Among all the words we can use to describe 2012’s XCOM: Enemy Unknown, one is undoubtedly ‘success’. The turn-based tactical game not only received critical and popular praise, but also paved a way for similar games of the genre (Divinity: Original Sin, Wasteland 2, Blackguards, The Banner Saga, and more) to come into limelight once again. Ever since we completed XCOM and it’s well made expansion Enemy Within, we have been waiting for a sequel. The wait is almost over, as there are only less than two weeks left till the release of XCOM 2.
For those who are as hyped as we are, and those who are still on the fence, we have decided to compile some of the information that we know of XCOM 2 till now. We have tried to omit any story-related spoilers.
XCOM 2 takes place 20 years after the events of the original game. It seems we did not actually defeat the aliens at the end of Enemy Unknown and instead made them take a more subtle approach. They have infiltrated the government and are trying to convince the people of Earth that they are peaceful through the alien-controlled ADVENT Administration. The XCOM faction had to go into hiding to survive.
You resume the role of the mysterious commander, who was, for the lack of a better word, occupied until the beginning of the game. Your goal is to rid the planet of the aliens while fighting from the shadows. We will see a host of familiar and new characters. Central Officer Bradford will be back as an experienced veteran of the guerilla warfare against the aliens.
The ability to customize your soldiers was an iconic part of Enemy Unknown. That feature returns in XCOM 2, and is a lot more detailed. This time, you can change not only the appearance of the soldiers, but their gender and nationality as well. The customization of XCOM base also returns, and is similar to the original, reportedly with more freedom and flexibility. The staff now play a bigger role in performance of the base as well.
There will be five classes- Sharpshooter (similar to Sniper from Enemy Unknown), Ranger (similar to Assault class), Grenadier (Heavy), Specialist (Support, but slightly different, and can use a drone), and a fifth secret class that has not yet been announced. Squad size will remain 4, which can be upgraded to 6 again.
Due to the guerilla nature of the game, stealth will be a new mechanic. You will need to hide from citizens and aliens alike and wage your revolution out of sight.
There will be instances of hacking in missions (it’s the future, after all). All classes can hack, but Specialists can do it better.
Another feature will be reputation. Public perception of XCOM will play a role in the campaign. It’s not yet clear whether it will be similar to the satellite system of Enemy Unknown.
There will be an waypoint system. That means instead of automatically taking the shortest route to the point you want your soldier to go, you will be able to map a path for him. It will be much more tactical.
Levels will be procedurally generated, and not fixed like last game. This should add a lot of replayability.
The environments and objects will be much more vulnerable to your actions. As if the exploding cars were not horrifying enough.
There will be a lot of new alien enemies, like the new and improved Sectoids, the Vipers, the Faceless, the Archon, and the Gatekeepers. Chryssalids and Mutons will be returning. There will be several types of human enemies as well.
For India, the retail copy of the game costs Rs 999 at launch and if bought before launch, comes with the pre-order DLC Resistance Warrior Pack, which includes new customization options, and a veteran soldier character. The price on Steam is, for some mysterious reason, about 300% of that.
XCOM 2 releases on February 5th. Soon, it will be time to take stand against the aliens once more.
Good luck, Commander.