Platforms: PC
Reviewed On: PC
Developer: Fireaxis Games
Publisher: 2K Games
Distributor: Megarom Interactive
Release Date: 5 February 2016
PEGI: 16
Price: R599

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XCOM 2 is the follow up the to the highly successful XCOM: Enemy Unknown, and The Bureau: XCOM Declassified. Although XCOM: Enemy Unknown as a massive success, The Bureau on the other hand, was not. Has XCOM 2 managed to redeem the franchise? Or Will it just end up being another failed attempt at a once successful franchise?
XCOM 2 takes place in the distant future, it takes turn-based tactical gameplay, and mixes up strategy and multi-optional research, and combines it into one enjoyable experience from start to finish. The game’s pace and battle system is the highlight of the experience. The aliens won the war a few years ago, now it is time for the humans to take back what was once theirs.
XCOM 2 Screen 04
XCOM 2 revolves around two main themes, The Avenger, your ship in which you conduct all your research, plan ahead, and compile all your field data. Then we have the battles, which take all your work and planning that you organised from your Avenger, and puts it all into practice. It all revolves around what you have researched and the team you have organized in the Avenger. When not in the field, the game opens up various upgrade and research opportunities for you to undertake. When you research what is up to you, and these will all influence various gameplay outcomes during the game. Building new rooms on your ship which will unlock new squad abilities like a cool down rate in which your team heals from battle, and a power relay which is used to power your ship, as each room takes a set amount of energy.
The game revolves around a time mechanic, in which each and every research item, room, and squad member, have a set amount of days to full research, build, and recover from battle. The game makes it that you will be able to basically speed up time by either playing missions, or scouting an area on the world map, which has a set number of days it will consume, which will then reflect all current timeline research, healing, building, and construction. It is all about what you have already started researching, and once that is done you can just start another.
XCOM 2 Screen 03
The Avenger is quarter of the fun as you try to mange to maintain and improve your base of operations. It gets a bit tough and complicated later in the game as you will often be given a choice to research a weapons which will deal more damage to the enemy, or a piece of armour which will increase defence.
The battle system in XCOM 2 has been polished to perfection, and is the star of the game. You start a battle in the open world map, choose a team to take with you, and customise each of their equipment pieces. Grenades, weapons, and their class abilities. Each class has their own set of unique weapons and tools that are their signature in battle. The Support class can shoot from a distance with a sniper, the Grenadier is armed with a mini gun and can toss powerful explosives at the enemy, and the Ranger has a sword slash ability that can be used to mow down an enemy from up close.
You will spend your life taking recruits through missions to get them “promoted”. The abilities are tough to choose from, either boosting defence, or attack at times could result in a lost companion during a mission. Luckily you have so many recruits at your disposal that you can level each of them up differently, and swap between them on missions that require a certain approach.
During missions you will each get a turn to move and attack accordingly. The blue area is your safe zone, which means you can move and attack, but if you move out of the blue area, be sure to find a safe place to hide, as you cannot attack. It is the way the game maintains its balance. You need to know when to conceal yourself, and when to attack, as making a harsh move will alert the enemy and give away your position. Sometimes it is just easier to hide away and get every player into position before opening fire.
XCOM 2 Screen 02
The missions range from escorting VIPs to extraction points, reaching a certain spot to hack a terminal, and protecting a piece of vital hardware, while taking down the enemy. Each mission was really enjoyable, and the procedural generation of objects in the map, provides a unique experience even after you fail a mission. My favourite part of any mission was the ability to load a quick save, so if you make a wrong move you can just take a step back and do it again. Mastering the load function resulted in a few mission being completed without the loss of any team mates.
The enemies in the game are tough at times, and when you first meet a new one, it might take a while to learn their moves and abilities before knowing what they are all about. Some enemies are extremely frustrating as they have abilities that really put a damper on your missions, like resurrecting fallen soldiers, and panicking your team mates, causing them to fire at their will at enemies losing accuracy and fire power.
XCOM 2 Screen 01
XCOM 2 manages to improve on every aspect of the previous title, and make it an extremely enjoyable experience. From the start of the game to the end, you are always faced with tough decisions that will impact both your combat, and battle progression.
The game really puts the power in your hands like never before. The battles can be relentless at times, but it is all about how you approach each mission, and with who.

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XCOM 2 Review
Great CombatInnovative Research SystemLooks Great
Can Glitch Out at Times
Value for Money95%
Reader Rating 0 Votes