Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Review of XCom2

It's good to take a break from developing every once in awhile to sit down and play a nice game for inspiration. Having just switched my Steam Account to the Chinese Market and realizing I get all the games for 50% of the price, I decided to pick up a game I've had my eye on for awhile: XCOM2

so after about 20 hours of gameplay here's my review:

1 Sentence: XCOM2 is the game XCOM EU should have been.

THE GOOD: Fun, strategic, deep, varied tactical game. Great story, nice graphics, worth the money.

THE BAD: Clunky camera control, resource intensive (you'll need a proper gaming PC), Can be quite difficult.

Long Review: 

If  you're unfamiliar with XCom games here's a basic explanation of the gameplay: It's turn-based, tactical, team halo. Humans vs. Aliens, fighting each-other with a variety of human and alien weapons, but rather than FPS action XCom plays more like a tactical board-game. You try to position your soldiers in advantageous positions and flank the enemy in battle. From battle-to-battle your soldiers learn new abilities and you'll become quite attached to some of them. Then they die... such is life.

In the previous XCOM, we were defending the earth from seemingly random and increasingly frequent alien invasions. In XCOM2 the tables have turned, and earth has been taken over by the Advent (aliens), who are ruling the planet in a manner creepily reminiscent of the Communist Party. Media outlets are controlled by the aliens, news reports glorify their assistance to mankind. As you can probably guess, their intentions are more sinister than the propaganda lets on.

After a mind numbing half hour-tutorial the game finally begins. First off, the number one difference from XCOM2  to the previous XCOM Enemy Unknown is "concealment". Playing a few minutes with concealment, you suddenly realize that XCOM EU was an incomplete game... I mean, who makes a tactical battle game without stealth?

With stealth added, you're allowed to sneak around and try to set up ambushes to begin each battle. There's nothing more satisfying in XCOM2 then setting up the perfect ambush, and watching all your enemies gunned down as they scramble for cover. Well... maybe just one thing: the sword.

Yeah they added a sword in this one, for your "ranger" class soldiers. Rangers carry shotguns and swords, so they specialize in getting up close. The great thing about the sword is it never misses, and you can run halfway across the level and use it in one turn, allowing you to close the gap with the sword much more effectively than the shotgun.

Outside of battle, your base is a flying alien mothership that has been retrofitted for the human resistance movement. From here you can recruit new soldiers, research new technology, and fly around the world map trying to connect with other resistance cells. You'll have to make decisions about which missions to accept, when and where to work with local resistance cells, and how to best spend your resources to win the long war against Advent.

If you like strategy games but always wished they had a bit more battle and a bit less building, and you own a gaming PC and $50: get XCOM2