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XCOM 2’s Orwellian Echoes By Kevin Swijghuizen

XCOM 2 is one of several games that have been released in the past few months that has taken a dystopian approach to the world building and storytelling aspect of their narrative.[1] For instance, November 2015 saw the release of Fallout 4, a game whose dystopian nature is defined by the post-apocalyptic world that the player explores.[2] Furthermore, Tom Clancy’s The Division was released on the 8th of March 2016 and is another excellent example of a game that features a dystopian setting, in this case caused by a virus instead of atomic weaponry.[3] XCOM 2 is a surprising addition to this roster of dystopian games, considering its predecessor did not have any dystopian qualities. XCOM 2takes its narrative in a different direction in order to create a dystopian world and it does this by leaning heavily on Orwellian themes. This article will take a closer look at the world that Firaxis Games, the developers of this game, have created and the myriad of ways in which XCOM 2 uses themes and ideas that occur in George Orwell’s 1984.[4]

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