Remember when you were playing XCOM, and you had all that amazing gear? Those sweet suits of power armour, that devastating plasma sniper rifle? Well forget all about that, because in XCOM 2, the alien defence project didn’t get that far. In fact, XCOM 2 will pretty much assume that XCOM: Enemy Within never happened.
Talking to PC Gamer, senior producer on XCOM 2 Garth DeAngelis explained: “It’s funny, because we talk about lore in Firaxis games, and the narrative isn’t exactly what compels us forwards. But when we do talk about this timeline, again, it’s like Enemy Within never happened. Because you lost. You lost within the first third of the game.”
The idea for XCOM 2 will stem from the idea of the XCOM project having to go underground very early during the alien invasion. There wasn’t time to research all their technology and turn it against them. It’s not as if the commander got to the end of Enemy Within and failed at the last hurdle; the project was a failure pretty early on.
“We wanted a clean slate with that, and just build off of,” said DeAngelis, which makes sense. It probably wouldn’t feel much like XCOM if you didn’t start weedy and have to build yourself up over time.
The game will feature parallels to mechanics that were in XCOM, but adjusted to make sense in the new narrative. For example, whilst the Meld technology used to upgrade soldiers won’t be featured because the technology was never found by XCOM in this timeline, there will be an upgrade mechanic based on weapons. “You can now pick up loot from fallen enemies. Weapon fragments self-destructed after a certain time, so we’re building off the meld mechanic—you have X number of turns to get there,” said DeAngelis.
XCOM 2 will release this November.