Firaxis have released the first details of its upcoming XCOM DLC 'Slingshot'. Adding a three mission story arc and a named, immutable character to the game, Firaxis seem to be going against the randomly generated freedom offered by the base game.
Joystiq spotted this press release in low orbit and brought the sucker down with a well aimed rock.
The Slingshot DLC is the first of two DLC packs and according to the press release "In this new set of linked Council missions, gamers will meet an enigmatic Triad operative, divert an alien ship's course, and do battle with the aliens in the skies over China. The Slingshot Content Pack includes three new maps tied to the Council missions, a new playable squad character with a unique story and voice and new character customization options."
So this expansion will be dropped into the campaign as a definitive mission strong offered to you by the shadowy council.
According to Gamespy, the levels will depict actual places in China, rather than the ambigous, culturally-themed levels currently in the game. The levels won't appear in the game outside of these defined missions, nor will the named character.
Again, according to Gamespy - they must have a guy on the inside of Firaxis - the character who's added with the pack will be added to your squad as a mortal heavy who is tougher than your standard crop of soldier. However you won't be able to rename him, change his voice, or customise his look.
Frankly, this all sounds pretty bland. XCOM isn't about scripted missions or special characters, it's about a tactical sandbox that lets you foul up Earth while you fiddle about with autopsies. This DLC may be a great three level arc, but once that's over you've nothing added to the game. What I'd like to see is Firaxis add more sand to the sandbox, more levels, weapons, aliens, customisation options, and mutators - like those in the unearthed Second Wave mod.
"The release date and pricing of the Slingshot Content Pack will be announced soon."