XCOM 2 is one of those games that seems to have been overlooked in 2016. While it did release on PC some time ago, it’s only new to consoles. But it’s a game that I’m glad was able to come to both the PS4 and the Xbox One because XCOM 2 offers console gamers a game from the strategy genre to play, of which there aren’t many great ones on consoles. XCOM 2, just might be one of those greats though.
XCOM 2 is a top down shooter/strategy game where the player moves certain characters on a map and positions them in a way that they can strategically fight enemy foes. Kind of like a chess board, each opposing team takes turns moving characters around and attacking each other’s characters on the map.
At times the game can be very strategic but also difficult and for new players of the game such as myself, it can actually take some time to learn how do everything. There is quite an extensive tutorial section in the beginning though, which I found very helpful and over time I slowly learnt what to do in order to win each of XCOM 2’s challenges.
There are a few different difficulty settings to choose from, depending on your skill level, you might want to start off on one of the easier settings as some of the maps in the campaign can actually get quite difificult as you go.
The game will see you play as a commander of a group of soldiers who are fighting off a bunch of Aliens who have invaded the Earth. As you proceed through the campaign you will aim to take back sections of the Earth from the Aliens and as you progress there are things you can research to improve your soldiers weapons and technology.
As a turn based game, the mechanics seem well balanced. Once I learnt where everything was and understood what I was trying to do in the game, I had a great time upgrading things and proceeding through the various levels. The buttons to me seem well mapped to the controller, especially on the PS4 (not sure how the Xbox One experience is).
The game on the PS4 isn’t 100% perfect though. Although it is very close to being so, there are times when the game seems to stutter and the frames get stuck. Other times I found that sometimes an enemy would be in a certain position and they seemed to be invisible, although I could aim at them, it’s kind of like it hadn’t loaded them yet, it’s a bit strange. But these were only minor moments and didn’t make up the majority of the game experience at all.
The music is well done and I enjoyed listening to the military themes that played in the menu’s and also during the missions. The cutscenes are well animated and the voice acting was superb.
Overall XCOM 2 was a great experience. Playing the game at times was actually very relaxing and it’s a joy to have a game that is a bit slower, that let’s you take turns to make your move and it’s challenging enough to give your mind something to think about and I love that about XCOM 2.
If you are thinking to get a strategy game for either your PS4 of Xbox One or even if you haven’t got this on PC yet, XCOM 2 may just be offering the challenging strategy experience you’ve been looking to have this year. There isn’t really anything like it that offers anything similar on a console at all and a it’s a great game to add to your library.