XCOM 2 revealed, coming to PC first in November

The sequel to critically acclaimed strategy game XCOM takes us 20 years into the future, where aliens have taken over and an underground human resistance must fight to reclaim their world.

GameSpot staff
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GameSpot staff
3 min read


Publisher 2K has revealed XCOM 2, the sequel to its acclaimed turn-based tactical action game, which is set to ship on PC first in November.

According to 2K, the sequel "transports players 20 years into the future, where humanity lost the war against the alien threat that has established a new world order.

"The secret paramilitary organization known as XCOM is largely forgotten and must strike back to reclaim control of Earth and free mankind from the aliens' rule."

Here's a story overview provided on the official XCOM 2 website:

"Twenty years have passed since world leaders offered an unconditional surrender to alien forces and XCOM, the planet's last line of defense, was left decimated and scattered. Now the aliens rule Earth, building shining cities that promise a brilliant future for humanity on the surface, while concealing a sinister agenda below and eliminating all who dissent from their new order.

"Only those who live at the edges of the world have a margin of freedom. Here, a force gathers once again to stand up for humanity. Always on the run, the remnant XCOM forces must find a way to rise from the ashes, expose the insidious truth behind the occupation, and eliminate the alien threat once and for all."

In a twist on the first game, the XCOM is now the invading force and must manage dwindling resources while evading the alien threat in a new mobile headquarters.

"Players must use a combination of firepower and stealth-like tactics to help XCOM recruit soldiers and build a resistance network, while attempting to expose the evil alien agenda and save humanity."

2K is touting procedurally generated levels, which it says "will make each experience unique to the player," along with a "deeper level of modding support." The game will also feature five updated soldier classes, increased soldier customization, a variety of new alien and enemy types, evolved tactical combat, "and more."


XCOM: Enemy Unknown designer Jake Solomon returns for the sequel as creative director. According to Solomon, the feedback from players has had a big part to play in the development on XCOM 2.

"The feedback from the passionate XCOM community played an important role in the development of XCOM 2," he said.

"We're thrilled to implement long-time fan requested features such as procedural levels and modding support, as well as adding more of what makes XCOM great like new aliens, enemies and soldier classes."

Other noteworthy elements of XCOM 2 are the new Advent enemies that "offer a distinct tactical challenge".

Here's a feature list of XCOM 2 features:

  • XCOM on the run: Take command of the Avenger, an alien supply craft converted to XCOM's mobile headquarters. Guide your strike force around the world, build popular support, and expose the aliens' sinister plans.
  • Recruit resistance fighters: Five soldier classes, each with its own skill tree including new class abilities like Momentum, let you create specific soldiers for your tactical plan.
  • Tactical guerrilla combat: New gameplay systems offer more tactical flexibility in combat. The state of the world affects each combat mission's environment. Use concealment to ambush enemy patrols. Loot enemies for precious gear and artifacts. Rescue VIPs and save fallen comrades by carrying them to the extraction point.
  • A new breed of enemy: A diverse cast of enemies from powerful new alien species to the Advent, enforcers of the alien regime, offer a distinct tactical challenge.
  • Research, develop and upgrade: Configure and build rooms on the Avenger to give XCOM new capabilities on the battlefield. Use your scientists and engineers to research, develop and upgrade weapons and armor to fit your preferred tactics.
  • Each mission is a unique challenge: Go on missions around the world, from wildlands to the heart of the alien-controlled megacities, to the depths of alien installations. There are virtually infinite combinations of maps missions, and goals.
  • Create custom mods: Community-focused tools allow you to create your own campaign, tactical gameplay, aliens, classes, strategy game features, and share within the Steam Workshop.
  • Engage in head-to-head multiplayer: Mix-and-match squads of humans and aliens battle head-to-head on randomly-generated maps.