2K Games announces that XCOM: Enemy Unknown is now available in North America via retail and Steam, and Firaxis' action/strategy will be available internationally on October 12th. Some screenshots and a launch trailer support the release, and a playable demo of the Windows edition was released a couple of weeks ago on Steam (an Xbox 360 demo is likewise available, while a PS3 demo is still in the works). Here's word:
2K Games and Firaxis Games announced today that XCOM®: Enemy Unknown is now available in North America and will be available internationally on October 12, 2012 for Windows PC, the Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft and PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system. The game already has critics raving, with Game Informer stating that XCOM: Enemy Unknown is “a singular achievement that every gamer deserves to experience” and rating the game 9.5 out of 10, earning “Game of the Month” honors in the November 2012 issue.
“XCOM: Enemy Unknown revives the XCOM franchise, staying true to what fans loved in the original game while evolving and growing the experience to appeal to all gamers,” said Sarah Anderson, senior vice president of marketing for 2K. “Combining intense action and strategy, XCOM: Enemy Unknown is an experience unlike any other on the market, and one that no gamer will want to miss.”
Gamers who pre-ordered XCOM: Enemy Unknown and those who purchase the game for a limited time at launch will receive the launch bonus which includes the Elite Soldier Pack. The Elite Soldier Pack will provide the ultimate tools for soldier customization in XCOM: Enemy Unknown, including:
Classic X-COM soldier: Players will instantly receive a new recruit in their barracks inspired by the original X-COM: UFO Defense. The iconic soldier with the blonde, flattop hairstyle will return fully modernized.
Soldier Deco packs: Players can customize their soldier with several aesthetic upgrades to armor suits, including the new Hyperion and Reaper soldier armor kits.
Complete color customization: A variety of colors and tints for all armor sets in the game allow players complete control to customize their squad’s look.
A special edition of XCOM: Enemy Unknown for Windows PC (MSRP $59.99) will be available at participating retail locations. This special edition will contain a copy of the game for Windows PC and a number of unique XCOM items, including an art book; fold-out poster of the XCOM headquarters; XCOM insignia patch; and a collection of digital bonus assets such as desktop wallpaper, soundtrack and more. A digital version of XCOM: Enemy Unknown can be purchased from participating digital retailers for MSRP $49.99.
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Well I've been playing the hell out of it and it really is well done. I am doing my best to beat down that voice that pipes up every so often to remind me how different this is than the original and having marginal success. I definitely love the challenge - I have been wiped out on several missions now, and (like the original) it is really hard to recover from a disastrous mission in which you lose all of your best soldiers and your global approval rating bottoms out.
What the game does, it does extremely well. But I have complaints (surprise surprise). I am not so enamored with the fact that there are no base defense missions. Those consistently were some of the most intense, nerve-wracking missions in the first game (and it was also neat to run around inside something you built yourself) and it is a crime that this feature didn't make it in. Also, I remember fondly attacking alien bases as they started popping up all over the world - those were awesomely difficult and terrifying, but their not here either. My biggest concern, the lack of action point movement, is not as jarring a change as I expected and in fact it works really well. I lamented he lack of randomized maps, and I still do; this is mitigated somewhat by a large variety and randomness of starting points, but I still wish they were in here. Squad size, another huge concern of mine, is still a sticking point with me but it is not a deal-breaker. I would have liked to see squad size upped to 6 at the start and expandable to 8 though. Despite these gripes, the game is extremely fun, challenging, and addicting - three critical trademarks of the X-COM brand so that is a relief.
I hope the game sells well enough to warrant a sequel with those crucial features added back in. Firaxis may be on the verge of doing what began to seem impossible - pleasing hardcore X-COM fans with a modern re-imagining.
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