XCOM Chimera Squad is a brand-new title set in the XCOM universe, but it’s not the exact same turn-based strategy game you might remember. While it employs tactics and strategy in a way that series fans will find familiar, it all falls under a new conceit.
Instead of saving the world from an alien threat, you’ll take control of the eponymous Chimera Squad, a rag-tag group of aliens and humans set to protect City 31 following the events of XCOM 2. Of course, considering what happened in XCOM: Enemy Unknown and XCOM 2, not everyone is happy about the allegiance between extra-terrestrials and humans.
To fight threats and keep the peace, Chimera Squad acts as a quasi-police force, taking on tactical operations throughout the city. These play out a little differently than typical XCOM encounters and feature a brand-new “breach mode,” the first step in any encounter.
According to the gameplay overview video below, “this phase begins each encounter and allows you to choose Chimera Squad’s entry points and agent turn order.” Here, you decide how your team works — or doesn’t work — together, taking steps that will affect the rest of the encounter.
Turns, integral to any XCOM experience, also see a small tweak. Somewhat like Othercide’s timeline feature, Chimera Squad allows for certain agents to shuffle the turn order, jumping ahead of enemies and allies alike. Based on what we know about Othercide’s version of this type of system, it’s one that has the potentiality to stand out in the XCOM universe.
Each agent has a unique ability that synergizes with other agents, and though you’ll want to keep all of your agents healthy, they won’t die if they go down in combat. Instead, agents are incapacitated, taking on scars and battle wounds that impact key stats.
XCOM Chimera Squad is just around the corner, set to release on Steam for PC on April 24. Normally $19.99, the game will be discounted to $9.99 until May 1. You can pre-order the game over on Steam now.
Though it’s an aesthetic departure from what’s typically seen in the XCOM series, and it shuffles up some of the franchise’s key mechanics, it looks like most of XCOM‘s tactical and strategic elements remain. Chimera Squad doesn’t seem as far of a departure from series’ roots as, say, The Bureau: XCOM Declassified.
Stay tuned to GameSkinny for more on Chimera Squad, including our upcoming review.