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Reviews are pouring in for XCOM: Enemy Unknown and whether the sites are on Metacritic or not, the game is scoring massive wins in the review department by most major sites. The game is receiving a lot of general praise for design and gameplay, but there are still a few things that are keeping it from achieving a perfect score.
The general consensus from sites like PC Tech Authority, Shack News, Ars Technica and Escapist Magazine is that the game scales well, has appeasing visuals and keeps the difficulty in check. Their review scores (or for the ones that use them) are generally high. Recommending the game for both newcomers and old-school PC strategist alike.
Other sites actually nail the review process down to a bit of a science, scoring the game with an accurate measure of criticism. Out of these, the best reviews with a more critical eye are easily IGN and Venture Beat. IGN scored the game an 8.2 out of 10 while Venture Beat scored the game an 85 out of 100. Both scores reflect that the game is great, with lots of praise given throughout both reviews, but they also bring up points that have irked some of us long-time fans of the series, including the limited quantity of soldiers on the battlefield (limited to six, as opposed to the older games which could have close to 30 soldiers on the field.)
IGN and Venture Beat also pinpoint another irksome feature that old-schoolers have been weary of, streamlined map designs as opposed to procedurally generated maps. The old games kept the tactics on near break-neck tension levels due to the random maps and players never being able to memorize them. Firaxis trades in the random map bit for hand-crafted maps, which also caused them to lose a few points from reviewers who come from the old-school of gaming.
Nevertheless, only having two major flaws – with some minor complaints about camera controls and a lack of physics-based destructibility to round out the negative side of things – XCOM: Enemy Unknown is viewed mostly as a favorable gaming experience and a nice return to the turn-based strategy genre. The game on the PS3 is sitting at a 90 out of 100 from critic reviews on Metacritic and an 8.4 for the user score. The Xbox 360 version has a 89 out of 100 from the critics and a whooping 9.2 from users on Metacritic. The PC version seems to be leaning toward the lowest score on Metacritic, sitting at an 89 from critics and an 8.8 from from users, citing poor implementation of the keyboard and mouse support as the primary drawback.
Still, it looks like critics and users both agree that Firaxis Games has a winner on their hand and XCOM is a worthy reboot for both console and PC gamers.