Why XCOM 2 is the best video game ever made – Reader’s Feature

A reader explains why XCOM 2 is his favourite game and what that means for his hopes for spiritual sequel Phoenix Point.

I was very excited to read this week, GC’s preview of Phoenix Point – the new game from Julian Gollop, creator of XCOM. It sounds like exactly what I’d want in terms of an official sequel but given there’s not much in the way of a real plot in these games being official or not doesn’t really matter. Which is all the more reason to get excited about Phoenix Point, especially if it actually looks and has good performance like GC said.

It’s automatically become my most anticipated game of the year but that means, as of right now, my favourite game of all time is XCOM 2. I couldn’t even begin to guess how many times I’ve played the game all the way through and I never seem to get bored. For those that haven’t played it, it’s a turn-based strategy game, which I imagine will put most people off straight away. But if you think that means slow and boring then you really haven’t ever played XCOM.

The game is very fast-paced even at the start and although there’s lots of options they only really start to stack up hours into the game when you’re familiar with what’s going on. The combat is great but the two things I love most about the game are the unpredictability and the customisation. Because you’re fighting a guerrilla war against invading aliens you’re always on the back foot at the beginning and never know where a fight is going to come from.

Most of the maps have randomly-generated elements, so you can’t learn them fully, which is where a lot of the replayability comes from. The same goes for your soldiers, who you can customise in terms of abilities and armour and weapons. You can also name them, which sounds like nothing but you get so attached to them that ranking them up enough so they can have a nickname feels like a rite of passage. And then when they die… it really hurts, every time.

The only thing that might possibly be better is XCOM 2 with the War Of The Chosen DLC added on. I’m kind of torn on this though, as while War Of The Chosen is excellent it can get very complicated with its extra rules and conditions. I love it, because I love XCOM, but it does kind of lose the elegance of design that the base game has. So while it’s better it’s also somehow less perfect, if that makes sense.

Not that anything is truly perfect, of course, because if it was I wouldn’t be looking forward to Phoenix Point. I do like what I hear though, with the Lovecraftian storyline, the mutating of aliens and humans, and the increased destruction and use of vehicles. If I had a wish it would be that they got more into the personalities of the soldiers too. It sounds like there’ll be a bit of that with them getting PTSD but I’d like to see friendship and relationship options, like Fire Emblem, to be possible so that they feel as bad as me when one of them gets killed.

If it’s not in there though they can leave that for Phoenix Point 2 and maybe an XCOM 3 if they ever do it. Although it won’t be the end of the world if they don’t because I’ll always have XCOM 2.

By reader Lukey

The reader’s feature does not necessary represent the views of GameCentral or Metro.

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