KKP Best Of 2020: Game #12

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#12: Gears Tactics

Up until now, it’s tough to find a strategy game as nail-biting, as in-depth, and as action-packed as XCOM and XCOM 2. But Splash Damage has done it with Gears Tactics. 

Staying on-brand with the Xbox franchise, you have to deal with a ton of Locusts and chest-high walls to hide behind, as well as a four-person squad armed to the teeth. You also have to plan ahead and commit to your moves, because you only have a limited amount of turns to work with. That’s when you have to use the game’s refined strategy mechanics like overwatch and turn-gaining skills like execution, as well as figuring out which class is viable for your four-person mission.

And if the campaign missions aren’t enough -they are- you can keep playing and getting legendary equipment via Veteran mode which randomizes the types of missions you get. This is definitely meant for those who want the series’ infamous “Seriously?” achievement. Or if fully-equipping your squad with nothing but legendary gear is your sole goal.

Bottom line: it’s arguably better than Firaxis’ XCOM reboot, due to the fact that everything about this strategy game is snappy & intuitive, yet reactive & difficult in all the right places. The extra blood and gibs also help too; there’s a sense of satisfaction in outmanoeuvring a pack of sniper drones and then lancing them from the back, getting that execution AP buff sorely needed to take on those oncoming Boomers. I’m not even that huge a fan of strategy titles, so having this turn-based Gears entry change my viewpoint a tad is a testament onto itself.

Oh, and that click after you’re out of bullets and the signal to reload? That still sounds awesome up to this day.

Author: Mr Toffee

Jonathan "Mr Toffee" Leo is a writer, editor, & all-around video game words guy for 9 years, give or take. He also did some story for games like Chain Chronicle and some podcasting on the side. Likes: bacon, Metallica, jogging. Hates: raccoons, oblivion.

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