Lieutenant Vaclev Skorski is stood atop the burning ruins of an alien warehouse. He’s wounded and down to the last shot of his sniper rifle. Ahead of him, crouched behind the low cover of a clump of rocks, is his squadmate – the last remnant of what had been a five man team. Bearing down on his comrade, who is making a final dash for the evac zone, are a hulking robotic walker and an alien assault trooper. Skorski is the last thing between the success of the mission and a slaughter. He takes aim, knowing that, with enemy reinforcements inbound, covering for his teammate means certain death for himself.
Such moments are scattered throughout XCOM 2, the sequel to 2K and Firaxis Games’ squad-based tactics game XCOM: Enemy Unknown from 2012. There are very few games that can be punctuated with snapshots of pure emotion, drama and, at times, rage while leaving the player wanting so much more. XCOM 2 is one of those games.
In Enemy Unknown the player is tasked with defending Earth from an unknown alien threat, using the might of the world’s combined nations to be a bulwark against the extraterrestrial menace. XCOM 2 reveals just how fruitless that effort was. 20 years on the aliens have almost totally subjugated Earth’s population, installing themselves as governors, overlords and even deities under the umbrella name of the ADVENT. Only a few still try to fight back against these outer-space oppressors, and it’s up to you to lead them from scattered bands of fugitives to a full-fledged rebellion.
Read the rest of this review at GameGrin