XCOM 2 is a classic strategy sim for dozens of reasons. It looks great. It sounds great. The story and atmosphere are incredibly strong. But what I love most – and what sets the Firaxis squad shooter apart from the likes of Civilization, Crusader Kings, Total War, and others – is the overwhelming sense of consequences. It’s a game design cliche – ‘every choice matters’ – but in XCOM 2, it’s absolutely true. Combined with how it engineers and facilitates organic stories, XCOM 2 is one of the best strategy sims of all time, and now it’s all yours for little more than $2.
In our own XCOM 2 review, we awarded Firaxis’ sequel to Enemy Unknown a hefty 9/10. One of the greatest strategy games of all time, XCOM 2 stands out for the sheer bleakness and coldness with which it delivers a player-driven story.
You become attached to your troops. You imagine personalities, relationships, and back stories for them. XCOM 2’s style of turn-based kind of ‘space chess’ allows your team to execute spontaneous moments of great heroism – a clutch kill, right at the end of a turn, to save the whole squad. And then they die. A chrysalid devours them and there’s nothing you can do but watch. It’s these highly dramatic but totally organic moments that make XCOM 2 absolutely shine.
And now, if you haven’t played XCOM 2, or you just want to give it another try, you can get the whole game for just $2.16 / £1.79. It’s a massive 95% discount, representing one of the lowest places ever for perhaps the best squad strategy game ever made. You’ve got to pick this one up. Alternatively, one of the best games you’ve never played is also less than $3 right now.