Creating characters you love in XCOM 2 is just as difficult as coping with their irrevocable deaths. XCOM 2’s character editor is a good set of tools—much better than XCOM: Enemy Unknown, where I would reroll my game several times until I got the gender/nationality mix that I liked. But for me there’s nothing worse than chasing ADVENT around the globe with a cast that doesn’t quite ‘fit’ in XCOM 2’s universe.
I can build a terrific Wolverine, but if XCOM 2 rolls him as anything but a blade-wielding Ranger, it jumbles the already-shuffled fiction I’ve constructed. Furiosa is a convincing Grenadier, but only when she’s wearing armor and face paint that’s available through the Resistance Warrior Pack pre-order bonus. Once you upgrade to second-tier armor, she stops looking like she stepped right off of Fury Road.
Emily Blunt, on the other hand, is the most thematically appropriate XCOM 2 cameo conceivable. In Edge of Tomorrow, her character Rita Vrataski:
- Fights a hopeless war to save humanity from aliens who have colonized Earth
- Wears a movement-assisting suit that looks identical to XCOM 2’s E.X.O. Suit
- Has a big sword, but also shoots things
- Speaks with a British accent (I recommend “UK English 2” in XCOM 2)
- Is an alien killing god-badass
Maybe the biggest piece of Venn diagram overlap, though, is the way Edge of Tomorrow’s premise mirrors the way we play XCOM 2. Edge of Tomorrow sees Blunt and Tom Cruise’s characters trapped in a Groundhog Day-like time loop, unable to escape mankind’s fate of losing a worldwide war against aliens. Vrataski is right at home in a setting where loss and setback are inevitable, but even further, it’s arguably canon to create her again in-game if she dies. Or, if you’re not playing on Ironman, reload your save file if she’s killed.
All of that symmetry was too perfect for me to keep on Twitter. ‘Full Metal Bitch,’ Vrataski’s moniker in the movie, sadly doesn’t fit all the way in XCOM 2’s nickname field, but maybe a mod will address that. In the meantime here she is doing what she loves: vaporizing aliens with a wrist-mounted cannon.
I’ve added Rita to our growing list of downloadable XCOM 2 custom characters.