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XCOM War Of The Chosen: a precipice moment for TBS

Is there any way back from superheroics?

Speak to PC gamers of a certain stripe (and/or age) and there’s a certain belief that turn-based combat is the Real Deal, that it’s a high watermark of tactical thinking that no realm-time action could possibly hope to meet. Of course, the reality is that there’s an extreme level of abstraction to it - both buying into the idea that two opposing fighters or forces politely take turns to shoot at or stab each other, and furthermore into the idea that events which take place within little more than a heartbeat can be extended into several minutes. There is no slow-motion; instead we simply accept this un-time and it becomes the reality of the battlefield.

I find myself thinking about this oddly often, how the most hard-fought X-COM or XCOM turn, or even entire match, really only encompassed a handful of moments. A half dozen soldiers ran forwards, fired a few shots each, and then it was all over bar the shouting. For me, it was a half hour or more of tension, in which each single shot was a desperate shoot-out. For the enemy (presuming a successful turn on my part), it was just suddenly finding themselves filled with holes.

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About the Author
Alec Meer avatar

Alec Meer


Ancient co-founder of RPS. Long gone. Now mostly writes for rather than about videogames.

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