(

        • Underwhelmed says:

          Soldiers that are wounded drop their kit on their way to the infirmary, otherwise you just need to remember to remove it if you take them out of the squad manually. Playing “who has my arc thrower” is not a fun mini-game.

          • ArthurBarnhouse says:

            This is a very odd design decision. An I meant to be building Titan armor four all four of my heavies?

          • MentatYP says:

            Access to your full list of soldiers from the squad selection screen would help alleviate this greatly. It’s bizarre to me that you can’t cycle through your soldiers on the squad selection screen, instead having to clear a spot, select the soldier you think is hogging your Arc Thrower, unequip it from him, clear that soldier from that spot, reselect the soldier you actually want in the squad, and give him the Arc Thrower. It’s madness.

    • Xardas Kane says:

      Do what I did – turn off their voices. It’s in the options menu.

    • JackShandy says:

      Funny that you say that and mention dishonoured, what with the american accents in that one.

      • Hidden_7 says:

        I really don’t understand the American Accentgate of Dishonored. Is there something inherrently offensive and inferior about American accents to those across the pond? Is it because Dunwall looks so much like London that certain deviations from London stand out in weird ways? What is it? Because obviously any actual suggestion that the accents are “wrong” for the world is crazy since it is a fantasy world.

        They obviously didn’t stand out for me, since as a North American they just sound unaccented, but then I don’t generally balk at the presence of British accents either. I mean, Thief got away with its oddly inconsistent blending of American and British accents pretty well (seriously, there doesn’t seem to be any clear determining in class or otherwise as to who gets a British and who gets an American accent), no one complained about that. Is it because The City was slightly more foreign than Dunwall? Even though it had strong medieval design aesthetics that should have, in theory, clashed terribly with Garrett’s cynical American noir private eye monologue.

        What is it about Dunwall in particular that is leading so many people to go “you know what, these accents are wrong”?

        • JackShandy says:

          Dunwall is Super England. It’s weird for it to suddenly not be England in this small part of it.

          • Hidden_7 says:

            Except for the presence of futuristic technology, the heavy reliance on whaling as the core industry, the ruling over Spanish and Scandanavian/Russian type countries, the dominant religion and the pervasive superstition that opposes it, the district flooded and abandoned due to a New Orleans style lack of maintenance for flood walls, the local fauna, the magic, the scientific views on the universe, the anachronistic plague, etc. etc.

            I get that visually it is heavily based on London, and that it shares some pretty obvious similarities (island empire, hereditary nobility) but seeing as how it’s a fantasy setting that draws from a few sources, it also has a lot of dissimilarities.

            Again, I go back to the Thief comparison, where you’ve got medieval peasants living in a medieval city (later elements of Victorian) talking about dukes and counts in thoroughly American accents. No problems there.

            More and more it seems like the accents were a very concious and correct decision to indicate that no, this is not England, Dunwall is not London. It looks a lot like it in parts, but it is it’s own thing. Just like the whales aren’t quite whales as we know them, or the dogs aren’t quite any species of dog we know, while both are still recognizable for what they are, it follows a design ethos of using recognizable touchstones but intentionally subverting them so that that’s not all they are.

            I can understand the point of disconnect if you’re walking around in an environment that feels personally recognizable to you, but then there’s this thing that stands out as very different, and taking note of that. What I don’t get is why the accents do that more so than all that Combine architecture being slapped down in the middle of the street, or why it would be a lasting problem, not shrugged off quickly as a recognition that this is a fantasy setting.

            Basically, I can understand a brief moment of estrangement on hearing the accents. I can’t understand it being any sort of problem, as if that estrangement weren’t the exact thing you were after in a fantasy setting. I also can’t understand it being described as a “game-breaker” as in the rather long comments discussion on the review, or it somehow ruining the immersion, as if it’s a violation of the internal logic the game world sets up.

  11. Phinor says:

    While I’m extremely happy that the two highest selling new IPs of this year (Dishonored&Sleeping Dogs) are both awesome games, I’m saddened by the fact that they didn’t sell millions. I really hope both are at least profitable.

    Also XCOM is pretty great. The three games mentioned are probably my top 3 of the year unless some indie I’ve never heard of manages to surprise me.

  12. The First Door says:

    I just wanted to say this: I’ve never played an X-COM game before, but I am utterly addicted to the new XCOM to a level which has surprised me.

    Not only that, but it has given me some of the best gaming stories of the last ten years and even non-gaming friends are excited by me playing it. One of my friends now has the nickname of Disco as his virtual self got it in game and another now gets teased as she panicked and tried to shoot one of her friends on one mission.

    In a word: Brilliant!

    • loloquaker says:

      Thats what’s strong with XCOM games, from this one to the originals. The game doesn’t tell you a story, it gives you pieces of your own story at your own pace. You are in this history, not in the game’s.

    • Sheng-ji says:

      I had a rookie who panicked and gunned down my best soldier; my one remaining member of my original squad.

      Said rookie was issued neon pink and blue armour, green hair dye and is given the stun gun job every mission.

    • The First Door says:

      Indeed, the creature your own stories nature of the game is something rather special and quite rare. It’s something that FTL did quite well too, but I find XCOM is much better at it.

      That’s a good idea, Sheng-ji! Embarrass the soldiers with bad dress sense. Some of the high-number colour combinations are terrible…

    • Claidheamh says:

      We can’t be talking about making our own story without mentioning Crusader Kings 2. So that’s fixed.

  13. Meat Circus says:

    Suggests that Dishonored has done just fine, thank you. But that XCOM (not surprisingly) is more of a PC phenomenon.

  14. BrianOConnell says:

    Digital sales figures outside of the UK would surely only be a measure of stupidity seeing as the game is retailing at €50 on steam. The boxed format is cheaper as are the various online steam key sellers (keys that are taken from boxed copies in many cases iirc thereby registering on the sales already) so paying valve their usual exorbitant price is pretty foolish to my mind. Strangely the UK price is reasonable at €37 approx. while the US is similar to europe. Boggles the mind sometimes.

    • ArthurBarnhouse says:

      Where would you even go to buy a PC copy of Xcom? It’s not something they’re likely to sell at Target.

      • Vinraith says:

        Well, actually:

        link to

        • ArthurBarnhouse says:

          That is interesting, but none of the stores near me carry it. All of them are listed as “out if stock”. The nearest store that does is 60 miles from me.

          • Vinraith says:

            The best source for retail box PC games these days tends to be Amazon.

          • mouton says:

            E-tail in general is good. It tends to be vastly superior to Steam price-wise in Europe, while still relatively convenient.

  15. Thysios says:

    Xcom only came out on the 12th here in Australia. Already got 25 hours played. Loving the game despite getting my ass kicked every time. Feels good to see some new games gaining popularity that aren’t actions/fps games.

    Dishonoured hasn’t arrived yet, but should be here in a few days.

  16. Hazzard65 says:

    Sad that there is only one unique IP there. Not that I don’t think these games are good, just that it’s a shame there aren’t that many new ideas floating about.

  17. iucounu says:

    XCOM is great. Really, really great. Feels just like UFO, even if it plays different. I could moan about a couple of things (my main gripe is the terrible, terrible camera) but I’m sure a little patching will sort them.

    I’m really glad it’s doing so well. Hope it does well on the consoles, too.

    • JoeGuy says:

      Yeap definitely the camera on occasion and one or two bugs is my only gripe. I’m sure they’ll get patched soon enough. But it didn’t stop my sniper flying beside and getting stuck in a wall and being useless the whole mission lol.

      • iucounu says:

        My badass psychic support Colonel Krishna Pillai actually became completely invisible towards the end of one UFO assault.

  18. Pete says:

    Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 Collection 4: Final Assault

    Really? Title inflation has got out of hand.

  19. lerouxb says:

    What’s strange is that I can’t find XCOM for less than $52 on PC or $70 on console down here in South Africa whereas Dishonored is $38 for PC and $57 for console. I already ordered Dishonored but can’t bring myself to pay that much for XCOM even though it is the one I’m looking forward to the most.

    I realize we’re not exactly the biggest market for games, but I wonder if that price difference is just here or if it is more widespread. Could affect sales, no?

    • Dark Nexus says:

      I realize we’re not exactly the biggest market for games, but I wonder if that price difference is just here or if it is more widespread.

      It’s more wide-spread. It’s a common complaint from Australia and New Zealand for example. It seems to be most common for places that are more remote (relative to the publisher’s location) and still get boxed retail copies.

    • lasikbear says:

      Thats what you get for pulling funding from the XCOM project! You guys had no events, like at all, not a single invasion, and yet you pull out like a gross sexual metaphor I am too upset to come up with.

  20. DrStrangeLug says:

    XCom is a far better remake than I think I expected. Some flaws yes, but I can honestly say it’s an xcom game.

    An modding SDK out of 2k games would be the icing on the cake.

    • Phinor says:

      For whatever reason in the past few years Bethesda games have been cheaper in Finland than other major publisher games. That includes big games like Skyrim, Rage and Dishonored, all three of which were 32.40 euros (0% tax price) in various stores and roughly 40 euros with taxes, while major games usually debut at 50 euros. So at least it’s not an isolated case in South Africa. Who knows why this is happening but I’m not going to complain as long as it keeps happening :)

      edit: Doh, replied to wrong post. Oh well, close enough.

  21. Premium User Badge

    phuzz says:

    Sorry Dishonoured, I will play you soon, but for now the world needs saving from the extraterrestrial threat.

    (FTL is on my buy list too)

  22. Cinnamon says:

    These days a game can top the charts and still be a commercial failure. Actual numbers are something of a state secret, until the American publishers have to tell their investors why they are losing so much money.

  23. Jesus H. Christ says:

    Thanks for the “WOW: Fog of Koala land”.

  24. Crazy Hippo says:

    i have completed dishonored and really enjoyed it, took around 30 hours to complete which is reasonable. i have just started XCOM and i am already enjoying it more.

  25. vonkrieger says:

    XCOM represents the first weekend I’ve lost in entirety to a single game since Baldur’s Gate 2 was released.

    And I want more…

  26. Tyrmot says:

    XCOM is fantastic.

  27. Kong says:

    Aye caramba. You want rant? Alright, malicious joy:

    Maybe that will teach future remakers of classic titles how it is done.
    Bit Composer, Kalypso I am talking about you and Jagged Alliance Busters.

  28. EPICTHEFAIL says:

    Dammit, why did they have to release 15 good games in as many days? I can hear my wallet wince at the very mention of Steam, capitalization be damned.

  29. Lobotomist says:

    I am trully sad that both Dishonored and Xcom do not work on Win XP :(

    Even the fact that they dont work is because one simple dll that has win xp version. But developers didnt put it in, because they didnt want to test it….

    Community so far made just one fix for Xcom. But it still works only on demo.

    • onyhow says:

      Eh, XP only has 2 more years of extended support left, and then it’ll end completely…just change your OS to 7, it’s good…plus, the thing is, what, 11 years old already…I mean should Microsoft still support Windows 98 when Windows 7 came out in 2009?

    • skinlo says:

      Time to upgrade I’m afraid.

    • bwion says:

      I only got my first system with Windows 7 about a month ago. And as someone who put off upgrading from XP for a very long time, I can honestly say that, as fine and functional a system as XP is, upgrading to 7 is well worth doing. (I never really doubted it would be; my reasons for delaying the upgrade were about 60% laziness, 30% economical, and 10% wanting to spite the sort of horrible people who turn up lambasting everyone who hasn’t abandoned XP since five minutes after Vista came out for Holding Back Progress or whatever.)

      It’s actually pretty admirable (and astonishing) that it took this long (Just Cause 2 and that astronaut game aside) for prominent games to stop supporting XP, but it looks like that day has finally come.

      • Lobotomist says:

        Yes. I have million things installed. And time i will spend reinstalling and installing ( days probably ) could be time spent playing :(

        • ffordesoon says:

          Aren’t external hard drives relatively cheap? Just back your games up onto one of those, do a clean install of 7, and plug the thing back in. Move files as necessary.

          That would work, right?

          • Dark Nexus says:

            For some games, not for all. Should work fine for Steam games. The biggest issue might be making sure save files are in the right spot.

        • Lobotomist says:

          It would work for steam games ? Well that at least is good news.

          • Dark Nexus says:

            It’d probably have to re-run the “first run” stuff again for each game, but it won’t have to go through the full download and install process.

            And watch out for save files stored outside of the Steam folder. They’re typically either there, or in the Windows user documents folders.

        • iucounu says:

          I held out until this year; it took me an afternoon or so to do the upgrade, and I assure you XP to Win 7 is a big upgrade. I use Win 7 at home and XP at work and spend a lot of time with the latter wishing I was using the former.

          • Vinraith says:

            While I agree that Win 7 is a dramatic improvement over XP, the afternoon to do the upgrade is not really the issue. The several weekends worth of time to reinstall software, reconfigure settings, and generally get things back to “where they were” is what usually makes me delay an upgrade. As much as I prefer Win 7 I still haven’t gotten around to upgrading my work laptop from XP for this very reason.

          • iucounu says:

            Eh, I basically just reinstalled things as I needed them. It’s odd how much stuff builds up on your PC over time that you just don’t ever use; it’s good, sometimes, to get a clean slate to work with.

    • Dark Nexus says:

      Hard to blame the developers for not wanting to spend the money on testing it for XP, considering it’s a segment of the market that barely exists anymore.

      Based on the Steam Hardware/Software survey, 12.77% of Windows users on Steam users still run XP. There is likely a high correlation between those people and the people who are below minimum requirements for hardware – such as the 12.04% that are below the 2GHz Dual Core CPU requirement for XCom.

  30. Frank says:

    They’re not doing too shabby on Amazon US’s “video games” chart (which also includes headphones and such, apparently): the digital download of XCOM is at #19.

    While I was there I also came across a very good deal of the week called the “Absolutely Great Square Pack [Download]”: DXHR + DLC, Just Cause 1+2, Hitman 3, Quantum Conundrum and a couple more for $10. Amazon says they’re out of keys at the moment, though.

  31. phenom_x8 says:

    Why are FIFA not mentioned there,RPS(in the other chart than the steam one) ?? I think they have their PC version now that make them qualified to enter your chart!
    I smell conspiracy!! :)

  32. roryok says:

    I’m convinced Sims games only end up in the charts because when you go into any high street shop, typically the only PC games they have on the shelf are all the various versions of Sims and WoW. I think Sims games probably get bought as gifts and left in a corner.

    • Eddy9000 says:

      I think it’s got more to do with them being gender neutral in their premise and marketing and being bought by the 50% of the population neglected by most other games, whihch tend to be about war or violence, or set in futuristic or high fantasy settings; themes and environments that men are socialised towards much more heavily than women. The Sims has an almost 50% female player base, and employed a higher percentage of female staff in its design, creation and marketing than any other AAA game.

    • ArthurBarnhouse says:

      So I’m an American and would like clarification: what is a high street shop? The Wikipedia article feels unclear to me, is it just like a mall shop?

      • Eddy9000 says:

        Yeah, a brick n mortar store.

        • ArthurBarnhouse says:

          But are all brick and mortar shops high street shops? Would a standalone Best Buy and an import store in a mall both qualify?

          • Hidden_7 says:

            It’s a confusing one isn’t it? The “High Street” seems to be (Brits correct me if I’m wrong here) simply the main street, as in a major commercial street, not a residential one. If that’s the translation then the concept of a “high street shop” really doesn’t make sense here in North America, because where else would you have a shop other than the main street? From my experience as a confused Canadian looking into this term, you can remove the “high street” from the equation altogether and not really lose any meaning.

          • Eddy9000 says:

            It has to do with the difference in development of citys and commercial areas between the two countries I think. As a younger country built around sudden economic success many of america’s populated areas are heavily planned and more specifically planned around the automobile. Out of town and mall shopping is vastly more common compared to the UK, where the pre-automobile and more organic development of populated areas means that local high streets are still the main commercial areas. I the UK ‘malls’ tend to be referred to as ‘shopping centres’ and are often adjuncts to zones already used for shopping rather than being stand alone or out of town. They also tend to be for shopping specifically rather than having ice rinks, cinemas etc. a ‘high street shop’ does just mean a ‘shop’ but is a commonly used phrase because the majority of shops, including supermarkets, are on high streets.

  33. Nick says:

    In your face everyone who said turn based games are old hat.

  34. derbefrier says:

    Been playing DisHONORED ;) and its been a blast. I did end up starting all over and raising the difficulty to its highest and turning off all the UI crap and went with my own rule set of no one dies but the main target and I cant be detected at all. 6 hours later and a lot of quick saves I had succeeded in getting past the Tutorial and first mission. Tonight I attempt the Golden Cat. Doing this has made the game much more of a challenge and much more fun and really shows the game at its best.

    I haven’t got to Xcom yet but but its the next priority after Dishonored. I have heard nothing but good things from friends who have been playing it.

  35. JCJensen says:

    Dishonored > Xcom! I mean, the first one is an immersive sim done right (and if you want more Deus Exy games like this, go out and buy it, don’t wait for steam sales), without any compromises, while Xcom is too streamlined compared to other tactical TB games (like JA2, Silent Storm..). Why can’t I pick up a laser rifle from my dead soldier, and give it to another assault mid battle? Well, because there’s no active inventory (seriously, name me one game in this genre without an inventory), and you have to continue with crappy regular rifle. Why can’t I sneak, surprise the aliens, without them running to cover every time I see them, thus flanking is a complete joke? It’s still good, and I’m enjoying it, but I wish they haven’t simplified stuff as much as they did..

  36. Sunjammer says:

    Ok I’ll bite and get poo-faced about XCOM and Dishonored (both fantastic games though).

    I made the horrible mistake of playing UFO and Terror from the Deep back to back before jumping into XCOM, which puts the latter in a horribly unfair position, because it simply isn’t the same kind of game from my perspective.

    For me the geoscape and research were actually the most satisfying bits of the originals, seeing your tech expand, reading the research reports. The tactical game devolved into tedium more often than not, but intercepting and tracking UFOs and developing your own fleet of UFO-likes was really satisfying to me.

    It’s my humble opinion that the best comparison game for XCOM is Advance Wars, which is a pretty fucking fantastic game to be compared to. The tempo and streamlining is right in that alley.

    The geoscape and base management/research of the new game is utterly whiffed. An almost completely linear research path with your choices almost always dictated by your immediate resources, not your strategic options. “Oh dear, can’t afford that weapons research, better sell some thin men!” is a gross simplification of what was a very involved business in the first games.

    And the interceptions, Jesus Christ, why even bother giving us a hangar? If you’re going to abstract all that fun strategic stuff away, then do it properly like they did with the abductions (pick one out of three) and don’t patronize me with this Fisher-Price toy interpretation of what UFO did.

    Dishonored is a superb game that farts loudly in a quiet auditorium at the very end. An epic stumble. Thank god the gameplay outvalues the story by such a wide margin.

    No manner of daft storytelling can break the experience of dashing off the very top of Kaldwin’s Bridge, double-jumping and blinking as far ahead as possible, dropping a hundred meters to drop-assassinate a guardsman, breaking the fall. That’s proper game.

    • DXN says:

      I think I’m pretty glad I never played the original X-COM, because I’m having a blast with the new one untroubled by comparisons. Having said that, it does seem like the game would be even more fun if some of the depth from the original had made it over. Hopefully some mods will sort that out!

      I’m loving the rat-infested shit out of Dishonored, as well. Spent 7 hours yesterday on the first assassination mission. :D

    • iucounu says:

      I agree that UFO and TFTD were much more detailed in the amount of management you had to do; the base isn’t really a separate but complementary game mode any more. It’s a very fancy skill tree aimed at improving your odds in the main game mode.

      Is it wrong that I don’t really care? I don’t miss the micromanagement. I don’t quite have the will any more (possibly as a result of one too many revives, haha) to grapple with UFO’s ancient interface and graphics. It’s a brilliant game, but I would spend an afternoon playing XCOM over it, or indeed my first loves on C64, Laser Squad and Lords of Chaos.

      What I’m hoping is that the success of XCOM will lead to some even more ambitious follow-ups, whether direct sequels or not. (And of course there’s Xenonauts for people who desperately want a direct clone.)

  37. fencenswitschen says:

    German Charts Amazon:
    5. Xcom
    15. Dishonored

    First place: Landwirtschafts (aka Farming) Simulator 2013
    What is wrong with this country.

    link to

  38. Infinitron says:

    You’d all better hope XCOM tanks on these charts, or you can say goodbye to the strategy genre, the last bastion of PC-exclusiveness.

    • Dark Nexus says:

      Opinion =/= Fact

    • subedii says:

      Pffft hahaha….

      Nope. I hope it does exceptionally well across every platform it’s released on. And I also hope that it serves to show publishers that there’s more viable genres than “Shooters, Shooters with RPG numbers, and Dance”.

      Also, the game works on every platform, owing to its turn based nature. Consoles in general have a long history of TB games, strategy or otherwise (mainly Japanese). Heck, one of my favourite games is Final Fantasy Tactics.

      Also -also, kindly call me when Hearts of Iron and Eurpoa Universalis suddenly become console darlings. Kthxbye.

  39. DeFrank says:

    I hope this helps increase the chances of a new Freedom Force game. Irrational is owned by 2K so I am keeping my fingers crossed.

  40. Farsearcher says:

    An intelligent strategy game and an immersive sim both in the Top 10 and vying for top place on the Steam charts. This is a very good day.

  41. wodin says:

    I enjoy XCom but as a hardcore tactical gamer it’s definitely not one of the best tactical games made..nowhere near..the LOS for starters is pretty awful..which for a tactical game is a sin. The difficult choices really come about due to restrictions rather than choice which in my mind is abit of a cop out.

    It is fun though but dare I say it even the recent Jagged Alliance did tactics better (well with mods, but still you had alot more options to chose from)

    Now if this had taken inspiration from JA 2 1.13 we really could have had something deep and special.

    I’m not trying to rubbish the game because it is good fun, I’m just very surprised by the rave reviews not from reviewers but from gamers. It’s like the negatives and they are pretty big negatives are totally overlooked nor realise the streamlining of the game and limited options is what makes it more taxing rather than being a wealth of options and choices you had to get right or use well.

    Anyway as I said I’m enjoying it. I’d say though it’s hard to compare the two that both games have their plus and minus, but as a work of design and creativity I’d go with Dishonored.

    Game of the year? No thats Crusader Kings 2. Which is a work of shear genius and original.

    • Eddy9000 says:

      “It is fun though ”

      Which instantly puts it a mile ahead of my experience with most other strategy games!

    • RobertJSullivan says:

      Unfortunately I don’t think we will ever get a T-RPG as rich as 1.13, it is in developement since 5 or 6 years or something and being constantly improved by the community and the mod itself is fully modifiable via a well explained ini so if you don’t like a feature you can always turn it off.
      This mod is really a curse, even if I am enjoying XCOM like hell, I can’t help but say from time to time : why can’t this thing be like in 1.13 ? I realise it’s a little foolish though.
      My biggest issue with XCOM is that it doesn’t have a “bullet physics” but is rather a binary system : you hit or you miss.

  42. Haphaz77 says:

    I’d pay /a lot/ of money to watch that football match.

  43. jellydonut says:

    Haven’t even tried XCOM, but I’m sure it has more replayability than Dishonored.

    Still, Dishonored is great. I also feel like we’re a bit spoiled – Dishonored is *polished*. I have yet to experience any bugs, the AI doing something idiotic, or graphical glitches, or crashes. That’s more than I can say for older games of the same type, and newer games like Skyrim.

    It’s a technically well done game, as well as a fun game.

  44. Nihilist says:

    XCOM is amazing and I have been there 20 years ago and played the original – I love it.

    BUT I bought also Xenonauts, if I lust for some oldschool X-COM I play that.

  45. RobertJSullivan says:

    Can we now please get a decent JA2 sequel ? BiA was awful imo and not because I expected a 1:1 1.13 copy with HD graphics but because they couldn’t even get the basics right : awful voice acting, no more cheesy one liners that made me burst out laughing, expressionless mercs portraits and no more Eliott you idiot.

  46. MonkeyPunch says:

    No joylessness here.

    Got both games (on PC) and really like them both for different reasons. Great games and still a good time to be a PC owner.

    Xcom especially though, seeing as I’ve never been much of a strategy fan. Heck I didn’t really get into UFO when it was out (yes, that old) but I’m loving XCOM EU.