xcom enemy unkown plus review ps vita
In 2012, 2K Games and Firaxis Games gave a cult-classic computer game a full reincarnation for modern gaming systems. This game was known as XCOM, a tactical turn-based combat game, with base management elements. The game puts players as the Commander of the XCOM organization in their fierce efforts to repel and destroy a vicious alien race, determined to invade and occupy the Earth. The original game was lauded for its horror-like elements, as players took to the battlefields of their own planet, commanding soldiers to victory, but often times at a heavy cost. Permanent death is enabled in this game, making every soldier lost a significant one, especially after achieving a high rank.
This legacy was brought to a new generation for gamers when XCOM: Enemy Unknown made its way to the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and Steam platforms, reinvigorating the franchise and bringing a new audience. Enemy unknown was a huge success, paving the way for new games, especially for XCOM 2. ON March 22nd, Enemy Unknown made its way to the PlayStation Vita, bringing with it all its content, including from the expansion Enemy Within. This game was actually released with virtually As it has been ported to the PS Vita, there was quite a bit of sacrifice made. However, the end result is a solid, mobile XCOM experience with the PS Vita.
For those unfamiliar with XCOM: Enemy Unknown, players take part in humanity’s last stand against a vicious army of aliens. These aliens have stormed the planet, infiltrating every city and country on the planet. With this threat, the “XCOM Initiative” is activated. A group of scientists, pilots, and soldiers amass at their HQ, their mission clear and imperative. The role of XCOM is to defeat the alien threat, with surveillance, research, and combat. You are the Commander. It is your role as the Commander to manage your base, resources, and research, while directly combating the alien forces.
The port to the PlayStation Vita was successful but it does suffer from technical performance issues. This is expected, as the PlayStation Vita is a portable handheld game platform, versus the high performance of the consoles releases. The game has a solid visual look, but naturally, misses the details and effects of the console version. In addition, there is a significant slowdown in framerate, during combat and cor-coordinating movements. In addition, there are longer load times for the PS Vita version. After many hours, it does take some getting used to, However, with XCOM: Enemy Unknown, the focus is the gameplay, which does succeed very well.
XCOM is a matter of base management and research, all affecting your role on the battlefields. XCOM is founded and funded by the major countries of the world. Your role, in addition to defeating the alien menace, is to ensure the protection of these countries. If your efforts are successful, these countries will continue to fund the XCOM Initiative. However, countries will fall through continued failures. If all the countries fall, the mission is over. It is up to you to manage your base and research, to keep the countries happy and your force in tip-top shape.
Fortunately, XCOM does introduce you to the mechanics of base management, and will continually guide you as elements, such as DNA and Mec Upgrades, become available. There will be tough choices to make and some countries will fall. However, the goal is to be persistent, smart, and use your resources wisely. All these decisions will also affect your capabilities in combat, which is the heart of the entire XCOM experience.
After recruiting soldiers in your barracks, you are able to scan for alien activity. UFO landings, abductions, and alien terrorism are all active conflicts that your team can stop. When on the battlefield, XCOM becomes a fast-paced, and very challenging, turn-based combat experience. The aliens are an enemy that are constantly and consistently ahead of you. They come in a variety of types and forms, doing everything they can to destroy you. Permanent death is activated at all times, putting your soldiers at constant risk of not surviving the battle. That doesn’t mean that you, the player, the Commander, aren’t capable. It is all the more motivation to annihilate the enemy.
The player can deploy up to 4 soldiers, 6 if they upgrade their barracks. As the Commander, your job is to position your soldiers and make the best possible combat choices. Using defensive tactics, firing your weapon, deploying explosives, all come into play. Using cover is an absolute necessity, in addition to watching your cover. All the while, you need to adhere to the parameters of the mission, whether that is saving civilians or carefully defeating aliens without destroying sensitive alien technologies. Thinking like a soldier and a tactician is a must for XCOM.
When the combat gets going, it’s a fast-paced game where you feel the very grazings of laser fire as every single choice that is made is a difference between life and death. Combat decisions are a matter of skill, chance, and various smaller elements, such as enemy positions and weapons. Every tango neutralized and objective accomplished is a small victory. Making it through entire levels with no lives lost is equally rewarding, as it gives your soldiers the ability to get promoted and to become stronger. At the same time, losing your soldiers is permanent, so a trooper that has survived for 20 missions can die, losing all of that experience that made your squad a formidable combat force. The sequences that play during your combat engagements are equally fulfilling, as there is a solid satisfaction in shooting down an “X-Ray” with a well-placed assault, rifle burst. At the end of each mission, your team gathers various technologies to utilizes for your bases. This can be traded or used to make newer technologies for your soldiers.
Enemy Unknown Plus has a unique feature in that it actually merges an expansion for Enemy Unknown called Enemy Within. Enemy Within was released a year later to console platforms and introduced players to the substance known as “Meld.” Meld is a quintessential resource to the aliens and allows for unprecedented ways to upgrade your forces. Eventually, you can genetically mutate your soldiers, or convert them into cyborgs to become MEC troopers. Genetic mutations give your soldiers enhanced abilities, including stealth, enhanced aiming, and the ability to jump to higher elevations without the use of a latter. MEC Troopers are humans converted into war machines. The MEC suit has an arsenal of firepower, such as miniguns, grenade launchers, healing shields, flamethrowers, and rail guns. They are unable to take cover, like ordinary soldiers, however, they have unparalleled combat capabilities.
However, this also introduces players to an enemy sympathiser force, called EXALT. They are humans that utilize alien technologies to defeated XCOM and aid in the alien invasion fo the Earth. These cover operations play out differently than regular XCOM missions. Players must scan for EXALT cells and gather intelligence. From there, players must choose a covert operative to infiltrate an EXALT cell. When that operation is completed, an extraction mission is launched to secure data and rescue the operative. EXALT forces can be significantly tougher than the aliens as they use more tactics and numbers than the aliens. This makes the PS Version of Enemy Unknown very unique amongst the consoles versions, due tot he fact that players are fighting a two-way war at the same time, something that cannot be done on the other platforms.
Ultimately, the game becomes an incredible addiction that is hard to put down, even for mobile players. When the combat is in play, every choice is important and necessary. Every enemy defeated and victory achieved becomes a small, rewarding victory that makes players cheer with excitement and wish to delve deeper into the experience. The game is simply a serious strategic challenge and a blast to play. For PlayStation Vita owners, this is an absolute buy, especially for those that have never played XCOM before, or wish to have a very strong and capable experience on the go.