Encountering heavy resistance in the battle to save mankind
Since UFO: Enemy Unknown, the XCOM series has focused on the tension between hard-won progress and instant regression. The odds are stacked against you, and the gruelling act of building an effective fighting force can come undone with a single mistake. XCOM 2 feels like a natural extension of that philosophy. You’re no longer holding off the vanguard of an extraterrestrial invasion. You start from a position of defeat, forming a resistance movement and pitting it against the planet’s new alien overlords. Even the box art reflects this theme. It’s the familiar visage of a Sectoid, but constructed from a stack of human skulls. This is a dark, oppressive and dangerous world that won’t easily be rescued.
Despite this, each battle in XCOM 2 starts with a moment of pure empowerment. In keeping with the XCOM initiative’s new status as a guerrilla force, soldiers begin each mission undetected. From this position of concealment, it’s possible to engineer a powerful first strike – an opening salvo of concentrated fire that can wipe out an enemy squad. It takes skill to initiate. Get too close to an opposing unit, or smash through a window or door, and your careful planning is all for naught. Our first attempt ends after a soldier is spotted by civilians. In XCOM 2, the populace at large is unaware of your purpose, and will immediately trigger an alert. It is, after all, better the devil you know. The most effective way to end concealment is on your own terms. By putting the majority of your squad into overwatch, and using your final soldier to open fire, you’re treated to a slick, continuous set-piece that pans between each unit as they take their
You can pick between two new abilities each time a soldier is promoted, so even the same class of soldier can excel at different battlefield roles.
The ability to customise characters was a big part of and in it’s been significantly expanded. You can choose everything from accent to hair tattoos