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I love XCOM, although it can be a bit tricky when you're still getting used to the game, since organizing your base well and knowing which are the most appropriate missions for starters isn't simple.

I'll try to grab XCOM 2 as soon as I start working. It's one of these kind of games that I don't feel guilty for spending more than 100 bucks in (thanks, inflation).

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I loved Xcom Enemy Unknown/Within and I've been keeping up with all the new info being released about the mechanics, classes etc and it all looks really impressive. I've thought for too long on how I'm going to play my campaign and unit composition. On Friday first thing in the morning I'm going to download it off steam so that it will be ready for me when I get back from work.

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Okay, so now that I've blazed through the storyline of XCOM2 (GOTTAGOFAST) here are my thoughts on it.

[spoiler=Here be spoilers][spoiler=no I'm serious, you probably shouldn't click this until you've finished the game]Although this will largely be a list of complaints, let's first be very clear; this is a good game. Is it a great game? I don't know, but maybe that's just because my expectations were too high from all the hype. But anyway, before I start grousing, here's what I liked about the game.

First, the gameplay is fucking amazing. Although not much has changed from Enemy Unknown/Within (besides the new Concealment and Ambush features) that's fine, because there wasn't much that needed to be changed anyway- don't fix what ain't broken- and the game still feels very fresh, thanks to the new aliens and the polished character classes.

I was also impressed by the wealth of character customization options. Granted, I didn't make very much use of it, but it's still a cool and quite versatile feature, and it's easy to tell that a lot of time and manpower was invested into it.

Lastly, I love the music. This might sound like a minor thing, but that depends who you ask. Personally, I'm an audiophile, and I love anything with a soundtrack that helps to set the mood- and XCOM2 certainly fits the bill.

As you might notice, I've made no mention of the plot thus far, and for good reason. To be honest, I felt the plot was very weak. Your goal throughout the game is to obtain information about the aliens' ultimate plan- exactly what are they doing, and why? But, by the end of the game, those questions ... still aren't really answered. The puzzle is still missing a few pieces. Probably because LOL SEQUEL HOOKS but fuck that, okay? Look, to all the writers out there, it IS possible to have a neat, thorough narrative while also leaving room for a sequel. The two are not mutually exclusive. (Now that I think about it, most of my disappointment comes from the second half of the game. The first half is fine, but the second half is sloppy.)

My other major complaint is the characters. They ... aren't really very interesting. While doctors Tygan and Shen both have a lot of dialogue, none of it really adds much to the game. Then again, I guess the same could be said for Vahlen and Shen in EU/EW. The most interesting thing about Vahlen and Shen was the contrast between them and the conflict caused by their differences. Tygan and Shen are at odds sometimes, too- and while it's not for the same reasons Shen and Vahlen were, it still kinda has this 'eh, it's already been done' feel to it. The war-weary Bradford is a bit more interesting, but he's still mostly there just for flavor.

My last complaint is a minor one, but it's kind of a moment-killer when you see it. The visual design of the Avatar- the aliens' ultimate achievement, and your ultimate enemy- is quite underwhelming. Granted, its abilities are still extremely dangerous- but it's quite silly to look at.

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I've played quite a bit of the game, no idea how far along the campaign I've taken out a couple black sites, done a some quests beaten some bosses.

Gameplay wise I think its amazing, it plays a lot like enemy unknown but the changes to the classes, gear and abilities give the battles more variety and make you think harder about your choices. I think the changes to the classes are much better, because it makes you feel that each class really excels in various situations and their active abilities can turn the tide, in enemy unknown if felt the class abilities where a lot more subtle (its more about the weapons they can equip that separate the classes).

My only issue with the gameplay is that after the first ambush in concealment its very difficult to set up a new one. It makes sense because the enemies will be on high alert so it makes sense that you can't sneak up on them but the mechanic is so engaging and its so satisfying to pull off a good ambush its a shame you can only do it once, I wish there were a middle ground. (You can do an ambush even out of concealment, if you have scanning gear and you suspect there is an enemy at a certain point out of your vision, you can scan the area, get your guys into position then use a sniper to trigger the first hit. Only problem is that your non snipers will have such low accuracy from being at a large range.) There should be a ninja smoke bomb mod, when you use it members within a certain range enter concealment of 1~2 turns.

Another great thing about the game is how well it synergies with mods and a lot of the files that make the mechanics and AI are exposed and can be modified without any complex tools. So on my first playthough I'm doing a normal genuine run, next run gona give myself a lot of my old gear and soldiers but double the amount of enemies on the map and I can modify the damage and cooldowns on certain abilities and weapons. There is a lot of replay value because there so so much customisation.

I do kinda have issues with the story campaign, theres nothing wrong with the story so far but there are so few cutscenes, I think I've played less than 20 hours and have only seen maybe 5~6 cutscenes, half of em are from the introductions. I can follow the story just fine but I think it can be delivered better.

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Woah, this game makes enemy unknown Classic difficulty look like SACREDSTONES

Especially Advent officers & sectoids have sorta "hidden passive avoid buff"; making them hittable only by grenades

(If not for the fact that I'll potentially lose dropped loot, I'd restart campaign & roll with 6 Demolition Grenadiers)

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