20 Hours of X-COM 2

After 20 hours of X-COM 2 I have emphatically decided it is the best game I have played in five years. I don’t know which exact game it is replacing from 5 years ago as the new best, only that it is so good and so perfect for me right now, that surely it is at least the best in the last 5 years. Maybe the last 10.

There are several things that hits the nail on the head just perfectly for me.

  • It is challenging, but not frustratingly so. I bet if I notched it up a difficulty level or two that it could become that way, but I have a lot of upward movement. I am already dreaming of doing an Ironman campaign (after I complete the experience the first time) at a higher difficult level. It really flows so well right now.
  • Character customization and care is just right. I think there is something to say about games where I control people (the Commander!) instead of being the people/person. When I do something dumb in WoW, I do it to my own character. When I order my sniper to hit a rooftop solo and he walks into a couple aliens and gets killed, I feel like I killed him and feel shame and remorse. I care more about my X-COM team than most of the MMO characters I have played.
  • The Meta Game of research, engineering, scanning and salvage feels way smoother than X-COM of 2012 and is a big improvement.
  • The game completely checks off the box of “just one more day, one more turn”. Which sucks you into a mission. And some new research, that needs some more supplies. Which sucks you into “just one more day, one more turn…”
  • The Avatar program is a nice, threateningly reminder that you can’t just dawdle along (hello, Fallout 4. Lost child where?) and builds tension.

I love the turned based format – it really works. It also makes me dream (again) of what other games could be made that would be perfect in this format. Mechwarrior, I am looking at you.

Still, until then, I have a game to complete, and a new mode to get into right after. Looking forward to expansions already, which is a bit silly (I know) but hey, it’s nice when you hit it off with a game just right.

4 comments / Add your comment below

  1. I’m a big fan of the game as well, but then again I’ve been a big fan of the whole series so it’s no real surprise. I’m glad to hear that someone else is really liking it!

  2. I also liked the X-COM 2012 remake of the original, but not as much as this one. I have been trying to sort it out, and I think it is the personal, humanization of troops. Their quirks, their attitudes (the customization). I haven’t 100% Nailed it down yet but its very, very well done. Thanks for stopping by, added you to blogroll =)

  3. XCOM2 is so great! I put in 40 hours in the first week and finished the campaign on veteran. I’m taking a little break now to play other things, but I’m really excited to do an Ironman run for my next run. It’s such a great way to up the stakes of the game.

    1. I’m at about hour 30 so starting to feel like the finish line isn’t too far away. I am also really looking forward to trying an Ironman run =)

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