Generally favorable reviews - based on 74 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 56 out of 74
  2. Negative: 1 out of 74
  1. Apr 23, 2020
    Xcom: Chimera Squad is proof positive that Firaxis are masters of the genre. The perfect starting point for newcomers, yet featuring enough depth for franchise vets, there is no reason to skip this title, especially at its bargain price.
  2. Apr 30, 2020
    The new combat elements are where the game truly shines with the implementation of special units with specific and unique abilities, which needs to continue in the series going forward. While the game takes place in the official XCOM timeline, it still sits as a side story and its own entity. The political undertone rather than the alien war isn’t preferred, but there’s kudos there for trying something new and not throwing it into XCOM 3. The voice acting is abysmal and there’s no multiplayer option, but it’s hard to complain given the price point. A welcome surprise, XCOM: Chimera Squad plays like a real-time board game and the strategy element pays off.
  3. Apr 28, 2020
    This is a series that never overtly focused on story or character. It’s trying something new, and it is very, very good. Chimera Squad is a great game in its own right, and it has me over the moon to imagine what a proper XCOM 3 is going to play like.
  4. Apr 27, 2020
    Featuring a wonderful cast of characters with their own unique perks and capabilities, as well as the extremely fun Breach Mode, XCOM: Chimera Squad is a brilliant spinoff that provides a refreshing take on a classic franchise's long-standing formula.
  5. Apr 23, 2020
    The newest entry in the XCOM franchise is faster and focused on a much smaller portion of the world, but that doesn't mean it's any less strategic.
  6. Apr 27, 2020
    If you enjoyed the series then this is a good addition to your collection. It’s a decent price normally but during a sale it’s a great value option to get some more turn based combat gaming in… just make sure you save often and watch out for that one enemy who’s just waiting to flank you.
  7. May 5, 2020
    An interesting XCOM spin-off with a few new ideas and great value for money. The writing and a few bugs let the game down a bit but as a whole it is a great appetizer for the eventual XCOM 3.
  8. CD-Action
    Jun 25, 2020
    It’s a fantastic, albeit rushed, XCOM for beginners. And a whole lot of freshness in the franchise. [07/2020, p.43]
  9. Apr 29, 2020
    At a $20 price point (or $10 for early access), XCOM: Chimera Squad is a mostly successful experiment. Firaxis Games has cherry-picked many of the best elements of the XCOM series and put them in a more fast-paced, action-oriented title. Tactical superiority still reigns supreme, especially with the intelligently designed breach mode. However, I think some players will miss the more hardcore elements of XCOM despite their exclusion not necessarily fitting the pace of this title. In no way does Chimera Squad feel like a budget title, outside of its somewhat clumsy menus and presentation. But this graphic novel-style, pulpy tactical adventure seems to be the tipping off point for something equally exciting and grander in the future.
  10. Apr 24, 2020
    XCOM: Chimera Squad brings together a huge list of fresh new ways to play. Each change introduces a new layer of strategy, and the new turn system completely upends what you know about XCOM. This is a daring new take on this venerable series, and having just completed it, I can’t wait to run it again.
  11. Apr 23, 2020
    The care of XCOM: Chimera Squad is total despite being a much less ambitious work than XCOM 2 and the only thing that tarnishes its good intentions are a few errors and crashes that can easily be solved in the first days of the title's life.
  12. Apr 23, 2020
    XCOM: Chimera Squad is a solid attempt at a stand-alone, quick-play XCOM 2 campaign. The trimmed-down mechanics make it a lot easier to go through the campaign relatively quickly instead of having to dedicate yourself to it. It's undeniably simpler than the game it's based on, and the massive shift in tone might be too much for some XCOM fans. For those who don't mind or newcomers looking to get a taste of XCOM, Chimera Squad is difficult to pass up.
  13. Apr 23, 2020
    XCOM: Chimera Squad is yet another fantastic addition to the 25-year-old franchise’s quality lineup of titles, delivering a new suite of mechanics that bring a whole new dimension of strategy to its already addictive combat.
  14. Apr 23, 2020
    Chimera Squad gives XCOM something it needed a lot more of: direction. The stakes are lower, but the execution is smoother.
  15. Apr 23, 2020
    While XCOM Chimera Squad may look a bit funny at times -- and the game itself tends to crash every 45 minutes or so -- it's hard to fault it as an RTS available for less than $15 AUD.
  16. Apr 23, 2020
    Chimera Squad experiments with smaller encounters, more unique characters, and a change in the combat order with remarkable success. Although still weighed down by the traditional issues of the series, Chimera Squad excels in what it set out to achieve and is an incredibly satisfying tactical game.
  17. Apr 23, 2020
    Firaxis takes some risks, yes. But probably to bring a little variety to the XCOM series and maybe build a bridge to a real successor. The new features are all well thought out and offer enough differences to XCOM 2 to justify the purchase, but you shouldn't expect a revolution.
  18. Game World Navigator Magazine
    May 21, 2020
    While new XCOM lost in scale, it makes up for it in style. It’s great that agents now engage in friendly banter both in and out of missions, and room-scale shootouts are far more intense than hunting for enemy pods in a city block. [Issue#245, p.64]
  19. LEVEL (Czech Republic)
    Jul 24, 2020
    A small tactical game that plays well and looks good. If you like XCOM and you don´t have a problem with more stereotypical missions and sometimes a bigger role of RNG, you will probably like it. [Issue#304]
  20. May 26, 2020
    While it definitely has its flaws, XCOM: Chimera Squad’s problems are outweighed by the positives. The breach mode brings the player right into the action, and a timeline is available during battle. These new features make the battle system of XCOM: Chimera Squad feel like a distillation of what makes the gameplay of the series so great. Skills and dialogue both do a great job in showing the unique personalities of your squad members, and choosing from these members and weapons to create your team is a lot of fun. The publisher promised a new story and play experience, and Chimera Squad delivers.
  21. May 19, 2020
    A surprisingly good game that avoids feeling like DLC. Firaxis succeeds in making a more story driven and different XCOM.
  22. May 6, 2020
    XCOM: Chimera Squad is a great game, all told. It's a cheap, fairly lengthy campaign that manages to be both familiar for fans of the series and offer something new and fresh to the XCOM universe.
  23. May 4, 2020
    XCOM: Chimera Squad is a thoroughly enjoyable twist on the franchise, bringing some fresh ideas to the fore while still retaining the roots of the original game it draws from. There’s certainly fun to be had here if you’re able to overlook the occasional bug.
  24. Apr 30, 2020
    With this completely independent release you can afford to try out all sorts of bold ideas without anyone bothering too much. Some of these ideas are refreshing and could be a good addition to the main series. Other ideas run the risk of over-simplifying campaigns and player strategies, in pursuit of a faster pace.
  25. Apr 30, 2020
    XCOM Chimera Squad is a brillant spin-off which introduces a huge list of fresh new ways to play. AI and difficulty level are not perfectly balanced, but fun is guaranteed.
  26. Apr 29, 2020
    XCOM: Chimera Squad is a worthwhile and rewarding experience that takes the essential elements of the series and puts them under a microscope. In doing so, Firaxis has put a fresh new spin on a genre they were already responsible for revolutionizing.
  27. Apr 29, 2020
    When XCOM: Chimera Squad was announced somewhat out of the blue, and then with a budget price I was hesitant. But XCOM: Chimera Squad is a fully fleshed out game that brings loads of replayability thanks to the multitude of missions and variables within each, as well as squad combinations. Sure, the combat phases are less expansive than one would expect from an XCOM title, but the shorter missions still require some tactical nose if you want your squad to come through relatively unscathed. With nice cartoon style visuals, great voice acting and the ability to play as some cool alien characters, XCOM: Chimera Squad is a worthy entrant into the XCOM franchise.
  28. Apr 28, 2020
    XCOM: Chimera Squad is a polarizing spin on a familiar formula. Some fans will be delighted with the fresh ideas and quippy characters, while others will rue the lack of greater tactical depth and gravitas. For our money, Chimera Squad feels like mostly a side-grade than a firm step forwards or backwards, which still places it as a solid turn-based strategy title, but it’s not the killer sequel we were hoping for.
  29. Apr 28, 2020
    XCOM: Chimera Squad is an interesting experience that's not a revolution in the strategy genre, but it feels really fresh in the series. The new mechanics suit the game very well and the shortcomings reveal this is a budget title. It's a smaller game than XCOM installments, but it doesn't fall short of content. Firaxis Games knows this and offers it at a reduced price, posing it as an experimental spin-off, preparing us for what will come in XCOM 3.
  30. Apr 23, 2020
    Chimera Squad is a remarkable strategy game that adds very interesting gameplay mechanics to the XCOM formula, keeping all the good (and some bad) things of the series.
  31. Apr 23, 2020
    Chimera Squad is an XCOM game with its own identity. But in carving that identity, in adding characters, it loses some of its own character. It hopes to create a more engaging story, but the story it creates is nowhere near as memorable as the ones we create for ourselves when everything turns to shit. Still, XCOM: Chimera Squad is perhaps the best value proposition I’ve seen in video games for a long time. It’s well worth the modest price, it’ll last you a long weekend, and it still delivers some of the best turn-based strategy around. I just wish it had been brave enough to let us live with our mistakes.
  32. Apr 23, 2020
    XCOM Chimera Squad is not such a revolution in the franchise, but it's still a good game: fine performance, a nice story and, one more time, fun gameplay (now with more superpowers than ever).
  33. Apr 23, 2020
    An attempt to simplify and streamline XCOM sounds like a disaster in the making but the original’s tense turn-based combat is still highly entertaining even in this reduced form.
  34. Apr 23, 2020
    XCOM: Chimera Squad is by no means perfect, but a lot of what made my experience with it frustrating are the sort of things that are likely to get patched at some point in the future. Still, the vibrant worldbuilding and refreshed combat and strategy layer make for an exceedingly delightful time, and it’s hard not to recommend folks at least give it a shot if they’ve ever been interested in strategy games.
  35. Apr 23, 2020
    Firaxis does not disappoint. It is clear that Chimera Squad is a smaller project than the previous two XCOMs, but it works, despite its limitations.
  36. Apr 23, 2020
    Smaller but first of all different, XCOM: Chimera Squad is clearly an interlude in anticipation of the big, epic XCOM 3. Especially at this price point. It is definitely an interlude that new and old fans should not miss.
  37. Apr 23, 2020
    Firaxis trades a global war for an urban mission to defend a multicultural, multi-planetary peace. There's a lot to like in this more intimate, experimental spin-off, but the main sequence games are still the ones to beat.
  38. Apr 23, 2020
    XCOM: Chimera Squad is essentially the Agents of Shield to XCOM 2’s Avengers. It gently plays with the formula, and tells the peripheral stories of a much wider world on a much tighter budget and with much smaller stakes. In other words, it’s XCOM but chilled – and, in these desperate times, that’s just fine.
  39. Apr 23, 2020
    The XCOM series is well-known for its intricate turn-based action. Chimera Squad augments those systems with a few clever ideas, but some of the new systems don't play well with XCOM's existing foundation. The interwoven turn order and removal of permadeath are fun experiments, but they ultimately weaken XCOM's delicately balanced action. Chimera Squad is a neat standalone project, but it doesn’t stand as tall as the rest of the series.
  40. Apr 23, 2020
    Neither a full-fledged sequel nor a cheap cash grab, XCOM: Chimera Squad is a solid spin-off with a smaller scale approach to the XCOM formula.
  41. Apr 23, 2020
    Firaxis lets its hair down for a fun but flawed twist on XCOM's proven recipe of tactics and tension.
  42. Apr 23, 2020
    A fantastic gem, and an excellent spin-off for one of gaming's most celebrated strategy franchises.
  43. Apr 23, 2020
    XCOM: Chimera Squad is clearly meant to function as a sci-fi tactical strategy game that’s smaller in scale, easier to digest for casual players, and more financially accessible than what existing XCOM fans may be used to. Thankfully, Firaxis’ latest XCOM title succeeds in all three regards without compromising the frenetic tactical gameplay the series is known for. Chimera Squad may have smaller stakes, but it’s also an excellent example of how much potential the XCOM series still has.
  44. Apr 23, 2020
    XCOM: Chimera Squad definitely worth trying but it won't prevail compared with its prequel. The breach mode and the interleaved turns system make the gameplay much faster and intenser. But the wonderful experience only lasts for a few hours because the breach mode is too repetitive.
  45. May 11, 2020
    Despite some changes, XCOM Chimera Squad cannot be considered a true sequel to the series, and gameplay improvements are not enough to prevent it from becoming repetitive.
  46. May 4, 2020
    Xcom: Chimera Squad feels like a "my first XCom" in a way, where some important choices have been removed and you have to make do with characters the creators came up with. Invading spaces with your team combines chaos with choices, but takes away a lot of control.
  47. Apr 29, 2020
    Regardless of the difficulty level, Chimera Squad doesn't let your soldiers die. Too bad, because the game could hugely benefit from this single change. Despite that, this new, mini-XCOM is worth the time. It won't be as thrilling as XCOM 2, but it's still a bargain.
  48. Apr 24, 2020
    Tactically interesting and tense spin-off, that doesn’t reach the main series’ quality, also because of a few bugs and control issues.
  49. Apr 23, 2020
    XCOM: Chimera Squad feels a lot like a small budget spin-off of the main IP, and after a few hours it felt quite harsh, but in the end, Firaxis's awesome gameplay saves it all.
  50. Apr 23, 2020
    This lovely little spin-off is going to alienate very few people. A cheap as chips production that pares 25-years of a bloated XCOM back to a purer and leaner form. Like Rocky Balboa in, well, all of them. Granted the production values and polish is wanting, but the more intimate squad feel and new Breach mechanics became hopelessly addictive the more I played. And when it comes to XCOM, that’s enough for it to feel like a direct hit.
  51. Apr 23, 2020
    Chimera Squad is a small spin-off without particular ambitions, which at the same time, however, boasts one of the most original and interesting narrative plays of the series.
  52. Apr 23, 2020
    XCOM: Chimera Squad is a well made spin-off, with some innovation and a new setting.
  53. 75
    There are parts of XCOM: Chimera Squad that will definitely disappoint long-time fans of the franchise. As a spin-off that departs in some significant ways from the true, mainline experience, XCOM: Chimera Squad is an excellent entry-level strategy game that’ll still provide a decent challenge to those looking to dip their toes in.
  54. Apr 23, 2020
    Pleasant to play, but still endowed with the same technical defects (camera bugs, aging 3D engine), Chimera Squad remains a good episode, both for lovers of the saga, but also for newcomers, who will discover a deep, but very affordable tactical game.
  55. Apr 23, 2020
    While not all of the wild departures fire on all cylinders, XCOM: Chimera Squad's open-ended difficulty settings allow everyone to bend the strong combat groundwork to their will.
  56. Apr 23, 2020
    More than anything, Firaxis appear to be testing the waters with XCOM: Chimera Squad, and as a field test it's mostly successful. However, it ditches far too much of what makes XCOM so fantastic in the first place.
  57. Apr 23, 2020
    A fine superhero SWAT team tactics game smothered by a little too much admin.
  58. 70
    Ever wish XCOM 2 had a love child with Dungeons & Dragons? No? Well XCOM: Chimera Squad is here, anyway.
  59. May 20, 2020
    Smaller, shorter, more straightforward. Chimera Squad builds on the brilliant foundations laid by XCOM 2 but fails to completely replicate its magic, let down by an awful camera, many bugs and several strange design decisions.
  60. May 15, 2020
    Chimera Squad is a fun, bite-size spin-off of the XCOM series that scales down the scope and stakes. The strategy game is more accessible than its mainline predecessors, but its streamlined nature brings with it a few limitations.
  61. May 1, 2020
    The only real problem is that it feels like a stopgap between XCOM 2 and whatever XCOM 3 might be. It neither tarnishes the XCOM name nor does it do anything revolutionary. It also has the poor luck of coming out around the time as the stellar Gears Tactics which is this game's top competition for the attention of strategy fans, which probably isn't going to help its sales. If you like the XCOM series and fancy the chance to take command of a snake soldier, then XCOM: Chimera Squad will still scratch that tactical, cover-shooting itch.
  62. Apr 30, 2020
    XCOM: Chimera Squad is a good surprise with some interesting good news mechanics.However, it gives the impression of a quick release for stand up Gears Tactics.
  63. Apr 28, 2020
    XCOM: Chimera Squad does enough to keep fans of franchise entertained while they wait for XCOM 3, but niggling bugs and unforgiving time management elements will put off newbies to the genre.
  64. Apr 25, 2020
    XCOM: Chimera Squad is a brave adventure into new territory. Featuring a more interesting narrative design, some much-needed changes to combat, and a cast of interesting characters, all of these things would lead to a brilliant game if it weren’t for the myriad of bugs, crashes, and usual XCOM tiring randomness. It’s an absolute must-buy for fans of the genre, especially at its current price, but a bit more time in development wouldn’t have hurt.
  65. 70
    We will also have Gears Tactics, and Streets of Rage next week and I’ll try to get those to you as soon as I receive the scores from my writers.
  66. Apr 23, 2020
    Chimera Squad is XCOM, despite the colorful shell and slightly less permanent mechanics. The turn-based structure changes for the better with the introduction of individual turns and smaller maps, leading to less overwatch shuffling around maps. However, it loses steam when it comes to mission variety and it literally fails at one of its core areas by way of bugs. Does this stop me from recommending this game, especially at its seemingly budget price point? No, not really. But I can tell you that I am going to wait for a few updates before diving back in, to see which team members I missed and whether or not I can actually hit that 90% shot this time.
  67. Apr 23, 2020
    At the end of the test, I had the impression that Firaxis wanted to quickly publish something to stand up to Microsoft's Gears Tactics. In my opinion, it didn't really work.
  68. Apr 23, 2020
    XCOM: Chimera Squad retains much of what makes XCOM such a special tactics series, in the process adding in some genuine improvements to its already excellent formula. But these improvements are undermined by some strange art choices, as well as a general reluctance to maximize some of its bolder changes. All in all, an interesting experiment, but one that still has a ways to go before reaching its full potential.
  69. Apr 23, 2020
    XCOM: Chimera Squad plays with some interesting new ideas, but doesn't bring them together into a particularly graceful whole.
  70. Apr 23, 2020
    Chimera Squad is a kind of XCOM-in-a-box: lighter, simpler, cheaper, and less interesting. Good if you are looking for some quick tactical fun, especially at this price point, but inferior to War of the Chosen in almost every way.
  71. Jun 22, 2020
    I do not regret the time I spent playing Chimera Squad, but it’s a definite downgrade compared to the excellent XCOM 2: War of the Chosen.
  72. Edge Magazine
    May 22, 2020
    We suspect Chimera Squad might not be to the taste of genre purists, having sacrificed perhaps a little too much of the player's control over strategic outcomes in favour of reactive encounters. In some ways, it's XCOM for those who prefer action games - a hybrid that isn't afraid to ruffle some feathers, even if the resulting beast loses a little of its identity. [Issue#346, p.94]
  73. Apr 30, 2020
    A lore-breaking spinoff that removes most of what makes the new XCOM special and replaces it with short bouts of repetitive tactical combat and bad writing.
  74. May 14, 2020
    To me this is an incongruent vision of the series where you have snake squadmates and meaningless banter instead of worldbuilding and replayability. It’s fine as a one-off, slightly fun but buggy (hopefully non-canon) entry, but if this signifies the future of the franchise, I am worried.
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  1. Apr 27, 2020
    The classic formula gets an energising remix in this standalone charmer. [Eurogamer Recommended]
  2. Apr 23, 2020
    Even an XCOM that I’m not 100 percent clicking with is still better than many other games, and this is definitely still XCOM. I’ve once again fallen into that comfortable rhythm of “One more turn” followed by “Oh god, how is it already four hours later” followed by “...One more turn.” I’m still waiting for Chimera Squad to really wow me, but I’m not having a bad time waiting, by any means.[Impressions]
  3. Apr 23, 2020
    Despite its imperfections, fans of tactical strategy games should snatch XCOM: Chimera Squad up as soon as possible. The asking price means that no one has much to lose by giving it a shot, even if you didn’t like previous XCOM titles. With luck, the price point will even expose the genre to more players than ever before. [Polygon Recommends]
  4. Overall, Chimera Squad is solid. It’s still a shadow of its progenitor, with its new ideas not quite making up for the loss of old ones. But if you try to treat it as its own thing, play at a higher difficulty, and do your best to ignore the snake’s voice, I’d say it’s worth a punt.
  5. Apr 28, 2020
    A police procedural version of XCOM with a good story, funny writing, and only bite-sized battles.
User Score

Generally unfavorable reviews- based on 314 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 95 out of 314
  1. Apr 24, 2020
    The gameplay is pretty basic, nothing exciting, but it is a budget game. However the writing and characters are just awful, I can't deal withThe gameplay is pretty basic, nothing exciting, but it is a budget game. However the writing and characters are just awful, I can't deal with all these sassy people and woke dialog. Why do they keep doing this in movies and games when it always results in failure? Full Review »
  2. Apr 25, 2020
    A truly disappointment, nothing like previous Xcom games.

    -Really small and repetitive -No characters creation -Characters can't die -No
    A truly disappointment, nothing like previous Xcom games.

    -Really small and repetitive
    -No characters creation
    -Characters can't die
    -No base building
    -All maps of the game are small rooms in sequence.
    -Writing and characters are the worst seen in last 10 years.

    Buy Xcom 2 or Xcom EW, this is basically the mobile version.
    Full Review »
  3. Apr 24, 2020
    The game is fun. It has however a completly diferent feel from the other Xcom games ,the tension from trying to go around and hunting theThe game is fun. It has however a completly diferent feel from the other Xcom games ,the tension from trying to go around and hunting the enemy is gone.
    The game is more action heavy.
    I expected Xcom Swat , and that is exacly what i got.
    Full Review »