I can still clearly remember playing the original XCOM back in high school. I was completely fascinated by it. The computer I had at the time didn’t have a working mouse driver, so I had to make one. I was a little nutso for it, and still get chills thinking about Cydonia and losing nearly every member of my squad.
Terror from the Deep was the original on steroids. Apocalypse was a try at real time battles, with an interesting take on city-scape management. I skipped Interceptor, and Enforcer, and I was looking forward to a future entry – but they were all cancelled. The XCOM reboot in 2012 happened 17 years later. It had some flaws but overall was a solid game. The Long War mod addressed a lot of them, and brought back the strategic play from the first game in the series. I never had a chance to finish it though.
XCOM 2 was a significant step forward. It used the same engine, sure, but the tactical combat was much improved. Melee was viable, as was stealth. Ship combat was finally gone. Maps were better designed. More mission types, motivation to move out of the Overwatch syndrome, and generally improved chances to hit enemies and be missed. It felt harder as well. The psionic portion was a little too weak/late for my tastes, though the steam workshop (amazing mods!) fixed that pretty quick. I played through twice and had a pile of fun.
The DLC never really took my attention. Alien Hunters lacked balance, and Shen’s Last Gift added Mechs, which couldn’t take cover. Long War 2 was released but since I never finished the first one, I didn’t really see the need.
War of the Chosen recently came out and that’s a heck of an expansion. New enemies, new classes, new maps, new objectives, new weapons, new mechanics. There are negative traits for characters (like Darkest Dungeon). There are rebel factions to join with, zombie hordes, as well as bonds between characters that increase their skills. I’ve seen sequels with less content.
So far, I’m a few intro missions into the game, trying to remember what I did last time. Grenades are still your best friend for low levels, given that they 1 shot weak enemies, and break cover. There’s nothing worse than an entire squad missing an enemy 4 spaces away. I’m quite excited for this playthrough!