XCOM2 Tips and a Strategy Game Question

XCOM2 is out! I basically play this 12 hours a day now, I’m having so much fun with it. I thought I’d parlay all that time played into a video with 10 tips to get you started with the game. Here it is:

I got a comment on the video, which I haven’t responded to yet, that asks what it is about XCOM that appeals to me. They go on to say that in their experience women aren’t very in to the strategy genre but have a seen a ton playing and talking about XCOM2 and they wonder what about it appeals to women moreso than other strategy games.

First, I obviously am not a fan of sweeping generalizations about what genres appeal to each genre. Second, women are not a monolith so aside from the fact that XCOM features just as many women as men, which I think is a draw, I can’t really say why anyone else is attracted to the game. Third, my experience is contrary to the commenters. I know lot of women who play and talk about strategy games like Civ, Crusader Kings, Banished, Cities: Skylines, Warcraft, Starcraft, but when I fangirl out about XCOM it’s mostly men who respond in kind.

Lastly, I tried to think of some common denominator shared between the strategy games I love. I like the alien and sci-fi aspect of XCOM – but also like high fantasy strategy games and the semi-realistic nature of Civilization. I love that I can micromanage the tactical combat in XCOM, as opposed to just building and placing units and letting them do their thing – but not being able to do that doesn’t turn me off the others. I like that in Civ I can get cultural and technological victories rather than fight – but I’m also good with the all military, all the time nature of XCOM.

Which brings me to my questions for you. Do you like strategy games? What draws you to the ones you like? Alternatively, if you don’t like Strategy games, why not?

3 responses to “XCOM2 Tips and a Strategy Game Question

  1. Back when I was younger, I used to play more strategy games than I do now, mostly because I enjoyed the building and management. Age of Empires, Age of Mythology, Stronghold, and Pharoah were well played for a long time. Nowadays I play other genres more but after Banished came out, it became one of my favourite games. I really enjoy that its system doesn’t have combat but focuses more on everything else. And while I haven’t played Tropico since the first one, I’m looking forward to playing Tropico 5 co-op to see how it is.
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  2. The thing about strategy games for me is the pacing. It’s important to divide them into TBS and RTS, because I like both for different reasons. In RTS I like the pressure of limited time to make decisions – both tactical and strategic – but with TBS it is more about developing plans and then carrying them out over the long term.

    TBS has many of the same drawcards as adventure and (some) puzzle games, in that you generally have as much time as you want to compare, assess, and make decisions – with the added benefit of both being able to set your own goals and also have (shorter term) goals forced upon you by the game events or AI. RTS seems to emphasize the ability to adapt and change plans on the fly, testing your confidence in making snap decisions.

    I love both subgenres, and it is to my eternal shame that I haven’t spent more time with the Total War series, which has the perfect mix of both.
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  3. My entire squad was wiped out in the very first mission. Anyways, The game is absolutely amazing and very addicting, however performance at launch is absolute ♥♥♥♥, be wary of buying it if you’re on a lower end PC.
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