A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that while XCOM: Enemy Unknown might be a strategy game, it's a "Mature"-rated game because of strong violence, gore, and blood. Players can kill or be killed in a graphic manner. There is also strong profanity in the dialogue sequences, and the online multiplayer matches support open-dialogue between gamers.
What's it about?
Earth is under an extraterrestrial attack and so the Earth’s governments unite to form a paramilitary organization, known as XCOM, to fight back against this unknown enemy. You're in control of this elite squad of super soldiers, to battle the aliens on our turf and prevent them from taking over the planet. Gamers do this by creating and defending an operational base, researching alien technologies, and planning and executing turn-based attacks against the aliens (including the deployment of air units like the Interceptor and Skyranger). Despite some differences in control, the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Windows PC versions of the game play out the same.
Is it any good?
XCOM: ENEMY UNKNOWN is a refreshing change compared to most other games available today. From Firaxis, the award-winning team behind Civilization, comes this action-heavy strategy game that delivers thrills and spills. The turn-based strategy spans more than 70 missions around the globe, which keeps things fresh, but choosing the right man or women for the job can be just as critical as following through with tactical combat. While the graphics can sometimes be a bit glitchy, the pacing and progression, single and multiplayer maps, and thoughtfully designed soldier depth all add up to an engrossing strategy game worthy of your time, attention, and money.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about whether it's a good idea to resurrect older computer game franchises, like XCOM, and create a new experience for the modern age. Or should classic games be left as is, and game developers should move onto new intellectual properties (IPs)?
This game contains a lot of violence and gore. What is the impact of this kind of violence on the player?
- Platforms: PlayStation 3, Windows, Xbox 360
- Subjects: Language & Reading: following directions, reading
Science: electricity, gravity, physics
Social Studies: government
- Skills: Thinking & Reasoning: applying information, decision-making, strategy
Self-Direction: identifying strengths and weaknesses, set objectives, time management
- Price: $59.99 ($49.99 for PC)
- Available online? Available online
- Developer: 2K Games
- Release date: October 9, 2012
- Genre: Strategy
- Topics: Magic and fantasy, Monsters, ghosts, and vampires, Space and aliens
- ESRB rating: M for Blood and Gore, Strong Language, Violence
Themes & Topics
Browse titles with similar subject matter.
For kids who love strategy and action games
Our editors recommend
Top advice and articles
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.