In the wake of the surprise smash success that was XCOM: Enemy Unknown, the new trailer Firaxis Games’ return to tactical alien warfare, XCOM 2, brings the house you built in Unknown crashing to the ground.
When XCOM 2 was announced earlier this year, the top topic of conversation among newfound devotees of the series in the wake of XCOM: Enemy Unknown/Enemy Within’s revitalization of the series was as follows.
“What the hell? I won in XCOM: Enemy Unknown! What happened?”
XCOM 2, for the uninitiated, assumes the complete failure of the XCOM defense project designed to protect Earth from an alien invasion. Earth is now ruled by the Advent Coalition, a puppet group run by alien overlords, and XCOM 2 follows the rebuilding of the XCOM program as an underground revolutionary force with the task of taking back Earth.
The game’s new trailer, released last night, finally seems to offer some sort of hint towards how exactly this came to be – a reason for wiping away the victories of many players. Or at least, giving enough of an idea so that the comments can be filled with Lore Wars over the exact logistics of how you lost.
The familiar voice of the Council from Enemy Unknown can be heard explaining that the world is not what we the player once knew, over images of alien conquest and society. “Now that we have recovered our greatest weapon,” he says, “the time has come to reclaim our world.” Proceeding this, first person camera shots appear to hint at some kind of alien abduction sequence. Is this what happened – our Commander from the first game was captured, possibly during the base assault in XCOM: Enemy Within?
From then on, the specifics of our new mission are laid out. XCOM 2’s fortress is now a flying command center, and our new soldiers are much more uniquely customizable and carry vastly different weaponry from the assault rifles and laser weapons of Enemy Unknown and Within. Those weapons are in turn pitted against wildly different types of alien enemies – snake monsters! Weird, half-bodied human flying machine things! And those enemies appear to be fought in very different kinds of missions – a cinematic shot shows a human stealth detonating a truck as she walks away. Befitting the underground nature of XCOM 2, could we see more stealth/espionage missions inside Firaxis’ thrilling tactical gameplay? Would certainly be interesting.
XCOM 2 will be released on Feburary 5, 2016 for PC only.