I love the XCOM series. The modern variant, anyway. I can’t claim to have been a lifelong fan or anything, but I’ve been a fan/victim since I started to play XCOM: Enemy Unknown on my Xbox 360.
Turn-based tactical sci-fi war. It really hits a specific spot for me. Topped-off by the fact that Firaxis have done such a great job with this iteration of the series, making it fun, stressful and often soul-destroying. I have a lot of time for the XCOM games.
When I saw XCOM 2 on for less than a fiver for the Nintendo Switch, how could I say no to buying it for a third time?
Tactical heartbreak on the go? Sign me up!
How does it hold out on the Switch compared to say my PC or the Xbox One?
XCOM2 on the move
I love the Switch, truly. It’s one of the best consoles in recent history, for sure. Possibly one of the best ever. But…..it isn’t a powerhouse, and porting games from elsewhere could be tricky for it.
Seemingly, there are ports for all sorts, so I wasn’t worried. But I was still surprised by just how good XCOM 2 looks and plays.
Graphically it’s not terrible at all. On the handheld mode (most of my Switch gaming is handheld) it’s clean, sharp and textures are as good as I remember them. Below are some comparison shots between Switch and PC.
Not too shabby for a few quid!
Sure, XCOM2 was released a few years ago, but the Switch is putting in the work here to give you a great version of it.
Honestly, I’m genuinely impressed at just how good it looks on here.
Tell me how it feels….
XCOM 2 is obviously built with controllers in mind. Being released on consoles a few years ago.
Thankfully, none of that design goes to waste here. The controls are snappy and useful. Everything is doable with relative ease, and it just goes to show the care and attention Firaxis put into it initially.
Guiding my squad into the foray is slick. Better still, they move and get about as nimbly as they do on the other versions I’ve played.
I suspect that as the action ramps up, there’s going to be some frame drops here and there, but it’s a steady tactical game, so that isn’t too important.
There are times when loading into/out of a mission goes to a black screen for an age, and that always puts me on edge. Thinking I’ve crashed when just scraping through a mission.
So far, though. XCOM 2 has been largely smooth and consistent.
Having the game to hand wherever I am is something that a long loading screen or a dropped frame here and there can’t sully. The convenience and the overall package far outweigh some minor gripes.
Give it a go
The best version of a game like XCOM 2 will always be PC. But if you have a Switch and it goes back on offer again, let me tell you that you’re getting the full-blown experience.
The incredible tactical gameplay, the losing of your soldiers after seeing them go from strength to strength. The story and all of the dialogue and cutscenes. Everything is here!
If you’ve fancied it but didn’t want to pay £40, when it goes on sale in the Nintendo store again, grab it. It’s worth full retail, but the bargain price makes it all the sweeter.
Also, this week. It’s free on the Epic game store for PC!