If you rushed out this week and snagged yourself a copy of XCOM: Enemy Unknown, you may not be aware of the stowaway characters tucked into the game. The developers at 2K have included a handful of recognisable faces alongside Generic Soldier #42 - including BioShock creator Ken Levine and Sid Meier, the man behind Civilization and Pirates!.
We'd first seen hints of Meier's inclusion in a demo video that came out of E3, with many people writing it off as a developer-only gimmick that would be deleted before the game hit shelves. Far from it, with Meier the "Godfather" appearing in game as a very 'willful' support officer.
Irrational Games co-founder Levine isn't too shabby either, with the bearded sniper known in-game as "Big Daddy". Both characters come ready-made with equipment and a full set of stats.
But wait! There's more! You can also unlock Joe Kelly, a comic book artist, and Otto Zander, named after a YouTube user who used to produce Let's Play videos for the original X-Com games. There's also reportedly a Steve Martin character, but we're not quite sure if that's this one or not.
We'd call these "unlockable" characters, but the method used is pretty simple - just call one of your XCOM: Enemy Unknown soldiers by these particular names and you will summon them! Be warned though: While it's pretty awesome to have Ken Levine running around shootin' baddies, using any of these characters will mean you cannot receive any achievements for that playthrough. Fair trade?
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Jimmy the Geek