XCOM: Enemy Within is intense.

The campaign is going well, in my estimation. We’ve been consistently pushing the alien advances, once thought to be insurmountable, back steadily. I am constantly juggling the whole operation.

I mentally review the calendar as my operations and control center use the satellites I put into orbit survey for alien attacks. My mind computes the medical reports, preliminary research timetables, and the days since the last encounter and returns a result I wanted to avoid: the probability of an attack during the next week seemed certain.

Will there be enough time to put this research into laser weaponry through its paces and into the hands of my operatives before the next attack? Will my veteran sniper, whom I just gave a commendation to for her clutch reflexes in saving a comrade, recover from her injuries in time to lead the counter-attack for the next incursion? If not, can my untested reserve soldiers survive their first encounter?

I’m not even factoring in the terrorist network of alien sympathizers I have a sinking suspicion are trying to ascertain the location of the XCOM base of operations or the near constant teeter-tottering of a relationship I have with some of the more unfortunate member-nations of the Council. When I only have one team to send out on a mission during simultaneous attacks in France for the fourth time, China for the fifth time and Nigeria for the first time–is it wrong to spurn the French over the Chinese and not even give Nigeria’s first encounter a second thought? Do I dispatch aid in the form of valuable resources to Brazil so they can strengthen their response against the aliens, or do I spend those same resources courting intelligence on the EXALT cells that might be seeking to end the human struggle against the aliens?

I might be over-dramatizing the meta of XCOM: Enemy Within, but that’s really the meta a player will consider within the span of a couple of minutes explained in a nutshell. This game is intense.

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