Members of the Nexus community have been rootling about in the XCOM: Enemy Unknown directory and have stumbled across some scrapped content that was originally meant to unlock after completing a playthrough of the campaign. The 'Second Wave' added a good deal more randomised stats and deadliness to XCOM. The details of how to install it are below.
This was spotted by PC Gamer, but I had to share it because this looks like an excellent addition to the XCOM base game.
PepprmintButler discovered the files after they "went on a search for the Second Wave options (of which descriptions were found in the demo files; these are advanced options that can be activated after a first full playthrough, supposedly). Mostly because I did finish my first playthrough and found no sign of it in-game."
The options they managed to recover are campaign mutators that can be selected individually or cumulatively:
- Damage Roulette - Weapons have a much wider range of damage
- Red Fog (not working) - Any wounds taken in combat will degrade a soldier's stats for that mission
- New Economy - The funding offered by individual council members is randomized
- Not Created Equally - Rookies will have random starting stats
- Hidden Potential - As a soldier is promoted, their stats will increase randomly
- Absolutely Critical - A flanking shot will guarantee a critical hit
- The Greater Good (not working) - The secret of psionics can only be learned by interrogating a psionic alien
- Marathon - The game takes considerably longer to complete
- Results Driven - A country will offer less funding as it's panic level increases
- High Stakes - The rewards granted for stopping alien abductions are randomized
- Diminishing Returns - The cost of satellites increases with every one that is built
- The Blitz - The aliens will target a larger number of cities every time they launch an abduction attack
- More Than Human - The psionic gift is extremely rare
Anyway, how to get them working: another Nexus user, Arietatray, has created a mod that plops all these features back into the game for you to play with.
Hopefully this will become a modular mod once XCOM's Steam Workshop integration comes online.