“XCOM 2” takes the XCOM series to a whole new level. The series, which began in 1994, was rebooted in 2012 with “XCOM: Enemy Unknown.”“XCOM 2” was released Feb. 5 of this year, and game developer Firaxis Games has done an outstanding job creating a game with strategic depth, far surpassing the rather surprising good job they had done on the previous game.

In “XCOM 2” the world has been taken over by the Advent Coalition, a group of seemingly benevolent aliens who have uplifted most of humanity and claimed to have cured most diseases including cancer. However, the remnants of XCOM, the organization the aliens had assumed they defeated in the invasion, know the aliens are planning something. As the Commander, the player will build and command a global resistance, attempting to stop the Avatar Project, a mysterious project that could end human life as they know it.

XCOM2-CMYK2K Games

The XCOM organization faces o against the Advent Coalition in “XCOM 2,” the highly anticipated sequel to “XCOM: Enemy Unknown.”

The gameplay in “XCOM 2” takes place on two fronts. The Geoscape is where the Commander hires new soldiers, builds new facilities in the base, researches new technology and manages supplies as XCOM battles the aliens. The Battlescape is where the tactical combat takes place. When a group of soldiers is sent out on a mission, the player will command those soldiers in turn based combat to complete whatever objective that may have been given. The players are in a race against the clock, the aliens have better technology than XCOM and the Avatar Project as slowly working toward completion.

The game boasts a leveling system that allows the player to develop the soldiers, which the player can name, through combat. As they complete missions, they will gain new skills and special ties such as snipers, grenadiers and shotgunners. However, the game also has permanent death. A soldier that one has trained may die during a mission, in which case the soldier and all their experience is lost and their name is added to an ever-growing memorial wall. This connection to a player’s soldiers causes one to actually think about the choices they make, as replacing a dead soldier is expensive and a rookie will never be as good as a sergeant that has recently died.

The AI has been vastly improved from the previous game, making it harder than ever. While some may be turned away by the difficult nature of the game, anyone looking for a good strategy game to buy will love this one. There are some issues, however, with this game.

Even high-end machines will have some trouble running this game on the highest settings, and the load times are extremely long. However, none of these issues breaks the game, and hopefully will be fixed in a later patch.

“XCOM 2” is available on PC through the Steam client and retail. This game is perfect for strategy lovers and even players who are new to the genre.


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