Let the names begin
Before you hit the battlefield in XCOM: Enemy Unknown youre going to want to decide who to take into battle. Obviously part of this is going to be based on the class, abilities, and items that your units receive, but theres another important element that you have control of: their name.
Naming your squad members adds another layer of enjoyment to Enemy Unknown by creating a personal connection to your soldiers. That said, its sometimes hard to think of what to name them, as you might find yourself creatively tapped out sooner than you think. Thats what were here for. Weve put together a list of different themed squads to make your XCOM experience even better.
Name them after friends and family
Why its awesome: This is the most obvious course of action, as well as the most dangerous. Naming your units after yourself, your nearest friends, and your beloved family members should give you plenty of different options to choose from, since youre likely not going to run out of names for people you know.
Why its terrible: That said, it also makes things much more depressing–watching your best soldier get gunned down is sad enough as is, but watching your best friend get slaughtered? Well, that might be too much to take.
Name them after US presidents
Why its awesome: Head over to Wikipedia and pull up a list of all of the former US presidents and youll have 50 well-known historical figures to name your characters after. It also benefits from the game assigning random nicknames, creating the likes of Thomas Werewolf Jefferson and John F. Claymore Kennedy (who, in an unrelated stroke of luck, ended up randomly becoming a sniper, something we had absolutely no control over).
Why its terrible: Most of them are already dead, so watching them die in battle isnt all that bad. The real issue is that a majority of them are old white men with white hair, so youre not going to have much in the ways of squad diversity.
Name them after pop stars
Why its awesome: There are plenty of pop stars to choose from, and as many women as there are men, so youll never be at a lack for choosing names. Every battle is win-win, too, since either youll successfully beat back the alien swarm or youll watch musicians you hate being blown to smithereens.
Why its terrible: Theres a good chance youll walk into a battle ready to rock, and walk out with I Want it That Way stuck in your head. The horror. The horror.
Name them after video game characters
Why its awesome: If youre a fan of GamesRadar theres a good chance you have an encyclopedic knowledge of video game characters, so theres no way youre going to run out of Marios, Master Chiefs, or Ash Ketchums to name them after. Plus, you might even get to see Isaac Clarke strategically dismember some aliens in XCOM!
Why its terrible: Its going to be super hard to make characters that actually look like the in-game characters for a majority of your favorite games. Good luck customizing a marine to look like Sam or Max, or somehow creating a soldier that could pass as Pikachu.
Name them after cartoon characters
Why its awesome: You can create the dream team you always wanted! Have Darkwing Duck fight side-by-side with Mickey Mouse and Samurai Jack.
Why its terrible: For the same reason that the video game characters one is terrible–good luck creating Jake from Adventure Time in human form in the games character creator. Itll also be pretty sad to see the characters you grew up watching on Saturday morning get killed in bloody explosions.
Name them after your enemies
Why its awesome: Just like the pop stars, youll get the satisfaction of seeing your worst enemies killed in battle. Though your soldiers deaths might still be sad, itll be slightly less depressing when you realize that its the kid that picked on you at summer camp.
Why its terrible: Because youll be rooting for your enemies, obviously. Normally youll want to celebrate your successes, but when that jerk who stole your boyfriend/girlfriend saves the day youll be filled with rage. Be sure to play on a harder difficulty if you use this.
Whats in a name?
Those are just a few of the naming techniques weve tried and enjoyed in our time with XCOM: Enemy Unknown. Be sure to let us know in the comments if you have any other, and well be sure to add them to the list!
And if you’re interested in more XCOM-related debauchery, check out the top 7 most incredibly exciting games still coming out in 2012 and 9 reasons to be excited for XCOM: Enemy Unknown.