This is what Firaxis and 2K Games brings you to leisure with; an absolute, eccentric reboot to XCOM series this month. Yes, you heard it right! XCOM 2, released on February 5, 2016, for PC and MAC prove to be an impeccable venture in the virtual world where your survival depends on the extinction of ominous aliens.
Following the finish line of XCOM: Enemy Unknown, the turn-based tactical sequel brings you all that stuff you might expect for a comeback; new unit types, new enemies, new weapons and new features, some impressive visual upgrades and a meaty new campaign and yet doing so much more worth thriving for.
As we anticipated XCOM 2 to reach the charts of top games of 2016, it lives up to our expectations perfectly.
XCOM 2 Review:
Take a look below at the storyline:
As a continuation of the 2012 series XCOM: Enemy Unknown, XCOM 2 will take place 20 years after the events of Enemy Unknown, following the continuity that XCOM lost the war. Now the aliens rule the Earth, building shining cities promising a brilliant future for humankind on the surface. But what it seems in front is not what it actually is; concealing a sinister agenda below and eliminating all those who dissent from their new order, the humankind has been captivated. You must fight back and take command of the Avenger to guide your strike force, build popular support around the world and expose the aliens’ sinister plans. The game has marked its position in best PC games of 2016.
Now when you are about to experience the terror of alien reign having seized control of your very earth, XCOM 2 gameplay drags you in as one of the commandos fighting to overthrow a decade-long alien regnant from the planet. The game gives you quite an elixir and appropriate scenario about taking four to six-person squads into battle against initially-superior alien forces, and an equally interesting and different campaign.
Since the game wraps its players in events full of surprises, the dynamic and unpredictable missions crank up the tension what happens next.
Following the trend of its prequel, the high-stakes, the turn-based tactical combat of XCOM 2 game allows the players to build their own customizable characters keeping in mind that on any given mission they could be permanently killed off because of mistakes or just bad luck. Among a collection full of risk-taking games, say Monopoly, Warhammer, poker, and anything else involving chance, XCOM 2 is one of them where you can hypothetically make the right moves and still lose to bad rolls of the dice. But if you are a good player and know how to roll your dice to get the six, you will generally come out on top. It all depends upon your meaningful decisions when and how to upgrade and use each soldier’s abilities, awaiting the move when they’ll make their clutch shot, creating non-stop enthralling, exultant, and heartrending jiffies.
And don’t to have a backup plan, or else you’re dead without even getting to complain.
XCOM 2 asks you to gamble around or even much worse with the lives of your soldiers on virtually every turn. You might be confident of an 80% guaranteed shot to hit but suddenly at another moment out of that one time in five when it doesn’t connect, you need to have a plan ‘B’ for what happens, or else you can’t complain when you’re dead.
Though, if you don’t die in the game, at first, don’t be so happy coz the game has something more crude planned on; you almost certainly will die as a result of walking into countless unknown traps, especially if you play above the normal difficulty (but normal, or “veteran,” is a cakewalk for anyone who knows XCOM). But one of the XCOM 2’s biggest strengths is how it resists your efforts to fall into repetitious patterns.
While playing XCOM 2, you will the lesson of your life; that you can’t trust anyone and anything that makes you count but you surely have something reliable.
As the above quote says, every time during your 20 to 30-hour campaign you’ll have a hit and miss range of “weapon modifications”, “soldier stat boosts”, “special ammo” and “grenade types”, “psionic powers”, “bonuses” for covering continents with your resistance network, and lot more. But you can’t expect anything you get we will of your choice and so have to adapt to make use of what’s available is a constant challenge.
XCOM 2 Features:
What make it even better are the following highlights of the game:
- The high-quality procedurally generated maps, and a good variety of mission types which gives no idea ahead of time where an objective will be or the location of the enemy, you’ll attack and defend, extract or kill VIPs, and blow things up.
- Some missions have turn-timers that force you to make risky moves, or turn up to hasty recoil.
- New stealth options work in well
- The game now gives you the opportunity to keep your squad hidden while you set up a lethal ambush as you start most missions in concealment. This is a new and different kind of challenge with a potentially strong and cinematic payoff.
- If you opt to exercise caution, you can set just one of your squad into “Overwatch” mode around a group of enemies that will help you hit your highest-priority target and watch as your squad (hopefully) scrutinizes the enemy in a stunning slow-motion slaughter that doesn’t cost you any of the typical Overwatch penalties.
- To counterstrike the concealment advantage, enemies seem geared to compensate for this power making it harder for you if you don’t kill them at first. The Advent Shieldbearer explains it the best: if he survives and isn’t disabled, he’ll activate a power that gives him and every ally around him an energy barrier absorbing some significant damage.
- Now a twist comes up when you take out two of the three aliens in a group and the last one who has survived is sometimes smart enough to run away and group up with another nearby alien group. That’s implausible because it gives you an aspect to think about when engaging: leave no survivors, or the next fight will be harder.
- Add essence to XCOM 2, new Specialist’s remote hacking and healing abilities, for instance, sets the game on fire and introduces some interesting risk-reward opportunities, especially against robotic enemies. Augmenting those abilities with weapon upgrades is also excellent.
- Extremely detailed character models and textures, expressive animations, and creative creature design make XCOM 2 look fantastic. And the ability to blow big holes in buildings, especially when enemies are standing on them, is just remarkable.
- To game gets into big picture mode with a completely redesigned world strategic map, much more dynamic and replayable than in the previous game. To move ahead in the game, you have to read the map and adapt. This time, a lot of decisions have to be made; where to expand, what resources to chase down, and what research projects to work on first.
- There’s not a lot to the base-building this time, as you need not worry about who’s beside your flying aircraft carrier base. Instead, the variety here comes from the layout of power nodes in the layout of your captured alien vessel, where the special power-granting tiles might be accessible or near the end.
- Soldiers Skill Synergies
- One great change is the way we have to manage our engineering staff by assigning them to specific rooms. They can accelerate build times or accelerate progress on things like soldier healing times or increasing power output. Importantly, we see their names and faces once in awhile, making them feel like people rather than a number on a spreadsheet, even if they don’t have unique stats. Unfortunately, the science staff doesn’t get the same treatment – they have names, but after you recruit them you’ll never see those names again.
Good about XCOM 2
- Tight tactical gameplay
- Dynamic and unpredictable missions
- Wider strategy full of tough, meaningful decisions
- New stealth options work in well
- Strong cinematic presentation
- Soldier skill synergies
- Strong alien designs
- Desperate setting
Issues with XCOM 2
- Views don’t always provide necessary information
- Frequent glitches
Judgement Call on XCOM 2
With a perturbing sense of persistent tension, tight tactical gameplay and procedurally-generated maps that extend the value of every map, XCOM 2 survives the hype train with just a glaze. Apart from some glitches and bugs, it comes together brilliantly. Thanks to a new spin on the same great tactical combat, plus unpredictable maps and randomized objectives and loot, XCOM 2 is an amazing game you would surely like to invest into.
XCOM 2 Review Score: