XCOM 2 geoscape offers commanders between “three and seven decisions” at once


One of the things that Firaxis’ XCOM did really well was spell out discrete choices to its players. Yes, flying to the US will land you enough engineers to build a foundry – but London’s burning, and another instance of neglect might see you lose the UK’s backing. Meanwhile, that crack assault trooper China is offering wouldn’t go unused either.

You could guarantee there’d be exactly three mission options in an abduction event – but in XCOM 2 you can expect somewhere between “three and seven decisions at any one time”.

If nail-gnawing decisions are your thing, play one of the best PC strategy games.

“When you look at the strategy layer, it’s far more vast and unpredictable now,” lead producer Garth DeAngelis told our Jake in his XCOM 2 hands-on. “You’re not just going to the geoscape and pressing scan.”

XCOM 2’s base, dubbed The Avenger, is a repurposed alien transport ship that’s still very much mobile. As an insurgent force, you’ll travel about the globe recruiting help, thwarting the technological advances of the ADVENT administration, and doing your best to evade the aliens.

“Do I want to go for this resource at the rumour site?,” said DeAngelis. “Do I want a narrative mission? Do I want this procedural mission? Or do I want to expand my resistance network and travel to this new continent and attempt to build this resistance?”

“I think that’s where we’ve spread our wings a little bit and said, ‘How can we make XCOM our own?’. Ultimately we want to make the game more replay­able and more unpredictable for players to keep coming back to it.”

Are you still going back to Enemy Unknown?