Let’s Play XCOM: Enemy Unknown! Part 1: Baby Steps

This entry is part 1 of 7 in the series XCOM: Enemy Unknown, by Peter S

March, 2015. We are not alone in the universe. Humanity is under attack from an alien army equipped with technology beyond anything we have seen. The armed forces of the Earth are powerless. All save one – the mysterious international organisation known as XCOM, sponsored by a Council of sixteen nations. It’s up to XCOM’s soldiers, outnumbered, outgunned, but brave and (one hopes) well led, to stop the aliens in the cities and in the fields. It’s up to XCOM’s scientists to unravel the alien technology the soldiers bring home, and up to XCOM’s engineers to adapt it into something the troops can use. And it’s up to me, the player, to give them all direction. Will I succeed, or will humanity be destined to end up as just another course on the alien buffet menu?

 

Let’s find out.

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Let’s Play XCOM: Enemy Unknown! Part 2: Winning battles, whither the war?

This entry is part 2 of 7 in the series XCOM: Enemy Unknown, by Peter S

Welcome back to my Let’s Play (Classic difficulty, Ironman mode) of XCOM: Enemy Unknown! We finished our last instalment on March 20 (game time), with a successful end to XCOM’s third battle. Following that battle, XCOM earned a new, experienced Heavy named Talorc, and I began construction of the Officer Training School.

 

But before I can train any officers, not one day after the previous mission, it’s time to sortie again:

 

 

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Let’s Play XCOM: Enemy Unknown! Part 3: Terror and Triumph

This entry is part 3 of 7 in the series XCOM: Enemy Unknown, by Peter S

Welcome to the third part of my Let’s Play (Classic difficulty, Ironman mode) for XCOM: Enemy Unknown!

 

When we previously left off, I had two worries. One, whether I could obtain better arms and armour before the game ramped up in difficulty. Two, a rising tide of global panic. And soon, the game does its best to exacerbate (2) by throwing a devil’s choice at me:

 

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Let’s Play XCOM: Enemy Unknown! Part 4: The Turning of the Tide

This entry is part 4 of 7 in the series XCOM: Enemy Unknown, by Peter S

And we’re back!

 

After Part 3’s successful terror mission, the rest of April passes without incident. Dr Vahlen and her scientists finish research on beam weapons, which unlocks laser pistols and laser assault rifles for use by my squad!

 

 

Unfortunately, I’m too broke to build more than one of each. Not only do they hoover up cash, they also require precious alien alloys – and my stock of alloys is running dangerously low. Farnsworth gets the laser rifle; LeSquide, our sniper, gets the laser pistol (since he can’t move and fire his sniper rifle in the same turn, he’s the one most in need of a decent sidearm).

 

At the end of the month, the Council gives us our scorecard and funding cheque:

 

 

As feared, the XCOM Project has lost its first two countries: Japan and Mexico have raised the white flag to the aliens. Three more, Argentina, India and China, are teetering. But all is not lost – I have no fewer than three satellites in the pipeline, plus the cash to build more (and their supporting infrastructure). This coming month, May, will be do-or-die. If XCOM can make it through the month in one piece, by its end I should have enough satellites to halt the tide of global panic. More than that, I’ll have so many satellites, and so much funding, that I’ll never have to worry about scrimping and saving again. If, if, if.

 

Let’s see how I go.

 

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Let’s Play XCOM: Enemy Unknown! Part 5: Pride Goeth Before a Fall

This entry is part 5 of 7 in the series XCOM: Enemy Unknown, by Peter S

As Part 4 ended, things were going smooth as butter. XCOM’s soldiers were winning battle after battle, and coming home almost invariably in one piece. The strategic layer was under control, thanks to XCOM’s ample satellites and newly ample cash.

 

As June 2015 dawns, it seems fair to ask: what could possibly go wrong?

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Let’s Play XCOM: Enemy Unknown! Part 6: SHIVs, Stopgaps and Archangels

This entry is part 6 of 7 in the series XCOM: Enemy Unknown, by Peter S

The battle of Melbourne, June 2015, dealt a bitter blow to XCOM.  It left us down two countries and five soldiers (four of them amongst our finest veterans), and painfully exposed the inadequacies of XCOM equipment against the aliens’ latest toys. The laser weapons and carapace body armour that had served us so well, just a month or two ago, now look like a joke against Cyberdiscs. The new faces joining the squad are under-levelled marksmen of dubious skill.

 

But XCOM is a game about fighting back against the odds. This update is the story of how my survivors – a lopsided bunch, with too many snipers and too few heavies and support troopers – make do.

 

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Let’s Play XCOM: Enemy Unknown! Part 7 (FINAL): Avenger

This entry is part 7 of 7 in the series XCOM: Enemy Unknown, by Peter S

 

North America, 1 September 2015. The aliens’ forward base on Earth, the wee hours of the morning. Above the landing bay, a shape appears: XCOM’s Skyranger, followed moments later by a hover SHIV and five of XCOM’s finest operatives. The soldiers rappel down into the base, plasma rifles at the ready. Little do they expect what lies ahead: an anti-climax.

 

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