XCOM 2: War of the Chosen (PlayStation 4)

  • Gameplay
  • Story
  • Visuals
  • Audio
  • Entertainment

Also available on Xbox One and Windows

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Review written by Stephen Deck; originally published 08/29/2018 on Teacher by Day, Gamer by Night

XCOM 2: War of the Chosen is DLC for XCOM 2, but it’s really more “XCOM 2 Plus” than traditional DLC.  The core storyline is the same, and all of the content from the base game is untouched, but there’s a bunch of extra stuff.  Extra abilities, extra missions, three entirely new optional mission lines with end bosses that give some seriously dope weapons.  All in all, though, it’s really just the base game plus some extras.

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Most of the game is the same as XCOM 2, so this is going to be extremely brief; read my review of the base game if you’re curious.  The visuals haven’t had any kind of adjustments nor has the sound design.  There is some new voice acting, though, for the new enemy characters, and that’s done extremely well.  The additions here are all gameplay, and there are three big additions – the three “Chosen” optional bosses, the three resistance factions, and The Lost.  The Chosen are naturally the biggest of the three since that was the name of the DLC.  The Chosen are three specialized assassins sent to kill the Commander and destroy XCOM, and each of them has a unique fighting style.  When defeated, they each drop unique and obscenely powerful weapons; one drops a sniper rifle and pistol, one drops an assault rifle, and one drops a shotgun and sword.

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As for the other changes, the Resistance factions tie in with The Chosen.  Each Resistance faction gives you some bonus “orders” that are basically passive buffs that you can apply – things like cheaper weapons, faster research, more likely to be incapacitated as opposed to outright dead, etc.  You can also send each faction’s operatives on missions that run in the background.  These missions will give you more credits, speed some research, unlock new research, etc.  Among these missions are ones required to find the hideout for each of The Chosen.  Each faction also has its own unique soldier class, so it’s definitely worth investing some time and attention into each of them.

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Despite being arguably the less prominent of those three big additions, my favorite addition is The Lost.  Did you ever find yourself playing XCOM and thinking “You know what this game needs?  Zombies.”?  Well, the gods have heard your prayers.  The Lost are like a cross between your traditional zombies and the husks from Mass Effect.  No one really knows why, but something about the alien technology left over from the war started turning people into creatures that look like zombies, act like zombies, and attack and swarm indiscriminately like zombies.  You don’t, however, have to worry about turning into one if you’re bitten; the cause seems to be some kind of chemical or radiation, not a virus or spore.  The Lost serve as a sort of rogue “third” side in battles where they’re present.  While they definitely go after you harder than they do ADVENT troops, they’ll attack whoever’s nearest.  An additional horde is also summoned by any explosion, so try to aim away from cars and keep your grenades on the ship.

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XCOM 2: War of the Chosen is a truly fantastic expansion to a truly fantastic game.  Unfortunately, it suffers from big issues; just like the base game, there are a LOT of crashing issues on PS4, and I feel that the DLC is a bit overpriced for what it is.  $20 or $25 would be more appropriate in my opinion (hence why I waited until it was on sale for $23 to buy it).  Despite that, however, it’s still a fantastic experience and makes an already fantastic game incredible.  Without a doubt, I recommend downloading it.  I’d get it on PC if you have the option as I suspect it’s more stable, but no matter how you play it, War of the Chosen is definitely the definitive way to experience the XCOM 2 story.  Just be prepared for it to crash.  A lot.

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