XCOM 2, One Of The Best PC Strategy Games Ever Made, Is Currently Free

XCOM 2, One Of The Best PC Strategy Games Ever Made, Is Currently Free
Screenshot: Firaxis / 2K Games

XCOM 2 is very good. Some have even called it one of the best PC games ever made. Even if you don’t agree with that, it’s still an incredible strategy game pitting aliens against humans in a large-scale, global conflict. Now, via the latest Epic Games Store giveaway, you can get XCOM 2 for the low cost of nothing.

You have until April 21 to nab this excellent PC game for nothing, but I’d not wait too long. A week sounds like a long time, but suddenly it’s April 22 and you’ve missed out on the freebie. Like with all the previous free Epic Store games, once you grab XCOM 2 it’s yours to keep forever. (Or at least until the heat death of the universe or Epic’s servers dying, whichever comes first.)

Developed by Firaxis and released in 2016, XCOM 2 is a turn-based tactical strategy game and the follow-up to the (also very good) XCOM: Enemy Unknown. In the sequel, you aren’t fighting off an invasion but instead struggling to survive an occupation, as in XCOM 2, the aliens already won. And now, decades later, you and the remnants of the human resistance are trying to scrape by and, just maybe, free Earth from the aliens. It won’t be easy. You will lose good soldiers. You will make mistakes. And you’ll scream in agony when you miss “easy” shots the damn game claimed had a 95% chance to hit. But you’ll love every minute of it anyway.

Read More: X-COM’s Beloved Tactical Gameplay Took Months To Get Just Right

While XCOM 2 is splendid, its expansion, War of the Chosen, might be even better. It adds new wrinkles — like character bonding — to the already excellent XCOM 2 experience. The end result is an expansion so good that former Kotaku writer Nathan Grayson suggested folks just skip the vanilla experience and play the expansion first.

Sadly, the expansion isn’t included in the Epic Games Store promo. But it is currently on sale until the 28th of this month for $US10 ($14).

If you’re tired of XCOM, but still want to play that kind of turn-based strategy game, you should check out our list of some of the best XCOM-like games to play in 2022. And if you just don’t care about XCOM or turn-based games, well first off, why are you here and reading this blog? But secondly, Epic is also giving away Insurmountable, a really neat rogue-like mountain climbing game. It’s also free until April 21.



  • A few caveats… it’s great NOW. When it was released, it wasn’t very good at all. The dice rolls were preset, not random at all. You needed a mod to make sure they were (and I believe you still do! Get the randomiser mod!!!)

    Mods, like with games like ARK, really make the game. Get skin mods and ones such as the camera mod, that free up certain aesthetic aspects and minor aspects that don’t break the game but merely rebalance the game.

    The DLC really went a long way in strengthening the games positive aspects. Without it, the game was…. less than good. It was infact, rather disappointing. But once all that glorious DLC hit, it became damn good.

    So yeah get it, but make sure you have all the DLC and explore the mods (Can you get them on Epic??? If not, you may need to use an installer???)

    • The dice rolls actually are random, just not in the way a lot of people think… The rolls are ‘preset’ for their specific moment and chain of events, based on all the factors you’d assume like hit and critical chance.

      This sort of random ‘preset seed’ is the sort of thing where stepping one space left or right would change the roll completely… Or doing the exact same move a turn later, etc.

      And it’s something that I’ve never, ever, seen impact gameplay unless someone is reloading saves trying to do the exact same thing, in the exact same order, hoping for a different result. One could even assume it is actually there to prevent that sort of thing.

      • But then what you’re saying is exactly what I’m saying. They’re not randomised. By presetting them, you eliminated the chaos factor and bring in predetermined fate. If people want to save scum, they should have that choice, not be stripped of it. If they want to play legit, they should have that choice too, not be forced.

        • For what it’s worth I personally don’t care if people save scum, it doesn’t alter my game, but you at least looked to be implying that the random factor just wasn’t there and that simply isn’t true. It’s just handled on a per turn/chain of events basis, but it’s still very much a random number generator doing it’s thing.

          I’d also be genuinely curious if the devs did it intentionally to prevent save scumming, that’s just an assumption, or for some other reason.

      • It’s completely normal to use seeds for RNG rolls. It’s been a feature in long-form strategy games, like Civ, forever. It’s not an error, it’s not bad programming, it’s not a conspiracy, it’s intended behaviour.

        And it IS genuine randomness (in so far as there is such a thing in computer programming), it’s just randomness that’s determined at launch before turn 1 rather than on a roll by roll basis.

        Setting an RNG seed means that if you do want to try again from a save point any difference in outcomes is a result of your strategy and tactics, not the luck of the roll. It also means that if your game crashes before a save point that it will play out exactly the same way if you reload the save and start again.

        Seriously, if you need to regularly save scum just play on easy mode.

        Also, the game was awesome at launch and it’s still awesome without the DLC. The base game got an 88 metascore and would have been higher if a couple of reviewers didn’t have some bad luck with the usual day one bugs.

  • I agree with Weresmurf. XCOM 2 did not impress me when I first played it. I also detested those mission timers. What do you want game? You want me to play aggressively, but you punish aggression! What they wanted was for you to play in a style that matched what the developer thought was “the most fun pace” at which to play – which is fair enough, most games are engineered to encourage the player to play a certain way.

    But it wasn’t my idea of fun. Later on, as your characters became more powerful, the timer became something of a joke. But early on, it was stressful and would lead to you playing riskier, with less powerful characters – and bad luck could cause you to lose vital team mates, setting you back a great deal. I have limited time as it is, and I started resenting the game for taking away that time. Yeah, sure, when I was in Uni and I had a break that could last 2 or 3 months, that was fine. I work 10~12 hour days, sometimes 12 days in a goddamn row with further studying on top of that.

    But I get that not everyone has similar time constraints. Maybe if I played it when I was in Uni, I would have had a more favourable opinion. Maybe I just suck at strategy games (admittedly, I do).

    You can mod the game to turn off a lot of what you don’t like, and I suggest you do so if you have the difficulties I had.

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