WRITER’S NOTE: This review is written from the perspective of someone that is new to the XCOM series, with a small amount of experience in tactical combat games. Initially, due to the game’s steep difficulty curve, the reviewer did not feel comfortable attaching a score with the review. It has since been updated to reflect changed thoughts and opinions through continued evaluation of the game.
XCOM 2, developed by Firaxis Games, is set sometime after an alien invasion on Earth, where you play the role of Commander of XCOM, an anti-extraterrestrial military force turned resistance group fighting the alien occupation. Most of the missions operate around subverting the actions of the ADVENT Administration (the puppet coalition government), gaining intel, rescuing VIPs, eliminating targets, protecting your outposts or strengthening your force.
The backstory is satisfactorily covered in order to catch up new players; a news-style introduction quickly catches you up with prior events, and opening character dialogue almost always explains the relationship between them and the Commander/player.Fighting for survival under an alien occupation is an intriguing premise and greatly contributes the sense of desperation I often felt as I struggled through missions.