XCOM 2

XCOM 2: How to lose a war (hands-on)

The war is over. You lost. XCOM 2 picks up 20 years after the events of the 2012 strategy hit XCOM: Enemy Unknown, following on from the alternate ending where players failed to defend Earth from the rapacious invading aliens.

Now, rather than an international, fully equipped paramilitary force, the XCOM organisation is little more than a guerrilla group striking back at the alien occupiers. It might seem unusual to continue the story on from defeat, but it was by far the most common ending for players in the challenging XCOM: Enemy Unknown.

It's a bold move, but even from my all-too-brief hands-on time with the game, it's clear developer Firaxis has brought XCOM back with its constituent elements intact. Take charge of the dogged resistance against alien oppressors (a sci-fi staple), leading your rag-tag squad on do-or-die missions. XCOM 2 feels like a distillation of the formula. It feels like XCOM as it's meant to be played.

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