Monday, March 18, 2013

Oh, How I Love Thee, XCOM!

Like I mentioned before, XCOM: Enemy Unknown is the game that turned Shawn's hot wife onto video gaming. It's a reboot of a two-decade-old game that I had seen K excitedly drag out and pontificate on at one point. The original X-COM: UFO Defense didn't appeal to me at all... it's an incredibly difficult and looong global-scale military strategy game where you manage finances, research and development, and turn-based tactical missions. The gameplay of the battles involves a detailed, point-and-click system used to assign tasks for each of your soldiers, with creepy tension-filled sound effects in the background. It's a huge cult favorite for your think-y, chess-playing types, but I'm more of a fast-paced, real-time action lover. No, thank you!

X-COM: UFO Defense screenshot
"Lieutenant Keller, please complete task #47 within the following time constraints."

So when K got all excited about the release of the 2012 version, I was like, "That's nice, dear," but obviously didn't share the same enthusiasm. Turns out I was totally wrong! Despite it still being turn-based and grid-based, the new XCOM is so much more watchable:
  • The controls for the soldiers have been streamlined and simplified (aka made faster).
  • Action sequences feel more intense with documentary-style battle cinematics.
  • The battles are much shorter because the maps are smaller and less emphasis has been placed managing micro-details. 

K had gotten the PC Collector's Edition for XCOM, which came with an artbook, poster, and a patch of the XCOM insignia. Then he came up with a brilliant idea of what to do with the badge...

Personnel from XCOM: Enemy Unknown
Wardrobe of the non-combatant XCOM personnel

XCOM jacket with insignia patch
K's new sweater knit jacket with XCOM insignia

Close-up of XCOM insignia patch on Spyder sweater knit jacket
Close-up of the professionally attached XCOM patch

Looks pretty similar, no? I have to admit, I wasn't brave enough to try and attach the patch myself without potentially ruining K's brand new Christmas gift, so we found a local seamstress to make it look flawless. This is a prime example of K's fashion aesthetic – covertly geeky. ^_~

Anyway, XCOM ended up being a win-win situation for us. K has a new stealth-geek addition to his closet that he's not embarrassed to wear, and I have an engrossing game that I can actively pester him to play. Now I just need to spread the XCOM addiction to everyone else... :P


Anonymous said...

wat, no likey original X-com?! For shame! ;)

A Gamer's Wife said...

Lol! I know I know, K says the same thing.