XCOM is one of the most iconic strategy series ever devised and provides a huge challenge on the IronMan mode. Initially, I was really concerned about the franchise being rebooted and felt XCOM Enemy Unknown by Fireaxis Games wouldn’t really honour the series’ advanced gameplay. Thankfully, the end result was fantastic, and as a strategy nut, I love to spend hours in XCOM Enemy Unknown. Furthermore, the recent sequel, XCOM 2 received favourable reviews and appears to build on the great work from its predecessor. Sadly, I haven’t purchased the game yet, but it’s incredibly tempting after hearing such positive reports.
The only real reservation I have about XCOM 2 revolves around optimization and the hardware required to achieve a smooth framerate at maximum settings. This is especially the case at higher resolutions where some users have experienced problems with a Titan X or similar. Despite this, XCOM 2 is selling extraordinarily well and amassed over 500,000 units sold within its first week. This is even better than Rise of the Tomb Raider and exemplifies the impressive nature of these sales numbers. I remember a few years ago hearing arguments about the strategy genre being extremely niche and having little appeal to modern audiences. As you can see, the genre is very much alive and well on the PC platform and it’s great to see it evoke such strong sales figures.
Perhaps, this will encourage more developers to produce strategy games. For example Grey Goo is a fantastic strategy title which adopts an old school formula. Sadly, it’s often overlooked and I highly recommend checking it out. XCOM is certainly a franchise which continues to impress and the only aspect which needs improvement is optimization. If the studio manages to resolve this, then it might help new players to give XCOM a go on more modest hardware.