In it’s revitalized form, the Xcom series has thrived, in no small part due to the punishing difficulty, thankfully retained from the series’ 90s heyday. Xcom is a series built around punishingly difficult adversaries, both the series’ 90s incarnation and the incredibly successful (but no less tough) reboot have taught many a gamer the importance of being incredibly careful/fearful.
We at UTM are huge fans of both game rage, enemies lists and of blowing the heads off of aliens in a defensive context. So in anticipation of impending bullshit at the hands of the Chosen in XCOM2’s masterful War of the Chosen expansion’s release for consoles, we thought we’d give you a heads up for the absolute worst adversaries you’ll come across whilst straddling the first three game’s line between death and abject failure.
A half-arsed venture into cybernetic augmentation, the Floater consists of a humanoid upper body which, as the name suggests, floats.
Using an integrated jetpack to jump anywhere on the map, their deadly combination of maneuverability and plasma weaponry has felled many an X-Com operative, striking from flanks or vantage points without warning.
Keep an eye out for the armoured heavy variant during the later stages of the invasion, they pack a punch and don’t go down without a fight.
One of the first enemies encountered alongside the Sectoid, Thin Men are virtually indistinguishable from humans; just your average, 9-5, suit and tie kinda guy.
But hey, I guess those big city stock brokers are reptiles inside, and you know, as within, so without, right? Slightly mottled, scaly patches of skin are the giveaway in this instance – along with the ability to move like Stretch Armstrong.
A constant thorn in the side throughout the campaign, their plasma rifles will become scarily accurate in the late game.
Not only do they look disgusting, but the Chryssalid enemies have an absolutely revolting ability to ‘implant’ a Chryssalid egg into any of your beloved squad members.
It’s one thing to die in a blaze of glory, outmanned and outgunned – that’s a pretty valiant death – but when your favourite Support Captain gets unfairly rekt from a Chryssalid that was previously halfway across the map, it’s a depressing story.
They’ll get the egg shoved inside them, then they’ll turn into an animated, shuffling corpse. Worse still, after a few turns, a Chryssalid hatchling will burst out of their chest, Alien style, and proceed to do exactly the same shit their shitty parent did. All you can do is ugly cry (and probably reset the game, because fuck that OP shit.)
Not the most powerful enemy by any stretch of the imagination, but they are absolutely infuriating. When you’ve dealt with a couple of Advent Officers with a tactical grenade/overwatch sniper combo, you’ve already planned out your shots to deal with the remaining enemies.
Then along comes a fucking Sectoid outta nowhere to reanimate the corpse of the Advent Officer, giving you an extra body to deal with, with no shots to cover it. Now your perfect strategy has gone to shit, and you have to decide whether to try and get to (and finish off) the Sectoid to kill two birds with one stone, or just accept that by doing that you’ll probably get fucked up by a different enemy on the way and kill the immediate zombie threat.
Of course, that will leave the Sectoid with the freedom to fist your asshole and manipulate you like the useless puppet you are.
Just skulljack the codex they said, it’ll be fine they said, it’s key to stopping the advent project for good they said. Fuck u commander, and fuck the Avatar.
The Avatar is uuh the humanoid incarnation of the Elders – the hyper-technological masterminds leading the confederation of aliens you will defy whilst playing XCOM – born of advanced genetic engineering and stress inducing psychic powers. In a game filled to the brim with finely crafted OH-COME-THE-FUCK-ON-HOW-DID-YOU-MISS-THAT POINT-BLANK-SHOT-YOU-USELESS-CUNT moments, the Avatar stands out through sheer force of OP.
Why are Avatars the worst? Between throwing psychic storms that do nine damage TWICE at your soldiers, mind controlling your most able soldiers and just waltzing away each and every time they take damage, Avatar’s are perhaps the apex of Jake Solomon’s finely honed cruelty via game design.
Fynn Thompson, Nathan Butler and Richard Lowe