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XCOM: Enemy Unknown

3 years ago

Feature: The Wizened + The Doomed: An XCOM 2 Diary, Day 3

XCOM 2: Things Fall Apart

I'm playing and diarising XCOM 2 [official site] on Commander difficulty in Iron Man mode, using characters based on the staff of RPS, replaced by readers as and when they die or go out of action. Full explanation and the story so far here here, and you can download the characters for your own game here. And I was doing so well (thanks in part…

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Have You Played… XCOM: Enemy Unknown?

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time. Well, 'tis the season and all that. What with XCOM 2 currently overheating a few million graphics cards across the world, it seems a fine time to think back upon Firaxis' original attempt to reboot Julian Gollop's classic strategy+everything game for a new…

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Feature: Time-saving and dog-wielding

Dogs, Timesavers And Katanas: The Best XCOM 2 Mods

It’s been 20 years since the events of XCOM: Enemy Unknown and while you’re sat there wondering where it all went wrong, the alien occupation of the world as we know it is A Thing now. I saved the world the last time round, did I not? I hear you mumble under your breath. No, no one did and that’s the end of it. Get…

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Feature: Tips for surviving the Advent meatgrinder

XCOM 2 Tips: How To Survive And Thrive

I've played around 300 hours of XCOM 1, and 50 of XCOM 2 [official site], for my sins. I know full well that this does not make me any kind of expert but I'm experienced enough that XCOM 2 has not yet kicked my flabby little bottom. A lot of people are finding the game very punishing though, so I thought I'd try to help…

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Feature: Eight tweaks which make a huge difference

XCOM 2 Performance Fix: Partial Solutions And More Tips

A big ugly fly in XCOM 2 [official site]'s deliciously deadly ointment is that Firaxis' game runs like a Psy-Zombie on quite a few folks' PCs - even those with relatively monster systems. It's not universal woe - for instance, it runs fine for Adam, hence his only mentioning passing problems in his review, but on my slightly superior PC I can't even hit the…

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Four And A Half Million Dead: XCOM 2 Stats

Firaxis have unveiled an XCOM 2 [official site] stat-tracking page that shows how many soldiers have died, how many aliens have been killed and other such details. Four and a half million XCOM soldiers dead in less than a week since launch. Good work, Commanders. Five percent of those soldiers met their end at the hands and teeth of a zombie. Really great work, Commanders,…

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Feature: A perma-Death Diary - plus download the RPS staff for your game

An XCOM 2 Diary: The Wizened + The Doomed, Day 1

It’s tradition now: when an XCOM game comes out, you recreate your friends, colleagues and record-collection-stealing former lovers then send them out to be murdered by aliens. Basically, it’s the Sims with Sectoids rather than sex. So let’s do it again: an XCOM 2 [official site] Iron Man/perma-death diary starring the staff of RPS, who you can download and add to your game below. But…

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Feature: To mod or not to mod?

XCOM 2’s Day One Mods Reviewed

XCOM 2 [official site] isn't just a big pile of tactical brilliance, it's also a big mod-friendly pile of tactical brilliance. Theoretically, that means someone will iron out the things that annoy you and build on the things you love. It also means we can expect anything from an increase in moustache variety to a revamped campaign or series of total conversions. To kick things…

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Feature: Independence Day+

XCOM 2 Is Ridiculously Exciting

I don't mean "I'm excited that this videogame sequel is coming out," but rather that the game itself works so hard and does so much to create a constant sense of near-euphoric drama. In an age where sequels=darker, because far too many people believe that The Empire Strikes Back is the highest watermark of popular culture, XCOM 2 [official site]s lurch towards brightly-coloured celebratory heroism…

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Feature: neXtCOM

What Should XCOM 2’s First Expansion Be?

I visited Firaxis in 2014 to see Civilization: Beyond Earth and it was impossible not to wonder which closed doors were hiding the XCOM 2 [official site] team. The game hadn't been announced but surely somebody was working on a sequel. Would it follow the path of the original games and take to the Lovecraftian depths? Would it reach toward the stars and a battle…

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Feature: Resistance is futile

XCOM 2 review

In 2012, Firaxis took on the seemingly impossible task of reviving one of the most beloved PC games ever made. The original X-COM is widely considered to be one of the masterpieces of the nineties golden age, and since its release there have been sequels, spin-offs and unofficial revivals, but Firaxis' XCOM was a complete, licensed reinterpretation. It was also rather good. Now, with XCOM…

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XCOM: Long War Team Making XCOM 2 Mods

Alec hasn't been the same since he returned from the Long War. The celebrated XCOM mod turns the base game's wee scrap into a gruelling war, chewing through your forces and your resolve with relentless difficulty. Some days we find him simply sitting in a chair by the window, staring out to sea, his bottom lip quivering. The folks who made Long War are working…

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XCOM And Civ Aplenty In Humble Firaxis Bundle

While Adam is larking about in XCOM 2, I'm replaying XCOM: Enemy Within to demonstrate how totally fine and unbothered I am that he has access and I don't. It's still really fun! Last night I ordered a cyberlady to punch a robodino so hard it exploded. If you want to join in with not feeling bitter, the latest Humble Bundle is a cracker. It's…

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Feature: Harder, better, stronger

Hands On: XCOM 2’s Brutal Difficulty And Superb Tactical Overhaul

Nobody gets left behind. That was my XCOM: Enemy Unknown rule and it was a rule that I adhered to in almost every one of the hundreds of missions I oversaw. If a squad fell in combat, they fell side by side. XCOM 2 [official site] has made me break my one rule. Repeatedly. Deviously. Tragically. It's hard as nails, and superbly distorts the tactics…

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XCOM Long War Modders Working On Standalone Strategy Game

XCOM's Long War mod [official site] is, to many, the definitive version of Firaxis' reboot of the alien-repelling strategy classic. As the title suggests, it extends the length of the campaign, making the fight against the invaders into a gruelling conflict rather than a streamlined series of missions. The campaign structure isn't the only thing the mod changes - it's like the biggest and most…

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Making The Misfits: XCOM 2’s Character Customisation

It's the RPS Horacetide lunch and beverage session today, which is why the entire site smells like eggnog and reheated turkey twizzlers. Here's an early pressie in the form of a video showing the XCOM 2 [official site] character customisation suite in action. This is taken from my recent hands-on session - I'd made the rather fabulous lady above and she'd survived one outing. I…

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Feature: Hidden and dangerous

XCOM 2’s Concealment Mechanic Changes Everything

Procedural maps, randomised weapons and chain-smoking soldiers. In XCOM 2 [official site], the rules have changed. One seemingly minor addition to the tactical combat might have the greatest impact of all though. In our recent hands-on, we had a chance to test out the new concealment mechanic. It removes one of XCOM's few frustrations and creates an entirely new scouting phase as each mission begins.

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Feature: It's everything we hoped for.

Hands On: XCOM 2’s Strategy And Tactics Dissected

With XCOM 2 [official site], Firaxis are not resting on their laurels. The studio's reboot of the license had a great deal to prove – primarily, it had to satisfactorily answer the question as to why the much-loved series needed to be revived at all. That obstacle overcome, the sequel is on safer ground and it might have been enough to reskin and reshape ever…

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