Title: XCOM 2
Developer: Firaxis Games, Feral Interactive Limited
Genre: Turn-based tactics, tactical role-playing
Version Tested: iOS
Release Date: February 5, 2016 (other platforms), November 5, 2020 (iOS), TBA (Android)
As a heavy mobile gamer who is always on the go, you will sometimes see games that set the bar. Thankfully, XCOM 2 is one of the said games. No wonder this game received so much hype when it was initially released. It got various nominations for Game of the Year, PC Game of the Year, Best Strategy Game, Strategy/Simulation Game of the Year, Game Design and Franchise, and Game and Strategy, all in 2016-2017.
Now available on iOS, this game is a must-have. I must admit, it is a little heavy on the pocket at $24.99, but all the XCOM 2 goodness are already included. This XCOM 2 Collection already has the XCOM 2: War of the Chosen expansion pack and four DLC packs (Resistance Warrior Pack, Anarchy Children, Alien Hunters, Shen’s Last Gift) with no in-app purchases. With that said, you will need a whopping 17 GB of space to download the game without any installation issues. Aside from that massive memory requirement, you will also need at least an iPhone 7 Plus or iPad mini (5th generation 2019) to install and play the game.
If you’ve never played XCOM or XCOM 2 on any consoles before, you’re in for a hell of a game. You will need to command your troops on the ground and look after your base. Story-wise, you can still pick it up and join the squad in eliminating the alien invaders. The story is set 20 years after the first XCOM Enemy Unknown and Enemy Within. It will immediately enthrall you in its aliens versus humans world, and keep you going from the moment you set foot in this alternate reality.
XCOM 2 Pushes Mobile Gaming
Since this game is only four years old with several nominations in the gaming world, expect that it will give your phone a sweat. As I played through on my iPhone X, which is only a second upgrade to its minimum iPhone 7 plus, I didn’t expect it to run as smoothly as it did. I must say that there are times that the game is laggy and took its time to load in between games. The only way to fix this though is through closing every other app on the phone. That can be rather annoying when you have to do that every time you want to play.
Control-wise, XCOM 2’s touch screen is perfect in everything from controlling your troops to activating abilities. You only need to drag, pinch to zoom in and zoom out and move the camera in a circle to see every nook and cranny. This will aid you in getting a better perspective of your surroundings and where to put your troops. Putting it on a touchscreen is such a huge upgrade, allowing for that increased level of immersion.
As far as your base goes, well, let us be honest, it looks like an advanced Fall Out Shelter. You’ll see the pantry where they’ll eat, a make-shift gym, a laboratory, an upgrade room, and so on. Like Fall Out Shelter, you can zoom in and zoom out by pinching your screen and moving around by dragging. Depending on your mobile device, it can run very smoothly. On iPhone X, it lags a bit, but it is tolerable.
The Procedural Map
This procedural map really blows my mind. In this map alone, or rather in this “mission”, I played it three times, and it gave me three different maps. The story and the objective are the same, but the terrain and everything else is different. It’s like it’s putting the story on a new landscape and setting every single time. Since you’ll get to play in a random map every time, you always feel like you’re playing it the first time. It is challenging since you can’t master the terrain, where to put your units or know where the enemy will go. This gives the game almost endless replayability.
XCOM 2’s Graphics
With a heavy game at around 17 GB with one expansion pack and four DLCs, you’ll expect a lot from a game of that size. Thankfully, XCOM 2 delivers awesome graphics for a mobile game. Although it may lack a bit if you’re to compare it to its previous console releases but hey, it’s in your hands and on a portable phone. As you can see in the image, that is one of the cutscenes and it looks absolutely stunning for a phone title. Some of these were sadly removed but I can’t say I blame the developers. The game is already heavy as it is. Bringing in fewer cutscenes does not mean less fun. XCOM 2 will still bring it’s A-game, especially once you have your team in the field. That is where the game has and always will shine.
With that being said, expect your phone to heat up. With its packed graphics, your phone will work double-time to ensure you have the best gaming experience. It can also eat your battery fast. Make sure to bring in a power bank if you’re planning to play this outside.
Verdict: XCOM 2 is one great game to have on mobile. It may look like it is really steep at $24.99, but to be honest, it is already a steal. The XCOM 2 Collection (digital) is priced at $99. So is it worth it to splurge a bit? Yes! With some beautiful graphics, immersive sounds, and a procedurally generated world, you’ll find yourself addicted for hours on end. Sure it has some rough edges here and there, but XCOM 2 is a mobile title that you simply can’t pass up. Just make sure you don’t cook an egg on your phone while you’re at it.