It’s time for my top three games of 2016. We’re starting off with a sequel to one of my favorite titles in recent years and proof that the developer didn’t get lucky with their first run.
When Firaxis took over X-COM with Enemy Unknown and Within, we got one of the best spiritual sequels around. Enemy Unknown paid homage to the original while modernizing the design. XCOM 2 had a lot to prove, as this was Firaxis’s chance to breakaway and do something completely original.
And originality is what we got. Firaxis based the sequel on the fact that most players were not able to beat the original on the hardest difficulty. Firaxis shifted the game from a global effort to a resistance movement trying to free the world.
From the first trailer announcement, I knew that this was a game that I had to play. XCOM 2 allowed Firaxis to fix the problems with the first game and grow things from there. XCOM 2 went down the list of issues and problems and fixed as many of them as possible.
Classes were changed and re-balanced, greater randomization was introduced, procedurally-generated maps and more. Many of XCOM’s issues in terms of tactics and base-building were fixed with the sequel.
Improved modding functionality led to hundreds of mods being easily integrated into the game. We saw mods like new clothing options, brand new enemies, UI re-designs and more. Even Long War Studios got into the fun by releasing official mods.
While the DLC content was hit or miss, here’s hoping that an expansion on the same scale as Enemy Within is in the works.
XCOM 2 is an amazing game and proves that not only can Firaxis make an X-Com-styled game, but that there is a market for it. And if XCOM can get a proper series today, I’m hoping that the Star Control sequel will also be as well-received.
Coming up for #2, we have what could be the fitting end to one of my favorite series in recent years
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