Plays like a VERY fun "Mass Effect in the 50s" squad-based tactical shooter (not a true X-COM title=no prob)

User Rating: 8.5 | The Bureau: XCOM Declassified X360
Based on the previews, the developer (who did a stellar job with Bioshock 2), and the simple fact that "I want to believe" that someone can take the X-COM theme and make a FUN non-X-COM game out of it, I decided to pre-order this. After installing & starting the game up with ZERO pretense (VERY important, having spent many hours with old & new proper X-COM titles), I let the game immerse me in its heavy 50s-60s design. The fact that they spent time with all the little Cold War-era "soda pop" machines & propaganda posters, old-timey computers, projectors, and costumes does a lot for the overall style. They also do some playing around with color schemes and filters that adds to the effect, and the hard-boiled schlocky dialogue & cast are clearly intended to keep things in that vein.

I can describe the combat in a single sentence: THIS IS INDEED THE MASS EFFECT EXPANSION YOU WERE LOOKING FOR; play on Commander difficulty

You can always lower the difficulty later if it's too hard, and the autosave system creates a new file at the beginning of every major mission so it's very easy to go back and replay anything you want.

Exploring the base, with its NPC conversation branches & side missions, is pretty much also exactly like a Mass Effect title. Although there are a few rough edges, this makes for a nice break between the entirely combat-focused missions.

If you like shlocky 50s-themed (despite the 1962 date in the intro) alien themes, ME's squad combat, "X-COM-themed" old-school aliens, and (most importantly) if you want something that's just a little different than anything else you're playing this year...

Then this game is definitely worth the money.