Well, it’s time to end this! The aliens have been melting people down and turning them into something or other. I really haven’t been paying attention, but I assume they’re bad because the game tells me so. The first part of our job is to interrupt an alien broadcast to the world, and expose their grand plan before it’s too late. The only people I’d trust in for this are Andrew (“Terminator”), Faizan (“Beast”), and Karl (“Lightning”). So apparently aliens run TV studios in the same way we do. But with more robo-guards. A gradual move across the rooftop sees our team find a small patrol. Annoyingly, they also find themselves flanked by a second patrol, needing careful positioning to get out unscathed. Every time we try to advance, there seems to be another patrol waiting in the wings to push us back. Karl takes a few wounds as we move back and forth on the narrow walkways. He gets in sight of the central console used to broadcast the aliens signals and attempts to hack whilst Andrew and Faizan cover him. Karl‘s IT skills do not fail him, and the network is under our control. There’s also the unexpected side effect of melting the brains of the nearby naughty aliens. Job done!
With the alien’s plans revealed, there’s only one thing left to do: go and smack the ever living hell out of their fortress. Which is in the middle of the ocean. This being such a key mission, we send only our best, highest ranking soldiers. Heather (“Boomstick”), Stuart (“Cyber”), Tim (“Big Money”), Josh (“Outrider”), Bobbilyann (“Shooter”), and Emma (“Warden”) head in to get the job done. We are joined by our Commander’s Avatar (still not a blue cat person) who looks about as anime as you can get in this game.
Early exchanges result in Josh taking some wounds, but otherwise we seem unscathed. Heather and Emma manage to flank the enemy squad to finish them off. Stuart finds himself under threat from a Sectopod mech but stands his ground as Tim and the Avatar blast it into submission. The rest of the aliens retreat once their tank has fallen, but we give chanse quickly enough! The commander mind controls an alien for fun (and to use as a scout) as we continue onwards into the aliens stronghold. Heather and Emma have very little to do as their side of the area seems fairly clear. Bobbilyann though manages to take out near on every enemy in the area from long range. She misses not a single shot.
Josh finds himself wounded again, thanks to some sort of acid bomb, but he drags himself onwards with some healing from Stuart. The most recent encounter has destroyed a great deal of cover. Hopefully we won’t be exposed as we move ahead. Thankfully we get through the open ground and come across a minor squad of aliens. Josh and Stuart ably cover the Avatar with no injury.
Of course, that would be too easy. We find ourselves up against 2 Gatekeepers with their entourage. Tim opens our account by launching a grenade into the mix. Huge levels of concentrated fire put the enemies down, but not before Stuart takes a few hits. He continues to heal the squad whilt they deal the damage, eventually leading to a successful battle. And with that, we arrive at the aliens’ inner sanctum, and confront their Avatar.
It comes out swinging by summoning a large number of aliens to fight alongside it. Heather is mind controlled but after getting too close but Bobbilyann puts down the culprit quickly. Just as their Avatar falls, and victory seems at hand, another one arrives with more soldiers. The odds are looking overwhelming so Emma looks to reduce their numbers with a well placed rocket. Though damage was caused, no aliens fell. Bobbilyann is a one woman killing machine though, putting down anything in sight to keep the team together. Meanwhile, out Avatar is psychically blowing up aliens left, right, and centre which is incredibly satisfying.
The never ending alien parade continues with another Avatar arriving to join the party. Obviously we’re not giving up (because it’s a video game!) so we take the fight to one of them. One of the Avatar’s moves closer to us, allowing Josh to use his Banish ability that lets him empty an entire magazine into a target. It’s a powerful ability and has the desired result. Unfortunately in all the chaos, Heather and Emma are mind controlled, with very little we can do about it. They end up being rather exposed as more aliens turn up. Tim is wounded by one of them whilst the aliens try to take out Bobbilyann.
Just as things were looking dire, Heather’s mind control fails. Her vulnerable position suddenly becomes a lot more beneficial as she charges towards the Avatar that had messed with her brain and shotguns it DIRECTLY IN THE FACE. With their final Avatar defeated, we get a very anime cutscene signalling the end of our campaign and a teaser that suggests more XCOM to come. Maybe even a return to the classic XCOM sequel…
And that’s game! I hope you’ve enjoyed this series as much as I have. If another XCOM is released I’ll be sure to do another run. You know, as an excuse to play more XCOM.
Heather “Boomstick” – Ranger (Bond: Stuart)
Rob “Wildchild” – Grenadier *DECEASED* 12 missions/35 kills
Stuart “Cyber” – Specialist (Bond: Heather)
Kerry “Hollywood” – Sniper *DECEASED* 15 missions/36 kills
Andrew “Terminator” – Ranger (Bond: Bobbilyann)
Rhodri “Papa Bear” – Grenedier
Emma “Warden” – Specialist (Bond: Josh)
Lorna “Ice” – Ranger
Pat “Hat Trick” – Sniper
Danny “Boom Boom” – Genadier (Bond: Tiago)
Karl “Lightning” – Specialist
Eugene “Gunner” – Grenedier
Catherine “Longshot” – Sharpshooter
Josh “Outrider” – Reaper (Bond: Emma)
Bobbilyann “Shooter” – Sniper (Bond: Andrew)
Tiago “Mox” – Skirmisher (Bond: Danny) *DECEASED* – 3 missions/14 kills
Caroline “Sentinel” – Specialist
Paul “Solo”– Ranger *DECEASED* 7 missions/17 kills
Saf “Witch” – Templar *DECEASED* – 2 missions/2 kills
Dave “Ether” – Templar *DECEASED* – 5 missions/12 kills
Ben – Sharpshooter *DECEASED* – 3 missions/11 kills
Nick “Slider” – Specialist
Richard “Wolfman” – Ranger
Leanne “Solar” – Specialist
Tom “Cougar” – Ranger
Faizan “Beast” – Marauder
Harry “Psy” – Templar
Tim “Big Money” – Grenadier