XCOM: Chimera Squad
Top Critic Average
If this is what the team at Firaxis can do with a quick spinoff title, I can’t wait to get my hands on the inevitable Xcom 3.
I’ll be thinking about my new squad of quirky techs, determined soldiers, and new alien friends for a long time after finishing XCOM: Chimera Squad, like waiting for the next issue of a great comic book.
XCOM: Chimera Squad is a strange, stripped back version of XCOM that does away with the suspenseful and thrilling moments of missions to focus on action, for better or worse.
Even with smaller stakes, XCOM's strategy shines through.
XCOM: Chimera Squad is a polarizing spin on a familiar formula. Some fans will be delighted with the fresh ideas and quippy characters, while others will rue the lack of greater tactical depth and gravitas.
XCOM: Chimera Squad is an interesting spin-off, but it suffers from plenty of technical issues and excessive gameplay simplification.
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I recommend this game to anyone’s ever played an XCOM-like game. Veterans and newbies alike will find something they might like, despite the game needing more polish. Just watch that Anarchy meter. The late-game pressure sneaks on you rather quickly.
XCOM: Chimera Squad is an example of a spin-off done right. While it has its fair share of clunk, and shelves key aspects of the franchise, it succeeds in replacing them with interesting new tricks that one could see fitting into future installments well. There’s a lot of innovation here for the budget price, making it a refreshing jaunt for fans awaiting XCOM 3.
For such a meagre price XCOM: Chimera Squad packs somewhere in the realm of 20-hours of content into its slim frame. It almost feels unfair to compare it so frequently to XCOM 2 since it’s a small-scale spin-off. But Chimera Squad manages to find its own identity while still retaining the general feel of XCOM, even if the pre-defined characters and lack of perma-death might put veterans of the franchise off entirely. And that’s fair because making up your own squad and forming tales of their heroics and their demises has been core to XCOM since it returned from the dead in 2013. But if you can look past that there’s a lot to like in XCOM: Chimera Squad, and if you’re a lover of turn-based tactics games then this is well worth playing, though it has some incredibly tough competition in Gears Tactics at the moment.
You’ll probably extract some enjoyment out of Chimera Squad, although you’re likely to find just as many problems to complain about along the way as I have.