I became a huge fan of Strategy – RPG games when Square Enix released Final Fantasy tactics A2: Grimoire of the Rift. I have to say that I fell in love with XCOM2: War of the Chosen which was developed by Firaxis. The plot isn’t something unique and there are no plot twists. However, there are some unexpected discoveries about the history of the alien enemies and their purpose. You are part of an independent guerrilla organization who want to liberate Earth from the Advent, the alien force that has conquered our planet. This has to be done prior to Advent Project’s completion (something like a doom clock, i do not want to spoil it for you 😉 ) because, if the Aliens manage to pull it through then it is game over. As you progress, you learn more about the history of the aliens, how they came to Earth and what’s their purpose.
The game features very good graphics which can be experienced to their full potential with a mid range gaming PC! The developers have given a lot of attention in the combat department, as moves, cinematics and special effects (grenade explosions, fire, toxic clous etc) are outstanding. Furthermore, you can zoom in the camera while in game to see characters, weapons, enemies and environments up close and admire the high level of detail.
The sound track does its job, but it gets a little repetitive and it is forgettable. The voice acting though, is pretty decent for both characters and enemies. Your squad mates will scream if they are hit or if they are in a critical condition reaches and they will celebrate upon exterminating an enemies.
The game combines is a perfect blend of tactical strategy and pre battle planning. Even when you are not participating in a mission, whatever you choose to do (build, upgrade or research) have a tremendous impact on your overall progress (potentially slowing it down or quicken it), on the difficulty of future battles and eventually, on your overall stance against the Advent forces. Rarely mission planning will go as planned beforehand, due to enemy ambushes and surprise attacks. Once, a Chosen ambushed me while my team was trying to rescue a VIP or to sabotage an advent facility, and as a result my flawless victory overturned into a totally disastrous situation where I had to sacrifice one of my squad mates in order for the others to escape. In the best case scenario that a character manages to successfully escape being heavily wounded, his return to action will be postponed for weeks! The game is so realistic that, when someone dies, he dies for real. No resurrections, no respawns, nothing. There is a chance, if a character dies in battle, the rest of the squad will enter panic mode and start behaving irrationaly, thus meaning that they might end up firing the other members of your team. Also, if someone had a bond (state that occurs between 2 members that have participated together in multiple missions) with his recently deceased squadmate, he enters berserk mode and suffers a trauma. There is variety in classes, in character creation and in soldiers’ upgrades upon promotion. All these make sure that no 2nd playthrough feels the same, since you can incorporate totally different strategies and tactics from one play through to the other. And last but not least, the game also offers you the choice to have fun online in multiplayer campaign or Squad Vs Squad battles which are pretty fun.
Value for money….7
I enjoyed so much playing XCOM 2: War of the chosen and I would love to play it again in “Iron Man” mode where the game Auto-saves and doesn’t give you the choice of “save and reload”. However, it’s an expansion of XCOM 2 and needs the original game as well to play it, costing you about 70 euros in total (20 euros for the original game+ 20 euros for the DLCs +30 euros for war of the chosen). To sum up, it’s an overall great game but expensive. If you cannot afford both, you can buy first XCOM 2 only and upon completion, you will definitely want to go for its expansion.