Thanks to the excitement surrounding XCOM 2 (have I mentioned we gave it an Essential yet?), developer Goldhawk Interactive has confirmed Xenonauts 2 is now in the works.
The original game released back in 2014 after a year in Early Access and was heavily inspired by the '94 classic, UFO: Enemy Unknown. This proved both a blessing and a curse as XCOM fans enjoyed the sense of nostalgia, but some players were turned off by a few rather outdated design choices. That fixed camera perspective, for example. Ugh.
"The experience and income we have accumulated from the development of Xenonauts mean that we can make a sequel that significantly improves and expands on the first game," explained the developer. "And this time we can be more innovative than before."
Yeah, sounds great - but what does that actually mean? Well according to the announcement itself, we're looking at some pretty major changes. Amongst other things, Xenonauts 2 will see the series move from 2D sprites to 3D graphics, a reworking of the air combat, and a complete overhaul of how the aliens look and play, leading to "a more intelligent and challenging foe". The setting's different too, with this game taking place during an alternate timeline in which the aliens arrive during the Cold War. This all sounds very, very welcome.
As with its predecessor, Xenonauts 2 will first arrive in Early Access at a discounted price and players will be encouraged to help shape the game's development. It will, however, be a little more complete than Xenonauts by the time it reaches this stage.
In the developer's own words: "...people expect more from Early Access games these days!"