It’s Saturday again, it’s that time again, it’s story time again. I missed one last week, but I won’t miss this one and, as you’ve probably noticed from the bad pun, this time it’s all about XCOM: Enemy Within. Much like last time, this story is going to maybe be a bit different since the game’s story is already set and doesn’t give room for interpretation, but let’s not linger any longer. So, I was playing XCOM: Enemy Within and well, this just happened…
I had already taken control of the XCOM initiative as its new commander and I already had a few Sergeant and Lieutenant-level soldiers in my squad of 5. I handpicked them myself. Meaning I had to have a female sniper and a buffy assault guy. Let’s be honest, if you’re going to defend the Earth against the alien threat, you can’t just do it in any fashion. You have to do it in style, you have to look good while doing it. And what’s cooler than a badass though guy with a powerful gun and an even more badass ruthless sniper chick? I’ll tell you what: nothing. Blizzard will probably agree with me.
Anyhow, it was a nice day (minute?) at XCOM headquarters when the blasted aliens launch a terror attack in France. I’ve already been through one such attack a month back. My team was ready. Two Assaults, one Heavy, a Support and a Sniper. The mission? Rescue the civilians and eliminate the alien threat. I was a bit excited about this one. My sniper was only a Corporal while the rest were Sergeants/Lieutenants, but she was bound to level up after this. We land. Our targets are around two convenience stores and a waiting lobby of some sort, surrounded by streets all round. They’re in pretty bad shape. I place both the assaults on each side of the door to the first convenience store, the support is taking cover near a blue mail box in front of the door and the sniper and heavy are taking cover behind a car. It’s quiet, almost “too” I’d say.
We bust in. Three Sectoids behind the counter. They take cover. One Chryssalid in the middle of the store. My thought process? Take out the Sectoids since they’re ranged and deal with the Chryssalid after. But what about the civilians? Dammit! I can’t reach them both. Wardog, the first Assault that busted in, already took his shot at a Sectoid and missed. I have to think of the civilians, so I use Duke’s “Run and Gun” to save the one further away. He’s left out of cover but he can probably take it. He’s my Lieutenant. Doc moves in and saves the other civilian and manages to stay in cover. I have to kill that Chryssalid now or Duke might die. I take a shot at it and deal some damage, hopefully my Sniper can finish it off. I move Crash, my Heavy closer in, but there’s no way he’ll hit anything. I tried anyway, but I was right. It’s all down to my Sniper. She hits the target but it’s not enough. The Chryssalid is left with 1/8 HP. Fuck. The aliens focus on Duke, who’s out of cover. Two of the Sectoids fire at him but they miss. The Chryssalid moves in and hits him. He has 3 HP left. Maybe there’s still hope. Hardly. The last of the Sectoid kills him. I’m left without one of my best soldiers.
Hell breaks loose from that point on. I manage to kill two of the Sectoids and the Chryssalid, but alien reinforcements arrive. More Chryssalids and Thin Men. It’s a long battle and I manage to eliminate most of the aliens and the zombies created by those blasted Chryssalid freaks. One of which is Crash. I do, at the same time, manage to rescue a lot of civilians. I’ve only lost 4 so far, but I have to eliminate the aliens quick or there will be more. It’s down to my trusty sniper and Wardog and a last Thin Man. I have a tough decision. I’m in a position where I’ll probably only manage to save one of them. Do I save my Corporal Sniper or do I save my Sergeant Assault? The smart decision would be to save Wardog. But I can’t just let my sniper die. Urgh! I have to save my Sniper, I just have to save her! The Thin Man kills Wardog, she kills the Thin Man. It’s over.
I only lost 4 civilians, but I also lost 4 good soldiers. The Sniper returned to HQ alone and with a promotion and a new nickname: Solo. Quite fitting if you think about it.