XCOM 2 gameplay video reveals enemies, tactics, and theatrics

2K's E3 2015 demo footage gives us an up close an personal look of XCOM 2's new features.

Last month's XCOM 2 reveal trailer showed us snakes, swords, and sneaking sectoids. Today's ten-minute video reveals gameplay from the E3 2015 demo, granting us a closer look at what cinematics have only teased.

The video showcases a single mission, the goal of which is to sabotage a pro-alien rally by destroying an ADVENT landmark. The playable unit of soldiers (codenamed "gate crasher" for this mission) arrives in secret, granting the option of stealth as soldiers push forward.

"Looks bigger on tv."

In XCOM: Enemy Unknown, moving a soldier to a specific point on the map would sometimes trigger a contextual event, revealing previously unseen structures or targets. When this happens in XCOM 2, the camera shifts to a more cinematic angle, presenting the triggered event like a miniature cutscene. In the video, soldiers triggering events like these weigh in with pieces of relevant dialogue, instead of just rattling off canned responses.

As the gate crashers prepare to engage their targets, the music builds in intensity, only coming to a peak as the first shot is fired. If this is a result of gameplay, then XCOM 2's sound design is looking very clever, but like the cinematic angles and soldier dialogue, it may very well be edited in for the sake of presentation.

Jesus Christ, how horrifying.

Partway into their assault, this horrifying snake creature exits the back of a van and slithers into my nightmares, using her tongue to "Scorpion Spear" one of the gate crashers from an insane distance. XCOM is good at making each new enemy it introduces fill me with crippling dread each time I see it, and they're getting an early start with this one.

Fortunately for us, it appears that this Cobra Commando is just as susceptible to being sliced in half with a katana as any other snake, but considering the snake soldier's insane range, have fun getting that close without losing people in the process. 

This is your turret? This is my turret.

We also get a closer look at XCOM 2's specialist class in action, as he can be seen here using his flying "gremlin" drone to hack into an enemy turret. It looks like the options available to you depend on your specialist's tech score, and how much of that bar he or she is able to fill. 

"What the hell is that?!"

In traditional XCOM style, just as things are starting to look good for the team, some new, ridiculous threat appears from out of nowhere--this time in the form of a giant, hulking beast and his robotic accompaniment. For the gate crashers, fighting is not an option, and the surviving soldiers are forced to flee.

As we saw teased at the end of the reveal trailer, your soldiers will be able to carry unconscious allies from the battlefield. Fortunately, carrying a person over your shoulder doesn't appear to impair movement speed that much, as we see one of the gate crashers sprint to a self-deployed evac zone placed just outside of the combat area. 

While XCOM 2 doesn't appear to have improved that much in graphical fidelity, it does seem to provide a number of exciting new options for players to fight back the alien occupation. Look for it to arrive in November of this year.

Featured Correspondent

Published Feb. 1st 2018

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