XCOM 2 Collection on Nintendo Switch review: A solid port for a portable console

Xcom 2
(Image: © 2K Games)

iMore Verdict

Bottom line: XCOM 2 Collection is a great port on Nintendo Switch and represents good value.


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    Intriguing story

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    Deep character customization

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    Gameplay variety

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    Good visuals on Nintendo Switch


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    Looks blurry on Nintendo Switch

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    Some performance issues

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    Nintendo Joy-Cons hard to control

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    No touchscreen support

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Xcom 2 Switch Photo

Xcom 2 Switch Photo (Image credit: iMore)

Before I played the XCOM reboot on PC a few years ago, I wasn't a fan of turn-based games in general. However, the title's challenging yet accessible gameplay, depth, and plot won me over. Even to this day, XCOM: Enemy Unknown is one of my most favorite games of all time.

When the sequel was released, I played it at launch, but it didn't click with me as much as the original game. It just didn't feel as expansive as the original, and it also suffered from an apparent lack of optimization. Luckily, it's been a few years since then, and the XCOM 2 Collection is now available on several platforms, including Nintendo Switch.

XCOM 2 Collection story enhancements

When I first played XCOM 2, I didn't get any of the additional add-ons. While the Shen's Last Gift mission is a treat to play and gives you access to a powerful new class, the War of the Chosen expansion is the highlight of the experience. You can play the game from the beginning with it enabled, and it seamlessly integrates into the base game's narrative. I would recommend doing that because you gain access to powerful new allies that can make many of the missions much easier, even on higher difficulty settings.

War of the Chosen is exactly what XCOM 2 needed in my opinion. It adds new factions, conflicts, and seems like it ties up loose ends. It also adds more urgency to the game because the Chosen are quite possibly the most challenging enemies the franchise has ever seen. They introduce a lot of chaos and unpredictability on a micro and macro scale, and boy is it exhilarating!

XCOM 2 Collection gameplay mechanics

Xcom 2

Xcom 2 (Image credit: 2K Games)

Gameplay revolves around collecting resources, forming alliances, and, more importantly, launching missions where you control the movement and actions of each soldier. Your goal is to kill all aliens on the map while extracting a target or defending various objectives. While the mission variety is simple, the tactical choices are limitless because levels have some verticality and branching routes.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
GenreTurn-based tactics
DeveloperFiraxis Games
PlayersSingle-player, multiplayer
PlatformsNintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One

XCOM 2 is a complex game because there are a lot of functions to keep track of. You have to stop the alien invaders from building a weapon, hide from hunters, gather resources, make contact with resistance cells, recruit soldiers, excavate alien debris, build facilities, upgrade armor… the list is endless. If I were to cover everything you have to do in XCOM 2, it would span pages upon pages.

You can almost view XCOM 2 as a simulation game instead of a turn-based action game because the management is so in depth. While I don't think anyone's ever launched a resistance movement against extraterrestrials, I imagine the level of micromanagement would be the same. There's a lot to do in XCOM 2 that's going to keep you busy for dozens of hours. Since many missions also offer different paths, there's a lot of replayability baked in there.

XCOM 2 Collection perfromance and visuals

XCOM 2 Collection runs at 30 frames per second on Nintendo Switch and looks slightly blurry even on the built-in 720p display. This could mean that the rendering resolution is even lower than that. There are also some minor frame rate slowdowns when the game zooms in on certain soldiers.

Overall, it's a stable experience on the portable console, and it's even better if you plug it into a 4K display with the dock. This allows you to forgo the imprecise Nintendo Joy-Cons and use a Nintendo Switch Pro Controller instead. This makes selecting where to move soldiers easier because you have added precision.

I would've liked to see 2K Games incorporate touchscreen support in XCOM 2 Collection because it would've made it an excellent game on the go. Just tapping where you wanted to move a solider would've made all the difference in the world. Alas, we'll probably have to wait to do that if, and when, the package hits mobile platforms.

XCOM 2 Collection final thoughts

Xcom 2

Xcom 2 (Image credit: 2K Games)

Overall, XCOM 2 Collection is a great port for Nintendo Switch because it looks great and doesn't compromise on any features. A significant amount of optimization took place to make sure it ran well even on the go. Keep in mind, this game struggles when it comes to the frame rate even on an Xbox One X. The fact that it's this polished on Nintendo's device is quite a feat.

I would recommend downloading XCOM 2 Collection from the Nintendo eShop because even if you get the disk, there's going to be a massive mandatory download of around 24 GB. Considering that that's the entire size of the package, you're essentially downloading the game again.

If you haven't played XCOM 2 before, I would recommend immediately picking it up. It's one of the best games of this console generation and even with all the content, it's available for $50. The price may seem a little steep, but there's so much to do here that you won't feel like it wasn't fair. I personally would've preferred a $40 tag.

The game was reviewed on Nintendo Switch with a code provided by the publisher.

Asher Madan