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XCOM 2 is my nightmare made real

Jesus Christ this game. This fucking game.

I loved the original UFO and TFTD (played the latter first, weirdly enough). They were hard often occasionally feeling unfair, but you had so much room to breath and the strategy management layer was practically zen.

XCOM 1 was annoying because of feeling of urgency. I'm never a fan of that in a strategy/tactics game, and it felt like the optimum window of play was very narrow. Plus that alien bonus turn always felt like cheating to me, no matter how tough my squad got.

This game however, Christ.

In isolation the little things stacked against you in a given moment are forgivable: Can't just hire scientists and engineers? Well, OK. I guess that means the research vs difficulty curve is lower (it isn't).

Soldiers take any damage on a mission (and they will), they're out of action for days, sometimes weeks, well OK I guess that means rookies are little bit tougher than they used to be to compensate (they aren't).

Timers. So many timers, some pretending not to be timers (I see you macguffin under fire at the end of the map), willing you to rush forward as quickly as possible. I guess maybe they're a little more forgiving of being out in the open, or at least half cover actually protects you somewhat right? (Nope again).

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What about resources? Oh, you have to fly your entire base and babysit a location for days at a time. The resistance can't scrape up an extra transport ship to do that? OK. Maybe those supplies are significant boosts to your loadouts or base capabilities (they aren't).

This research/build/heal will only take a couple of days. I'm sure I can just let time pass a little with..oh there's something that needs my attention right now? OK well, how about..oh not even half a day and now there's two more things? Oh right, well I guess I better…Oh there's something else? (Full disclosure I was literally screaming at my computer at 1am to STFU because of this crap).

What about the enemies? Well there's troopers, they're fine. Unless you're marked by an officer (and you will be). So better take out that officer first. Sectoids? Well cover is entirely meaningless to them and each one can cut a quarter of your squad out of the fight and even turn them against you, so better take them out first. Mechs? Well they're armoured and will take lots of hits so you better start work on them early. Better take them out first. Melee stunner dudes? Not tough, but they'll incapacitate your guys in one hit from across the map so better take them out first.

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So all I have to do is (let me run those numbers real quick), yep I just need to kill six aliens with four shots and I'm golden. Oh, each alien takes at least two hits? And you might miss? OK I'll have to look at my figures again, I guess…

I really want to get into this game, I really do. But the game really wants you to despise it. It's not difficult in a challenging way like Wasteland 2, or even the first XCOM. It's more like when certain developers (eg. Disney) made their SNES games have an almost impossible early level so game renters couldn't finish the game in a single weekend and lose them a full-priced sale. It genuinely has destain for you as a player, and that's just not fun.

I should not be having to creep back to easy mode or looking for mods to slow the game down after 8 hours of play, yet here I am with all my 2nd/3rd rank guys bleeding in their bunks while I try to take on an important CANNOT WAIT mission with four rookies vs. a turret, an officer, 2 sectoids, a mech, two troopers and two melee stunners with all the above mentioned stacked in the AI's favour.

I don't think I've said this about a game in about 20 years, and it's more frustrating because it felt like wasted potential but, here it is: This game is bullshit.

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