You’re hunkered down behind a beaten-up truck, bleeding from a chest wound. You can hear the labored breathing of one of your squadmates over the comms. Nightmare, as the team knows her, is unconscious at your feet, but you can’t think about that right now as a horde of zombies comes skittering around the corner. You take aim, the first of your targets weaving erratically in your field of vision before you blow its brains out. You repeat this twice more and as the horde advances yet again, you hear a shot ring out and a bullet zips past your ear, splintering the helmet of an ADVENT soldier who had a flamethrower at the ready.
The sniper, Rat King, holds up five fingers–minutes until evac arrives. Another member of your squad, Outrider, drops cloaking and picks Nightmare up to take her to safety as the sounds of more Lost ring out in the distance. It takes seconds, in the end. With the Commander’s voice in your ear, you pull the pin on the frag grenade and chuck it, close enough to clip the rampaging horde but also to light up the truck that you’re taking cover behind. This resulting explosion will finish you, but allow everyone else to make it to safety. After all the hard choices the Commander has had to make, your last thought is the hope that this has been easy in comparison.
XCOM 2 Collection on the Switch is an ambitious port, full of those excruciating choices and richer for it. Firaxis Games’ alien-massacring hit has become a bit of a household name when it comes to strategy games. Even though it’s infamous for its Russian roulette-style approach to combat probability, the impact that XCOM 2 has had on the genre as a whole is widely accepted, making this one of the more highly-anticipated ports of legacy franchises to Nintendo’s flagship console. Unfortunately, the full experience is too performance-intensive for the Switch to let the title’s tactical magic truly shine through in this latest iteration.