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REVIEW: XCOM2 Collection (NSW) — 65% Chance to Hit



Published by: 2K Games
Developed by: Firaxis Games
Platform(s): Nintendo Switch
Genre(s): Strategy, Turn-Based, Tactics
Mode(s): singleplayer
Game Type: ,
65/ 100

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All previously released content included.


Long load times. Frequent frame dips.

Posted June 21, 2020 by

There aren’t too many turn-based strategy tactics games in recent times and XCOM is one of the top titles on the genre that’s relevant today. So it’s no surprise that XCOM2 Collection is among the various titles that 2K recently released on the Nintendo Switch. Though the game seems perfect for a handheld, it falls somewhat short in the performance department.



The story picks up two decades after the events of XCOM: Enemy Unkown and Enemy Within when the alien invasion began. Earth is now subjugated and most of the XCOM members are now under alien command. A small group of XCOM resistance attempts a daring raid to retrieve a valuable asset; you. Subjected to some form of stasis for the last 2 decades, you are now once again assume the role of Commander and must lead the resistance force to push back the ADVENT rule and overthrow the Alien rule.

The story doesn’t really require you to know about the events of the prequel and its expansion, however, it’s also pretty convoluted and dull that I found it quite difficult to stay invested in it. Your troops are largely consisting of randomly generated units and don’t really cause any impact on the overall plot. And the few characters that do play a role are usually just held up at the base, only ever showing up when teaching you game mechanics or when reaching story milestones. It doesn’t take itself too seriously though and at least does a good job of setting up the turn-based tactics gameplay the series is known for.




XCOM has a very particular brand of turn-based tactics, emphasizing cover and accuracy and is pretty much the gold standard for these types of games. Most units can perform 2 actions per turn but end when you shoot at enemies regardless. Chance to hit is determined by both distance and level of cover, from no cover, half cover, and full cover which offers the best protection. Cover quality depends on the type of terrain you’re covering from (ie. pillars and walls offer full protection, whilst concrete roadblocks only offer half). This can be bypassed by flanking your enemies to hit them away from the side of the cover. However, this needs to be taken with careful consideration as units can activate overwatch, which is basically an attack of opportunity, enabling units to attack anyone moving within their line of sight during the opponent’s turn.


That’s essentially the basics of XCOM gameplay, which is supplemented by the different classes available and various unique skills in each. Soldiers level up by way of promotions, and when a recruit gets promoted for the first time, he/she develops a specialty at random. From there, subsequent promotions will allow you to learn new skills based on two-sub specialties in each class. The specialist, for instance, makes use of drones with two sub-classes, one that focuses on hacking and the other focusing on providing support. You can mix and match these sub-skills to create hybrid units with various abilities, but often you’ll find that sticking to one sub-class skill tree can be more effective.

One thing the series is known for is the difficulty, which is still true for XCOM2. In terms of units, you are about as capable as the enemies you face. What is deadly for them is just as deadly for you. But what makes this tough is, enemies are often more in numbers, and you can easily get overwhelmed and outflanked. This would have been a welcome challenge if not for the atrocious accuracy ratings. Accuracy can be improved in various ways and also as naturally as you progress, and it’s also essential to encourage mobility and flanking, but It often felt too much. It’s not fun missing your shot 3 times in a row, dealing no damage whilst the enemies swam and flank you. Worse yet, all those missed shots still consume ammo and you’ll need to reload your gun, wasting yet another turn. It’s so bad that it forces me to rely on hurtling and overwatch, something that can’t really be abused since most missions have turn limits before you lose an encounter.



XCOM2 has been out for a while so if you’re like me, you’re more interested in learning how it performs on the Switch. For the most part, it’s okay, but at times it can be frustrating to look at. General framerate in combat is stable, at around 30 fps (not sure, can’t get actual measurements) but yeah, generally it’s smooth. However, there are the occasional dips and drops in frames that happen briefly but too often not to notice or get annoyed by. Color palette is also quite binary, so most of the time it’s hard to get a good visual on everything happening on screen especially when docked. Outside of combat, is where XCOM just drops in visuals. The loadout management screen is just way too blurry and has a very low frame rate for some reason. The frame drops are quite frequent here too. And the headquarters screen is quite dark and practically useless as virtually none of the details of the ship and the many rooms look good from the overview distance.


Turn-based tactics are known to be challenging, but most have a convenient save system that players are used to. Not that XCOM2 does not have a robust save system, it’s just not optimal and convenient. It takes a while to load, save, and reload, making reloading battles quite tiresome. You might think reloading is for losers, but trust me, this is almost a crucial part of enjoying XCOM2 and the poor performing save system takes it all out in the Switch version.



The turn-based tactics format is perfect for the handheld and XCOM2 is still one of the top choices currently available on the Switch, but it didn’t port as well as Bioshock and Borderlands did when they hit the store. If you’re looking for a solid portable turn-based tactics experience, XCOM2 is still a good choice, especially if you can forgive its dips in performance. But XCOM2 is it’s worst version yet on the switch, and if you are not after portability,  then you’ll find that getting XCOM2 on PC or other consoles will be a better experience overall.

[This review is based on a retail copy of the game provided by the publisher]

Dian Raval

Dian is a writer for Flipgeeks who, in his spare time, stares at a wall in his basement. If you'd like to discuss music, video games, or the infinite wisdom of concrete, follow him on twitter @iburnandfume or subscribe to his YouTube channel @iburnandfume. He's pretty much iburnandfume in everything. Apparently he... burns and fumes.


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