Dane Dorius, Reporter

XCOM 2 is… a lot of things. It’s a PC-exclusive title, it’s one of the best-selling games on Steam, and, so far, the glitchiest and most laggy game of 2016. It’s also the most fun game I’ve played in a while, with me putting 43 hours into the game for a single playthrough. I’ve done the math. It’s occupied 80% of the total time I’ve spent gaming in the last two weeks.

The game’s premise is pretty simple. Aliens took over the world twenty years ago, convinced the public they’re benevolent, and you’re the resistance fighting to liberate the entire planet. You start with a UFO that you stole, three advisors, and ten soldiers who start out unable to hit the broad side of a barn.

The game is a turn-based game coupled with a “meta” layer where you cut open corpses, research new weapons and armor, and customize your soldiers (who die permanently when they die, by the way!). This game’s major improvement over XCOM Enemy Unknown is that the “meta” layer is a lot more aggressive this time around. In Enemy Unknown, you were hidden away in an underground base, defending humanity and destroying UFOs as you saw them. In XCOM 2, you’re the aggressors, planning strikes on alien facilities, assassinating or kidnapping VIPs, or simply smashing and grabbing loot from derailed trains.

The tactical gameplay isn’t as drastically changed mechanically, but there are plenty of small quality-of-life changes that would take too long to list. In a nutshell, the soldier classes are all awesome-er, Overwatch isn’t infuriating, and you can blow up entire buildings. The combat is still incredibly tense and satisfying, and it’s pretty much designed for dramatic “war stories” to form.

Probably the biggest thing that’ll affect this game’s shelf life is the new ability to modify the game (also known as “modding,” or making a “mod.”) XCOMEU was infamously hard to modify, with there only being one major mod ever produced for it. XCOM 2, seeing the amount of press that the mod got (if you google “XCOM” the mod appears before the game it’s a mod for), opened the floodgates. It’s not as huge as the other things listed now, but think of discussions of Skyrim- how much of the discussion of that game revolves around mods, five years down the line?

However, the game isn’t all good. The worst mark against the game by far, however, is the disgustingly awful performance. People with top-of-the-line graphics cards struggle to run this game. During the last battle, the game started glitching out, and by the final turn the game had turned into a green mosh party of death. It certainly made the fight more dramatic, with the battlefield degenerating before my eyes, but it was difficult to watch.

I have smaller nitpicks as well, mostly revolving around the lack of content- the research tree is very limited compared to prior games, with the end game consisting more of waiting for armor and weapons to be built than research. There’s going to be at least three DLC packs, so the (official) content drought should be alleviated.

For my final verdict, I say that you should buy the game if difficult, almost puzzle-like gameplay in a cyberpunk world appeals to you, but you shouldn’t buy it right now due to the bugs and terrible performance, and the inevitable DLC means you shouldn’t buy it at full price. But once the bugs are smoothed out, get this game and play it forever. I know that’s what I’ll be doing.