Bundle Stars is offering up some rather nice discounts on a big batch of 2K Games’ finest wares this week, with up to 80% off some selected titles from the XCOM, Borderlands, Civilization and Bioshock series, among others.
We already knew that Pavonis Interactive, the team behind the RPS-approved, game-changing Long War mods for XCOM and XCOM 2, were working on a complete new game of their own, but seeing as Long War 2 has been in the wild for a while now, I thought I’d catch up with ’em about Terra Invicta. This takes the essential XCOM concept – humans fending off an alien invasion – then expands it to a grand strategy scale.
“It’s a little like what you might imagine the XCOM spokesman’s job to be,” Pavonis head John Lumpkin tells me, “trying to unify Earth’s nations against an alien threat.” And then it moves to cover the entire solar system.
Long War? More like longest war.
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RPS Feature Faster, smarter and more control
Now that the new, humungous XCOM 2 expansion pack has had a couple of weeks to bed in, the game’s mod community has been steadily fixing up their tweaks to work with War of the Chosen [official site]. Over time, there’ll be more Steam Workshop offerings which take specific advantage of the onslaught of changes WOTC introduces, but right now what I’m interested in is assorted quality of life improvements that remove pointless dead time from the game, offer more tactical detail and generally make the whole shebang slicker and quicker to use.
These, then, are the XCOM 2 War Of The Chosen mods that I just don’t think I could do without. (Well, I could, but I’d be complaining the whole damn time).
RPS Feature A flash of inspiration
Though it suffers from having as many different tones as the last thirty years of Dulux catalogues sellotaped together, I found in my XCOM 2: War Of The Chosen review that the latest expansion for Firaxis’ game is an extremely effective remix of, basically, everything. But there’s one very small change in WOTC that I didn’t mention – a tiny thing with massive, massive repercussions for XCOM 2: War of the Chosen [official site]’s replayability.
RPS Feature New XCOM every day, hooray
I’d long suspected it, but it’s nice to have tangible evidence: I am the best in the world at XCOM.
For one moment of one day, on one of XCOM 2: War of the Chosen [official site]’s daily challenge maps. It could happen again another day, and, yeah, I guess this is going to be my life now.
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RPS Feature Balsawoodman
As predicted, I spent most of the weekend playing XCOM 2: War of the Chosen [official site]. It’s good to be back, fighting against the faux-benevolent burger-making overlords of future Earth, but I haven’t actually made a great deal of progress in my new campaign. That’s because there have been several new campaigns, and that’s because I’m an idiot who can’t resist the lure of an Ironman mode, while secretly hating the reality of an Ironman mode.
RPS Feature Steam Trains at number one again
The Steam Charts aren’t, as you may have been led to expect, large sprawling maps depicting the locations of all the world’s known steam. They were, but due to government pressure we’ve altered them to list the top ten selling games on Steam, in reverse order, like a rocket taking off. Read the rest of this entry »
RPS Feature ALIEN PUNCH CHAT
Hark, it’s the sweet vocal vibrations of the humble RPS podcast, the Electronic Wireless Show. The lads (lads lads) are back from the bright lights of Gamescom and ready to chat hard about the games they saw. But Pip is only giving us a maximum of three words about each one. Madness. Never mind, we can talk more verbosely about the alien-shooting of the Destiny 2 beta, or the otherworldly kickboxing of Absolver, or the other-alien-shooting of XCOM 2: War of the Chosen. It’s been quite a good week.
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RPS Feature One soldier, one turn, countless kills
I had a whale of a time with XCOM 2: War of the Chosen [official site] (out today), despite finding its tonal ping-ponging between gritty resistance saga and preposterous superheroics a little jarring.
Speaking of the latter, here’s a video I made showing just how off-the-chain crazy the various new abilities, weapons and features can be. In the space of a single turn (the first turn of a mission), one soldier covers almost the entire length of the map, ‘wakes’ pretty much every enemy on it, kills around 15 of them, winds up at the main mission objective and then proceeds to take zero damage on the alien turn. Meanwhile, most of his team never even leave their starting position. All in one turn. It’s bonkers. This is War Of The Chosen.
RPS Feature Cheap at twice the price
Other sites will bombard you with “facts” and “details” about the top-selling games on Steam, but not us. We won’t patronise you with such things. We know you’re better than that, taller, more attractive than the readers of those sites. We know you know we know you better, and as such reach for higher, smarter, more eloquent brilliance. Read the rest of this entry »
XCOM 2: War of the Chosen [official site] could almost be named XCOM 3, our Alec thought in his review of the new expansion pack for the alien-mashing tactical game. It adds new factions, new classes, new abilities, new enemies, new bosses, new mission types, and so much more to form a delicious tactical feast. But hark, you no longer need rely upon following Alec’s Instagram platesnaps and his Yelp reviews to get a sense of what War of the Chosen is like. The expansion launched overnight and is now out for all with £35 to spare. Read the rest of this entry »
If you’ve not played XCOM 2 [official site] yet but Alec’s War of the Chosen review has you excited for the game it’ll be once the expansion hits, er, this weekend you can see what the turn-based tactics ’em up is like before that. Not as good? But still possibly up your spacestreet. Until Sunday evening, the full version of XCOM 2 is free to try. If you want it for keepsies, it’s on sale too. Read the rest of this entry »
RPS Feature Beyond expansion
I can’t help but think of a sausage. A huge, fat, glistening sausage, bulging with meat (or the nearest vegetarian equivalent) to the point that the innards have burst through the skin, forming deliciously fatty globules on the surface. There is surely no room for more, but nonetheless even more has been stuffed inside it. It clearly shouldn’t work. It’s almost obscene. It looks like it will fall apart or even explode if even the slightest pressure is applied. It is sausage-based madness. The sausage is XCOM 2: War of the Chosen [official site], and it is as delectable and satisfying as it absolutely bloody insane. Read the rest of this entry »
As someone who knows what twitter is, I have seen many brands invite people to manipulate images or add their own text to things imagining that the internet will adhere to the company’s #brand #values and not e.g. draw genitals all over the place or make jokes at the brand’s expense and then the brand discovers that you maybe need to hope and pray that the adage about all publicity being good holds true.
That’s why I’m interested in this XCOM 2: War of the Chosen [official site] Propaganda Center promo tool, because Firaxis seem to have hit upon a way of obviously asking the internet to do their marketing for them but without accidentally building in the capacity for making themselves the laughing stock in all of this or immediately losing all goodwill they may have accumulated. Read the rest of this entry »
You and I can’t play the big new XCOM 2 [official site] expansion War of the Chosen until August but we can now watch a gert chunk of it. We’ve got aaages to wait before we can recruit new factions and classes to our cause while taking down new enemies in new areas. But after several weeks of coughing up small trailers focusing on individual classes and enemies in the expansion, 2K have opened the marketing floodgates and let sites such as our business chums Eurogamer post huge preview videos. Here, watch 80 minutes: Read the rest of this entry »
RPS Feature The best bargains
The Steam summer sale is in full blaze. For a while it even blazed so hot that the servers went on fire and all the price stickers peeled off the games. Either that or the store just got swamped with cheapskates looking for the best bargains. Cheapskates like you! Well, don’t worry. We’ve rounded up some recommendations – both general tips and some newly added staff choices.
Here are the things you should consider owning in your endless consumeristic lust for a happiness which always seems beyond reach. You’re welcome.
RPS Feature Choose life, choose a fucking big mag cannon
Fallen cities swarming with the dangerous remnants of their human populations, alien battlefield commanders who resemble fantastical heroes, new rulesets for friendship and fear, and an actual active resistance out on the Geoscape. XCOM 2 [official site] is changing.
The War of the Chosen is “definitely the biggest expansion we’ve ever done”, lead designer Jake Solomon told us at E3. Introducing unique enemy champions doesn’t strike me as an obvious move for XCOM, so I asked Solomon how the concept of the expansion had developed, and whether he’d drawn any inspiration from Shadow of Mordor’s Nemesis system. And whether we can expect any terrors from the deep in the future.
As expected, Firaxis announced a full-fat XCOM 2 [official site] expansion at the E3 2017 PC Gaming Show, promising “new environments, new enemies and new XCOM forces”. It’s called War of the Chosen and the trailer shows those Chosen, the “ultimate enemies of XCOM”. They are three champions – nemeses perhaps – and they will grow up in strength through the game, learning new skills and abilities.
On top of that, there are resistance groups to win over, new zombie-like hordes that will attack aliens and humans alike, and a whole lot more. It’s “twice the size” of the original XCOM’s expansion.
I’d been glumly thinking it was all over for XCOM 2 [official site], as we’ve had a clutch of DLC followed by the officially-endorsed Long War mod. I figured it’d now be all quiet on the Solomonian front for a couple of years, until such time as Firaxis broke cover with a full new XCOM game. But no! Something is stirring. XCOM 2 is making an E3 reappearance next month, showing off something being referred to with the slogan ‘the real war begins.’ It could even be a title, you know. Whichever: it’s beginning to look a lot like expansion pack Christmas.
RPS Feature unwanted flying objects
Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.
There was a time when I’d buy anything X-COM. I sometimes look at people who have an entire room dedicated to collectibles and tat based on a specific franchise and think, “there but for the grace of Gollop go I”. If there’d been X-COM cereal, I’d have bought it. Action figures, of course. Comics, watercolour paintings, boardgames, plushies, chocolate bars…the Saturday morning X-COM cartoon would have been a precious thing indeed. Actually, yes, I’d still like an X-COM cartoon.
As it turned out, I just ended up with a copy of X-COM: Interceptor. Enforcer too, but Interceptor is the one I remember best.