In 2012, aliens landed on the planet Earth in the XCOM: Enemy Unknown, it was left to you to bring together the people on our planet and make them fight against the invading outer space force. Perhaps being unable to carry out the mission is the reason for XCOM 2. The game quickly establishes that when XCOM fell, the aliens made an agreement with the human race and a human/alien partnership was established.

Aliens and humans lived side by side in an equally thriving coexistence, but the peace is just a façade in order to cover the more evil concealed motives of the alien overlords. Some of the humans have noticed the deception and are working to put an end to the suppression of the human race as part of a short staffed and under-gunned struggle. After being held for over a decade in an alien secured unit, you have broken out to complete one final mission- to guide humans in the battle and throw the aliens out of Earth for good.

Each soldier that you guide in a mission becomes more important than the overarching one, which is an accomplishment being that your division is made up of characters that are randomly generated.

As you direct your soldiers’ missions, you tend to grow fond of those who serve you well and you take extra care for their well being, as they are always one wrong move from ending up on the memorial wall. Some soldiers stood out and were remarkable, likes of Yukiko who was a rookie. During her first mission as a member of the XCOM team, she took cover behind a car that exploded almost immediately and burnt her on the spot. Another is Jane Kelly who completed quite a number of missions, who escaped death a lot of times, therefore becoming the most sort after soldier to be on the team anytime the situation got dangerous. If a soldier is killed right before they can pull a trigger or if they eventually live to be a legend, is mostly up to you.

Soldiers gain experience and with time they level up as they perform, kill or finish an objective in a battle. Leveling up means handing a division over, and every division can apply two different skill trees in order to modify their abilities. Soldiers get stronger as they stay alive, and it is totally left to you to decide whether or not to risk bringing together a crack squad of all your greatest troops, or better still decide to use them carefully together with rookies, in order to lessen the risk of a devastating mission, which could cost you every one of your top fighters.

You will learn to rely on some soldiers more, while you will barely remember the names of others once their names are on the wall of memory. The game, however, reminds you of the imperfection of human life and the need to cautiously map out every move in a battle.

Quite a number of missions start off with XCOM force being hidden in the dark, giving you an opportunity to place your soldiers smartly, hence ambushing the foes. Using a disguise can mean the difference between walking out of a mission without much of a graze, or any number of your army being brought home in body bags. However, not all missions can give you that chance to ambush your enemies.

It is your job to look for new technologies and upgrade, create contacts and take on new soldiers.

Some of the issues the game suffers are from a few technical glitches, which could be fixed with time via patches. Cut-scenes will from time to time suffer from audio blips, the frame rates can drop and the load time could be unnecessarily long. This occurs when the game has been played for quite a significant amount of time. The load time gets longer the more you are in the game.

In conclusion, asides the technical issues which occur from time to time and might hinder the experience, XCOM 2 remains an outstanding strategy game which expertly weaves stellar mechanics. It can be both difficult and ruthless, but it gives a flash of delight which you will experience in your attempts to put an end to the aliens.