How long was an XCOM 1 campaign? Even having played it several times over, that’s a difficult question to answer. The sequel’s strategy layer is unfamiliar and more changeable, which only makes it harder to determine the precise measurements of the string - but XCOM 2 lead producer Garth DeAngelis did his best for us.
Like to take your time? Explore the turn-based corner of our best strategy games list.
“I think it’ll be similar to Enemy Unknown, which varied,” he told our Jake during his XCOM 2 hands-on. “I saw people [in XCOM: Enemy Unknown] who finished in 18-20 hours, maybe less, then some over 30 hours. I think this’ll be somewhat similar, with more variants because the strategy element is more open ended.”
Now guiding a mobile base around the geoscape to recruit resistance help, find resources and evade attacks from the alien ADVENT administration, XCOM 2 players can expect to be making between three and seven decisions at any one time.
There’s one other metric that might give you a better idea, however: number of missions.
“We’ve had playthroughs at the office where you can win the game in late 20s to early 30s mission count,” said DeAngelis. “And then some people went over 50 missions because they were playing more methodically, taking their time.
“You can do that, enjoying the flow and the evolution of the world, but there is always the countdown - which will eventually put pressure on you if you’re not managing the resistance network. So it’s a pretty big gap for how long I think a game could take.”
Did you have any XCOM campaigns that lived with you for a while? Long War mod campaigns, self-evidently, were particularly drawn out.