This one may pass over the heads of a good deal of console owners, but XCOM 2 is one of the most anticipated games of the year for a great many PC gamers.
The appeal is one part a severe lack of tactical RPGs on the platform, though the likes of Banner Saga does alleviate that somewhat, and the other is just how enjoyable XCOM: Enemy Unknown and Enemy Within were.
And now, the sequel to one of our favourite strategic titles in recent memory is here, but just how well has XCOM 2 been received by the critics.
|Platform||Metacritic Critic Scores||Metacritic User Scores|
|PC||91||*Still to be scored|
Our sympathies to those of you who played the original on console, XCOM 2 being exclusive to PC, because Firaxis’ latest game seems to be going down a treat with critics.
IGN – 9.3/10
“There’s an air of white-knuckle desperation about XCOM 2’s post-apocalyptic setting, and it only enhances the tension.”
“Just like before, XCOM’s high-stakes turn-based tactical combat dares you to become attached to your customizable characters (I made most of IGN’s staff in the character editor) knowing that on any given mission they could be permanently killed off because of mistakes or just bad luck.”
“XCOM 2’s most annoying problem is that it’s prone to animation glitches and inconvenient bugs. Most of the time, they’re harmless but distracting.”
“With a focus on variety and replayability, this sequel has an answer to most of my complaints about 2012’s excellent XCOM: Enemy Unknown, and aside from some mostly cosmetic bugs, it comes together brilliantly.”
Polygon – 9/10
“In spite of a few glaring technical issues, XCOM 2 represents a high water mark for the entire franchise. Firaxis successfully tells an evocative story. It treats players with respect and includes so many small quality of life improvements over the original they are simply too numerous to mention. It is challenging enough at its basic difficulty level to feel like a complete experience. Despite the bugs, it’s still the best-looking, most exciting turn-based tactical game I’ve ever played.”
Rock, Paper, Shotgun – Highly Recommended
“As I moved through the campaign, there were ample moments when the rules, theme and emergent stories combined to create scenes that illustrated the best of the game.”
“Importantly, many of the missions involve you taking the fight to the aliens rather than reacting to an encroachment on your own territory.”
“XCOM 2 is an improvement on its predecessor in every way and the vast majority of those improvements have been applied so intelligently that they risk making Enemy Unknown obsolete. That game was a smart remake of a classic. XCOM 2 is a classic in its own right and as good a sequel as I can remember.”
PC Gamer – 94/100
“Exceptionally tough, rewarding strategy and a masterful reworking of the XCOM formula. We’ll play this forever.”
“There’s more you’re better off discovering for yourself, like the weapon mods, extensive troop customisation, Psi-ops warriors, exo-skeletal suits and the story, told over a series of special missions. I can find little to criticise.”
Eurogamer – Essential
“Punishing and precise, Firaxis has created one of the most demanding – and thrilling – strategy games ever.”
“This time around, Firaxis wants us to shine: to take risks, to react smartly but also swiftly – and sometimes, to crack terribly under pressure.”
“Well, XCOM 2 knows about all our old tricks. Typical. As a result, if you spend too long avoiding your responsibilities and allow the aliens to complete whatever it is that they’re plotting, it’s game over. You don’t just lose, they win.”
GameInformer – 9.5/10
“You’re constantly under the gun in XCOM 2, and the deck is often stacked against you. Firaxis’ masterclass in strategy design has you second-guessing all your choices and analyzing your smallest decisions. It might sound stressful, and at times it is, but XCOM 2’s battles are so compelling that it’s easy to pick yourself up after defeat and jump back into the fray. Successfully navigating XCOM 2’s storm of difficult choices is enough to make you feel like a true legend.”