XCOM (Extraterrestrial Combat Unit) is a Sci-Fi turn-based strategy game. The story of the game revolves around a counter alien invasion defense force, where you are its commander and you are tasked to lead your squad and fend off against those alien threats.
The charm of XCOM in recent years is that, as you level up your squad while setting them up with gear as you fend off aliens that are hell-bent in eradicating the human race.
Players would start to get attached to their squads and would want their squads to stay intact. Unfortunately, doing that consistently with the mechanics of the game death is the permanent sort of difficult.
Although, this type of mechanic lets players build their own stories and highlights with their squads, when one of them died. It was more of a bad decision or a much-needed sacrifice. This creates this very dynamic game unlike other competitive brands of strategy games that makes XCOM great.
1) Divinity: Original Sin
Divinity: Original Sin is a mix of RPG and a turn-based squad strategy game where you take control of your heroes in a very dense story-driven game. Developed by Larian Studios, this game takes place in a fantasy setting where you choose how to move forward in your story and adventure.
This game has days of re-playable content that gives you a unique experience on how you progress through the game. With many customizable classes and gear to choose from you can immerse yourself in the beautiful scenery and very gripping storyline.
2) Phoenix Point
Phoenix Point is a turn-based sci-fi strategy game published and developed by Snapshot games. Designed by Julian Gollop, one of the great minds that produced the XCOM franchise. This game creatively takes the good points of XCOM with some new things added to the mix.
Take control of a squad of special units that can be hired from 3 factions New Jericho the military-focused faction, Synedrion bleeding tech faction, and the Disciples of Anu are the biotech faction that uses augments. Each faction brings a truly different style to your missions that can certainly change the outcome of every battle. Do faction missions to gain favors from each faction to gain the upper hand against your enemies.
Missions take place on earth and your squad is pitted against aliens that appear to cross between fish and human hybrids. As your squad progresses they will unlock new gear, tech, and skills to make them a more efficient fighting force.
3) Jagged Alliance: Rage!
Jagged Alliance: Rage is the latest adaptation of the series which still keeps their old school turn-based charm in this great turn-based strategy game that takes place on an island jungle and you are tasked to complete missions after assembling a team of two from six operatives to choose from.
You will be controlling a team of mercenaries for hire and the mission is to rescue a downed ally on an island that is swarming with enemies. Each mercenary has different traits and specialties that can aid in your rescue mission.
4) Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden
Based on a popular tabletop RPG game Mutant Year Zero this digital adaptation “Road to Eden” is a squad-based tactical shooter that takes place in a post-apocalyptic setting. After a nuclear war and a massive plague wiped out humans close to extinction, because of this the few survivors that were severely irradiated mutated to adapt and survive in their new world.
You take control of two Stalkers named Boarmin (Boar Man) and Dux (Duck Man) who are tasked to go into a rescue mission to save a missing Stalker named Hammon. On their journey, they found other stalkers that have deep well thought out backgrounds and stories to keep you engaged in the story.
5) Invisible, Inc.
Invisible, Inc. is a turn-based strategy game with stealth and espionage at its base. You play as a covert handler of secret agents with the task of gathering Intel from secured locations in this tactical game of espionage.
The game mixes a lot of elements of turn-based strategy and puzzle-solving where your puzzle pieces are your agents and you have to navigate them through a facility without being detected or captured.
While overseeing the actions of your agents you would need to take note of the security system to ensure that your agents successfully complete their mission to end the corruption of evil corporations in this dystopian world.
6) Shadowrun Returns
The Shadowrun Returns is the first part in a series that takes place in a dystopian Cyberpunk fantasy world. Shadowrun’s roots run deep in gaming, originally a tabletop game this modern adaptation lets you take control of a character of your choice with different playable classes and gear to use.
Developed by Harebrained Schemes & published by Paradox Interactive, they took this very much loved franchise and modernized it for Old and New fans of the series. With a great story mode, where you solve a mystery that happened to one of your mercenary buddies in this deep story in the world of Shadowrun.
A science-fiction turn-based strategy game Xenonauts puts you in the role of a commander against a deadly alien threat. Set in the time of the cold war the allies and soviets unite against the alien threat to preserve life on earth.
Developed and Published by Goldhawk Interactive they consider Xenonauts a reimagining of the likes of the XCOM franchise where it works with the same mechanics with a couple of improved features that make this game unique in its own right with the addition of not only infantry but vehicle combat.
8) UFO: Afterlight
UFO: Afterlight is a sci-fi strategy game where you need to take back control of the planet from a devastating alien force. You would need to capture territory and fight in the battle against the alien threat.
Developed by Altar Games that is published by Cenega Publishing and TopWare Interactive. You take control of an international resistance against an alien invasion that has captured and took over the planet forcing the inhabitants of the earth to flee. Biding time and waiting for the right opportunity you would need to strike true the heart of the alien threat and drive them back to claim what is rightfully ours.
Battle tech is a sci-fi strategy game developed by Harebrained Schemes and published by Paradox Interactive. You assume the role of a mercenary commander of mech lance, a group of four giant mechs your squad of mechs will be fighting for a side between warring nations.
This game is a turn-based mech action game that was originally based on a tabletop game of the same name. Playing as a mercenary for a powerful noble house your skills and strategy will be tested, metal vs metal, with the hail of gun and cannon fire in this awesome mech strategy game.
The XCOM franchise has paved the way through the turn-based strategy game that piqued the interest of players that love playing military simulation-based strategy games and sci-fi game enthusiasts alike. Grandfathering most of the themes of the games listed here and inspired most of them to borrow good points of the original game and create their own brand of games.
So, if you have played some of these games before or you’re a fan of XCOM try our recommendations for yourself and experience some of the new perspectives on this well-loved franchise.
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