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XCOM: Enemy Unknown

3 months ago

Feature: Hit Parade

The 50 best strategy games on PC

An entirely objective ranking of the 50 best PC strategy games ever made, now freshened up to include our favourites from 2017 and 2018. From intricate, global-scale wargames to the tight thrills of guerrilla squads, the broad expanse of the genre contains something for everyone, and we've gathered the best of the best. The vast majority are available to buy digitally, a few are free…

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UFO sans DRM – XCom Complete Edition lands on GOG

Is six years within 'fashionably late' territory? Better late than never, at least. Today, Firaxis's alien-bothering turn-based squad tactics revival, XCom: Enemy Unknown has launched on GOG after over half a decade of the PC version being Steam-exclusive. Rather than divide it up, GOG are only selling the Complete edition of the game, including two minor bits of DLC and the rather more significant Enemy Within expansion.

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6 months ago

X-Com spiritual successor Phoenix Point is doing $100k per month in pre-orders

Snapshot Games, lead by David Kaye and X-Com creator Julian Gollop, is a runaway success. Or at least I would think $100k a month in pledges would give a game studio some breathing room. But Snapshot isn't sleeping at night. The prevalence of cheap games and promotional bundles has the studio spooked because, while this is a time of incredibly bounties for consumers, not every…

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Feature: Along came a spider

Phoenix Point is so much like XCOM it scares me

The mutant spider queen ripped through another building and I knew my team was dead. This didn’t bother me, I’ve played enough of nu-XCOM to accept the loss of humanity’s last hope. But there’s something more unsettling than being impaled by a large arachnid in Phoenix Point. Its the game’s uncanny and unnerving resemblance to its XCOM cousins. It’s like seeing a doppelgänger of your…

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1 year ago

Feature: Choose life, choose a fucking big mag cannon

XCOM 2: War of the Chosen’s alien champions, lost cities and soldier bonds explained

Fallen cities swarming with the dangerous remnants of their human populations, alien battlefield commanders who resemble fantastical heroes, new rulesets for friendship and fear, and an actual active resistance out on the Geoscape. XCOM 2 [official site] is changing. The War of the Chosen is "definitely the biggest expansion we've ever done", lead designer Jake Solomon told us at E3. Introducing unique enemy champions doesn't…

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XCOM 2: War Of The Chosen coming August 29th

As expected, Firaxis announced a full-fat XCOM 2 [official site] expansion at the E3 2017 PC Gaming Show, promising "new environments, new enemies and new XCOM forces". It's called War of the Chosen and the trailer shows those Chosen, the "ultimate enemies of XCOM". They are three champions - nemeses perhaps - and they will grow up in strength through the game, learning new skills…

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Feature: The Council of Funding Nations convenes

Phoenix Point is now crowdfunding: we spoke to Julian Gollop about standing out in a post-XCOM world

The original X-COM (UFO: Enemy Unknown), Julian Gollop tells me, "succeeded in spite of itself". I asked him how he felt about the game now, twenty three years after its initial release, and particularly about the way it's often placed on a pedestal. He didn't expect it to be a success and certainly didn't think he'd be making a game heavily based on its legacy…

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2 years ago

Get your ass to Mars – the original X-COM is free

Oh sure, it's basically been pennies for years, but nothing motivates the merely curious like free-free-free. For that is the case for X-COM: UFO Defense aka UFO: Enemy Unknown, the 1994 alien-bothering strategy game that kicked off a series now made something of a household name by Firaxis' remakes. Only until tomorrow, though.

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XCOM Long War 2 is coming

Many people thought that the comprehensive and tough as nails Long War mod was the best thing to come out of XCOM: Enemy Unknown so the news that the team behind it would be producing mods for the sequel, in partnership with Firaxis. If only they were working on a full-blown Long War mod though for XCOM 2 [official site], wouldn't that be something? Well,…

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Long War Studios Release New XCOM 2 Mods

The Long War is one of the great mods, expanding Firaxis' XCOM reboot in ways that called back to the campaign of the original game while also building on what was brilliant in the new version. The team behind it formed a studio and are now working on their own aliens vs Earth game, Terra Invicta, as well as Firaxis-approved mods for XCOM 2 [official…

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Feature: Also: the DLC, reviewed

Five Months Later, How Has XCOM 2 Changed?

Five months and one day, in fact. XCOM 2 was a big huge hit at release, and mostly very well-received - although, variously, there were complaints about performance, difficulty, time-wasting and the opacity of its complicated systems. The picture's a little different now we're here in July. There have been three DLC packs, a bunch of patches, a mod community and most of all, plenty…

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Feature: X-COM Meets The Mist

Phoenix Point: Every Detail Of The X-COM Creator’s Return To The Genre

One of the most exciting games in Los Angeles this week won’t be featured at press conferences or on the showfloor. Phoenix Point [official site] is the new tactical-strategy hybrid from Julian Gollop, the creator of the original X-COM, and we met yesterday to discuss its procedurally generated alien threats, simulated human factions and much more. Here’s the world’s first in-depth look at the game.

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3 years ago

First XCOM 2 DLC Inbound, But No Perfomance Fix Yet

Well, in fairness, they've still got a week to squeak out a much-needed fix for the otherwise great XCOM 2 [official site]'s assorted technical issues before the Anarchy's Children DLC arrives next week. They might yet do right by us. Leaves a bit of a bad taste in the mouth to even be talking about flogging extra content before the base game's fully ship-shape, though…

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Feature: Tactics, Turn Timers, Difficulty, Boardgames, Bugs & Beards

Interview: Firaxis’ Jake Solomon On What Went Right And Wrong With XCOM 2

In which Adam and I sit down with XCOM 2 lead designer Jake Solomon to dissect the strategy sequel. We discuss what it does well and some of the complaints levelled at it, hear about ideas tried and discarded during development, why story had more of a focus this time around and the continued importance of the original X-COM games.

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Feature: Solomon: "I should probably have put in a fake difficulty below the lowest difficulty"

XCOM 2 Was Made More Difficult Late In Development: “There Were Definitely Moments Of ‘Is This Too Much?'”

XCOM 2 was made significantly more difficult late in its development cycle after playtesting suggested it was too easy, says the game's lead designer. "I remember saying 'you know what, we're going to make the game a lot harder. We're going to go back and make the game a lot harder on every level, because this game is not engaging people the way it should,'"…

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Feature: Death is not the end

Learning To Love Failure In XCOM 2 & Darkest Dungeon

The year is young but we've already had the pleasure of welcoming two gruelling tactical slaughterfests into the world: XCOM 2 [official site] and Darkest Dungeon [official site]. We've written a great deal about Firaxis' latest already and our ongoing diary has just hit the point where the alien threat starts to chip away at our beloved squadmates. Darkest Dungeon is more obviously punishing, every…

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Feature: The Wizened + The Doomed: An XCOM 2 Diary, Day 3

XCOM 2: Things Fall Apart

I'm playing and diarising XCOM 2 [official site] on Commander difficulty in Iron Man mode, using characters based on the staff of RPS, replaced by readers as and when they die or go out of action. Full explanation and the story so far here here, and you can download the characters for your own game here. And I was doing so well (thanks in part…

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Feature:

Have You Played… XCOM: Enemy Unknown?

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time. Well, 'tis the season and all that. What with XCOM 2 currently overheating a few million graphics cards across the world, it seems a fine time to think back upon Firaxis' original attempt to reboot Julian Gollop's classic strategy+everything game for a new…

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Feature: Time-saving and dog-wielding

Dogs, Timesavers And Katanas: The Best XCOM 2 Mods

It’s been 20 years since the events of XCOM: Enemy Unknown and while you’re sat there wondering where it all went wrong, the alien occupation of the world as we know it is A Thing now. I saved the world the last time round, did I not? I hear you mumble under your breath. No, no one did and that’s the end of it. Get…

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