XCOM 2 News

Ahead of the release of XCOM 2: War of the Chosen, Firaxis has released one of its most anticipated features as a free download: the photobooth. Okay, well, it was one of my most anticipated features anyway.

War of the Chosen is XCOM 2's new expansion

Jake Solomon has just been onstage at the PC Gaming Show at this year's E3 to announce an expansion for XCOM 2. It's called War of the Chosen, and it features three new enemy factions and three new ally factions. Oh, and some people who are a bit like zombies. It sounds amazing.

The Chosen refers to the enemies, three champions from the alien army who will challenge players in different ways. The Assassin is duty-bound and honour-driven, focusing on stealth and close quarters. She can vanish from sight and attack with a blade, which sounds incredibly annoying - but in a good way, I think. The Hunter is a long-range sniper. Then there's a Warlock, "Which is, you know, a Warlock," according to Solomon.

Brilliantly, The Chosen evolve as players fight them again and again over the course of the campaign, getting stronger, picking up new abilities and even gaining procedural quirks. Meanwhile, there are three ally factions for the player to hunt down and win over: Reapers, who focus on stealth and sabotage, Skirmishers, who are half-alien hybrids, and Templars, who specialise in Psionic tricks that build power over multiple attacks.

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XCOM 2 getting Long War 2 mod

Welcome back (again), Commander.

Firaxis has confirmed that a Long War 2 mod is in development, as many of us had hoped. Obviously, XCOM 2 just wasn't difficult enough already.

Best-selling Steam games of 2016 revealed

Mix of old and new, big and small.

Happy New Year! Valve has revealed the top 100 best selling games on Steam in 2016. And given the size and dominance of Steam in the desktop gaming marketplace, the results are worth noting.

XCOM 2 gets its long-awaited performance patch

XCOM 2 should now run better on your PC, thanks to its first major patch.

"The XCOM team has been working hard to improve performance, balance, and stability issues reported by our fans," explains the official blog post. "We will continue to improve the XCOM 2 experience with additional updates and patches over the coming months".

Firaxis have also added the option to activate a new 'Zip Mode', which speeds up animations and ensures a "faster-paced experience". This remains optional and can be found under the gameplay menu.

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A single button press skips loading screens in XCOM 2

UPDATE: But it could crash the game, developer explains.

UPDATE 12/02/2015 8.07pm: Apparently mashing the Caps Lock key can cause the game to crash, developer Firaxis has explained. Here's the developer's response to our query about if there's any reason players shouldn't use this trick:

XCOM 2 is a fantastic game - we've already said that - but I think it's fair to say that the strategy genre can be an intimidating one for newer players. Perhaps that's why 2K Games hired TV presenter Fred Dinenage to help explain the game's new concealment mechanic.

Long War team are making mods for XCOM 2

Reinforcements are coming.

Good news for XCOM 2, as developers, Firaxis Games, have announced a partnership with recently formed Long War Studios, the team behind XCOM: Enemy Unknown's incredible Long War mod.

XCOM 2 likely won't launch with gamepad support

XCOM 2 likely won't launch with gamepad support

"When we talk about stuff, we only talk about PC."

XCOM 2 developer Firaxis doesn't plan on launching its upcoming turn-based strategy sequel with gamepad support, though it intends to add that later.

This may come as a surprise as its predecessor, XCOM: Enemy Unknown, appeared on both Xbox 360 and PS3. Then again, maybe it's not a surprise given that the sequel is exclusive to PC, Mac and Linux.

As reported by IGN, creative director Jake Solomon addressed the sequel's PC-exclusivity as a way to focus its efforts on a single vision of the game. And since Firaxis has been making primarily PC-exclusive Civilization games for two decades, that's the developer's comfort zone.

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XCOM 2 announced for PC this November

XCOM 2 announced for PC this November

Firaxis introducing mod support and procedural levels, no word on console versions.

Firaxis is working on a new XCOM game that's currently slated for PC only, and it's due out this November.

Simply called XCOM 2, it's the sequel to the warmly received XCOM: Enemy Unknown, which came out in 2012 and was itself a reboot of Julian Gollop's much-loved turn-based strategy classic.

XCOM 2 takes place 20 years on from its predecessor, at a time when aliens have established rule on Earth which must be broken by your team of specialists. Procedural levels and mod support are in, though for more substantial details we'll have to wait until E3.

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