In the midst of the Steam summer sale, Xcom 2’s got some new DLC, Shen’s Last Gift, and a new patch to go along with it.
Shen’s Last Gift implores you to:
Investigate ADVENT’s “Lost Towers” facility where Chief Engineer Lily Shen accompanies your squad in search of her late father’s secretive final project. Discover a unique new soldier class complete with powerful new combat abilities, strategy mechanics, and customization options.
Fortunately enough, for anyone keen on buying mods for Xcom 2 instead of simply installing them from the Steam Workshop, Shen’s Last Gift adds a respectable amount of content for the price, and truthfully, mods as good as Shen’s Last Gift appear to be are rare, especially since the new lore/story elements contained within are cannon. Mods can only pretend to be cannon. Unless the mod in question technically adds a cannon, but I’m not sure what place a cannon would have in Xcom 2. That’s for modders to decide, though. Maybe it can fire out miniature John Cenas instead of cannon balls. (Why do I always make so many wrestling references? I don’t even like or watch it.)
Still though, for all that Shen’s Last Gift offers, $10 is a reasonable price. Usually gifts are free, but we’ll ignore that little caveat. Of course you could spend an additional few bucks and grab the Reinforcement Pack (Xcom 2’s season pass). The other two DLCs may pale by comparison, but I’m fairly sure I’ve spent more on worse; I’m not exactly what could be considered financially conscientious. I bought a lifetime subscription to Hellgate London, a fact I should probably keep to myself, but instead I’m putting it on the internet.
On top of the DLC, there’s also a new patch, bringing with it a host of balance changes, bug fixes, and improvements. Blademaster’s gain additional aim, so now they can chop up aliens with even more pizzazz. Xcom 2 still runs like absolute trash for a lot of players, but Firaxis is active on the forums and do seem to be continuing to rough out Xcom 2’s edges, even if it takes them another six months. The patch also makes some changes to modding, adding a bunch of flags and tweaking a few variables.
I personally can’t tell if Xcom 2 is my favorite game of the year, or my biggest disappointment. For as hyped as I was for the game prior to release, and for as much as I loved the first few hours, it wasn’t long before the performance and bugs smacked me in the face, and I don’t appreciate being slapped (under most circumstances). I stopped playing abruptly with every intention to pick it up sooner rather than later, and now later has come and I still haven’t touched it since February. This is coming from someone who played three full playthroughs of Xcom 1 and a couple with the expansion, too.
At this point, though, it doesn’t matter if I play the game tomorrow, or two years from now, or when Xcom 3 rolls around.
Maybe Shen’s Last Gift to me will be a fully polished and bug-free game.