It’s the slow, creeping horror, I think. That’s what I’ll remember best about downloading the demo of XCOM: Enemy Unknown, Firaxis’ turn-based strategy planet-saver we thought so unfeasible, a pipedream, only a couple of years ago. Only when I say horror, I mean joy. And it’s not so much creeping as unfettered.
The demo comes with two levels, insofar as an XCOM game will deign to have levels – two tutorial missions, which will introduce us to the game’s tactical layer, with its turns and its horrible maimings at the hands of aliens and whathaveyou.
They’ll also have us tour the XCOM base, where we’ll get to play about with soldier training and the researching of tech sourced from the curiously clammy, cold hands of unlucky xenos on the battlefield.
But what’s all this natter for? There can be no negotiation, no diplomacy. Only screams, lasers, and exploding barns in the night. Get to it.