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XCOM spiritual successor Xenonauts 2 introduces more enemies and armor

A Xenonauts 2 update brings new enemy threats to the XCOM-inspired strategy game, along with another battlesuit and a big balance pass.

Xenonauts 2 update 4 adds new threats and armor to the XCOM successor - A soldier awash with green lighting.

The XCOM series comprises some of the best strategy games on PC, yet its modern iterations of 2012’s Enemy Unknown and 2016’s XCOM 2 are a little different from the likewise excellent origins of X-COM in the ‘90s. Sticking more closely to those old games is Goldhawk Interactive’s excellent Xenonauts 2, published by indie strategy house Hooded Horse. Its latest update, just released on Steam, brings some new threats to the battlefield, alongside a new way to help deal with them.

A promising follow-up to Goldhawk’s first release, Xenonauts 2 once again puts you in charge of a shadow organization aiming to bring the nations of Earth together to fight a growing alien threat. You’ll have to maintain your network of bases across the globe as you research your enemy and train your troops in an attempt to match their strength. It’s a relentless strategy game where every decision can swing a fight – but losses are inevitable.

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Xenonauts 2 update four is a hefty overhaul. It introduces an additional UFO type, the Harvester, the penultimate alien ship to be added ahead of the Battleship. This giant transport craft is equipped with beam weapons and homing missiles, making a threat on its own merits, but its large interior can play home to a numerous crew of elite alien soldiers.

Also entering the fray are the Androns. This new race of robotic soldiers is well-armored and usually found in strike forces that can accompany Wraith crews. Their high armor values mean you’ll want to resort to tools such as EMP damage to break past their defenses and bring them down.

“Androns were in some of the (pre-Early Access) Kickstarter builds of Xenonauts 2,” Goldhawk explains, “but their original models and animations didn’t look particularly good and they had integrated arm-cannon weapons that were difficult for players to identify. We’re much happier with the updated models and animations, and since the new Androns carry weapons in the conventional manner it’s now much easier to spot which ones have deadly Fusion weapons.”

Xenonauts 2 - A battle inside a UFO.

Fear not, however, as you’ll also get access to the new Colossus Battlesuit. Originally planned as the “ultimate” Xenonaut armor, it was superseded by the Vanguard and now acts as a more primitive option that you’ll get access to earlier in the progression. That means it’s a very robust option despite some limitations, boosting your strength and armor dramatically but lowering its wearer’s vision range by three tiles along with a lowered reflex stat.

In addition to this, it can only make use of machine gun-type weapons, and is incapable of making use of grenades or modules. While the Colossus will feel somewhat less useful once you gain access to Vanguard Battlesuits, you’ll also be able to upgrade its armor further to retain its viability as a specialized heavy assault unit.

The update also includes plenty of balance changes as the team at Goldhawk works towards the full release of the game. If you’re tempted to jump in for the first time, there’s even a Steam sale discount, letting you do so at a lower price than usual.

Xenonauts 2 update - The new Colossus Battlesuit.

Xenonauts 2 is on sale at a 30% discount through Thursday July 11. That means you’ll pay just £24.49 down from its usual price of £34.99. Head here to check it out for yourself.

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