Endless tedius battles and endless conversations in a hollow world where nothing you do really matters
It could have been a XCOM game with realtime battle - giving you a better feeling for the little guy doing all the fighting, while still allowing you to manage R&D, resources, capture of technology and the other parts of XCOM that makes its games great. Keep the base and resource management, and change the combat system - that would have been a recipe for an epic game.
But they threw away all the "between mission strategy", and all they got was a hard scripted hollow game where you just run around talking to people or run around shooting at things without caring one bit. Because nothing you do matters.
I was really looking forward to close encounters, risking my life by shooting a muton up and close with a stun gun to get hold of live aliens and their technology, and affecting the gear and storyline by doing research.
Instead I get a scripted game where it's impossible to make a difference. New technology is just handed to you as the story progresses by "Oooops, the aliens just happened to leave it there for you to pick up... How clupsy of them..."
Contrary to the "real" review, I think that the strategic combat system is the only redeeming factor of this game, and the first game where I've felt that commanding my team is both easy and makes a difference to the battle outcome.
I've loved all the XCOM games, played them through at least 5-10 times each, and really wanted to love this as much. But instead I'm disappointed beyond words