Xcom 2 is a turn based game by Firaxis Games, released February 5th, 2016. This sequel did not continue the story from the previous game but instead rewrote it. On January 19th, 2017 Pavonis Interactive released its latest mod for the game Long War 2.  This version includes the mods already out by them: Alien Pack, Tool box, Laser Pack SMG Pack and Perk Pack. If you already have these installed, the initial download is reduced in size saving time. The total size currently is 2,202.711 MB. So how much does this all cost?  Well like all Xcom mods it is free. You get a lot of content included in the base price of the game.

Lots of new things have been added.  The first thing you should notice is the beginning mission is now a search and destroy, with a new squad size upgraded from four to eight. The mechanics of the game seem to have been overhauled, making the combat more fair, as well as what appears to be increased item drops.  The AI has been upgraded, and now even on the lower settings makes fewer mistakes with its tactics.  Another great addition is the new variations of enemies.  From the first mission you already encounter more versions.  In the replays I tried, new Advent were encountered; two of which are the new Gunner, and Grenadier variants.

The new mod breathes life into the old game.  This now helps to provide depth that was clearly lacking before and gives a more complete game. The class system has been revamped and now boasts Sharpshooter, Shinobi, Ranger, Assault, Gunner, Grenadier, Specialist, Technical and Psionic. Each class having strengths and weaknesses giving a wider selection of deployable heroes as well as changing up battle tactics.

Starting out on the hardest settings I found myself out manned and out gunned.  What seemed to be around twenty well trained Advent wiped the floor with my eight poorly equipped offerings.  The second try I was more prepared for the oncoming hammer blow, and passed the first mission without losing everyone. This really highlights the idea of the game. You are freedom fighters, fighting a losing battle against odds stacked against you.  Every victory is hard fought and hard won, but when you do win, the victory is much sweeter.

The additional research including Laser weapons, helps expand the game as well. The mod claims to increase the average game to between one hundred to one hundred and twenty missions.  The more I play this new version of the game, the more I find.  Pavonis Interactive set out to make the game fun again and for me they have. I do find myself asking the same question again as I play, why was so much of this game not included as base from the start, the other question is why don’t they hire the team to help make the next game, and release the full thing right off the bat?

If you have not already got a copy of Xcom 2, now is a great time to get one, but be warned this mod is designed to crush your spirit, and make you strong. If you enjoy easy mode mods you will hate this.  If you, like me, love the thrill of battle and the challenge to use tactics, this is for you.

As the poet Dylan Thomas said, “Do not go gentle into that good night.”