The lucky, tragic, and funny moments of XCOM 2 so far


Come play XCOM 2 with us at the PC Gamer Weekender in London from March 5-6. Full details here.

XCOM 2 is out, and boy-oh-boy, does it hurt. Turns out, it’s a difficult game. A videogame where it’s possible, in fact, to miss when you shoot. Yes, God is dead, and we couldn’t be happier. Nowhere else is it more apparent than the XCOM community, who’ve been lighting up the internet with videos and tiny gif tales regaling the most unlikely victories (and absolute tragedies). As a way to work through the immense pain and distill the tiny victories, we’ve assembled a best, worst, and funniest XCOM moments so far. Take a gander and with a decent dice roll, you may actually feel something.

What exactly are the Advent yelling all the time?

The folks over at Eurogamer finally answer what we’ve all been wondering, and their blunt, scientific examination is 100% leak proof. Finally, an alien language, decoded. Now to look into the lore implications of ‘hug that shit.' I’m taking book pitches.

Slimebro has your back

True friendship isn’t what you say to the people you care about, it’s what you do as a deadly towering slime person. And if this gif is any indication, XCOM 2 is jam packed with friends we haven’t made yet. So get out there and say hello. Hug a Muton today.

The petty fury of XCOM distilled

No matter how high the odds, there’s still a chance for failure, and no other game is a more painful reminder than XCOM 2. Did you get it? Did you get the alien? This clip has the answer, and it’s full of tough love.

The holiest grenade throw

The maniacal laugh that comes in halfway through this video is disturbing. Mostly, because I can hear a bit of myself in it. As far as grenade throws go, this might be one of the best. It lathers a group of Advent with fall and fire damage before the player’s last soldier finishes ‘em off with style.

Rita Vratski

The best XCOM 2 character is, indisputably, Emily Blunt

Okay, so it’s not quite a moment in the game, but it’s a moment of revelation. Evan found a character that falls in line almost perfectly with XCOM 2’s visual and thematic palette. Hit the link to find out why he thinks a time traveling future soldier makes the perfect custom character.

A Faceless jump shot gets denied at the buzzer

Whenever I watch this gif, I imagine the silence of the crowd before that first shot, and then the explosion of raucous applause following. Before the inevitable dunks mods shows up, this might be the only sanctioned dunk in all of XCOM 2. Faceless? Especially now, shapeshifter or not, that mug can’t show itself in this neighborhood after that denial. Oof.

How to be a stealth master

The first rule of stealth: let RNG mess up your stealth game on the first turn. It’s pretty simple, really. Just go in, not expecting to find an Advent soldier chilling right next to your drop sight, stumble into the alien jerk immediately, and take him (and yourself) by surprise! It cannot fail.

In which a soldier attempts to hack an alien groin

Even XCOM 2 is down to clown. Problem is, XCOM 2 doesn’t really know how to go about it. Behold the horror of dick hacks and then imagine the secrets that data could unravel. Hack! Hack away, good soldier! The human race is depending on you!

An entire alien force wiped out in one incredible turn

But that’s enough pain for now. And XCOM 2 wouldn’t be so gratifying if its successes weren’t as intense. That said, it might be a while–hell, I’m not sure if I’ll ever see a turn like this. Watch as this player shreds, shoots, and deads an intimidating enemy force in one fell swoop. Squad goals. Squad goals indeed.

That’s XCOM, baby.

Nah, the pain doesn’t stop in XCOM. It’s the only constant. This gif from Reddit user bradthebrain sums up our love/hate succinctly, and because it’s a gif, it loops indefinitely, forever and ever, amen. Failure, anger, failure, anger, failure, underscored by a teeny-tiny bit of hope.

James Davenport

James is stuck in an endless loop, playing the Dark Souls games on repeat until Elden Ring and Silksong set him free. He's a truffle pig for indie horror and weird FPS games too, seeking out games that actively hurt to play. Otherwise he's wandering Austin, identifying mushrooms and doodling grackles.