Dear Xcom: Enemy Unknown,
I have spent over 40 hours of my life with you. That is something I never thought would happen. It wasn’t that long ago when I really didn’t know anything about you; genre, art, story, game play mechanics -- it was all a mystery. But now, I feel like I know you so well, and I want to apologize for letting you sit on my shelf for so long before I finally played you. I don’t know what I was doing spending so much time with Far Cry 3 and Forza Horizon. Two games that I barely even remember after playing you for so many days and weeks.
I remember the first time that I played you. I was so lost on what to do at the base: what facilities to build first, how much power to generate, what should I research and how many interceptors to build? There was so much trial and error. And then when I started my first battle I was so careless with letting soldiers die. I had no idea I would need a ranked up squad with special abilities, weapons and armor. Live and learn they say, and I did, we did, together.
After playing through about half of the the main campaign a couple of different times, I finally figured you out. I got you. And you got me. We are in a rhythm now. No longer do I fear the Chryssalids or even the heavy floaters. Sure, a Squaddie might still occasionally die, but I’ve learned my lesson and I save my game frequently. Scratch that. I save my games obsessively. I’m not about to lose Colonel “Long Shot” Fisher. Nor am I going to lose Captain Mary Mulder. Nor Major what’s-his-name who can carry both frag grenades and three medkits. Those soldiers are heroes. They deserve to never die. I especially love my Colonel Sniper. The ability to get into the zone and not lose a turn after killing an enemy in the open is priceless. Many times I’ve killed at least three enemies in a single turn by getting into the zone. The aliens don’t stand a chance when he’s on the battlefield. We rock and roll when that happens. It’s part of what makes the magic we make together so special.
Last night, I believe we turned another corner in our relationship when I finally got to see a Firestorm in action. The previous month, I had lost two different UFOs because they flew away from me. You gave me a C grade that month. That really hurt. Up until then, I was getting straight As. But all that changed with the upgraded Interceptor, didn’t it? We leveled the playing field with the Firestorm equipped with an EMP cannon. The first UFO I came across made the mistake of flying over our home country and I took it down with no problem. It was a celebratory clean up mission from there. I feel like things are only going to get better for us as we continue to upgrade and excel.
Even though the current time we are spending together is rather quite special, I know it won’t last forever. These types of relationships rarely ever do. I’m sure that when I finally complete the campaign I’ll pack you up and trade you off to another gamer. While that will be a sad day, we both know it will happen eventually. But we will both find something new: me, I’ll move on to a new game, and you, well, hopefully you find as much happiness with the next gamer as you had with me. But that time won’t happen for awhile yet. I figure we still have a ways to go. So let’s cherish the remaining time we have together and kick some alien scum back to wherever they came from.