The first time I had ever played an XCOM game was with the Xbox 360 release of XCOM: Enemy Unknown. I was quickly addicted to the game, and ultimately ended up sinking a lot of hours into it on the PC and iPad. Despite having a lot of fun with the first game, I had never gotten around to checking out XCOM 2 when it released on PC. Since its release I had heard a lot of mixed reactions to the game, but I ended up adding the Xbox One version to my GameFly queue and it arrived today.
I’ve spent about an hour or so with the game so far and thought I’d share a few thoughts about the experience.
One of the first things I noticed was that the gameplay is nearly identical to the first game, with a few minor additions here and there. This isn’t a bad thing, as it made the game easy to pick up and dive into. Like the 360 release of Enemy Unknown, XCOM 2 plays surprisingly well with a controller. It’s incredibly easy to maneuver your troops into position, perform attacks and navigate the menus. Rather than hovering over a keyboard and mouse, it’s nice to play XCOM while relaxing in a recliner watching the battle unfold on a big screen.
My one complaint about the game so far is that the percentage to hit system makes absolutely no sense. In the screenshot above I’m literally one tile away from an enemy, and yet I have a 74% chance to hit the target! It’s incredibly frustrating and entirely unrealistic to miss a shot from this close. What’s worse is that I’ve been no more than 3 tiles away from enemies with no obstacles in the way and have still had less than a 50% chance to hit, even with a sniper! In fact, I’ve had my sniper and another character equidistant away from an enemy, and for some reason the sniper has had a lesser chance to hit!
I had heard people complain about the absurd randomness of XCOM 2 around the time of the PC release, however I had expected those issues to be remedied by now. It’s unfortunate that it’s still an issue, yet so far it’s only been a minor annoyance in an otherwise enjoyable game. At most this system has caused missions to last a few turns longer as I’ve missed several sure shots, but it hasn’t yet gotten any of my characters killed.
I’m looking forward to relaxing on the couch and playing through a few more missions in XCOM 2 tonight. Hopefully it’ll continue to be an enjoyable experience.