Game Reviews PC XCOM Enemy Unknown (PC)
XCOM Enemy Unknown (PC)

XCOM Enemy Unknown (PC) Hot

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Accessibility At A Glance XCOM Enemy Unknown (PC)


Precision > Yes You will NOT need precision to play
One-Handed > Yes One-Handed gamers shoud be okay
Deaf Gamers > Yes You should have no issues with this game
Subtitles > Yes This Game is Perfect in this department
Colorblind > Yes Colorblind gamers should be okay

About the Game

2k Games
Release Date
October 09, 2012
Licence Category


XCOM: Enemy Unknown will place you in control of a secret paramilitary organization called XCOM. As the XCOM commander, you will defend against a terrifying global alien invasion by managing resources, advancing technologies, and overseeing combat strategies and individual unit tactics.


The original X-COM is widely regarded as one of the best games ever made and has now been re-imagined by the strategy experts at Firaxis Games. XCOM: Enemy Unknown will expand on that legacy with an entirely new invasion story, enemies and technologies to fight aliens and defend Earth. You will control the fate of the human race through researching alien technologies, creating and managing a fully operational base, planning combat missions and controlling soldier movement in battle.

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XCOM Enemy Unknown (PC)
XCOM Enemy Unknown (PC)
XCOM Enemy Unknown (PC)

Editor review

XCOM Enemy Unknown (PC) 2012-12-30 03:30:49 Steve Spohn
Overall rating 
Steve Spohn Reviewed by Steve Spohn    December 30, 2012
Top 10 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews

XCOM Enemy Unknown

In a world where aliens have come to Earth armed with a dastardly plot to abduct humans in an attempt to take over the universe, nations must unite to form a task force of unmatched strength. XCOM: Enemy Unknown is the tale of such a unified project.

In this epic sequel, a type of Wizard’s chess meets the 3-D Star Trek chess of the future. By controlling individual units in your squad of mercenaries, you investigate alien sightings removing threats and saving civilians one turn at a time.

As in most turn-based strategy games, XCOM pits you against one of four different difficulty levels of AI in single player mode or other humans in multiplayer. In addition to the usual elements, this particular turn-based strategy game incorporates a bit of RPG gear chasing. Throughout the course of the game, research and engineering provide opportunities to upgrade the members of your squad with advanced armor and weaponry.

The Accessibility
As those of you who read my reviews already know, I'm no pushover when it comes to scoring. Yet XCOM: Enemy Unknown delighted me with accessibility beyond the likes I'm used to seeing.

Not only is the game completely playable with only the mouse, but all shortcuts are activatable by either the mouse or the keyboard. Moreover, an Xbox controller can be used as an alternative device. With options such as allowing the mouse to move outside of the windowed mode enabled game, on-screen keyboards work just as well as any other device.

Since the game is turn-based, there are no time constrictions on how quickly you'll need to press buttons and no quick time events. Precision is not necessary as each move is simply an order for a given unit to advance to the next position. The character itself takes care of firing weapons when told to attack or use special abilities. Luck plays a part in whether a shot misses, but the terrain gives advantage to the holder of the high ground.

What particularly impresses me is that every button that has a keyboard shortcut also has a mouse button and a button on screen.

As if being perfect in the mobility department wasn't enough, all text spoken by the characters are included in the subtitles. Each move is colored with blue and yellow areas of movement. Friendly units are identified by a blue circle, while enemies are in red. Hit points are displayed by notches over each character's head and critical shots are identified by a giant yellow marker.

Visual cues like what appears to be radar soundwaves emanate from areas where aliens that are still off the screen make sounds. Even if a citizen is under attack and offscreen, the camera automatically moves to show you where the violence is occurring.

Final Thoughts
All told this might be one of the most accessible games I've ever reviewed. In almost any game, there is always bound to be some sort of accessibility flaw, but in XCOM: Enemy Unknown I was unable to find any accessibility issues.

My only complaint about the game comes in the replayability. Although it's a lot of fun the first play through, unless you're interested in the multiplayer, repeated runs through the single player campaign leave little mystery. The predictable nature of the campaign, linear storyline and reused cut scenes make additional play-throughs a little monotonous.

Having said that, I still believe that the game is worth the price of admission, if nothing else than for the accessibility of the title. No matter your disability, XCOM: Enemy Unknown should be playable and enjoyable.

At a Glance

No button mashing is necessary.
No precision is needed.
Each command ability is remappable and controllable by the mouse, keyboard or Xbox controller.
There is mouse and camera sensitivity.
The timing of button pressing is not important.
There are four different difficulty levels,
Recommended score 10

The game is presented in high contrast.
Colorblind options are not necessary as colorblind gamers have been considered in game design.
Subtitles are present and easy-to-read.
The subtitles are letterboxed.
There are no key game elements that are affected by green and red coloring without additional markers.
Recommend score 10

Subtitles are present including ambient noise and all audio cues are presented with visual indicators.
Subtitles identify the speakers.
The game can be successfully completed without sound.
Recommend score 10

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About the Author
Steve Spohn
Author: Steve Spohn
Steve Spohn is the Editor-in-Chief of AbleGamers & Outreach Chair for the Foundation. He is an expert in gaming with disabilities and assistive technologies and can be seen on MSNBC, CNN, G4 and more.

Load Previous Comments
  • If you like RTS games, XCOM is fun and super mouse-only.

  • Anybody played this with Headmouse & Dwell Clicker? Also will this run okay on XP?

  • Yes, yes and yes IF you meet the minimum requirements from a hardware perspective. Please make sure your computer can handle the game before purchasing.

  • Thanks Steve

  • Today I downloaded the demo and trying to play it with Enable Viacam is a problem because the game window captures the mouse arrow. I managed to free the arrow by clicking the upper lett program symbol of the Windows 7 OSK. It remained problematic because when the mouse arrow is moved back into the game window (for example because you just wanted to change the Mouseclick to a right click by using the clickbar of Enable Viacam) it is invisible until another click inside the game window whitch makes it a game of luck to click exactly. The same happens when using the 'Point-n-click' mousehelper application.
    This means that the OSK only works when it is inside of the game window. Even an overlapping position is not sufficient because you can't reach keys outside the game window.
    In conclusion it seems safe to say that click helper application need to be positioned within the reach of the game window.

  • Did you uncheck the "lock mouse in window" option?

  • Interesting, I either missed that feature or it isn't part of the demo. I'll check it out tomorrow.

  • Okay, the option is in the demo, too, so it does work with Enable Viacam and OSK. Cool thing. Still there are some shortcomings but it is very playable as it is. The lack of buttons to change floors for example, or the lack of buttons that let you switch camera positions, but that's nothing the OSK won't manage. I liked the demo and I'll get that game for sure.

  • There is a way to control the camera. if you look on the left-hand side there are circular arrows that you can click which manipulate the camera. However, I did also noticed that there is no way to make the camera move up and down. Very odd that they remembered everything else to be included on the screen, including a way to push the escape button, but they completely forgot that their game has a z-axis.

    The reason I did not dock any points, or even mention it, is much the same as FIFA 13. You CAN get around it by doing some extra clicking and movement of the camera. it's not entirely necessary to be able to move the camera up and down, but it certainly helps. I sent a message to 2k just so that they know that is a concern.

  • I have this game, and I would love it, except it keeps freezing on me. I even upgraded my video card just to meet the system requirements, I was so excited for this game. I have cerebral palsy, pretty much have to do one handed mostly, and use a Logitech Marble Mouse trackball. I had a Windows 8 for a while, but now I have my good old usually stable Windows 7 home premium 64-bit version.

    I have the video card it requires, the Nvidia version, I forget exactly which one, but I know I had to upgrade my power supply and fan as well so I know it is a good card. But I'm getting so tired of the tutorial/first mission because for some reason the video always crashes. Most of the time it resets itself, but this is still very very annoying. Has anyone else ever had this problem?

    And yes, I have tried updating drivers. I haven't played in a while I was so annoyed, but maybe they upgraded the game to squash the bug by now or something. Also, before anyone asks, I did a clean reinstall of my Windows 7, so I know there are no driver conflicts from my old cheap early adopters version of Windows 8.

    PS unless you have a touchscreen for your desktop computer, stick with Windows 7. Windows 8 is like a pretty shell over Windows 7, and although it does have extreme accessibility capabilities in the touchscreen department, I don't have a touchscreen; so the whole start screen thing was getting really annoying to me. Also, 8 did not seem to like Dragon NaturallySpeaking very much, and this software is essential for me.

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