+ Estimated difficulty: 9/10 for 1100
+ Offline: 54/55 - (1075)
+ Online: 1/55 – (25)
+ Minimum time to 1000: 90+ Hrs
+ Minimum playthroughs needed: 5 playthroughs [DLC: 1 playthrough]
+ Cheats affect achievements: Yes, disables achievements
+ Difficulty affects achievements: Yes
+ Missable achievements: Several (There is no chapter/mission select so many achievements can be missed. The main ones are 'Aint No Cavalry Comin,' 'Edison,' 'All Employees Must Wash Hands,' 'Hunter/Killer,' & 'Skunkworks' [DLC: Rising Dragon, All Aboard]
+ Glitchy achievements: 0
+ Unobtainable achievements: 0
XCOM – Enemy Unknown is a turn based strategy reimagining of the classic game, XCOM UFO defense. After Earth is invaded by unknown alien hostiles, you are given command of the XCOM initiative to try and uncover the invasion plot and drive them out. The game consists of story driven campaign missions with random events and alien invasions happening throughout, and multiplayer that allows you to take on a friend with teams comprising of both human and alien squad members. The campaign will take an average 20 hours to complete and will require a minimum of 5 playthroughs to earn all achievements. While the game itself can be challenging and take several attempts before you find a strategy that works for you, the majority of the achievements are relatively simple and will unlock with little effort as you progress through the story.
The following playthrough strategy is designed to be the quickest way to unlock all achievements while minimising restart/reload times. (Please note, for the most part, the starting locations are interchangeable with playthroughs. It is entirely up to you where you start, as long as you start in a different location each time.
NOTE: The endgame starts when you utilize the Gollop Chamber. If you are trying for certain achievements such as building all foundry items, don't enter the Gollop Chamber or it will prevent all future objectives.
Playthrough 1 –
Starting Location: North America
The purpose of this playthrough is to familiarise yourself with the game and discover what strategies work best for you. Most of the easier and story related achievements will unlock throughout this playthrough but don’t go out of your way to earn as many as you can until you have a solid understanding of the game and how it works. With the bonus related to having a base in North America being reduced cost and maintenance of aircraft and aircraft weapons, it is a good idea to try and unlock Shooting Stars and Hunter/Killer on this play through. Overall, this playthrough will net you roughly 20-25 of the achievements, most of which will be story related.
DLC: If you are planning on playing the DLC, keep a save from your first play through from immediately prior to entering the Gollop Chamber. When you are ready to play the DLC, download it and then load this pre-Gollop Chamber save. With your advanced end-game ready soldiers, you can stroll through the DLC in about an hour (presuming your first play through is on easy)
Playthrough 2 –
Difficulty: Easy or Normal
Starting Location: South America
Although playing this play through on easy will make some achievements easier, playing on normal may serve as a nice easement to the later play through on classic and impossible difficulty. The main focus of this play through will be to unlock the remaining achievements that don’t require classic or impossible difficulty.Focus on the following achievements during this playthrough: Ain’t No Cavalry Comin, The Hardest Road, As a Scalpel, Edison, Skunkworks & Flight of the Valkyries. With the bonus related to having a base in South America being reduced instant alien autopsies, it is a good idea to try and unlock All employees must wash hands on this play through. At the end of this playthrough you should have at least 40 achievements with a maximum of 43
Playthrough 3 –
Starting Location: Europe
This playthrough will allow you to focus on the achievements requiring you to be playing on at least classic difficulty. It also serves as an introduction to the harder difficulties but after 2 play throughs already, you should have a decent understanding of how the game plays and already have the majority of achievements, leaving you to focus on the following during this play through: Lone Wolf, Wet Work & Earth First. Also use this play through to mop up any other achievements you may have missed from earlier play through, while Classic difficulty can be tough, trying to unlock achievements on Impossible or Ironman mode can be even tougher. By the end of this play through you should have 46 achievements
Playthrough 4 –
Starting Location: Africa
The sole purpose of this playthrough will be to unlock Our Finest Hour. By now you should have a fairly deep understanding of the game and how to overcome the alien invasion. Don’t be afraid to abuse the save game system, even if it means saving after every turn, as one wrong step or unlucky move can screw up everything. By the end of this playthrough you should have 47 achievements
Playthrough 5 –
Difficulty: Classic/Ironman Mode
Starting Location: Asia
In terms of difficulty, playing on Classic should be easier than your Impossible play through but the limit of only one save game file will make this play through the hardest of them all. Again, try and focus only on getting through this play through and don’t try and also work on any achievements you may have missed (unless of course you strongly believe you can.)
Surviving this play through will unlock No Looking Back and A Continental Fellow and give you a total of 49 achievements.
All that’s required in Multiplayer is to win a single match which will unlock Meet New People. Then Kill Them and can be easily boosted if need be.
If by chance you have missed any achievements, start a new game on easy and mop up the rest.
The mission as relatively easy and shouldn’t prove too difficult if you have already played through the game at least once. The new maps are very similar to existing ones so again, these shouldn’t confuse or overwhelm you. The council missions can be played through in roughly 30 minutes (depending on how much time you spend on the in between missions). During the first or second month (it will depend on how many missions you are offered in the first month) you will receive a council request. Once this happens you will be given the option of selecting a normal mission, or the DLC mission. From here the three missions will appear one after the other, so you should be all finished by month 3 or 4 (again, depends on the number of missions per month). From here you simply need to keep the new character, Zhang, alive so you can include him in your squad for the final mission.
XCOM: Enemy Unknown will take time and patience to earn the full 1100. The Slingshot DLC is not difficult but can be time consuming as it requires a full playthrough to unlock the full 100. While the majority of the individual achievements are relatively easy, it can be the overall game that can make the achievements quite difficult, but by finding what strategies work and don’t work, and by having multiple saves files within each game, there shouldn’t be any need to restart an entire play through.
[x360a would like to thank DEG23 & asdfen for this road map]
[x360a would like to thank DEG23 for the DLC addition]