x-com 2

Gamescom: impressions XCOM 2

2K games had a new presentation for us that gave us a look at rebuilding your command center after being in Stasis after 20 years. The command center in XCOM has always been an important part to guarantee your victory against the alien race. This command center allows you to train soldiers, improve technologies and plan your next attack.

Whatever you decide as a commander will influence the battle and other chain of events between humans and aliens. A new dangerous age comes along so a command center with some new features is more than a must! 

For the players who aren’t familiar with the game’s plot. XCOM 2 will go further after the events of the first game which is 20 years later. The base of XCOM has been broken down and there isn’t much left of it. So humanity is being controlled by the alien ADVENT administration and XCOM has been forgotten by the people. XCOM has to rebuild the command center and inspire the people around them to rebel against the aliens. It’s your job to get the resistance up to speed. You start with little and you have to earn the support of the resistance movement. You’ll have to be more pro-active than re-active. Rebels will have a secret black market that you’ll be able to use if you can find it. The black market is a place where you can trade weapons, get access to Russian research, rush your own research and more.

The presentation showed us a bit more about the managing part in XCOM 2. The command center can be fully optimized in the way you want it to be. You decide what research is more important and you also get to divide all of your resources to the working spaces that need these resources the most. This will influence your chance of survival against the aliens. A couple of departments are in your command center such as a research facility, an engineering facility, an armory, … and many more.

The assignment of your staff in different department and shouldn’t be taken lightly as the staff offers bonuses to the assigned department.For example: a  staff member can be used to fasten up the process of a certain research so it will take less time to develop something new. There are also some new facilities that you can use. The proving ground facility is something that’s been added. This facility will offer you the opportunity to experiment in order to create different weapons or ammo types. So you don’t know exactly what you’ll get when you start building these unknown weapons/ ammo.

You can also train soldiers in the armory. The armory allows you to train staff so that they’ll become a soldier. As a commander, you”ll be able to choose a certain class for these soldiers: grenadier, ranger, sharpshooter and specialist. Each class has their own set of abilities and weapons they can use. The soldiers looks can be customized as well as the gun they’re holding.

Another new thing that has been added to the tactical map is the “alien dark events”. In this game, the aliens have their own research team that’s been hidden for the player. Sometimes, these dark events will come up on your tactical map and you’ll have to choose how to address these dark events. These dark events can be stopped when you interact with them but you can’t interact with them on the same moment. It’s your choice which event you’ll try to mitigate, but like I said you can’t mitigate them all at once. So some of these events will go through at some point if these aren’t addressed. These events will have strategic advantages for the aliens. One event might give them more health or they will use poison rounds in their guns.

Since your command center is mobile, there’s also a kind of territory control in XCOM 2. You can explore the world by moving your avenger from one country to the other. You can decide where you want to go. By moving your avenger, you’ll have access to some actions like start up a resistance in this country or research an upgrade that can only be researched in that specific country. All these actions and exploring will add up to the metagame of XCOM 2. You will react on alien dark events but they will also play the game to react on your actions. Aliens will also built facilities so you’ll have to take these facilities out, if you want to win the game.

Intel is also a resource that can be found by completing missions, find them at rumoured sites, … These rumoured sites can be visited to give you intel, supplies or members. These rumoured sites can be used to compensate the amount of intel you’re getting but it comes with the loss of expanding your territory since you can do both at the same time. It’s again the choice of the commander.

The game seems to be more dynamic than Enemy Unknown. There are a lot of different features but the basic concept is the same. XCOM 2 offers more freedom and flexibility on strategic level but you still have familiar features like the base management, the research and the engineering. XCOM 2 will be a great game to experiment with different tactics or playstyles, so the replay value seems very high with this sequel. Enemies have also been redesigned since they have another way of interaction and behaviour. Enemies do more on the battlefield than they used to do.