XCOM: Enemy Unknown Official Strategy Guide Paperback – Oct 9 2012
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About the Author
BradyGames, an imprint of DK and a division of Penguin Random House Inc., is the world’s leading publisher of strategy content for PC and console video games. BradyGames understands what gamers—both casual and hardcore—want and need from strategy guides. Every guide features in-depth content, detailed screen captures, quick-reference tips, and professional strategy. Prima Games is also a leader in the digital strategy realm, offering interactive maps, streaming video, searchable online guides and apps, and a full website at primagames.com.
Top Customer Reviews
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Let me tackle that first. A good editor will make sure there are no spelling/grammar errors and that information is correct. However, I ran into several instances of both (grammar/spelling example: "Any weapons you Research, younumber of researchers and labs to make the time investment worth the payoff."). The spelling/grammar ones I can tolerate, but often the book gives conflicting information, sometimes within the same paragraph, like when in the Support class's section it talks about suppression. The first sentence claims that its suppression imposes "a 30 penalty to aim" (which is identical to the Heavy's suppression) but then says in the second sentence that it imposes a penalty of 10 instead of the Heavy's 20.
The book is laid out well and contains a fairly exhaustive section of tables detailing armor, weapons and other things you can build. All of this information is available in-game, but the tables themselves are handy for a quick reference.
As you probably know, the game is divided between strategic and tactical sections. The strategic layer gets a *very* thorough walkthrough, divided neatly into "phases" bookended by the priority missions you get in-game. The book provides a timetable of what you should research when, and about what in-game time you should be at at the conclusion of the phases.
As good as the strategic walkthrough is, the tactical wakthrough is not very extensive. Part of this is due to the random nature of most of the missions in XCOM. In fact, only the final mission gets a detailed walkthrough, and the guide gives tactical suggestions on dealing with the "boss" (I use the term loosely) characters in two other missions. There's also a walkthrough of the tutorial mission, but since you have no choices in that mission and are just clicking where you are told, I don't count it, though the "walkthrough" does a good job of explaining the game's concepts along the way.
While I wasn't expecting a complete walkthrough, or even a section with layouts of all the possible single-player maps (there are over 80, last I heard), the guide hardly touches the tactical layer outside of what I mentioned above. A cursory explaination of how to build a decent squad at least would have been appreciated. There's some hints buried in the soldiers' upgrade tree descriptions, but that's about it.
Multiplayer gets about 30 pages after the single-player section. It does a very good job of breaking down the units and suggesting squads for the 10,000-point default matches (though I found the lack of any sort of Archangel Sniper build - which the developers almost always used in pre-release multiplayer showings and are even pictured in the guide - curious). The three-paragraph descriptions are very bare-bones, however.
There's also another 30 pages of concept art at the end. It's good enough for a flip through but given that this is almost a sixth of the book, it feels like padding and I can't help but wonder if at least some of that space had been used for more tactical advice that the guide as a whole would have been better.
If you're wandering into the world of strategy game guides for the first time, this is a decent guide. If you've played a strategy game before, though, buy this book only if you want the in-game information in a more-readble format of if you need a walkthrough for the final mission. After reading the guide, the only information I learned that I didn't pick up from my in-game experience was that there was some research I missed, and that was only because I beat the game so quickly (in in-game time) that the most powerful UFOs hadn't appeared yet.
I'm not saying that at the price (just under $13) that I didn't get my money's worth, but this guide had a lot of potential and didn't meet it.
+Detailed walkthrough of the final mission
+Detailed outline of how to play the game on the strategic level
+Well-laid out with useful tables and breakouts
-Numerous typos and errors
-Glaring lack of tactical advice
-Almost all the information given in the book is available word-for-word in the game
PS: Please don't take my so-so review of the guide as a commentary on the actual game. I love the game and would recommend it to almost everyone.
I buy a lot of strategy guides. Most are very good (Halo Reach) to excellent (Dark Souls).
XCom Enemy Unknown is the worst! If I could have given it zero stars, I would have.
Thanks Brady Games for ripping off the consumer with this crap!
Heed my warning and save your money! This is an absolute waste of $13.
+Guide not only provides strategy and tips to winning the game, it also provides useful resource information on enemies, weapons, armor, facilities, and. research.
+ Very helpful is recommending soldier upgrades that come with promotions.
- Limited help at determining what to research next.
+/- Somewhat helpful at determining what facilities and equipment to build.
- Leaves out details about dismissing soldiers, the effects critical wounds have on will power and the overall relation mission success has on will power, HP, Aim accuracy, etc.
+/- It has several helpful tables, but I wish it had a couple that summarized things like all the enemy abilities, weapon and armor abilities, added HP, Strength, etc.
- I wish it told you all the countries/nationalities the soldiers could be from
(Game Note: I wish you could customize a soldier's country/nationality. It's silly you can change virtually every detail about the soldier, BUT their nationality! - Minor, but stupid!)
+ Very Good multi-player resource/strategy section. (Probably the best part of the guide!)
- A lot of online resources will cover much of this content for free.
The information is there for all the statistics, costs and such, but it can be kind of hard to navigate. Like I would really appreciate just an a list of everything you can get at the different "stores" of the game, and then list out what it takes to get them. They kind of work on this with a tree of research things to unlock, but it takes a bit to fully understand it.
I would really appreciate an achievement list for the book, this is somewhat common information if you go online, but I really feel it should be in the book itself.
The book is not very long, being that a part is level run-throughs and art; I would really have liked more tactic ideas, and more ideas of things to implement in your squad.
All this being said, the saving grace of this guide would be the concept art pages. These pages are BEAUTIFUL, and really give insight into how the designers pictured the mobs of the game and how they grew into what they are now.
The guide has its flaws, but the concept art alone is worth a buy at around 10-15$. A solid addition to your collection if you are in love of the game.