*sigh* Another game, another chance at a social life destroyed . . .
In a word, everything. X-COM is one of those rare games that has the property of appearing relatively simple and easy, but, once you're past the surface, you find layers upon layers of deep, engaging, and complex gameplay. The battle system, while sometimes questionable, is very well done, and, as was said before, far more complex than it's simple surface would indicate. I was quite surprised to find that it actually does have location-specific damage. The managing screen is also no less than brilliant. Your bases are completely at your control, as are all of your resources. The interface design is also quite good, though not quite as silky smooth as the rest of the game. As for graphics, well, I think this proves that graphics matter very little in the light of outstanding gameplay. Fancy 3-D graphics probably couldn't heighten the sense of shock and surprise when I ran into that Snake-Man hiding in the corner.
Well, the game in itself isn't that hard, but it's trying to catch back up once you're behind. It's like Risk. If you start losing, even a little bit, the enemy forces will just roll over you. Also, funding can be difficult somtimes. I found myself relying more and more on selling plasma weapons salvaged from fights than international funding to keep out of debt.
The Bottom Line
Near-perfect. While it pusishes you severly for your mistakes and misfortunes, it rewards you so greatly for your victories that you can forget all about the five tries it took to defeat that alien base.