On my new computer, I finally had a chance to sit down and play XCOM 2 War of the Chosen by Firaxis, without the technical issues plaguing my old PC and see the game in its full light. I’ve said many times over that Firaxis’s take on the venerable franchise comes close to being my perfect game, but the issues I have with it keep it from that lofty position.
This year, I’ve been able to play a variety of tactical strategy games, and I can finally put into words why I feel XCOM and XCOM 2 just don’t work for me from a design perspective.
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.
Long War Studios is the formal studio of the team behind the now famous Long War mod to XCOM Enemy Unknown. The mod radically changed the game by expanding the systems, difficulty and choices; creating one of the most in-depth mods we have ever seen. With the studio officially up, I had a chance to talk to them about the creation of Long War and the future of their studio.
Today’s post is about an unusual topic: Luck. Luck may be an intangible resource, but it has become a major component of any game built around risk: From rogue-likes to strategy games and anything with abstracted systems. Luck can be a cruel mistress; a fact that anyone who missed a 95% shot in XCOM can relate to, but its use in game design presents an interesting debate around the player’s lack of control.