The aliens are back in XCOM 2, and this time they successfully invaded Earth and placed humanity under its regime. However, there is a small resistance brewing, and after being rescued from alien capture, you're back in the commander's seat to lead the next generation of XCOM. The latest trailer for the game didn't focus on combat, but rather the management aspects of the game.
In XCOM: Enemy Unknown, the main base was built underground, with room to expand for additional power generators, research labs and satellite uplinks. That type of luxury isn't affordable, so your headquarters is the Avenger, a run-down alien transport ship that's been repurposed and contains enough room to expand the growing resistance.
As always, the main pillars of power, science and engineering remain, but with a few upgrades. Soldiers now have more access to genetic enhancements with the Advanced Warfare Center that should help when combating the advanced alien race. For R&D, there's the Proving Ground room, which deals in many experimental weapons that have potential in the battlefield, but have yet to be tested in live combat. Fortunately, there are soldiers to test it out.
Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger
Speaking of which, the method of training for each soldier has also changed from Enemy Unknown. In the past, soldiers were assigned a random role in the squad after reaching the Squaddie rank. Now, you can choose their roles through training. In the beginning, you can choose from four options: the grenadier, which mainly deals in explosives; the ranger is the squad's vanguard unit with a proficiency in close-quarters combat; the sharpshooter provides support from a distance, easily taking care of enemies with their sniper rifle; and the specialist, who utilizes a Gremlin drone to either aid injured units through medical aid or help in the fight with its hacking tools.
The customization options for each soldier have returned with added extras, as well. Aside from customizing the type of armor as well as its color, players can also add more cosmetics to each soldier, such as whether or not they will wear a helmet, have a tattoo or wear sunglasses. Additionally, there are also improvements to the weapon customization. You can choose the type of ammo in each gun and give it a certain color and pattern to make it a unique item.
When it's all said and done, you return to the somewhat-familiar situation room and its large hologram of Earth. However, the map used to choose missions expands to a full screen experience. With the resistance in its early stages, you must establish contact with other cells around the world in an effort to gather more intelligence, supplies and recruits for XCOM. Along the way, your intelligence team will provide reports on the latest alien activity and how to prevent it. Hopefully, your team is well-rested and prepared for the challenges ahead.
Good Luck, Commander
So far, XCOM 2 seems to dramatically improve on most of the features laid out by XCOM: Enemy Unknown. Obviously the gameplay will be different, especially when you're on the losing side of the conflict.
The turn-based strategy game was met with praise when it came out in 2012, and Firaxis seems to be on the right path to making its sequel another success when it hits stores in November.