Video Games Review: XCOM 2 (PS4, XBOX ONE, 2016)

After spending the last six months as a PC exclusive, XCOM 2 has finally arrived on consoles. With everything going on in the world of gaming and VR, it has taken some time to finally dig into the game and enjoy it while sharing a few little comparisons to its PC counterpart which was released back in February of this year.

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XCOM: Enemy Unknown was quite frankly, an almost flawless turned based tactical combat game back when it was released in 2012, everyone was blown away by how good it really was, particularly how well it translated from its PC origins to console.

XCOM 2‘s console port of a similarly high quality and really seems to have avoided the stain of many other staples of PC to console ports. XCOM 2’s only real problem, shared by its PC counterpart, is its occasional bugs and glitches, although the game still performs better than the PC version did at its original launch. The camera can stop pointing at the place of action in some parts it has some screen tearing issues when things get a little busy on screen and a few frame rate hiccups and even characters can freeze up for no real visible reason. I am sure these issues may be fixed up very soon with more large downloadable patches at a later date.

The visuals are, in my opinion, fantastic. The weird combination of cheesy sci-fi and art design and then some ultra-realistic environments gives it a character that instantly says ‘This is XCOM’.

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The gameplay itself is simplistic on the surface and with its controls, simply point where you want your character to go and if they have enough steps to advance they will go there. Same applies for enemies, just point, click and they attack the enemy. What makes XCOM 2 even better is the tactical element of Overwatch, which allows your characters to stand-and-guard. If anyone steps into their line of sight, Overwatch will make sure they know about it. Who you assign this to and who you just throw forth into the battlefield with your own senses is what makes it such a great tactical video game and science fiction romp.

With the environments and levels being randomly generated, this also gives you some great longevity and replayability. Off the field you have a home base to build while travelling on a refitted UFO stolen from the enemy of course and advance everything, like the original Enemy Unknown, your weaponry and vehicles and your characters are given the option to be advanced and adding a great RPG element.

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I hate and love when you lose someone in battle, especially someone you have been through countless levels with and upgraded and it really does become rather upsetting. If you ever do lose that special soldier you can then count on their name being up on the wall of remembrance and it adds such heart and soul to the whole affair.

The original XCOM: Enemy Unknown really didn’t sell well on consoles when it was released, but it sold excellently on PC and I believe this is why XCOM 2 was released on PC platform first. A few more months and many fan raves later, it seems there was an audience for consoles and its found its place already in the hearts of many console gamers. Let us all hope it sells well and we see a bigger and brighter future for XCOM ahead. As it stands, this is by far one of the very best PC Ports I have ever had the grace of playing.

Score: 8.0 out of 10
Highlights: Excellent campaign and great story, feeling of accomplishment when overcoming some tough gameplay, attachment to your soldiers, huge replayability.
Lowlights: Personal grief after losing a soldier, some screen tearing issues, occasional freezing
Developer: Firaxis Games
Publisher: 2K Games
Release: Out Now
Platforms: Xbox One, PS4

Reviewed on PlayStation 4.

For more on XCOM 2, check out our PC review from earlier this year.