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XCOM 2 Announced

By on June 1st, 2015 1:55 pm

XCOM 2

Ok people, looks like Earth isn’t safe from the alien menace yet, so once again XCOM is called to save the day. Firaxis Games and 2K have just announced XCOM 2, the sequel to XCOM: Enemy Unknown, Firaxis’ remake of the classic X-COM: UFO Defense (aka UFO: Enemy Unknown) game from the 90’s.

This time around the title will not be released for consoles, but only for the PC this November, including Mac and Linux releases as well, though the release date for these last two isn’t known yet.

According to Firaxis’ press release, the story will unfold in a near-future time where humanity has lost the war against the alien threat, and XCOM is now the invading force, a mobile paramilitary organization fighting the established government which is now being run by the aliens.

The sounding new features, known at the moment at least, include procedurally-generated levels (finally) and a “deeper level” of modding support. Also promised are five soldier classes, more soldier customization options and “more alien and enemy types”.

No gameplay trailer yet, I’m afraid, so a cinematic one will have to do it for now.

I’m a huge fan of XCOM: Enemy Unknown, and its expansion Enemy Within, a title which I think did an excellent job in recreating what X-COM was all about. And while some things were not done particularly well and others could have been done much better, like the lack of randomly generated maps, the maps themselves being a bit on the short side, the too much scripting feeling at times, the too restrictive inventory management and the presence of some horrible bugs (that eventually got fixed), this was still a fun and highly addictive gameplay experience with a lot of character and excellent aesthetics.

Here’s hoping Firaxis will deliver again, and manage to transport us back to the command of XCOM in the way the franchise deserves. We’ll have more coverage on this title as deemed pertinent. Of course, we’ll have a review and possibly a preview along the way, so stay tuned for that.

Good luck Commander! :)

XCOM 2 | Trooper

XCOM 2 | Captain

XCOM 2 | Target-HUD

XCOM 2 | Skyranger

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47 Comments


  1. Gary Vandegrift says:

    Good news! :)

    • NoldorElf says:

      My big concern right now is that they might somehow dumb it down. The past couple of games Firaxis has released are not an encouraging track record I am afraid.

      At least if the modding support is true, this will hopefully address the worst issues.

  2. alienjd says:

    The Aliens won and are in charge? Sorry guys, my fault. I couldn’t bring myself to beat the last XCOM game.

    This one sounds better though. Procedurally generated maps is good. If they fix the inventory system (ie give the soldiers belts) even better. PC exclusive sounds good too.

  3. Colwolf77 says:

    So this is XCOM 2 – Enemy Known? seriously though this looks great, really enjoyed the last one.

  4. DrManhatten says:

    Awesome! Please be good, please be good, please be good! After the recent track record of Firaxis games they better do not screw this one up. As with X-COM EU + EWithin I’ve spend well over 100 hours on it.

  5. SQW says:

    I thought the first 30sec was the trailer for Satellite Reign or Syndicate. =P

    This is good news – all the better that Firaxis didn’t pander to fan boys/girls and did an underwater or megacity setting.

    However, will not be buying the game until 3 months post-release or the first expansion is out. I feel this is the price devs have to pay for their ‘we can always patch it later’ approach to release quality of their games.

  6. Jeff P says:

    It is very good to see the XCOM franchise moving in a new direction (XCOM meets Half Life 2?) rather than simply “re-imagining” one of the lame 20yr-old sequels. However, like SQW, I will wait until the game is debugged, patched, and on sale before I buy.

  7. Fimbul says:

    sounds more interesting than the last one, but the flying base is a bit of a joke. the aliens have no satellites? even today would it be easy to find, just with its IR emission. so, hightech aliens, fully developed on earth are not able to track down the base or the transporters? a mega city with underground, sewers etc would be more believable. ;)

    • Farflame says:

      I generally agree, but maybe they acquired some special alien tech before they lost. I hope they at least try to explain it somehow.

      Interesting is that the premise would work nicely for spy/sabotage-themed RPG or tactical RPG. :)

  8. Buxaroo says:

    They had me at “Only on PC, not on consoles”. Anyways, this is good news. I played the hell out of XCOM, and replayed it when they released it on linux. And we only have to wait until November as well? Even better :)

  9. Iwbtone says:

    Great news!

    but I still want the original Xcom 2 Terror From The Deep can get a new reborn project.

  10. Keith Turner says:

    I really enjoyed Enemy Unknown w/Enemy Within. Excited for this one.

    • SQW says:

      Might do a quick shout-out to the guys working on Long War mod (fantastic mod, try it people!). I can’t help but feel people like these contributed to Firaxis’s decision to offer full modding support in XCOM 2.

      *fingers crossed this mod support doesn’t just become lip service like last time.

  11. Mark says:

    I was totally unimpressed with Firaxis’s XCOM1, even after expansions the classic version was still better in almost every way except graphics…… which – lets face it – is just embarrassingly, shamefully bad. Xenonauts, while not perfect was a much better sequel to classic XCOM.

    I’m going to keep an open mind for XCOM2 but it will have to be an enormous improvement over 1 to get my money.

    • Belvoir_Sanache says:

      This, so much this. I salute you good sir.

    • SQW says:

      Long War mod > Xenonauts > XCOM.

      Seriously, try the mod.

      • alienjd says:

        What about Long War mod improves the game? (serious question no snark/sarcasm intended).

      • SQW says:

        1. They removed the annoying pick one out of three mission mechanics. Now, you are given one mission at a time.

        2. Massively redone the research tree. More than twice as many research topics so every autopsy/item analysis yields useful results. No fluff.

        3. With new research comes new items/weapons. While they wouldn’t affect your tactics too much, they do flesh out the vanilla list quite well.

        4. There are now 8 soldier types. 2 sub types per previous one. Example: instead of assault, you now get assault and infantry – both are adapt at dealing dmg but in different ways. Skill system is also completely revamped.

        5. Meta game is no longer beeline to global sat coverage. Since you can recapture countries via base assault, panic system works very differently now. Every country now has a corresponding mini-bonus too so it’s not always about the continent anymore.

        6. Much more difficult, realistic (even small ufos aren’t push-overs) and dynamic air combat.

        7. Host of other modifications and tweaks. Aliens have perks/ranks too and pod number, spawning point and composition have been changed.

        Basically the game is harder than vanilla but more interesting because the modders made a huge effort in tuning XCOM to something closer to the spirit of the original.

        • alienjd says:

          That sounds awesome. I’ll give it a try. Thanks!

        • SQW says:

          The mod needs EW expansion. Luckily, it’s on special.

          Read the game notes first: there are many changes both in the strategic map and tactical. Beaglerush has a great youtube channel on XCOM-LW.

          I joked on the forum that I was re-downloading a multi-gigabyte game JUST to play a 74MB mod. =P

          Enjoy. Hope the mod breathe new life to your XCOM game like it did mine.

      • DrManhatten says:

        Although I really appreciate and admire the effort the Long war mod people have put in I think it went too much into the other direction and it turned the whole game into a massive grinding feast.

        After 100 combats or so you really get tired of the same enemies and same maps. And that 100 combats will just about get you about mid-gamish. Unfortunately Xenonauts suffers a bit from the same syndrom but it has the whole multiple base building stuff going for it. A component that is rather weak in XCOM (hopefully something they will improve in #2) and LW MOD doesn’t really solve that dilemma at all.

        • dscarron says:

          Agreed.

          Rumor has it that the next Beta version is supposed to come with a Shorter War Second Wave option.

          100 skirmishes is my limit.

        • SQW says:

          Agreed!

          I got burnt out on Beta 14 around the base assault grinding alloys and stuff. Luckily, you can just edit the figures in one of the files to lower the build requirement to remove this artificial delay.

          On a similar tangent, this is exactly why talented coders don’t necessarily make good games. The Long War modders tried to incorporate too many good ideas that the game (and the upcoming features) is now firmly one-foot planted in bloat territory. Knowing where to cut features in order to make the whole more enjoyable is a lot harder than coding IN a feature – too bad even the professionals often miss the less-is-more target.

    • csebal says:

      “Xenonauts, while not perfect was a much better sequel to classic XCOM.”

      Considering how XCOM was never a “sequel” to classic XCOM, but rather a reboot of it, I find that to be a totally accurate description of a situation I have no problems with.

      Always said, and still do: people having issues with new XCOM are those who wanted a propped up remake of the old one, but got a totally new game instead.

      • Mark says:

        I don’t have issues with the fact that it was a reboot, just that it was a crappy, lazy, dumbed down reboot.

        If it were a *good* reboot then I could have enjoyed its different take on the genre. Unfortunately in my opinion its “different take” sucked. You see it very commonly with modern games nowadays, new devs try to put their own creative spin on an old idea and almost all of them end up making a horrific mess of it. There have been some welcome exceptions, but XCOM1 certainly wasn’t one of them.

        • csebal says:

          I can with a high degree of confidence say, that if it were a good reboot by your standards, it would likely just be a propped up remake of the old game.

          You are claiming that a game sucks, just because it does not fit your taste. I have no problem with you having a different taste than I do. I do wonder however: do you realize, that when you say something is “dumbed down”, you are insulting all the people who actually like it, by claiming indirectly that they have a bad taste or worse yet, are too stupid to care for a more complex game and are happy with a dumbed down one?

          Worse yet, you do so without any solid arguments to back up your claim other than: “I did not like it”, as if anyone besides you would care what you liked.

        • Mark says:

          “I can with a high degree of confidence say……”

          Well since you have absolutely no idea about my taste in games I can, with complete certainty say that your high degree of confidence is woefully misplaced.

          As I said elsewhere, back when XCOM1 was released I wrote reams and reams of solid arguments, analysis and comparisons which I have absolutely no desire to repeat ad nauseam here on an XCOM2 page. XCOM1 has wasted more than enough of my time on forums.

          You can probably still find many of my thoughts on this site’s archives if you really care, although I’d be willing to bet real money that nothing I could possibly say would change your opinion one iota.

          Also if you choose to interpret my personal opinion of a game as a direct insult to you then sadly that’s really your problem and not something I can or should try to help you with.

          I’m going to try to forget about XCOM1, look ahead now to XCOM2 and hope that it ends up a much, much better game. There’s always hope, at least that’s what I try to tell myself.

        • csebal says:

          @Mark:
          “Well since you have absolutely no idea about my taste in games…”
          Apparently, having a subjective opinion is your privilege :)

          Apologies for infringing on it.

          In case you missed that point, let me be blunt then:
          Nobody really cares why you hate the game, or that you hate it even. Most people are perfectly fine accepting your taste, as long as you are not attempting to push it on everyone else around you.

          Maybe it is my fault for mentioning the lack of arguments on your side. Let me rephrase: 0 fucks are given why you did not like the game. Many others, me included do like it, and if you do not like that fact, well, “then sadly that’s really your problem and not something I can or should try to help you with.”

          Finally, claiming that the other party did interpret your words as insults on purpose does not make you less of a jackass. People usually DO CARE how their words are interpreted, because in communication it is paramount to ensure the other party interprets your words the way you meant them.

          So while I am long past getting insulted from empty meaningless lines spewed forth during an ego trip on the internet, I figured I let you know, that your words can be insulting to some as they carry a subtext you might not be aware of.

          What you do with that information is up to you.

        • Mark says:

          “Apparently, having a subjective opinion is your privilege :)”

          No you can have an opinion about my taste in games. But as the certified expert on the subject, I reserve the right to tell you when your opinion is mistaken.

          “let me be blunt…….”

          Ha ha, well obviously many people hated the game too, and to be equally blunt, 0 fucks are given as to why (or even how) you managed to like that shallow, scripted, dumbed-down piece of digital rubbish.

          Seriously though, if you are going to interpret the personal opinion of everyone you meet who happens to disagree with you as a direct personal insult, then *YOU* have a serious problem and will probably have a very difficult life, filled with massive amounts of nebulous insults that were never intended. Get help dude.

          Certainly I – and most other normal people – do not interpret *your* opinion of the game as a personal insult, its just your opinion and you are perfectly entitled to it, impossible to fathom as it is :)

        • Caracalla says:

          Well, XCOM was dumbed down, there are tons of examples and many were posted in the past. I think it’s totally fine if someone likes it, i mean I had my fun too but this “Oh you don’t like something? No one cares, stop hating!” is childish to the core and a serious problem of the gaming community nowadays.

        • Avon says:

          Very childish is right, everyone is allowed to their opinion. And I would agree with Mark about it being dumbed down, so Csebal saying that nobody cares what he thinks is wrong. Csebal can only speak for himself, not everybody.

      • SQW says:

        Xenonauts was a fan project that ran out of steam half way. It had some good new ideas but it was sooooo similar to X-COM, it copied a lot of its flaws too and only hardcore x-com fans care about it. It was a decent attempt by an indie but the sales figure shows had Firaxis followed Goldhawk’s design philosophy, we can say goodbye to XCOM 2 for another 2 decades.

        The ONLY problem with XCOM reboot was the extremely scripted campaign progression and the way 1-out-of-3 mission system turn it further into a on-rail game rather than a sandbox.

        However, I love how Firaxis got the balls to get rid of that pre-historic TU system only neck beards can love. Everything else – from scuttle pods to one base to removal of the inventory system – are simply different game design direction rather than a conspiracy to dumb down modern game.

        The smartest thing a game studio can do with a new IP franchise is find the balance between appeasing the hardcore fans and not turning off the casuals and first-timers. That’s why XCOM sold wayyyy more than the original or any remakes since because it made TBC, and I CANNOT emphasis this enough, FUN for people who ordinarily never touch strategy games. Now, Firaxis has the money and a bulging fan base to experiment with in XCOM 2.

        Welcome to the business of AAA game studios.

        • Mark says:

          So Firaxis dumbed XCOM down for the casual horde in order to sell more units and make more money. I get that, they certainly wouldn’t be the first. It still sucked.

        • SQW says:

          Just curious, since people throw around the term ‘dumbed down’ like a badge of honor these days, how exactly is the XCOM, as a WHOLE, dumbed down compare to X-COM?

          The original’s TU, base management and inventory system were all busy work. Firaxis did an amazing job by distilling the essence of what x-com was about mechanically and let player focus on the meat of the game.

          Was XCOM/EW perfect? Of course not; the mission system and scripted section were terrible – a ham fisted way of pushing players along the campaign. Was it light on content/research/item? Yes, Long War mod proved more content can be added; then again, the original wasn’t bulging with content either (hvy plasma ftw anyone?).

          Using words like ‘dumbed down’ and ‘casual hoard’ without proper argument to back up the claim makes one sound really elitist. And that’s not even the proper ‘I have a million dollar yacht’ kind of elitism.

        • Mark says:

          I must have written pages and pages on various forums going into intimate details on exactly why I was disappointed with this game and where it went wrong. You can probably go back to when it was released on Space Sector and read my feelings in gruesome detail if you care.

          But I really don’t intend to waste much more time doing the same with a game that doesn’t and never did deserve the effort. If that makes me seem elitist I apologize. I just hope XCOM2 ends up being a lot better, or at least allows the really bad parts to be modded out.

  12. chuki792 says:

    “This time around the title will not be released for consoles, but only for the PC this November” YESSSSSSS!!!!!!! :-))

  13. Vivisector 9999 says:

    When I played the Firaxis XCOM, I enjoyed it so much that I never went back to the first X-COM (or Xenonauts, for that matter). It’s my opinion that the Firaxis XCOM was not “dumbed down”, as the haters claim, but excellently streamlined.

    But you know, I realize other people here feel exactly the opposite, and some of them have already posted comments stating such… and I respect that. I’m not going to start (or get dragged into) yet another pissing contest when I can just enjoy my game and you can go enjoy yours.

    Anyway, all of us are missing the real point that should be made here.

    Yes, it’s awesome that the sequel will have randomized maps and better mod support (the only things I missed from XCOM)… but what I really want is an X-COM style game where you play the alien side!

    • SQW says:

      I never got why people miss Time Units so much. I didn’t realize how much I hated that antiquated system until XCOM came along. THAT alone, considering how much pressure jake solomon must’ve been under to live up to the original, deserve my unreserved praise.

      When did ‘streamlined’ become such a pariah word anyway? Dumb-down yes, but streamlining that TU system made everything flow sooooo much better in a turn based game.

  14. Iwbtone says:

    I must say the first impression is its sexy graphics and armor, it let me recall mass effect.
    And it is XCOM 2
    Then I love it more

  15. Jodet says:

    I hated the first one. HATED IT. It’s a video game, not a PC game with all the worst of what that means.

    Loaded it up last night. I still HATE IT.

    Back to playing Xenonauts.

    • csebal says:

      As my biology teacher used to say:
      All PC games are video games, but not all video games are PC games. (or something along these lines)

      Thus, my friend, your comment makes no sense at all.

    • Avon says:

      I hated it too! It was very consoley and dumbed down :( Hope they make the second one for the more serious PC crowd and leave the casual crowd to play Candy Crush.

  16. mk861 says:

    Looking forward to this, need to get back on and complete the first game before November!

  17. SQW says:

    E3 gameplay footage up. Starts at 2:00 mark.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AzAKyj-KK-E


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