XCOM: Enemy Unknown for OS X is refreshingly replayable

XCOM: Enemy Unknown has blasted onto the Mac thanks to Feral Interactive. Do yourself a favor and get onboard this turn-based strategy game, which is extremely replayable thanks to random missions and customization options. 

Developed by Firaxis Games and published by 2K Games for PC and consoles, XCOM: Enemy Unknown is a re-imagining of X-COM: UFO Defense. The Mac release of XCOM: Enemy Unknown is the Elite Edition, and contains all previously released add-on content and updates. XCOM: Enemy Unknown – Elite Edition includes the Slingshot and Elite Soldier Pack add-on content, as well as the Second Wave update, which includes a series of gameplay modifiers that add further depth and flexibility to the campaign.

XCOM: Enemy Unknown -- Elite Edition puts you in charge of XCOM, a top-secret military organization responsible for defending Earth from an alien invasion.

You'll have to take command on the battlefield while, at the same time, training and equipping XCOM forces and negotiating with national governments. As civilian attacks and abductions work to create worldwide panic, you must outsmart and overpower your mysterious enemies before government funding for XCOM dries up completely.

Though not as complex at the original XCOM, Enemy Unknown has lots of components that will keep you coming back for more. One interesting aspect of th game is that the action takes place on two fronts: XCOM headquarters and on the battlefield.

In the former, you'll be busy expanding the XCOM base, manage its resources, oversee international relations and control Earth’s satellite coverage and air defenses. Don't think this is going to be a boring job. The Situation Room lets you keep an eye on levels of panic around the world and deploy satellites to improve your cash flow and track threats. Mission Control lets you scan Earth for threats, respond to requests for aid, and scramble interceptors to blast threatening spacecraft.

You'll have to recruit, customize and equip an elite squad, then upgrade each soldier’s unique skills and abilities as they gain experience in the field. You can mix and match aliens and soldiers to create powerful squads in LAN and online multiplayer modes. The latter is fun, but it's a bit limited. Basically, it's a one-on-one strategic duel where each player can use a mix of characters in order to build a squad. Not that there's anything wrong with that; I just expected more. 

Oh yes, and you have to recover artifacts from battle and use them to research and build technologies that can be turned against the invaders.

Battles start pretty simply. However, as you build and equip your squad, things heat up pretty quickly. Plus, juggling your duties at headquarters and on the field proves realistically tricky. As the game progresses, every move involves some sort of sacrifice or compromise. So many things can go wrong -- and often do. That's not a criticism; it's a compliment to the challenges of the game. 

XCOM: Enemy Unknown - Elite Edition includes the Slingshot and Elite Soldier Pack add-on content, as well as the Second Wave update, which includes a series of gameplay modifiers that add further depth and flexibility to the campaign.

It's not just another day at the office.

XCOM: Enemy Unknown -- Elite Edition for the Mac retails for US$49.99. It's available for direct download from a variety of digital partner sites worldwide including the Feral Store and the Mac App Store.


Minimum system requirements call for a 2GHz Intel Mac with at least 4GB of RAM, 256MB or better graphics card, and Mac OS 10.7.5 or later. The game doesn't support the following graphics cards: ATI X1xxx series, ATI HD2xxx series, Intel GMA series, NVIDIA 7xxx series and NVIDIA 8xxx series. The following graphics cards require 8GB of system RAM: Intel HD3000, NVIDIA 9400 and NVIDIA 320M .