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XCOM: Chimera Squad is brilliant

I got XCOM Chimera Squad in the most recent humble bundle, and my god is it a good ass game. and they're only asking 10 bucks for it?? Like, if you enjoy XCOM, there is literally no reason not to try it out.

It maintains the series tried and true combat, with a few distinctions. You start every encounter off with a "breach," which sees your team of 4 kicking down some doors and getting some preliminary shots on the opposition. There are also some abilities that are unique to the breach phase that can be more defensive or overall strategic than just "do some damage," but it's still a really exciting way to start off an encounter.

Speaking of encounters, each combat mission is handled through bite-sized encounters, meaning each mission is like 10-15 minutes long, and pure action. compared it XCOM 2, which could have 10- 15 minutes of tensely hunting out the objectives, it feels like a much brisker pace, which I actually enjoy more.

Another thing lowering the tension, and something that die-hard XCOM fans might see as a negative, is that you're characters will never permanently die. Each member of Chimera Squad is an actual character, with a personality and unique class. I personally love it, because it lets you kinda be more aggressive in each battle, knowing that your favorite character isn't going to die. But I could see that being a negative to some.

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Other than that, though, it is still the XCOM shit you know and love. Never trust a 95% hit chance from 2 feet away, always expect shit to go sideways. It is addicting, tense and relaxing all at once.

The characters, though, are fuckin awesome. You get to control both human and aliens, and they are OP af by design. You get an Sectoid right out of the gate that can mind control enemies. It's cool as hell, especially for someone that always thought that the enemies in XCOM are the coolest units. And then you quickly get a Viper, who annoyed tf out of me in XCOM 2, and guess what? they didn't make her less annoying in this game, they made it so that you can be the one that is annoying. Tough guy behind cover? Not any more!

They also made it so that instead of each team acting as one, the turn order alternates between good and bad guys. This is kind of a neutral change, as I enjoy aspects of both methods, but it still makes it feel fresh. You can also fuck with the turn order, which can spin things in your direction.

The story is pretty good, I don't want to get into very much of the spoiler area, but its like a lil investigation, which is pretty tight compared to XCOM's worldwide scope. Kinda refreshing, I like smaller scale conflicts, but it's still tense af. It retains the area conflict meter thing that makes balancing what to do an important decision. The base management is just as important as what happens on the battle field. But again, it is a smaller scope compared to the base games.

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Also, the game is beautiful for a 10 dollar game. Like XCOM level graphics. Blows my mind they charged so little for it. Fully voiced, minimal jank. It's well worth full price.

I get the feeling this game was just an experiment from Firaxis, seeing what changes they could make that still would work. Or maybe they had a random idea and used 2k's publishing money to just see what happens. Either way, I love it, and if you like XCOM, you will love it too. Or, if you are on the fence about XCOM, its a budget way to get a feeling of what the series is all about.


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