XCOM 2 review round up

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XCOM! It’s one of our favourite revived franchises ever, and it was made even better thanks to Firaxis’ deft hand at taking something with so much nostalgic weight and making it their own. It was followed up an expansion that was just as good – creating news fans for the revered franchise. And this month, the battle against the alien threat really comes to a head in the PC-exclusive sequel. XCOM 2 is out at the end of this week – but reviews are out right now. Here’s what critics have to say about a game that’s very probably already in the running to be on the end of the year GOTY lists.

IGN – 9.3/10

Xcom2_2

With a focus on variety and replayability, this sequel has an answer to most of my complaints about 2012’s excellent XCOM: Enemy Unknown, and aside from some mostly cosmetic bugs, it comes together brilliantly. Thanks to a new spin on the same great tactical combat, plus unpredictable maps and randomized objectives and loot, XCOM 2 is an amazing game I’ll easily put hundreds of hours into.

EGM – 7.5/10

Xcom2_3

XCOM 2 is a generally solid experience, but it is definitely one of those titles that may not be for everyone due to its punishing game style and occasional unpredictably of success.

 

Gamewatcher  – 9/10

Xcom2_4

XCOM 2 is everything a sequel should be, keeping the things that everyone loved about the first game while changing things up as much as possible.

GameInformer – 9.25/10

Xcom2_5

Alien firefights play out like deadly games of chess. The difficulty tests your resolve, but XCOM remains one of the deepest and most rewarding strategy games on the market

SA Gamer – 9/10

Xcom2_1

It was a bold move changing the ending of Enemy Unknown and eradicating Enemy Within, but XCOM 2 is all the stronger, and more interesting, for it. This is a much more intimate, daring group than the sprawling defense force of before. Out of that battered, broken shell a scrappy underdog has emerged, fighting to save people who have forgotten that there ever was a war, thanks to a burgeoning propaganda machine that has dulled their senses and placated them like cattle. XCOM 2 is punishing and relentless, forcing you to question almost every decision you make before thrusting a new disaster in your face.

Where’s our review, you ask? We unfortunately don’t have the game just yet, so we’ll be reviewing off of a retail copy. We’ll have it for you as soon as we can.

Last Updated: February 1, 2016

Geoffrey Tim

Editor. I’m old, grumpy and more than just a little cynical. One day, I found myself in possession of a NES, and a copy of Super Mario Bros 3. It was that game that made me realise that games were more than just toys to idly while away time – they were capable of being masterpieces. I’m here now, looking for more of those masterpieces.

  • Jacques Naudé

    Yaaaaaaaaaaay!

  • Alien Emperor Trevor

    Believe in the hype shield!

  • Spend money on a 2K game… you’re having a laugh

    • Rubbish! With the $ exchange it’s more like R1300 teheheheheheeh

      • Pariah

        R599 on Steam right now. Stop trying to rip people off! Do you work for EA or something?

        • I was making a funny 🙁

          • Pariah

            I laughed. No sarcasm, I laughed. It was clever. I was trying to circumvent that and make another funny. Like funny-ception or something.

          • HAHAHA

          • Alien Emperor Trevor

            GITV!

          • 🙁

          • Hammersteyn

            Vagina? That will be a first for him

          • The Grand Admiral Chief Prime

            SHOTS FIRED

          • Alien Emperor Trevor

            No it’s not. I was only joking when I said he was a test tube baby.

          • No you weren’t…

          • Alien Emperor Trevor

            And here I thought I was a much better liar. :/

          • No, you’re pretty much useless at everything!

          • Alien Emperor Trevor

            You’re so mean! What have I ever done to you?

          • The Grand Admiral Chief Prime

            …this one time, at Rince camp…

          • Pariah

            I don’t wanna know. Stop right there.

          • The Grand Admiral Chief Prime

            Let’s just say, a certain pharmaceutical, substance, will forever be immortalized (traumatized)

          • I read that in a William Shatner voice 0_O

          • Alien Emperor Trevor

            lol

          • The Grand Admiral Chief Prime

            That was, the original, intention, my curiously crafted, fellow commenter

          • lies!

          • You made Cape Town hot with your angry disposition!

          • Hammersteyn

            Alphabetically or Chronologically?

          • Fuck it, both?

          • Alien Emperor Trevor

            I don’t know. Whenever he says I’m mean to him I just think it sounds fishy… and forget about it.

          • Pariah

            YOH

          • That’s a type of flower right?

          • The Grand Admiral Chief Prime

            Initially, yes

          • Hammersteyn

            O_o I must be doing something wrong

  • Haha! You can see EGM have kak reviewers where were punished.

  • The Grand Admiral Chief Prime

    YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS

  • Hammersteyn

    “keeping the things that everyone loved about the first game while changing things up as much as possible” O_o how’s that work exactly

    • Pariah

      Buy the game and you’ll find out.

      • Hammersteyn

        I’ll take a page from Chief and buy it for $5

  • The Grand Admiral Chief Prime

    SO HYPE

    • Hammersteyn

      7.5, meh not interested

      • GITFS Just because you think Dead Space 3 was the best coop game!

        • Hammersteyn

          Me? Don’t make me copy and paste chat’s

          • Ir0nseraph

            XD

          • Chats can be edited!

          • Ir0nseraph

            But witnesses can’t.

          • They can very easily disappear… PS. I think the N1 needs some work, get to it @[email protected]:disqus

          • Ir0nseraph

            LoL I am not a punching bag, I punch back 😛

          • Does the Albanian know that? He might want to test you…

          • Ir0nseraph

            After that statement I think hes is going down to cape town .
            And anyway stating on my knees so we can see eye to eye hurts my knees.

          • What is stating precious?

          • The Grand Admiral Chief Prime

            LOL where is the Albanian these days?

          • Guild

            In our WhatsApp group giving us grief

          • lol

          • The Grand Admiral Chief Prime

            Hahaha, tell ’em the Admiral says [Hello] in Albanian

          • Hammersteyn

            Përshëndetje, I’m posting it now.

          • The Grand Admiral Chief Prime

            HAHAHA
            (Dog jy praat van ‘n pers hoender)

          • Hammersteyn

            XD

          • Hammersteyn

            What Craig said 😛

          • GITSANRAL? 0_O

          • Ir0nseraph

            XDXD

          • Hammersteyn

            Whatsapp chats, go ahead an try. Also what @ir0nseraph:disqus said 😛

  • The Grand Admiral Chief Prime

    I’m going to totally immerse myself in this. Totally. SAVE THE PLANET!

  • Commander Bob

    Glad XCOM2 is living up to the hype so far. Looks fantastic and a few Youtubers have nothing but praise for the game. Really looking forward to getting my hands on it this Friday.

    • The Grand Admiral Chief Prime

      Amen brudda

    • Johann

      Damn, Steam so far is the Cheapest at R599. Thanks government for our shitty exchange rate.

      • Commander Bob

        I could be wrong but I think Takealot.com and Raru had it a little cheaper but then you don’t get the Resistance Warrior Pack on release. Steam does seem to be a good deal especially since all the other online sites are based in US$ and even with discounts (like Greenmangaming.com) are still more than R599.

  • The Grand Admiral Chief Prime

    “may not be for everyone due to its punishing game style and occasional unpredictably of success”

    In other words:

    BAAAAAAAAAAAAH MY FAVOURITE TROOPER DIED BECAUSE I PLANNED LIKE A DUMBASS AND NOW THE GAME IS CRAP

    XCOM takes no prisoners, you WILL have heartbreak when you are cocky

    • Pariah

      This I’ve experienced for myself. Its cruel, brutal, and forces you to actually think about what you’re doing. Ie: a great game.

      • The Grand Admiral Chief Prime

        HOWEVER, sometimes I wonder about missing a 99% shot, point blank, with shotgun

        • Hammersteyn

          the other 1% is DLC?

          • Pariah

            LOL

        • Pariah

          RNG is RNG man. Sometimes you get that 12%, other times you’ll miss a 99%. It happens, and it sucks ass.

          • The Grand Admiral Chief Prime

            Speaking of RNG, me and Trevor hit a spot of RNG overkill on Saturday

            Eh @disqus_DoEH3TsffU:disqus?

          • *Trevor and I

          • Hammersteyn

            Oh snap

          • The Grand Admiral Chief Prime

            I had more kills, so me and Trevor

          • xD

            That’s one way of looking at it.

          • The Grand Admiral Chief Prime

            Well, a certain someone gave me a cruy cruy gun for my perusal….

          • How is the Ignis ?

          • The Grand Admiral Chief Prime

            Loving it, gonna forma it as soon as I get one again

          • Hammersteyn

            Stop Warframing the comments, I’ve got work to do!

          • The Grand Admiral Chief Prime

            UPVOTE THEM ALL!

          • Hammersteyn

            I’m trying f**k

          • Always fun to have a group full of embers with Ignis 😛

          • Alien Emperor Trevor

            pffft. Give all my neurodes back then.

          • The Grand Admiral Chief Prime

            DENIED!!!

            LOL, I still have 174 left after all my builds!

          • It was raining neurodes in that mission. And a lucky 3 hour resource booster was just what I needed 😛

          • The Grand Admiral Chief Prime

            LOL, my top haul was 39!

          • 2 missions I had a total of 4 drops :

          • The Grand Admiral Chief Prime

            You need me along, for some reason they love my RhinoP

          • True, you had some good RNG mojo going on xD

          • The Grand Admiral Chief Prime

            The one with Trev was the best. Me slicing all the things in 2 (Orthos) and then Trev desecrating the whole time

          • Alien Emperor Trevor

            We ended up with over 70 from 3 runs. Nekros for the farm!

    • Commander Bob

      Playing XCOM this past weekend I had a shot on a Berserker. Close range, 80% chance to hit, Major ranked soldier – everything was looking good….and he bloody missed the shot. Well, I guess that’s XCOM.

      • The Grand Admiral Chief Prime

        Yeah, I always have a reserve trooper for the follow up, when I’m feeling cocky

        • Commander Bob

          Yeah, I was rushing the campaign on easy just to get the 5 starting points achievement. Rushing and XCOM don’t mix. So many troopers died to bad placement. I lost 3 high level troops in one mission.

          • The Grand Admiral Chief Prime

            O_O

  • The Grand Admiral Chief Prime

    I’m wrapping up my Warframe activities this week, after which, XCOM is my mistress

    • Hammersteyn

      What’s Warframe?

      • The Grand Admiral Chief Prime

        Something only awesome people partake in

        • Pariah

          So you’d have to be in the right Frame of mind then?

          • The Grand Admiral Chief Prime

            Hehehe

        • Hammersteyn

          Oh right. I did, twice. So that makes me twice as awesome?

          • The Grand Admiral Chief Prime

            You need to partake twice a day!

          • Hammersteyn

            I do, but of alcohol

          • The Grand Admiral Chief Prime

            Combine both
            [insert both gif]

  • The Grand Admiral Chief Prime

    The last game that warranted so many replays (from start to finish) for me, was KotOR 2

  • Guild

    I am available to review this game…..please send me free copy 😛

    • Pariah

      Oh just drop it…

      • The Grand Admiral Chief Prime

        xD

      • Guild

        XD

    • The Grand Admiral Chief Prime

      Too late……someone else got it

      • Guild

        Who is doing the review?

        • The Grand Admiral Chief Prime

          OH, review, ummmm, yeah, about that…

        • Well @Admiral_Chief:disqus is always playing the Nazi Grammar card about time he wrote a review for us to laugh, I mean read!

          • The Grand Admiral Chief Prime

            10/10
            AMAZING
            HAI

            There you go

            BUY THE DAMN GAME!

          • HAHAHA! I WILL!

          • Pariah

            No punctuation… Dude, what is wrong with you?

          • He’s a gamer reviewer, they don’t know grammarz and numberz!

          • Pariah

            At least they haz teh ethikz right?

          • The Grand Admiral Chief Prime

            SO HYYYYYPE

          • Hammersteyn

            I’m gonna download a Demo first

  • Lardus-For the Emperor!

    My body is ready!

    • The Grand Admiral Chief Prime

      Agreed!

      This is my hype for 2016, and so early in the year!

      Last year was TW3, this year, XCOM2!!!!

      • Lardus-For the Emperor!

        I hope they allow pre-load early enough though. I need to get somewhere to download it still 🙁

        • The Grand Admiral Chief Prime

          Agreed, I’m checking every day!!!

  • miaau

    Hey Admiral, how nervous were you opening this page?

    • The Grand Admiral Chief Prime

      Not at all, truth

      • miaau

        Glad to hear your confidence was borne out. Even the “poor” scores reckon the game is awesome, just not for everybody. Which is exactly the thing.

        Good luck and have fun this weekend!

        • The Grand Admiral Chief Prime

          Thanks, pity I have a wedding on Saturday. I’ll take my work laptop along then…

          • Hammersteyn

            Polygamy can be fun at times

          • Pariah

            This is what you’d call CLASSIC! XD

          • The Grand Admiral Chief Prime

            A wedding, not MY wedding

          • miaau

            Can you get away with that? I am not sure I could do that

            Although, at my wedding, two of my uncles watched the cricket and missed EVERYTHING after the church ceremony (we got married at 14:00). They just came round and saw people eating and ate.

            I do understand they had to answer some very tough questions on the ride home, though.

          • Commander Admiral Chief

            Rugby I can understand, but cricket???

  • Ghost In The Rift

    Just started the Xcom Enemy Unknown yesterday lol, allot of fun but i’m getting my ass handed to be by those damn aliens, not use to the game play yet but i’m getting there, so many upgrades tho.

    • The Grand Admiral Chief Prime

      Focus on the satellites first, get that done first, and do the engineer missions first when you get to choose between engineers and scientists

    • Dresden

      I also bought the game recently. Thank you for the heads up, will tread cautiously when playing it.

      • Ghost In The Rift

        Take the Admirals advice to, gonna do what he suggests, but advice i can give is treat the game like chess, as in think carefully of every move to the point where you have to be 3 steps ahead lol

        • HvR

          Unlike chess you shouldn’t think 3 moves YOU should NEVER be 3 moves ahead.

          NEVER DASH ON YOUR LAST MOVE. NEVER ASSUME 90%+ will hit.

  • Desperately trying to finish Tomb Raider so I can be ready for this but my inner completionist is stopping me from progressing in the game. Either way X-Com will be played the second it is released.

    • Hammersteyn

      Lara lives in the end, play XCOM

      • Pariah

        Hey! Spoiler alert!!!

        • Alien Emperor Trevor

          Hey, it’s right there in the name. It’s Tomb Raider, not Entombed Raider.

          • The Grand Admiral Chief Prime

            Oh snap

          • And she gives me quite a Rise … so thats where the prefix comes from. 🙂

          • Pariah

            I…. Just…

            *moves along swiftly*

          • Well I could have gone to the whole make me a sandwich thing but I know that with her she would fall through the earth during an unexpected earthquake on her way to the kitchen and probably discover the donut of wisdom and some long forgotten half rat half man tribe of beings trying to kill her.

            Point is … I would never get my sandwich. 😛

          • Mossel

            ManBearPig!

          • Hammersteyn

            Also the sequel isn’t called The Rise of the Tomb Raider….. oh wait

          • Pariah

            WAIT! So Lara Croft is actually Jesus? WHAT?!?!

          • Hammersteyn

            Don’t be silly, she’s a woman. Oh snap Ive done it again .

          • The Grand Admiral Chief Prime

            ZOMBIE LARA!

      • Humanity wins in the end untill about 6 months before X-Com 3. 😛

        Now we don’t have to play X-Com 2.

        • The Grand Admiral Chief Prime

          “You we don’t have to play X-Com 2”

          The what now?

          • Lies and propaganda!

          • Pariah

            That’s the true SA spirit!

          • The Grand Admiral Chief Prime

            I thought it was calling everything and everyone racist?

          • Pariah

            Lies and propaganda!

          • You are saying it wrong … it is raaacist.

            That should have distracted you long enough till parliament falls in on itself with infighting and I don’t get asked questions anymore.

          • The Grand Admiral Chief Prime

            Hmph, soooorry, what was that? I fell asleep in parliament again…

  • Pariah

    I think the saddest thing about reading this is that I won’t be buying on release – I just have too many other games on my plate at the moment. Choosing which to finish is proving to be a nightmare.

    • Guild

      Same boat and yet every chance I get to play which has become once a week at the moment, I end up playing CoD. So my own fault that I have a shit load of open world games just waiting to be played. But I have booked Division from March onwards and increase my gaming time again.

      • WoW, Eve and Fallout are my current new game blockers.

        • Pariah

          Blade & Soul, The Talos Principle, and this month’s Humble Monthly – Alien: Isolation are my 3 at the moment.

          • The Grand Admiral Chief Prime

            My Alien Isolation had a birthday…..I’ve not even installed it

          • Pariah

            I’m super keen man, it looks tense and scary as fuck. earphones, lights out, and some epic times await I think. I’m installing it later with free midnight data. Can’t wait!

          • The Grand Admiral Chief Prime

            I started jamming Metro Last Light, but then Warframe had all these events on recently…

          • Pariah

            Excuses!!! What’s with all this multiplayer nonsense?

          • The Grand Admiral Chief Prime

            I mostly SP the game, then sometimes Otto and Trev hop in for some co-op

          • Pariah

            Trev? Lies and propaganda!

          • The Grand Admiral Chief Prime

            IKR? He is quite fun in co-op actually

          • Pariah

            That’s what…

            Wait no…

            *vomits*

          • Alien Emperor Trevor

            haha I was about to say the same thing.

          • Pariah

            XD

          • Mossel

            2033 is way better than Last Light. LL didn’t have that intenseness about it.

          • Farcry Kyryat Edition Still in the packaging.

          • Hammersteyn

            Kry me a river. Stop playing MOBAS and F2P games

          • The Grand Admiral Chief Prime

            LOL my AC Revelations is still sitting in its steel tin….

          • Alien Emperor Trevor

            Seeing as I’m not getting XCOM now I decided maybe I should finally play King’s Bounty WotN to get a strategy fix. I spent 11 hours on it over the w/e and haven’t even cleared 1/4 of the world map. O_o

        • Guild

          My current PS4 backlog:
          Watch Dogs,
          Diablo 3,
          Uncharted Collection,
          The Witcher 3,
          MGS:V,
          Bloodborne,
          Divinity Original Sin

          My Steam backlog:
          Too fucking many to mention

          • Hammersteyn

            F*****D

          • Guild

            I blame you. If you had just played CoD with the rest of us we all could be over it but nope you went and rushed it and left us stuck playing CoD now

          • Hammersteyn

            Hahaha and my backlog is shrinking by the weekend

          • The Grand Admiral Chief Prime

            My Steam backlog is about 60% of my total library now……..

          • Guild

            I haven’t opened steam in awhile. I don’t want to buy more games for my backlog I don’t seem to finish.

          • Pariah

            I’ve still been meaning to get serious about Divinity Original Sin actually.

            But compared to my list – yours is like RIP time for the next 2 years…

          • Guild

            Yip and currently once a week is not cutting it. Especially if I keep playing CoD

          • Pariah

            Reading things like this makes me glad I prioritise gaming time every day. This way I can actually get to play stuff. Having a gf who games as well helps a lot, but having a child doesn’t. Bah, why do we have to adult?

          • Greylingad[CNFRMD]

            I’m with you there, two kids is adulting on NIGHTMARE difficulty…

          • How many kids would be Torment X? 😛

            Way too much Diablo lately.

          • Pariah

            My gf’s mom grew up with 8 other siblings… That sounds like Torment to me.

          • Greylingad[CNFRMD]

            Gee wizz, I don’t have that many cousins tbh…

          • Pariah

            I do. Large family, most of whom with which we do not speak.

          • Greylingad[CNFRMD]

            Aye, I get that one too….

          • I am one of 9.

            Actually I am 7 of 9 … but I am not a chick but I am still hot. 😛

            Edit: Fuzzy math I am 2 of 9. 🙁

          • Pariah

            LOL! Well played sir. Well played.

          • Would have loved to be the Seventh son of the Seventh son cause at least then I would be a Wizard. 🙂

          • The Grand Admiral Chief Prime

            HAHA

          • Alien Emperor Trevor

            Not in your bathrobe, socks & plakkies you’re not.

          • The Grand Admiral Chief Prime

            Agreed

          • I make anything look good. 🙂

          • Guild

            By the time both my children are in bed, it’s about 21:00 or so. Then it’s time to chat and relax with my wife because we need to spend more time together. By then it’s usually 23:00, so bed time. Adulting got hard

          • Greylingad[CNFRMD]

            Yep! Our 2 month old baby usually only falls asleep at 21:00, but to get her to sleep (mostly) through the night you have to give her a bottle between 23:00 and 23:30, so we’ve decided to play Borderlands 2 co- op until then…

          • The Grand Admiral Chief Prime

            Good plan

          • Greylingad[CNFRMD]

            This is on account that our toddler actually sleeps when put to bed too, but it’s time spent well, winding down together and utterly enjoyable!

          • Pariah

            I wish my gf was into Borderlands. Its so epic co-op. You have a good arrangement there, I must admit.

          • Greylingad[CNFRMD]

            It only takes a few skill points to get addicted to it, but I understand, took me a very long time to convince my wife to try it with me…

          • Guild

            Our 3 year old is in bed usually by 20:00. The 4 month old can be anywhere up to 22:00, it’s a bit of a lucky gamble. Lately it’s around 21:00 then thankfully he sleeps through till 05:00. So it’s 2 hours of chatting and watching 1 episode of a series by then my wife is tired and it’s bed time. I sometimes would then play till midnight or 01:00 but I’m finding 4 hours of sleep is not doing me well in the office lately.

          • Greylingad[CNFRMD]

            I know that feeling, luckily we have good coffee at the office, doesn’t help that you’d need three cups to start the day off with, but alas…

          • The Grand Admiral Chief Prime

            My daughter is in bed by 20h00, then me and the mrs watch some series, then I game for about 2 hours, to unwind

          • Guild

            Same but we a dependent on the little guy at the moment. We usually have him in bed by 21:00. Then it’s chatting a bit and maybe 1 episode of a series. If I do jump on it’s pretty late and exactly that maybe 2 hours if I can stop myself.

  • Greylingad[CNFRMD]

    Away for two minutes, 1.4 billion comments below… I hope you guys enjoy it, I’ll probably pick it up when it’s on Steam sale, not because I’ll wait, but because backlog…

    • The Grand Admiral Chief Prime

      I’ll think of you when I’m slaying all those aliens…probably not

      • The truth is out there!

        • The Grand Admiral Chief Prime

          …to be shot!

          • Pariah

            Someone is feeling violent today? Isn’t this a happy ocassion?

          • The Grand Admiral Chief Prime

            Indeed, shooting aliens IS a happy “occasion”

          • Pariah

            Whatever. Fine. Kill all the things. See if I care.

            Ps, fuck… -_-

          • The Grand Admiral Chief Prime

            LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOL

      • Greylingad[CNFRMD]

        Not to worry, I’ll be playing Dirt Rally for a long time to come, no, actually, I’ll be crashing, yes, crashing in Dirt Rally for a while still to come and then Alien:Isolation and then hopefully, when I’ve finished that I’ll switch to XCOM…

  • The Grand Admiral Chief Prime

    200 comments!

  • HvR

    EGM can take their 7.5 and get in the Alien Stasis Pod

  • HvR

    One of the most entertaining Xcom2 beta game play videos

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