One campaign and a bunch of multiplayer later I can’t imagine the game present or future that would topple X-com from my game of the year… It’s just so…. so…. so X-com that it hurts (sometimes quite a bit!) and even more besides. The production values are excellent, the strategy at the micro and macro level are both fully engaging and challenging, It’s just so wonderful.

This isn’t to say it’s perfect, the research could use some good future skills, launchers, etc. there comes a point where the head of research is just hanging around even without much in the way of labs. The story is fairly light, (though still better then the originals,) even this weakness though becomes a strength with how it makes way for your own stories to be created.

So, I told you about my sniper that earned the nickname “Lady Grey” (brief correction, she’s actually korean, took a bit until I got a good look at her armor flag.) She saved so many lives and was so clutch on her shots all throughout the game that I started to imagine the other soldiers developing a reverence of her bordering on the religious (I partially blame Beige’s comment on Necromunda since when I was playing that I was also poking aroud 40k lists.)

When I accidentally triggered a cyberdisk? Critical hit kill from The Lady Grey. Muton berzerker rushing down my lead medic? Doubletap kill from The Lady Grey… it quickly went from “Oh man I hope this hits” to “The Lady Grey calls you to her Hall o__o”

Her severe countenance on the dropship invoked the feeling on a no-nonsense character who will get the job done come hell or high water, and so combined with her miraculously steady eye and steady hand the soldiers couldn’t help but trust her.

I could see them exiting the dropship, and maybe a rookie would be freaking out, maybe another soldier would lay a hand on his shoulder and say “Do not fear brother, The Lady Grey has eyes upon us” and thus they did walk into the darkness unafraid.

Much later, when I unlock the psionics training lab, and my first batch of test subjects go in there was one result I wanted over all others, only one way it could go and leave me satisfied… and the RNG did smile upon me that day. Only one soldier would return as the new peak of human evolution…. the testing pod opens up and it reveals the face….. of The Lady Grey….

Then the soldiers did fall to their knees to praise the one who would save them all, the one who would save the human race and all hopes rested upon. “We knew…” they would say “We had always known…”

What a great fist pump moment. and it only got better from there =D Thanks X-com! Thanks for creating a legendary story that will only ever be true for me, through nothing but your RNG, a nickname list and the knowledge of how rare such a scenario is. How many strategy games could claim such a character arc, one that has me hoping to reprise that character through further playthroughs and other games entirely, I certainly know what any named female sniper/archer/psionic/whatever will be named now for years to come.

Top marks X-com… top top marks… on your weakest element.

(Oh, and multiplayer is a great 10 minute skirmish with lots of variation.)