|Dev: Firaxis Games|
|Pub: 2K Games|
|Release: February 5, 2016|
|Screen Resolution: 480p-1080i||Blood, Use of Tobacco, Violence|
This requires taking to the battlefield, where the turn-based tactical combat remains second to none. With random map elements and enemy makeups depending on your campaign choices, XCOM 2 is devoid of any semblance of redundancy. You may have to escort a VIP to safety, save civilians, hack a terminal, or simply clear out all the aliens, and it always feels fresh and challenging, especially for those brave enough to attempt the single-save Ironman mode on Legendary difficulty. A complete understanding of the cover system, overwatch, hit percentages, and team composition is a feat of knowledge that beckons you to study for maximum efficiency. XCOM 2 introduces the concealment phase on most missions, where your party can set up an ambush without being detected. It’s a nice strategic feature, however it comes with an increased number of hit-and-run missions that require completion within a certain number of turns.
Problematic camera controls continue to plague the sequel, getting stuck behind walls or finding a poor angle during a cinematic strike. Movement also has its hiccups by not discerning the optimal way to move from point A to point B in order to avoid a hazard or revealing the soldier to the enemy. Opening doors also requires fumbling with the cursor to find the sweet spot. These are issues inherent to any isometric tactical game, but the extra patience required is at best a mild bother and at worst the difference between a mission’s success or failure due to a false movement or action.
Despite these technical faux pas, XCOM 2 has many grand elements to praise. It is the countless little touches, such as your troops whispering acknowledgments while in stealth, or ducking when within the line of sight of a comrade’s shot, that truly show the commitment and effort the team at Firaxis poured into this stunning sequel. If XCOM: Enemy Unknown was the standard-bearer for tactical turn-based games, then XCOM 2 has wrested control of that flag, and now holds it even higher.
Senior Contributing Writer
Date: February 5, 2016