XCOM 2 is a gem of a strategy game as developers Firaxis really know how to up the ante when it comes to risk and reward gameplay. War of the Chosen, the upcoming expansion for the sequel, embodies this right from the get go. In a new walkthrough of the expansion’s opening moments, you get to see your ragtag group of XCOM insurgents battle seemingly endless waves of new foes, turning the entire mission into one big moving fire-fight.
The gist of War of the Chosen is in getting your enemies to work together. Here you’ll be escorting representatives from the Reapers and Skirmishers – two rival factions hailing from the more desolate parts of the world, who you need to have kiss and make up so that you’ll have a fighting chance against the Advent. The Reapers are long-range specialists, while the Skirmishers (made of up of some former Advent operatives) like doing things loud and up close. Understanding how to work with each of these skill-sets will be paramount to your success.
The expansion also introduces some new enemies, who fall on different sides of the spectrum. The Lost are a mindless horde that will be attracted to the sounds of conflict and quickly overrun you if you choose to move on and not to engage them. The Chosen – the primary foes in the expansion – can take on many forms. Here you’re introduced to the Assassin, an incredibly stealthy and strong enemy that will try and take down your team and kidnap them for interrogation. So it’s up to you to both keep her at bay and to ensure that everyone makes it back home alive.
There’s a real emphasis on movement in the gameplay above, with slow and steady progression balanced with meaningful engagements and a clever rationing of ammo. A new headshot mechanic allows you to chain together kills as long as you keep popping Lost heads, but not keeping an eye on your magazine could leave your troop in a precarious position. It’s all par for the course with XCOM 2, and you can look forward to War of the Chosen next month.
Last Updated: July 13, 2017