PC Review

X-COM: Enforcer

The X-COM series returns, but it's not business as usual...

The X-Com series has garnered some impressive accolades in the past thanks to it’s high-quality turn-based strategy gameplay that first proved rather popular in the mid-90’s. Since it’s heyday the series has since diminished in stature with only a space-sim spin-off worthy of note in recent years. Infogrames thought they might awaken fans of the name with a new title lately, another spin-off of the third-person action genre. Naturally, fans of the original aren’t going to be too happy, though a budget price-point is sure to at least catch the eye, as is the use of the X-Com brand.

Sadly upon playing Enforcer it’s quite easy to see why the game is offered at this cut-price, with Enforcer turning out to be a decidedly shallow action title, devoid of the cunning strategic depths of previous titles in the series, and generally appearing to be a slightly bad reflection on it’s name; lacking any resemblance to previous outings in the series.

That is not to say that Enforcer is an entirely shabby affair; fans of arcade-action (such as Rage’s Expendable) may indeed enjoy the occasional quick fix of frenetic fun this title offers, though it’s hard to imagine it proving sufficiently immersive enough to offer the longevity and depth of some action-based titles, most notably the finest third-person title to-date, Max Payne. X-COM: Enforcer

On the other hand, the price is also a factor here - and perhaps it would be unfair to expect a gaming revolution at such a competitive price. It just seems a shame that the series has departed from the high innovative standards of it’s roots, and this is an issue on which I’m sure fans of the genre will agree with me.

It’s not all doom and gloom however, for those who’ve savoured the rich storylines of X-Com in the past will at least get some form of continuation; even if it is a shallow and somewhat clichéd effort (being not entirely dissimilar to every other action game of similar foundings), compared to the epic detail of the original turn-based title. The game does however, benefit from the richness of the established X-Com world; and some of the environments reflect it well.

Which brings me on to the graphics; arguably the games strongest point thanks to the ever-impressive Unreal technology on which it is built. The monsters are quite nicely animated, the scenes atmospherically lit; if not boasting anything astounding on the detail front, and generally it’s all quite arcade-esque in appearance. Gamers who like that sought of thing may note this as a good point.

Multiplayer support is also included in Enforcer though what this option can offer over some other very impressive on-line action offerings is beyond me; though those who particularly enjoy the thirty-or-so singleplayer levels may wish to give it a go.

What are we left with in conclusion? A disappointment the answer, for those who may have hoped this marked a new milestone in the X-Com series, and ‘nothing special’, for those who are fans of the selected genre. Good value, none the less, but a shadow of the series’ former brilliance.

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