XCOM: Enemy Unknown dev's three top tips for taking down ET

Marsh Davies

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By now, you've probably got stuck into the XCOM: Enemy Unknown demo and are jonesing for the full release of Firaxis' spectacular remake of the turnbased strategy classic. The known unknowns are no longer unknown - but what about the unknown unknowns? We'll be bringing you a huge guide to light every corner of XCOM's world at the game's launch, but for now, we've asked lead dev Jake Solomon for a few of his tips regarding the game's early enemies. “Every alien has multiple counters,” he says...

Sectoids

“Sectoids are very tough early in the game, but really with the Sectoids, their main offensive ability is Mind Merge. They link together, they merge their minds, which makes the front Sectoid really powerful, really deadly - it gives him extra hit points. But the back guy is super vulnerable. If you kill the guy in the back, then it actually kills both of them at the same time. So the counter for Sectoids is flanking. The assault soldier has an ability called 'run and gun', which allows him to move really far and shoot at the same time, and so he is great for killing Sectoids.”

Floaters

“Floaters you encounter some time soon after Sectoids. Their big ability is to launch all over the battlefield. So they're like the anti-sniper, where they'll launch around the battlefield and land next to your guys in the back, flank them and kill them. So for Floaters, the best tactic is suppression. You can pin them down with suppression so they can't fly around. That would be using the heavy, who's sort of anti-Floater.”

Chryssalids

“Chryssalids are melee units and they move really, really, really fast. And so Chryssalids are the kind of nemesis of assault soldiers, who have to get up close to do damage - that's like the worst face off. So if you were facing off against Chryssalids, the real thing you want is a sniper with the “squad sight” perk, which allows him to shoot anyone that his squadmates can see. He can get a height advantage in a corner of the map, then he can just shoot across the map and kill Chryssalids from afar, instead of having to get in close to deal damage.”

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