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Preview: XCOM: Enemy Unknown for iOS

If ever there was a game created for Apples range of devices it is Candy Crush.  But if you like your gaming much deeper it would be hard to go past the acclaimed XCOM: Enemy Unknown.  We had a chance to get our fingers poking into the new iPad version of this excellent game.

For turn-based strategy fans there can be a dearth of new content around, the genre has somewhat been out of fashion as third and first person shooters, MMORPG’s and racing games fill the revenue side of the publishers ledgers.

The other source of major income is bite-sized chunks of game-play goodness built for hand-held devices or smartphones.

Against both of these trends steps XCOM: Enemy Unknown for IOS, we had a poke on the iPad.  The first question we asked was if there were any requirements for iPad generations.   We got an indefinite “I don’t think so.”

With that in mind, it is quite extraordinary how developers are cramming ever increasing complexity into our hand-held gaming experiences.  We now have a range to enjoy from the five minute words-with-friends whilst waiting in a queue, to the more sophisticated time consuming titles such as the recent Star Command and Warhammer Quest.

And this conversion as well.  XCOM:  Enemy Unknown seems at home on the Apple tablet.  Poke a squad member, poke a command or where you want he/she to move to, and confirm.  Apart from somewhat sparser detail of the environment, this is XCOM straight from the console or PC.

We asked what is missing?  Apparently the iOS version is lacking a couple of maps only, otherwise all the game-play, cut scenes, equipment levels and action is as it was on the bigger home devices.

We had only a few minutes to play through a short mission, so we did not get to see much of the cut-scene or base building content available.  However, it is evident from the action portion of the game that all is well with this version of the game.  Presentation levels are clear whilst being atmospheric along with the audio cues that make up much of the original titles flavour.

Look for XCOM: Enemy Unknown on iOS in August.


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Mike Bantick

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Having failed to grow up Bantick continues to pursue his childish passions for creative writing, interactive entertainment and showing-off through adulthood. In 1994 Bantick began doing radio at Melbourne’s 102.7 3RRRFM, in 1997 transferring to become a core member of the technology show Byte Into It. In 2003 he wrote briefly for the The Age newspaper’s Green Guide, providing video game reviews. In 2004 Bantick wrote the news section of PC GameZone magazine. Since 2006 Bantick has provided gaming and tech lifestyle stories for iTWire.com, including interviews and opinion in the RadioactivIT section.