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** Poison and gas of any kind rip straight through armor because, unfortunately in this case, helmets are cosmetic items that don't provide additional protection against hazards like these. Fortunately, there's the Hazmat Vest to take care of that. Fortunately, any soldiers carrying a Medikit are also immune to poison.

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** Poison and gas of any kind rip straight through armor because, unfortunately in this case, helmets are cosmetic items that don't provide additional protection against hazards like these. Fortunately, there's the Hazmat Vest to take care of that. Fortunately, that, and any soldiers carrying a Medikit are also immune to poison.



*** Even if their reckless environmental destruction doesn't directly damage them, it can still be detrimental to their cause, like when a Sectopod/Gatekeeper stationed inside a UFO walks over and [[NiceJobFixingItVillain destroys the distress beacon it's supposed to protect]]. Of cause this can also backfire on you if the thing it just accidentally stomped flat was the data access point or loot chest you were supposed to capture.

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*** Even *Even if their reckless environmental destruction doesn't directly damage them, it can still be detrimental to their cause, like when a Sectopod/Gatekeeper stationed inside a UFO walks over and [[NiceJobFixingItVillain destroys the distress beacon it's supposed to protect]]. Of cause this It can also backfire on you if the thing it just accidentally stomped flat was the data access point or loot chest you were supposed to capture.



** The Holy Warrior psychic power boosts the stats of a unit, at the cost of killing ''both'' units if the unit casting Holy Warrior dies. ADVENT Priests with 1 health point will gleefully cast Holy Warrior on full-health Archons and Gatekeepers, allowing you to nuke it by gently poking the Priest with a pistol.
** [[KillItWithFire Purifiers]], [[PurpleIsPowerful Priests]] and [[SnakesAreSexy Vipers]] are not very bright at the best of times, and have no problems wasting their attacks on units that are immune to them. They'll quite happily try to set your fireproof [=SPARK=] units on fire, spit poison clouds at your medics (who can't be poisoned, as simply carrying a medkit grants poison immunity) or try to mind control units in the middle of a solace field. Vipers, and all other types of melee-heavy enemies for that matter, also have a hilarious preference for attacking (or moving past) Bladestorm-Rangers that can instakill them right back, even when there are other XCOM operatives nearby that would make easier targets.

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** The Holy Warrior psychic power boosts the stats of a unit, at the cost of killing ''both'' units if the unit casting Holy Warrior dies. ADVENT Priests with 1 health point will gleefully cast Holy Warrior on full-health Archons and Gatekeepers, allowing you to nuke it them both by gently [[ScratchDamage poking the Priest with a pistol.
pistol.]]
** [[KillItWithFire Purifiers]], [[PurpleIsPowerful Priests]] and [[SnakesAreSexy Vipers]] are not very bright at the best of times, and have no problems wasting their attacks on units that are immune to them. They'll quite happily try to set your fireproof [=SPARK=] units on fire, spit poison clouds at your medics [[NoSell (who can't be poisoned, as simply carrying a medkit grants poison immunity) immunity)]] or try to mind control units in the middle of a solace field. Vipers, and all other types of melee-heavy enemies for that matter, also have a hilarious preference for attacking (or moving past) Bladestorm-Rangers that can instakill them right back, even when there are other XCOM operatives nearby that would make easier targets.



* AttackItsWeakPoint: In War of the Chosen, if you allow one of their Knowledge bars to reach maximum, they'll pay the Avenger a visit with an artillery cannon. You can't destroy the cannon itself - you'll have to destroy the generator instead.



** If you allow any Chosen's knowledge bar to max out, they'll soon pay the Avenger a visit with a ginormous railway gun as a welcome gift. This thing is far and away the largest gun in the game, and if you fail to destroy its generator in time, [[NonStandardGameOver you can kiss your mobile base goodbye]].

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** If you allow any Chosen's knowledge bar to max out, they'll soon pay the Avenger a visit with a ginormous railway gun as a welcome gift.gift if it's one of their planned activities. This thing is far and away the largest gun in the game, and if you fail to destroy its generator in time, [[NonStandardGameOver you can kiss your mobile base goodbye]].


** All explosive-based grenades[[note: Frag Grenades, Plasma Grenades, Acid Grenades shred armor and deal guaranteed damage, making easy targets for the rest of your squad to mop up.

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** All explosive-based grenades[[note: Frag Grenades, Plasma Grenades, Acid Grenades Grenades, and the like]] shred armor and deal guaranteed damage, making easy targets for the rest of your squad to mop up.


* AntiArmor: There are a number of attacks that "shred" armor, permanently reducing the target's armor value by an amount that depends on the type and tier of the weapon used. The Grenadier's squaddie-level skill Shredder is the most reliable example and borderline mandatory from mid-game onwards when armored enemies appear more and more frequently. Others include all sorts of grenades and, unfortunately, alien plasma guns like the rifle that Mutons wield, so you'll end up on the receiving end of this at least as often as you dish it out.

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* AntiArmor: There are a number of attacks that "shred" armor, permanently reducing the target's armor value by an amount that depends on the type and tier of the weapon used. The Grenadier's squaddie-level skill Shredder is the most reliable example and borderline mandatory from mid-game onwards when armored enemies appear more and more frequently. Others include all sorts of grenades [[StuffBlowingUp grenades]] and, unfortunately, alien plasma guns like the rifle that Mutons wield, so you'll (usually) end up on the receiving end of this at least as often as you dish it out.out whenever the AI decides to chuck a grenade at you.



** Pistols are now a type of secondary of weapon for the Sniper class only. Also, reloading a soldier's primary weapon costs them an action point, but does ''not'' end their turn as it did in the previous game. This saves you the trouble (and a good amount of resources) to upgrade everyone's pistol to the next weapon tier, and it spares you the awkward choice between "Waste a turn, and possibly this soldier's life, reloading" or "Draw an obsolete pistol and fire for ridiculously low damage (and still have an empty primary weapon next turn)".

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** Pistols are now a type of secondary of weapon for the Sniper class only. Also,
**Also,
reloading a soldier's primary weapon costs them an action point, but does ''not'' end their turn as it did in the previous game. This saves you the trouble (and a good amount of resources) to upgrade everyone's pistol to the next weapon tier, and it spares you the awkward choice between "Waste a turn, and possibly this soldier's life, reloading" or "Draw an obsolete pistol and fire for ridiculously low damage (and still have an empty primary weapon next turn)".



*** Unfortunately, this only holds true for the base game. ''War of the Chosen'' occasionally spawns special pods in Retaliation missions that ignore XCOM units to kill as many civilians as possible instead. It's not uncommon to watch them gun down 3-4 civilians in one turn while being being unable to do anything about it. They're so frustrating that Central actively points them out when they appear.
** You can still use the Evac command after dashing, very helpful on forced extraction missions, since predetermined Evac points rarely have good cover.

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*** Unfortunately, this only holds true for the base game. ''War of the Chosen'' nullifies this, because the game occasionally spawns special ADVENT pods in Retaliation missions that ignore XCOM units to kill as many civilians as possible instead. It's not uncommon to watch them gun down 3-4 civilians in one turn while being being unable to do anything about it. They're so frustrating that Central actively points them out when they appear.
** You can still use -->'''Central''': Commander, ADVENT isn't backing down, they've got units in the AO that are ignoring our units just to get a better shot at the civilians. Take those bastards down!
** The
Evac command is a free action, meaning it can be used after dashing, very dashing. Quite helpful on forced extraction missions, since predetermined Evac points rarely have good cover.



** One achievement requires you to complete a campaign on Commander+ difficulty without ever purchasing squad size upgrades, thus limiting you to four operatives as a form of SelfImposedChallenge. If certain faction orders are active, you can even have an extra X-COM rookie (Volunteer Army) or ADVENT Trooper/Stun Lancer (Double Agent) join your squad.

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** One achievement requires you to complete a campaign on Commander+ difficulty without ever purchasing squad size upgrades, thus limiting you to four operatives as a form of SelfImposedChallenge. If certain faction orders are active, you can even have an extra X-COM XCOM rookie (Volunteer Army) or ADVENT Trooper/Stun Lancer (Double Agent) join your squad.



* ArchaicWeaponForAnAdvancedAge: Of course there's the basic sword in the vanilla game, a low-tech solution for a world beset by aliens with plasma guns. However, the ''Alien Hunter'' DLC turns this trope up to (18)11. The Bolt Caster is a mechanized crossbow with a single shot, the Hunter's Axe [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin is a high-quality axe]], and the Shadowkeeper is a flintlock pistol that appears to be firing grapeshot. Somehow, these unique pieces of equipment are simply ''better'' than modern hardware, either being more damaging and/or having useful abilities, and you can further upgrade them to EnhancedArchaicWeapon status so they'll remain at the top.

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* ArchaicWeaponForAnAdvancedAge: Of course there's the basic sword in the vanilla game, a low-tech solution for a world beset by aliens with plasma guns. However, the ''Alien Hunter'' DLC turns this trope up to (18)11. The Bolt Caster is a mechanized crossbow with a single shot, the Hunter's Axe [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin is a high-quality axe]], and the Shadowkeeper is a flintlock pistol that appears to be firing grapeshot. Somehow, these unique pieces of equipment are simply ''better'' than modern hardware, either being more damaging and/or having useful abilities, and you can further upgrade them to EnhancedArchaicWeapon status so they'll remain at the top. In War of the Chosen, the [[AffablyEvil Hunter]] will even joke about it if you miss a shot at him with the Bolt Caster, even if it's upgraded.
-->'''Hunter''': [[DeadpanSnarker Where did you dig that thing up? It looks older than you.]]


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** All explosive-based grenades[[note: Frag Grenades, Plasma Grenades, Acid Grenades shred armor and deal guaranteed damage, making easy targets for the rest of your squad to mop up.


* AdamAndEvePlot: One that XCOM cuts short in the ''Alien Hunter'' DLC. The Viper King is the only male of its species (as the Elders simply mass-clone female Vipers), and established a nest with a few other Vipers and started pumping out offspring by the dozen. Granted, it's not the end of the actual species when you destroy the nest and eliminate the King, as the vast majority of Vipers remain under the rule of ADVENT, but it's the end of the only brood not under the direct control of the Elders.

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* AdamAndEvePlot: One that XCOM cuts short in the ''Alien Hunter'' DLC. The Viper King is the only male of its species (as the Elders simply mass-clone female Vipers), and established a nest with a few other Vipers and started pumping out offspring [[AmazonBrigade by the dozen.dozen]]. Granted, it's not the end of the actual species when you destroy the nest and eliminate the King, as the vast majority of Vipers remain under the rule of ADVENT, but it's the end of the only brood not under the direct control of the Elders.



* AlienInvasion: The aliens you fought in ''Enemy Unknown'' invaded the Earth and ''won''.

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* AlienInvasion: The aliens you fought in ''Enemy Unknown'' invaded the Earth and ''won''.[[TheBadGuyWins ''won'']].



* AllDesertsHaveCacti: Missions in desert biomes regardless of global location can have numerous saguaro cacti around that combatants can use for full cover.

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* AllDesertsHaveCacti: Missions in desert biomes regardless of global location can have numerous saguaro cacti around that combatants can use for full cover. [[StrayShotsStrikeNothing If destroyed by enemy gunfire]], it will still grant a half-cover bonus.



* AllYourBaseAreBelongToUs: Avenger Defense missions, which throw a great many mechanical limitations out of the window, such as restrictions on wounded soldiers being deployed or the ArbitraryHeadcountLimit. [[JustifiedTrope Of course]], if they get in, it's an instant GameOver, so it's a GodzillaThreshold for the entirety of XCOM. These missions are usually very tough, which makes beating them all the better.

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* AllYourBaseAreBelongToUs: Avenger AllYourBaseAreBelongToUs:
**Avenger
Defense missions, which throw a great many mechanical limitations out of the window, such as restrictions on wounded soldiers being deployed or the ArbitraryHeadcountLimit. [[JustifiedTrope Of course]], if they get in, it's an instant GameOver, so it's a GodzillaThreshold for the entirety of XCOM. These missions are usually very tough, which makes beating them all the better.better.
**The Alien Fortress Assault mission, the final mission of the full game. Since it's the ending of the game, XCOM are willing to pass the GodzillaThreshold to take down [[spoiler:the Ethereals]] once and for all.


* ZeroPercentApprovalRating[=/=]HundredPercentAdorationRating: Earth is essentially divided into two diametrically opposed camps here: the shiny, ADVENT-controlled city centers where ADVENT is universally beloved by all resident citizens on one side, and the decrepit slums and shanty towns in the wilderness where XCOM and the Resistance are highly popular instead on the other. Anyone who ends up in the wrong neighborhood is pretty much fair game for capture, imprisonment, torture or outright execution.

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* ZeroPercentApprovalRating[=/=]HundredPercentAdorationRating: Earth is essentially divided into two diametrically opposed camps here: the shiny, ADVENT-controlled city centers where ADVENT is universally beloved by all resident citizens on one side, and the decrepit slums and shanty towns in the wilderness where XCOM and the Resistance are highly popular instead on the other. Anyone who ends up in the wrong neighborhood is in for a ''really'' bad time - they're pretty much fair game for capture, imprisonment, torture or outright execution.



* AbnormalAmmo: Proving Grounds projects allow you to develop all sorts of exotic munitions for use against ADVENT and their alien masters, from venom rounds that can poison organic enemies to Bluescreen weapons meant to disrupt MEC drones, Sectopods, and Security Turrets. There are also Incendiary rounds, Tracer rounds, and Talon rounds, which give a boost to critical chance and critical damage. And also a wide range of grenades, including incendiary, poison, smoke, and acid grenades.

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* AbnormalAmmo: Proving AbnormalAmmo:
**Proving
Grounds projects allow you to develop all sorts of exotic munitions for use against ADVENT and their alien masters, from [[PoisonedWeapons venom rounds that can poison organic enemies enemies]] to Bluescreen weapons meant to disrupt [[KillerRobot MEC drones, Sectopods, drones]], [[BossInMookClothing Sectopods]], and [[SentryGun Security Turrets. There are Turrets.]]
** The Proving Grounds
also allow for the unlock of[[KillItWithFire Incendiary rounds, rounds]], Tracer rounds, and Talon rounds, which give a boost to critical chance and critical damage. And also a wide range of grenades, [[StuffBlowingUp grenades]], including incendiary, poison, [[KillItWithFire incendiary]], [[TechnicolorToxin gas]], smoke, and acid grenades.

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** Averted in the backstory, where instead of playing it straight like the original game, the Ethereals just decide to throw everything at humanity immediately, which means XCOM, not even getting their laser weapons yet, easily gets stomped by advanced enemy units like the Sectopods.


* ScrewThisImOuttaHere: At any point during the mission (provided it's not an [[ExactWords escort the VIP to EVAC mission]]), you can call in an Evac zone and bring your soldiers back, regardless if the mission was successful or not. If you don't have any methods of healing, [[HeroOnHiatus you can bring your wounded soldiers back to the Avenger and finish the mission]]. Very helpful if you've accomplished the mission objective
* SequelDifficultySpike: XCOM2 is more brutal than 1, and that's saying something. Out of the gate, Sectoids are a much much more dangerous enemy, having offensive psychic abilities that can panic your units or else outright mind control them. In the first game, sectoids only start with the ability to buff fellow sectoids, and don't gain the ability to mind control your units until halfway through the game. You also have rather strict time limits on nearly every mission and a overall timer that forces you to push your way towards the game's finish line or else get a game over.
* SequelHook: [[spoiler: Before being hinted about by an underwater base, after the final cinematic showing Resistance and XCOM forces retaking Earth from leftover ADVENT forces, another brief scene shows the wreckage of the Avatar base, and an eerie purple glow rising from a fissure in the ocean floor. Whatever the Ethereals hinted at that destroyed worlds, it looks like it's on its way...]]

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* ScrewThisImOuttaHere: At any point during the mission (provided it's not an [[ExactWords escort the VIP to EVAC mission]]), you can call in an Evac zone and bring your soldiers back, regardless if the mission was successful or not. If you don't have any methods of healing, [[HeroOnHiatus you can bring your wounded soldiers back to the Avenger and finish the mission]]. Very helpful if you've accomplished the mission objective
objective.
* SequelDifficultySpike: XCOM2 ''XCOM 2'' is more brutal than 1, and that's saying something. Out of the gate, Sectoids are a much much more dangerous enemy, having offensive psychic abilities that can panic your units or else outright mind control them. ''Enemy Unknown''. In the first game, sectoids Sectoids only start with the ability to buff fellow sectoids, their fellows with Mind Merge, and don't gain the ability to mind control MindControl your units until halfway through the game. Out of the gate in ''2'', Sectoids are a much much more dangerous enemy thanks to Mindspin, which has equal chances to disorient, induce panic or outright mind control one of your units. You also have rather strict time limits on nearly every mission mission, the Terror mission's equivalent has a minimum of 6 civilians rescued to be a success, and a an overall timer that forces you to push your way towards the game's finish line or else get a game over.
and doesn't stop counting, unlike the panic levels of old once all countries had satellite coverage, although you can counter its advance.
* SequelHook: [[spoiler: Before [[spoiler:Before being hinted about by an underwater base, after the final cinematic showing Resistance and XCOM forces retaking Earth from leftover ADVENT forces, another brief scene shows the wreckage of the Avatar base, and an eerie purple glow rising from a fissure in the ocean floor. Whatever the Ethereals hinted at that destroyed worlds, it looks like it's on its way...]]

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* SequelDifficultySpike: XCOM2 is more brutal than 1, and that's saying something. Out of the gate, Sectoids are a much much more dangerous enemy, having offensive psychic abilities that can panic your units or else outright mind control them. In the first game, sectoids only start with the ability to buff fellow sectoids, and don't gain the ability to mind control your units until halfway through the game. You also have rather strict time limits on nearly every mission and a overall timer that forces you to push your way towards the game's finish line or else get a game over.


** ''War of the Chosen'' can further add to your luck-based woes. It doesn't happen ''often'', but if a Chosen spawns near a VIP that you have to rescue, then good luck getting across the map and putting the bastard down before they one-shot your entire mission. (Of course, any difficult mission can be made even worse when the Chosen decide to spawn, but usually their appearances aren't so egregiously unfair as this particular example.)



* MenOfSherwood: The resistance forces are a surprisingly competent lot. In the new Retaliation variants introduced by "War of the Chosen", they are present on the battlefield and can do a lot of damage to the ADVENT strike force. There are player anecdotes of them clearing nearly the whole mission and even defeating Chosen without XCOM assistance. Just don't let anyone get mind controlled in their sight...

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* MenOfSherwood: The resistance forces are a surprisingly competent lot. In the new Retaliation variants introduced by "War ''War of the Chosen", Chosen'', they are present on the battlefield and can do a lot of damage to the ADVENT strike force. There are player anecdotes of them clearing nearly the whole mission and even defeating Chosen without XCOM assistance. Just don't let anyone get mind controlled in their sight...


** EXALT, a collaborateur faction in ''Enemy Within'', used to be a paramilitary group who often dressed in near-civilian gear, and used subversive tactics to undermine the established governments of the planet. Now XCOM fits this role, and the "Striped Bandana" prop for your troops, a dead ringer for the orange bandannas worn by all EXALT forces, brings this full circle.

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** EXALT, a collaborateur faction in ''Enemy Within'', used to be a paramilitary group who often dressed in near-civilian gear, and used subversive tactics to undermine the established governments of the planet. Now XCOM fits this role, and the "Striped Bandana" prop for your troops, a dead ringer for the orange bandannas worn by all EXALT forces, brings this full circle. The only difference is that XCOM is pro-humanity.



* DarkIsNotEvil: XCOM is a secretive, subversive underground organization who tend to go for a fairly dark default color scheme. The Council representative is a black-suited man wreathed in shadow whose face is constantly obscured by darkness, and who speaks in a very creepy voice. XCOM are the heroes of the game, and the Council representative is basically the game's BigGood.

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* DarkIsNotEvil: XCOM is a secretive, subversive underground organization who tend to go for a fairly dark default color scheme. The Council representative is a black-suited man wreathed in shadow whose face is constantly obscured by darkness, and who speaks in a very creepy voice. Yet XCOM are the heroes of the game, trying to save humanity, and the Council representative is basically the game's BigGood.


** While ''The Avenger'' is named for the craft in the original ''XCOM'', it shares a number of traits with [[Film/TheAvengers2012 another well-known]] [[AirborneAircraftCarrier Airborne-Aircraft-Carrier]][[MilitaryMashupMachine -mobile-base hybrid]].
*** As if to drive the point home, one of the Tactical Legacy Pack campaigns is flat out called [[AvengersAssemble Avenger Assemble]].

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** While ''The Avenger'' is named for the craft in the original ''XCOM'', it shares a number of traits with [[Film/TheAvengers2012 another well-known]] [[AirborneAircraftCarrier Airborne-Aircraft-Carrier]][[MilitaryMashupMachine -mobile-base hybrid]].
***
hybrid]]. As if to drive the point home, one of the Tactical Legacy Pack campaigns is flat out called [[AvengersAssemble Avenger Assemble]].

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*** As if to drive the point home, one of the Tactical Legacy Pack campaigns is flat out called [[AvengersAssemble Avenger Assemble]].

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*** During the first Tactical Legacy Pack mission he mentions "silly rumors about [[Literature/{{Animorphs}} shape-shifting animals]] and [[Franchise/{{Transformers}} vehicles]]".

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*** During Retaliation Missions, Faceless infiltrators disguised as Resistance members can be picked out by the simple fact that the aliens will not actively attack them.


* AllYourBaseAreBelongToUs: Avenger Defense missions, which throw a great many mechanical limitations out of the window, such as restrictions on wounded soldiers being deployed or the ArbitraryHeadcountLimit. [[JustifiedTrope Of course]], if they get in, it's an instant GameOver, so it's a GodzillaThreshold for the entirety of XCOM. These missions are usually very tough, [[CrowningMomentofAwesome which makes beating them all the better]].

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* AllYourBaseAreBelongToUs: Avenger Defense missions, which throw a great many mechanical limitations out of the window, such as restrictions on wounded soldiers being deployed or the ArbitraryHeadcountLimit. [[JustifiedTrope Of course]], if they get in, it's an instant GameOver, so it's a GodzillaThreshold for the entirety of XCOM. These missions are usually very tough, [[CrowningMomentofAwesome which makes beating them all the better]].better.

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