XCOM: Enemy Within: 99% Accessible

2014 saw the latest offering by the XCOM franchise that had been providing players with an immersive experience in managing the resistance to an alien invasion. As commander of the XCOM project, it is your job to protect the nations of earth from the alien scourge. Along the way, you will hire and promote soldiers, plan research and development projects, and cover the planet with satellites backed up by interceptors ready to down any flying saucer that looks at them square.

When you aren't macromanaging scientists or keeping your member states from pulling their funding in a fit of panic, you play the role of tactîcal mastermind as you send a squad of 4-6 soldiers to prevent the alien forces from abducting or terrorizing civilians, investigating downed alien craft, or even capturing live aliens for "interrogation." However, no matter which mode of play you are engaged in, be it tactical combat or base management, the flow of time is completely under the control of the player. Combat is turn-based, and base management uses a real-time with pause system to allow the player to quickly advance time from one crisis to the next.

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Produced by Firaxis (makers of the Civilization franchise), this game is definitely on the short list of games that every gamer, disabled or otherwise, should own. The gameplay is challenging without becoming frustrating, and absolutely everything can be controlled with a mouse. I would even go as far as to say that you wouldn't need voice commands if you have a mouse that you can control except the interface lacks one fundamental feature. When running missions, you could control the camera by moving the mouse to the edges, or clicking on the two buttons that swivel the camera, but for some reason there are no buttons that raise or lower the camera, and in many cases this is required. So, I am forced to create a voice attack profile for this game with all of two commands, and this is what keeps it from being "100% accessible."

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Don't get me wrong, it's not as if I don't love this game with all my heart, because I do. Beyond that, words can explain how excited I am for the sequel, XCOM2, set to drop this coming February. The frustration knowing that this is delayed from November would drive me crazy if I didn't have so many other games to play and review. But make no mistake, when the sequel drops, I may just retreat to a cave and not emerge until the world is safe from the Sectoid scourge once more.