XCOM: Enemy Unknown lands on the App Store

XCOM Enemy Unknown (iPad screenshot 001)

If you thought casual mobile entertainment were becoming a tad too boring lately, how about something completely different? Something along the lines of a triple-A action strategy that has a long history and loyal following, a direct port of a massively popular PC hit?

Developer Fireaxis and publisher 2K Games have been trumpeting the forthcoming release of XCOM: Enemy Unknown for Apple’s iOS platform for quite some time and now it’s finally arrived. The universal binary supports iPhone, iPod touch and iPad devices and apart from touch-based controls, this is the full XCOM: Enemy Unknown experience you’d expect from the popular PC and console franchise…

The basic plot has you controlling an elite multinational paramilitary organization which must get rid of the alien scum invading the Earth.

Threatened by an unknown enemy, Earth’s governments unite to form an elite paramilitary organization, known as XCOM.

As the commander of XCOM, you must create a fully operational base, research alien technologies, plan combat missions, and lead your soldiers in fierce battles against a terrifying alien invasion.

The decisions you make will affect the fate of humanity. You are our last hope.

The game supports GameCenter and taps iCloud to keep game saves in sync across iOS devices.

Graphics are top notch, there’s no doubt about it.

XCOM Enemy Unknown (iPad screenshot 005)

XCOM Enemy Unknown (iPad screenshot 002)

Head-to-head multiplayer mode is coming later via a free update.

Some of the key features include:

– Recruit and level-up soldiers
– Discover new weapons and technology
– Play randomly generated missions
– Engage in strategic combat
– Use enhanced touch controls designed for mobile

Here’s Lead Designer Jake Solomon giving us a quick tour of the game.

XCOM: Enemy Unknown is the official remake of the 1994 cult classic strategy game UFO: Enemy Unknown, also known as X-COM: UFO Defense.

XCOM: Enemy Unknown can be downloaded from the App Store for twenty bucks a pop.

Again, this is the full XCOM experience that supports the iPad 2, iPad 3, iPad 4, iPad mini, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5 and the fifth-gen iPod touch.

XCOM Enemy Unknown (iPad screenshot 003)

Release notes caution that gamers may want to turn off other apps before playing becase XCOM: Enemy Unknown is a “graphically rich game with advanced features that is best experienced on the iPad 4 and up”.

XCOM Enemy Unknown (iPad screenshot 004)

You’ve been warned.

There’s no doubt some people will frothing at the mouth over the high price tag, but as my colleague Oliver put it, “developers have conditioned us to expect cheaper and cheaper games”, even if cheaper doesn’t always mean quality.

The game’s asking price will no doubt create a mini-controversy and it will be interesting seeing how players react to it. For now, XCOM: Enemy Unknown looks to be the most complete game ever to grace Apple’s iPad.

Are you balking at its high price?