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XCOM Enemy Unknown review round-up: 'The sequel we've always dreamed of'

All the XCOM review scores in one place...

It's a good day for games! Following Bethesda's already-critically-acclaimed Dishonored, 2K Games has delivered the "XCOM sequel we've always dreamed of."

In our XCOM: Enemy Unknown review we called it a "surprisingly personal turn-based masterpiece" that "harks back to the golden era of strategy games."

Below follows a list of all the XCOM: Enemy Unknown reviews we could find. The general consensus seems to be that Firaxis has crafted one of the best strategy games in a long time.

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  • CVG: 9.2 - A polished turn-based shooter that harks back to the golden era of strategy games. Rich, customisable, and fiendishly addictive.
  • GameSpy: 5/5 - I implore you to play it if you have any interest in turn-based tactics whatsoever -- it is indisputably the best of its genre made in at least a decade. I leave the title of Best Game Ever with the original, but playing this one has done this old X-COM fan's heart good, and I believe it will make a whole lot of new fans, too.
  • Polygon: 8.5/10 - XCOM: Enemy Unknown brings the memorable turn-based alien invasion classic gracefully into to the modern age, but comes just short of fully reinventing the genre. While tactical, squad-based combat has never felt so effortless and rewarding, the strategy component takes just enough away to make the game as a whole feel like two slightly disjointed halves. One of those halves just so happens to be one of the best and most artfully-designed strategy games in recent memory.
  • God is a Geek: 10/10 - XCOM: Enemy Unknown is the kind of title that will take people by surprise, but it really shouldn't, because Firaxis have been quietly going about their business of becoming one of the best strategy developers around. People who thought Enemy Unknown would be good are wrong, because it's actually one of the best video games released so far in 2012. The level of depth, combined with numerous other factors such as the sheer volume of content on offer, mean that this is not only a unique experience, but also an ideal starting point for newcomers, whilst keeping veterans happy.
  • OXM UK: 9/10 - Sophisticated, unnerving and reliably unforgiving, XCOM: Enemy Unknown isn't just Xbox 360's finest strategy experience - it's also a strategy game which changes how you think about strategy games. Go into it expecting a deadening flow of unlocks and build queues, and you'll get a nasty surprise. Approach the game as you would an odd noise in the basement, and the Earth might just have a fighting chance.
  • Play: 94% - Thinking, planning, failing and dying is back in fashion: XCOM is a phenomenal reimagining of a classic title and an instant classic in its own right. The love poured into it and the sheer depth of the experience has created something truly special.
  • Eurogamer: 9/10 - Near the campaign's end, there's a direct tribute to the original game's designers, the Gollop brothers, accompanied by an achievement called 'On the Shoulders of Giants'. It's a beautiful touch, a nod from one development team to another across the generations. They have something in common now. In their own time and place, each made a fantastic game called XCOM.
  • VideoGamer: 9/10 - XCOM works best as a panic management simulator.
  • Edge: 9/10 - Charting a course through Earth's imminent destruction is as unashamedly difficult as it was in 1994's X-COM. It's possible, through bad planning and bad management, to doom the planet early on, making the game feel unfair. Get it right, however - survive the stresses of management, and the strains of aliens - and you'll feel like world's greatest hero
  • PC Gamer: 87 - Brutal, beautiful, emotion-wringing turn-based storytelling muffled by flat base design.
  • Official PlayStation Magazine UK: 9/10 - With every element of Xcom's complex yet utterly accessible systems - from meaningful combat tactics, to budget balancing, to life-or-death diplomatic decisions - feeding directly into every other aspect of the game, this is as compelling a world as any in recent memory. Enemy Unknown is fast but thoughtful, mentally taxing but constantly exciting, and chaotic yet always balanced and welcoming. This really does do it all - and it does it very, very well.
  • Kotaku: YES - XCOM: Enemy Unknown takes a classic PC strategy game, improves it then makes it playable for console owners as well.
  • Joystiq: 4.5/5 - XCOM: Enemy Unknown is an exemplary turn-based strategy game. Firaxis has deftly blended management, tactics and the sort of gut-level, throaty encounters usually reserved for fast-paced action games. The mixture is potent enough that you may occasionally forget that the most critical moments boil down to nothing more than a percentage and a choice. On any other day, betting on a 60 percent chance might seem like a no-brainer. When the fate of the world hangs in the balance, you'd better think twice.
  • Strategy Informer: 9.0 - So as long as you're happy that the game's real qualities are found in single player, offline gaming sci-fi epics, XCOM: Enemy Unknown comes highly recommended. Remember that this recommendation also goes for players who aren't usually the turn-based type. As long as you enjoy action, sci-fi and a rich amalgam of gaming styles, there's loads to enjoy right here.
  • The Average Gamer: Great - XCOM: Enemy Unknown perfectly captures this sense of responsibility. You're just one general pitted against a overwhelming alien force. You don't know what they want, you don't know what they can do and you're always scrambling to catch up. All your decisions have consequences and all those consequences are the direct result of your decisions. Slowly, you'll learn. You'll do better. It's just a matter of time before you'll amass enough technology and firepower to burn that alien base to ash. Boy will they regret ever coming to Earth.
  • GameInformer: 9.50 - Both of XCOM's layers present life-or-death conundrums to which there is no right answer. No matter what you pick, something or someone is going to suffer for it. This kind of tension and terror rarely occurs within mainstream gaming, and almost never with this level of skill in the execution. Don't let the "turn-based strategy" moniker scare you off; XCOM is a singular achievement that every gamer deserves to experience.

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