I just started playing it and it seems pretty good. Maybe not a game of the year - but better than what this reviewer has said. The problem most people have, I think, is when they think of XCOM they think of turn based strategy. While UFO defense, Terror for the Deep, and Enemy Unknown are exactly that - there are other XCOM games which are not.
The level designs are no different than Mass Effect - and if you do not like retro looks and feel and not into third person games - then obviously this game is not for you. Most third person shooters treat your friends as distractions and I always felt that they are throw aways and I often will let them die to have them recovered "magically" later. However, XCOM is XCOM and death is nasty and permanent and you can easily lose a high level character and you need to start over with a new agent,