Firaxis has announced the long expected sequel to its 2012 reboot XCOM: Enemy Unknown, further developing the story of humanity’s struggles against a seemingly unstoppable alien invasion.
The bad news is we’re not getting that Terror from the Deep remake many were hoping for; but the good news is that Firaxis has gone in a direction few truly expected: it’s set in a world where the player lost the war.
Pyrrhic victories and even outright losses have been featured both in prior X-COM: Apocalypse and the series spiritual successor in UFO: Aftermath. The difference this time is that rather than being forced to abandon Earth, most of humanity dead or with most of the planet reduced to a barren wasteland, it’s quite the opposite. The aliens are shown having offered advanced technology to humankind and apparently uplifted them, but ruling with an iron fist. Patrols of soldiers now prowl the streets along with aliens, harassing civilians and making random security searches. Many new types of aliens have appeared with them, from a welcome return of the classic Snakemen to a new and more humanoid form of Sectoid.
So, where’s XCOM in all of this? The alien defence organisation has become a rebellion, operating out of a flying aircraft carrier, hiding where they can and launching covert or small scale strikes on enemy installations. If you didn’t get that, this apparently means the roles have been reversed. The aliens are now the ones trying to hold onto their planet and keep the trust of the people, and you’re the one effectively launching terror missions.
The brief trailer displayed several new toys for XCOM troops to wield in their war, including grenade launchers, serrated swords and miniature stun drones. Atop of this, the announcement by Firaxis has confirmed that there will be greater soldier customisation, five updated classes, and increased support for modding tools. Furthermore, it won’t just be a case of keeping your suppliers happy this time. Instead you’ll need to also build a resistance network, use stealth tactics to recruit new soldiers and actively expose the aliens as a true threat against humankind.
A trailer has been released via IGN:
XCOM 2 is scheduled for release on November 2015.
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