XCOM 2: War of the Chosen is a turn-based tactical shooter game. It pits you and your resistance fighters in XCOM against alien invaders who have conquered the world and their forces, Advent and The Chosen. Your goal? Free the world from enslavement! The game begins with an optional tutorial that teaches you the basic game play and gets you involved in the XCOM story line.
XCOM 2 War Of The Chosen is definitely worth getting. It has almost non-stop, intense action during combat, and as characters and soldiers progress during the game you develop an attachment to them. There is actually a sense of loss when one of your favorites dies. This is a very immersive game with a lot of replayability.
Xcom 2 WOTC’s main attractions, at least for me, are the myriad of cut scenes it has during game play and the way it gets you involved with the game personalities in the game. The suspense that builds during the turn-based combat is an unexpected plus, sometimes I can hardly wait for the turn to progress so I can see what happens, especially if one of my favorite soldiers has his or her life on the line!
Bradford is my favorite character in the XCom series. From providing steady guidance to his troops to complaining about those d**n Advent burgers, he’s a top of the line commander. XCOM would be lost without him.
The user interface for moving and giving orders to troops is absurdly simple. To move, click on the soldier, select the tile you want to move to, then right click.
Firing with this user interface is pretty simple too. Just select your target using the head icons at the bottom of the targeting screen and fire.
The UI for the Avenger is where you do the stuff you need to do to recruit, train, heal, outfit, and then send your units on missions. This user interface is just point and click also. All-in-all, a simple and easy user interface, no keyboard shortcuts to memorize (I stink at memorizing), although they are there if you want them.
The artwork and soundtrack are both superb, Bradford is rendered in intricate detail and appears almost lifelike on the screen. Voice and tone match the character perfectly.
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Is it Fun?
Yes, this game is fun! I’ve never played a game any better at getting you attached to your soldiers than XCOM 2. Part of it is the customization you’re allowed to do, and part of it is the “bonding” you go through when trying to help them survive a mission. When one of them is lost there is a sense of real loss on my part as well.
Soldiers can be customized right down to the type of tattoo they have on their right arm to the eye color to the type of face they have and more. If only I could change him into a leftie like me…
Between missions you’ll be spending a lot of time on the Avenger. The research lab is where you upgrade weapons and soldiers so you can take the fight to Advent. Dr Richard Tygan is the chief science officer and leads the research for XCOM.
Tygan will prioritize research projects for you although the final decision of what to research is up to you. You can also review past projects here as well.
You also have the Armory and this is where you’ll promote soldiers, customize them, and change their loadout. As soldiers move up in rank they can unlock abilities unique to their class. Ranks range from Squadie to Colonel.
Interested in learning about other games, like Stellaris, Civ 6, or Crusader Kings III?
XCOM 2 Bridge
The Bridge is where you’ll go to scan for intel and supplies, and to make contact with resistance cells. Making contact with resistance cells costs intel, so if you don’t have enough you won’t be able to undertake the mission. Contacting them is worthwhile though since it provides more income. Progress on the Avatar project is also monitored here. If the tick marks fill up you only have 30 days to take action to reduce it, like destroying an alien facility, to set it back.
Engineering is led by Lily Chen, she’s the one who got the Avenger up and running again. She will build the stuff you need to stay up to par with Advent’s weapon advances.
Sometimes missions don’t go as well as you’d like, and that’s where recruitment and the infirmary come in handy. By building an infirmary you will cut a soldier’s healing time by 50%.
There are three Chosen to fight, the Assassin, Warlock, and Hunter. Kon-Mon Neylor, Shadowmaiden, is the assassin of the trio and typically she is the first one encountered. Like a true Shadowmaiden she likes to strike from out of nowhere, quickly and unexpectedly. She prefers personal combat over a support role and will not hesitate to take your best soldiers on in one-on-one fight to the death.
The Assassin excels at hand-to-hand combat and one of her best abilities is “Parting Silk,” which stuns soldiers so they can be easily captured. When she uses this ability she never misses her target. She also has the ability to conceal herself, one of the best ways to break that concealment is to toss grenades in her direction.
The Hunter, on the other hand, does not like close quarters combat and prefers sniping from a long range, although he is not entirely helpless at close range thanks to his Darkclaw pistol. The Hunter has the Tracking Shot ability which allows him to mark a soldier as a target if on one is within range, and unless a soldier is obscured, he can see any soldier on the battlefield no matter how far away with his Farsight ability.
When dealing with the Hunter the best tactic is to try to engage him at close range with several soldiers. He has the ability to daze soldiers and either capture them or extract information from them, so having someone around to help out a fallen comrade is a very good idea.
The Warlock is the psionic specialist of the three Chosen. Some of his more interesting abilities are the ability to summon Spectral Zombies and Armies. If zombies are summoned by the Warlock and if they are not killed as soon as they appear, they can become deadly explosives, ready to explode close to a soldier when they finally are killed. If Spectral Armies appear they will be made up of Stun Lancers and will do the fighting for the Warlock while he goes into stasis, which makes him impervious to any damage until the Spectral Army is destroyed.
Each Chosen will harass you as you scan for intel and supplies, and will drop in on a mission from time-to-time and try to capture or kill your soldiers. Very formidable enemies but not invulnerable.
You’ll also have additional help from the resistance factions of the Templars, Reapers, and Skirmishers. Each class of soldier has unique abilities to help offset the skills of the Chosen, leading to their eventual defeat (hopefully).
The Skirmishers are former Advent soldiers with the psionic chip that links them to the Advent psionic network removed. They now want to be completely free of the alien’s influence and are lead by Betos. There weapons of choice are the KAL-7 Bullpup and Ripjack. The KAL-7 Bullpup is a rifle that gives the Skirmisher the ability to fire his weapon twice in one round instead of once. The Ripjack is a backup weapon designed to be used as part of close-quarters combat.
The Skirmisher can focus on one of three potential ability paths, Hussar, Judge, and Tactician. The Hussar path provides more free actions for the Skirmishers, the Judge path will make them more efficient at hand-to-hand combat, and the Tactician path develops combat bonuses that can be used during their turn.
The Reapers specialize in stealth and deception to overcome their enemies. They are especially effective in nighttime combat thanks to their night vision masks. Their preferred weapons are Claymore mines and Vektor Rifles. Thanks to their shadow mode they also gain a 50% increase in movement when using it. If they attack in shadow mode they are not automatically revealed but still risk it, with the chances increasing each time they take a shot.
They have three ability paths to select from, Stealth, Saboteur, and Marksman. Improving stealth abilities will make the reaper a better scout, the saboteur path will make the Claymore mine more powerful and useful, and the Marksman path will make a Reaper more deadly with a rifle attack.
The Templars are the third specialized resistance faction introduced into the game to help combat the Chosen. Similar to the Warlock in the Chosen, they specialize in psionic attacks. They are excellent fighters, dedicated to the eradication of the Chosen and the aliens occupying Earth.
The Templars have three ability paths to choose from as well, Psi Blade, Sage, and Dynamo. Psi Blade will make a Templar stronger in melee combat. Sage will enable them to support the rest of the squad more efficiently and Dynamo will enable them to attack enemies better through the use of Focus.
Replay value is great for this game, although the linearity of the missions is a little limiting sometimes. There is a lot of variety in the way you can tackle missions and customize soldiers, which does make each game different. XCOM2 WOTC also has a Challenge Mode and Legacy Hub. The Legacy Hub is a series of missions that tells the story of what happened during the twenty years XCOM was overrun and the present, a very nice game addition. All these added together give the game good replayability.
Is It Worth Getting?
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This game has a lot of suspense, excitement and great mission variety. I’m also a big fan of cut scenes, they make the game come alive for me. This game is full of them, so if that isn’t your thing you might want to give this game a second thought. Otherwise, I would highly recommend this game, the amount of suspense that it creates and enjoyment that it provides is more than enough of a reason to make it worth the price tag, and remember, you can always catch it on sale since it’s a three-year old game.