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Chris Bratt

Video Team

Chris is part of Eurogamer's video team. When he's not investigating weird game dev stories for his series Here's A Thing, he's likely playing some kind of turn-based strategy game. Don't ask him about XCOM.

RecommendedXCOM 2: War of the Chosen review

Welcome back (again), Commander.

War of the Chosen's first mission plays out exactly the same as in the original XCOM 2, which caught me a little by surprise. After being treated to a brand new intro cinematic that partly rewrites how the Commander is rescued in the opening moments of XCOM 2, I was expecting something new, something flashy. But there I was, once again, leading four under equipped rookies into Operation Gatecrasher and wishing they'd brought a few more grenades.

Ahead of the release of XCOM 2: War of the Chosen, Firaxis has released one of its most anticipated features as a free download: the photobooth. Okay, well, it was one of my most anticipated features anyway.

VideoWhat's it like when your video game leaks?

We ask the Mario Rabbids team.

Mario Rabbids looks pretty good. We've played it a couple of times now and I think the humour lands well, especially where Rabbid Peach is involved, and there's some genuine depth to its tactical gameplay.

Remember the Mario Kart video that was doing the rounds for a while? The one where Luigi takes out Waluigi and then follows it up with a long, cold stare as he hurtles past in his kart? It's great, you should watch it. The Mario Rabbids team think so too, having named one of Luigi's abilities "Steely Stare" in honour of this defining moment for the gangly Mario brother.

Jake Solomon was starting to panic. For the second time in his career as a game designer he'd been given a shot at making the one game he'd always wanted to make: a true successor to X-COM: UFO Defense, the 1994 turn-based classic. But he was facing a problem, a really major one, in fact. Because again for the second time in his career, he couldn't make it fun to play.

XCOM 2's expansion is going to be bloody massive. We've talked about this already, following its announcement at E3, but that first trailer only scratched the surface of what Firaxis has been working on. They couldn't properly convey that many new systems in a two-minute video, it's jsut not feasible.

Say what you will about Firaxis, the developer of XCOM and Civilization, it doesn't pull any punches when it comes to expansions. This studio has a fantastic history of using them to tackle big, fundamental issues with their games while adding boatloads of new stuff in the process.

Last week I played a couple of battles in Total War: Warhammer 2, leading an army of Lizardmen to victory against a pair of High Elf mages that'd been meddling (surprise, surprise) with magical ruins beyond their comprehension. I had a great time with it and we'll be able to share that gameplay footage in a couple of weeks.

The next Overwatch map takes us to the moon

"Through the miracle of science!"

The next Overwatch map 'Horizon Lunar Colony' is set on the moon, the original home of Winston, the game's friendly gorilla scientist. What a great sentence that was to type.

Prey 2 could have been great. Having spoken to a whole bunch of developers that worked on the project before it was quietly put on ice in 2011, I'm convinced of this. We're going to get into some of what happened there in a piece we're publishing tomorrow, but in today's episode of Here's A Thing I want to tell you about the game we never got to play.

Overwatch now boasts more than 30 million players, all of whom want something very particular from Blizzard's highly-competitive, team-based shooter. Some may play a wide variety of heroes, switching between them multiple times per game, while others focus primarily on a single character (looking at you, Hanzo mains). Depending on their rank, playstyle and preferred game mode, players can experience a wildly different kind of game.

The original idea for Civ Rev 2 included zombie and alien civilizations

"Someday, maybe we'll bring it back to life."

Civilization Revolution 2 released in 2014, offering an even slimmer, stripped-back take on the Civ formula than its predecessor. It was reasonably well-received, but unlike that first game, it seemed content to play things safe. The difficult second revolution, I guess.

You'll have heard stories before now about great games almost facing cancellation during development, but this one's a little different. The original X-COM, it turns out, was actually, properly canned. Its publisher Microprose was taken over by a new, major shareholder and as part of that process, made the decision to scrap the project with immediate effect.