XCOM GIO is the brain-child of playing XCOM using the friends I have made here at GameInformer Online as the soldiers. I wanted to add a story to the missions, so I did. It became a fun blog series that fizzled out as I got busy with life. This is the return of that popular series, but played in XCOM 2. While I adjust the order of happenings in missions to make it more cohesive, what is reported below during the mission is really what happened, smart and dumb moves alike.

Today, I present Episode 2: Whovian You Calling Sasquatch

Episode 1 can be found here.


Jolt walked slowly onto the deck of the mobile XCOM base, Penguin leaned on him for balance and winced in pain. Penguin had refused to be carried off the Skyranger, willing to accept pain in exchange for his pride as an active XCOM soldier.

Jolt looked around for a crew member or a stretcher. The deck was a flurry of activity, deck crew members rushing towards the group and running right past them to the second Skyranger that had touched down at the same time as their own. Jolt eyed a medical crew running towards them with a gurney, Jolt raised his hand to flag them down but they didn't seem to notice, they ran to the other Skyranger as well, parting the sea of crew members as they approached.

Jolt saw Central on board the other Skyranger, loading what looked like a person wearing an old-school space suit onto the gurney. The medical team and Central rushed by, paying no heed to the tired crew of soldiers.

"We need a medic here!" Jolt yelled.

Next to him, Jolt heard a small cough and a someone say "Excuse me sir, I'm right here."

Jolt turned to see a young man, maybe 18 standing nervously with a medical kit in his hand. The young man's face was clean shaven and he stood no taller than five 5' 4". Looking at him with the sternest look he could pull off with one eye, "What're you, an intern?"

The young man timidly responded "Something along those lines." He pushed by Jolt and examined Penguin's torso. "He needs to see a doctor, quickly!"

Whovian stepped closer to the conversation. "Is that your professional opinion, or just guess work?" He asked sarcastically.

The young medic ignored the comment and helped carry Penguin to the medical wing. Once there, a small team of doctors shooed the soldiers away and started working on examining the wounds and doing what they do best.

The hospital wing served as adequate as one would expect of a mobile HQ salvaged from alien materials. Being able to move around quickly was helpful when it came to avoiding alien detection but being able to upgrade services was next to impossible, especially with divided and separated leadership. The dynamic of the war needed to change, and soon.

Central stepped out from another hospital room, this one filled with doctors and scientists from the laboratory wing. He nodded to Jolt, Whovian, and Mojo and motioned for them to follow him into another room. As they entered the room, Central cleared his throat, shaking dust from his uniform.

"I understand Penguin was injured during your mission." Central began. "From what I hear, he'll be alright in a month or so and he is pretty shaken, but he'll make it. I want you, no, I need you to understand your mission was not just a mission to destroy a statue. Penguin wasn't wounded just to knock down a large pile of gold. Your mission drew attention away from my mission. Using your diversion, I was able to recover a high value target...I was able to recover The Commander."

Mojo stepped forward. "Wait, the Commander was killed when the aliens invaded the original XCOM base, wasn't he?"

Central nodded, "That's what we told everyone. They took him and we figured he had been tortured, interrogated and probably dead by this point. We recently learned he wasn't dead. ADVENT had him connected to a computer, running combat simulations and using his tactical mind against us. We don't know much more, but we have him back and in a few days, he's going to take the fight to ADVENT, and he's going to need you guys leading the operations. Whovian, report to the armory and get a sniper rifle, you're going to be our new Sniper. Jolt, report to Shen, she's going to teach you the art of support and using her drones to hack and cause chaos on the battlefield. Mojo, grab a grenade launcher and heavy assault cannon, you're our new grenadier. Get training quickly, we have new team members joining and it won't take long for The Commander to find you all a mission." With that, he dismissed the team.

Days passed and activity started picking up. The laboratory was buzzing with new research, the ship was on the move, picking up new recruits and supplies. Meanwhile, Jolt, Whovian, and Mojo learned their new roles on the battlefield and trained in the local kill house simulation. Penguin was recovering slowly in the infirmary, visibly shaken by his brush with death.

The team sat in the barracks, playing a Mario game on an old Nintendo when Central walked in. "Gentlemen, this is DJ, he goes by Sasquatch. He'll be joining you on your next op, which takes place...now."

Jolt groaned as he turned away from the television. "What're we doing this time around? Lighting all of their welcome mats on fire?"

"No." Central replied coolly. "The Commander has identified an alien transmission sending a signal we can't hack remotely. He is convinced it has important intel. You're going to get it. Jolt, you're lead on this. Don't screw up."

Operation Ice Walk
Alexandria, Egypt
Objection: Hack Terminal in ADVENT Facility

The Skyranger rocketed quietly across the city landscape of Alexandria, homing in on the drop zone. At the front of the troop load area, Sasquatch tapped his foot nervously on the ground. Whovian stepped over and took a solid hold of Sasquatch's shoulder. "We've got this." Whovian said, "I'll cover the advance, Mojo will be on the ground and Jolt is a tough fighter. Just stick close and do what you need to do. We'll get through this."

Sasquatch nodded, trying to focus on his rifle.

"One minute!" the pilot called over the headset.

The team stood up in response, Jolt turning confidently to his team. "We get in, we get the data, and we kill every alien and ADVENT lover on the ground. No mercy!"

The team grunted in approval and slid down the ropes onto a rooftop immediately after the Skyranger entered the target area. The team dropped down, observing the area of operations for movement. But there was nothing, they had been able to drop in, less than a block away from the objective without being seen.

DJ, Mojo, and Whovian Hitting the Rooftop

"Team, this is Central." Their radios crackling to life in their headsets. "Our team here has analyzed the system and the transmission will be completed in less than 15 minutes. We need you to move quickly."

"Roger that." Jolt responded over the radio. Turning to his team, he quickly spouted off assignments. "Doctor, you stay on the roof and move north. Recon anything coming down the road towards us and work as our top cover. Mojo, cover the rear, if we run into any major problems, blow it up with a grenade. Sasquatch, you're with me. We're going to move up the road past the roadblock and hack that terminal remotely with my drone." He paused for a moment. "Get it done."

The team split up, moving quickly to their assignments. Mojo, Sasquatch and Jolt rappelled down the building to the street and up the road, taking cover behind the barriers of an abandoned roadblock. Whovian moved north, finding a stable location for his rifle and began surveying the ground below and he immediately noticed trouble.

"Jolt." Whovian called over the radio. I've got eyes on one ADVENT trooper and one sectoid moving in your direction."

Jolt took a moment to consider his options. "Alright, ground team, get in position. Make sure you have solid cover and an angle on the targets. Doc, once we are in position I'll give you the go ahead to kick off the party."

The team moved into position, taking cover behind boxes and barriers further up the road while Whovian kept an eye on the two targets. The team on the street readied their weapons. "On your shot, Doc."

Whovian didn't reply over the radio, he took a deep breath, aiming at the ADVENT trooper on patrol who had no idea what was about to happen. The shot rang through the empty silence of the night as the round tore through the chest of the trooper who flew backwards from the velocity of the impact. He did not stand back up.

Whovian Kicking Off the Ambush

The sectoid screamed in rage, running towards the building Whovian had made his nest on. The ground team opened fire, shell casing ringing as they hit the ground. Mojo's shots tore a hole in the alien's leg as it took cover inside the building. Without skipping a beat, the alien turned around and made a gesture towards the ADVENT soldier, sprawled on the ground. It stood up and started walking towards Jolt and DJ's position.

Jolt and DJ each fired a volley at the zombie Trooper, unable to do anything but put a couple of bullets into the corpse that continued to move towards them. Jolt turned to DJ, "Open the door, rook!"

DJ noticed the door to his left as if it had not been there before, he swung the door open, giving Jolt a direct line of sight towards their objective.

Turning to Mojo, Jolt yelled "We've got the objective, end the alien and this sick puppet show, but don't take down the building!"

"Yes," Whovian added, "please don't blow up all of the building below me."

"Not a problem!" Mojo responded confidently, as he lovingly unslung his grenade launcher from his back. With the aim of a consummate professional, Mojo launched a grenade inside the corner window of the building, blasting the sectoid from its hiding place. Mojo smiled in approval.

Mojo and His Launcher

Next to DJ, the ADVENT zombie dropped to the floor, free of its controller's will. Jolt turned his attention to the terminal, releasing his drone in its direction. The floating machine hacked into the system, retrieving the information. "Jolt looked up from his wrist controls. "Objective accomplished!" he called. Just as these words cleared Jolt's mouth, another sectoid and a Trooper ran into view, the sectoid moving behind cover at the end of the street while the Trooper rushed to the terminal to assess the situation.

Objective Accomplished!

Jolt turned into the room with the terminal and tossed a fragmentation grenade at the trooper and the terminal. The detonation vaporized the terminal and killed the trooper. "Better that they don't have the terminal." Jolt said to DJ.

Jolt looked down the road where the sectoid had taken cover. "Doc, you have a shot?"

DJ Taking Staring Down the Sectoid

"Negative." Whovian responded over the radio. "I'm going to shift positions and try to get line of sight on him." With that, Whovian dropped down off the roof, taking cover and aiming his rifle towards the corner of the building. But the sectoid didn't leave cover, it stayed behind the brick wall as the Trooper by DJ and Jolt started to stand again!

DJ and Jolt unloaded rounds at the Zombie, putting the Trooper back onto the ground for the third time as the sectoid came running around the corner, firing its weapon at Jolt. Whovian snapped off a shot, hitting the sectoid in the arm and slowing it down.

Further south on the road, Mojo unleashed a storm of bullets from his cannon, ripping the alien open and shredding it to pieces.

The Rock...errr...Mojo and His Cannon Going to Town

The team finished a sweep of the AO and called for extraction. As the team was whisked away on the Skyranger back to base, Jolt turned to his team. "What was that?! They can bring the dead back to life now?! What is going on?!"

Mojo shook his head. "I don't know, but I know if you kill the controlling alien, whatever it is they brought back to life goes back to being dead."

"We got done what needed to be done." Whovian interjected. "A job well done, let's forget the rest for now and let the scientists figure out how to deal with keeping the aliens dead, we just need to get them dead to start with."

"I can't believe I didn't get a kill!" DJ yelled angrily.

"I have a funny feeling you'll get your chance soon." Jolt responded. "Plenty of them."

"We need to make a detour." The pilot called on the radio. "The intel you stole was broadcasting the location of an engineer not far from here, apparently has some talent we can use. The Commander wants us to pick him up. Oh, he also passes on his thanks for a job well done."

The team smiled in back of the Skyranger. They were making a difference, and it felt good.


Many of you who are reading this might be newer to Game Informer and may have never read my work as I stopped blogging a couple of years back. I look forward to getting to know you all and would love for the chance to include you in the XCOM GIO series. It requires nothing on your part except you saying you want to be in. If I don't know you, shoot me a message and tell me a bit about your personality so I can craft a character specific to you to include in the series.

XCOM GIO is a fun series. I get to play missions using troopers I feel a small connection to and then I get to try and figure out how to translate the on-screen action into a story. I take liberties, but when it comes to what happens in-game, I make sure I tell it like it was, even when I screw up. So, please, keep up with the series, leave feedback, and enjoy.