There's a lot of heart and soul in XCOM from an animation standpoint. There's a ton of great animations across the board, from the HQ to the individual character/alien animations, weapon reloads and action-camera shots. It all comes together perfectly and looks just fantastic in motion. There's just so much to see in terms of movement/facial animation in the cut-scenes and great gung-ho action animations.Physics
There's a solid level of physics underlying the whole thing, though it's more controlled simulation than anything with grenades bouncing along their trajectories and explosions causing area affect damage. Then you have the destruction applied to the environments which is another physics layer the game excels at, allowing virtually anything to be destroyed/blown away. Cover doesn't last long most of the time.AI
Enemy AI is a wonderful thing to see in action because it uses tactics, it knows the game's mechanics and will flank you, use abilities intelligently and provide a heck of a challenge even on Easy. If you play on Classic then X-Com fans prepare for a feeling akin to that from Terror From the Deep, keep your wits about you since the AI is even better and uses advanced tatics/tricks far more.
There are no real issues with the AI and it all comes together perfectly.Sound
The sound design for XCOM is brilliant with a great layer of atmospheric audio, especially when assaulting Alien Bases or moving through the undergrowth towards a crashed UFO. Music
We're reminded of Mass Effect 2 and 3 with the score for XCOM. It's bold, it's just like game's graphics and it's stirring. When the squad are being outfitted - then the Skyranger takes to the air, the music pumps to a fantastic military theme. We would love a stand-alone soundtrack to the game to be honest.Voice
There are some great performances and voice work in the game; we can't find a single thing to nitpick here. We love the XCOM Central Officer Bradford and a few of the other characters, especially the Shadowy Council guy. Dialogue
We often feel like we're in an episode of Stargate or Project: UFO (there is a homage to SHADO in the game - listen out for a comment about Straker from Bradford in the Situation Room), so the dialogue here does a good job of evoking mankind's response to an alien invasion of Planet Earth. Top marks again!Multiplayer
Oddly enough XCOM multiplayer works, it works because its turn based and squad based. We aren't massive fans of it and we'd happily say that given a choice between more single player content and so on, we'd go that route every time. You can set up the game and squad of your choice, alien or XCOM and battle it out against other players - we dived in some to the mp of the game but we really did spend a lot of our time playing the single player and experimenting with new research/tactics against the alien invaders.
Due to the turn-based nature of the combat, lag really isn't much of an issue.XCOM is back
Yes it's back, its back and it's a really solid remake. Whilst it probably won't be everyone's cup of tea due to some feature loss from the previous games, it's a fantastic game and a suitable return for the much beloved classic series. It's about time we say and we can't wait to see what Firaxis and 2K cook up for a sequel - perhaps a remake of Terror from the Deep is in order?
XCOM is also a massive game, you'll spend hours on the various missions, you'll spend hours researching and outfitting your squad. You may lose soldiers and countries in the processes but each loss may well galvanise you further to victory. Victory comes at a great cost Commander and XCOM is perfect at illustrating just how far you have to go to achieve it against a relentless alien force.
The best remake yet - XCOM is a game that deserves to be in your collection.