Firaxis Games announced 2012’s popular XCOM: Enemy Unknown will get a full sequel. Unlike its predecessor, XCOM 2 will only be available for PC, Mac and Linux, at least initially. Firaxis suggested November 2015 as the most likely release date.
“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,” explained Jake Solomon, creative director of XCOM 2. The first game got a satisfying standalone expansion called XCOM: Enemy Within, but the idea of an entirely new installment got many people excited.
Firaxis has already released a trailer for the new game, but unfortunately it doesn’t feature any gameplay footage, so it’s pretty early to get an idea on how the XCOM sequel will really look like. There is, however, enough information to realize what the game will be about.
The action takes place 20 years after the events in XCOM: Enemy Within. Apparently, the humans lost the war against the aliens, so we will probably see a guerilla-like paramilitary organization fighting the tyrannical alien rule in a futuristic dystopia. Nothing out of the blue, pretty straightforward. But it wasn’t the storyline as much as the gameplay that got XCOM so many fans in the first place.
Firaxis promises a lot for the upcoming installment. As expected, the fight got harder and the humans had to rise up to the challenge. Five of the existing soldier classes have been updated, more aliens were added and the tactical combat system got an overhaul.
One of the most interesting new features involves deeper modding support. Apparently, the company took notice of the customization potential of their game and plans to reward the game’s loyal community of developers.
The remarkable success of the initial game, both in terms of sales and critical acclaim, puts of pressure on XCOM 2. Gamers are definitely hoping to get more than what the expansion delivered, but the designers will have to be careful not to temper with the gameplay features that made the first installment so popular.
It took Firaxis three years to come up with a full sequel, so expectations are high. However, Play Station and XBOX fan will have to wait a while longer, as the company offered no clue on when the game might reach those platforms.
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