Firaxis Games successfully revived the XCOM franchise in 2012 for the PS3, Xbox 360, and PC, and extended it further with the launch of the Enemy Within add-on. That success led to an announcement on Monday of a full-on sequel simply titled XCOM 2. It brings significant changes both to 2K Games' platform strategy and the gameplay itself.
2K Games has been teasing XCOM 2 with an AdventFuture website and posts on its Facebook and Twitter feeds. This is all part of the game's plot, where it is now 20 years in the future and the aliens have won control of Earth. The XCOM organization has largely been forgotten, as the aliens use the Advent government to control humanity for their own ends.
This flips the script and makes the human-controlled XCOM the invading force, with the aliens defending their established positions across the globe. Players will still find that they are hampered by limited resources and are out-gunned by enemy.
XCOM 2 brings a number of gameplay changes, as well. Perhaps the most exciting is the addition of procedurally-generated levels to provide a unique experience with each play through. There will also be five new updated soldier classes, increased soldier customization, and more alien and enemy types. Combat is being tweaked, as well, with more stealth options being made available.
The trailer above via IGN's YouTube channel gives a feel for some of the new combat gameplay and stealth options. In addition to a new drone friendly type, you also get to see that enemies will come in both new alien and human types. There's also the big reveal that the XCOM base is mobile, which should make the strategic layer of the game even more so.
One of the more interesting parts of the announcement is that XCOM 2 will be PC-only at release. The heavy support for modding may play into that, but it is surprising to not see a console release.
"Firaxis proved they could reimagine a beloved franchise with XCOM: Enemy Unknown, a Game of the Year award-winning title," said Christoph Hartmann, president of 2K in a press release. "With XCOM 2, the team is breathing new life into the series by adding an epic narrative and challenging players to overcome near impossible odds."
"The feedback from the passionate XCOM community played an important role in the development of XCOM 2, driving us to push the visual, gameplay and replayability boundaries of what a strategy game can be," said Jake Solomon, creative director of XCOM 2 at Firaxis Games. "We're thrilled to implement long-time fan requested features such as procedural levels and modding support, as well as adding more of what makes XCOM great like new aliens, enemies and soldier classes."
XCOM 2 is currently targeting a November, 2015, release. Are you excited for a new XCOM? Sound off in the comments below.
[Images via 2K Games]