Thursday, January 3, 2013

Game of the Year 2012: Chris Linendoll

If you were to ask me at this time last year what I'd choose as 2012's Game of the Year, XCOM: Enemy Unknown probably wouldn't even cross my mind. To be honest, I was pretty excited for the XCOM FPS that was (is?) in development at 2K Marin. I've never played the previous, classic XCOM games, and I haven't touched strategy games since the late 90s. But, somehow, XCOM: Enemy Unknown is unquestionably my Game of the Year.

My eyes were first opened to this title when Rock and I were given a demo at PAX East in the early Spring. Despite my lack of history with the franchise, I was immediately drawn in by the intense ground battles and endearingly cartoony art style. Each alien species is distinct,and immediately recognizable in the heat of battle. The gameplay is a perfect blend of "tough, but fair" that a lot of games attempt, but never quite achieve.

The toughness of these battles allows your troops to grow on you over the course of the game, and there's nothing more satisfying than launching a squad of Colonels at your enemies. Level layouts are fun, challenging, and their random nature allows for some of the highest replayability in years. Even the multiplayer, while not groundbreaking by any means, is a lot of fun. As a matter of fact, when you get down to it, that's exactly what makes XCOM: Enemy Unknown my Game of the Year.

It's a whole damn lot of fun.

Christopher Linendoll is all about the snipers. Follow him on Twitter, if you like nonsense.

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