In a surprise announcement by 2K Games and Firaxis Games, we now know that a new standalone game in the XCOM series is being released later this month. XCOM: Chimera Squad
Chimera Squad is a much smaller bite-sized game being sold at a humble $19.99 ($9.99 if you purchase it before it releases).
Set five years after the aliens were defeated in XCOM 2, humans and aliens now exist in multi-cultural cities and struggle to exist under one banner. The scale has drastically changed from previous entries. Instead of waging war against the aliens for the fate of the earth, players must now work with them to ensure that City 31 doesn’t fall into violent self-destructive unrest.
Perhaps the most notable change is the inclusion of Alien squad members, as the goal of the game is peacefully unify the humans and aliens, it’s clear to see why. Their inclusion allows players to attack with their various psychic powers. Something that was considered a reward for late-game players that put in the effort to train their soldiers in that field.
XCOM’s tone has also been drastically changed. The entire game is reduced to the city, following more small-scale tactical operations like those from a Rainbow 6 game, rather than the open sprawling warfare of previous entries.
However certain changes have been made to the formula. For example, if a squad member goes down and bleeds out, the mission ends in failure, followed by a restart. Rather than the perma-death that enraptured most fans. Alongside this, combat flows more like a JRPG turn-based battle system. Instead of both teams taking turns to move their units, each character is given a turn during a predetermined sequence. Meaning that players can’t access a unit unless it’s that units turn.
Base management seems to be the same, albeit with a face-lift to match its new themes. Allowing players to upgrade squad members and manage the population of City 31 (sounds a little Orwellian now that I think about it).
While the reasons for Chimera Squads imminent release aren’t known, it is peculiar. Battle Royale games have been following this routine, dropping content immediately to satisfy the “gotta have it now” mentality. However, XCOM is a fairly niche series that doesn’t need to apologize for its existence. Nor is it one that would benefit from avoiding the limelight.
XCOM: Chimera Squad includes the following features:
Unique Alien and Human Agents: Each of the 11 agents have their own distinct personality and tactical abilities, including species-specific attacks like the Viper’s tongue pull;
Specialized and Complementary Classes: Execute devastating combos by teaming the right agents and utilizing cooperative actions. The difference between mission success and failure can depend wholly on team composition;
Re-Envisioned Tactical Combat: Missions are structured as a series of discrete, explosive encounters, keeping the action intense and unpredictable;
Breach Mode: Players will shape the battlefield to their advantage with a new combat phase that injects squads right into action. They will strategically assign agents to different entry points and coordinate their assault plans with a range of Breach-specific skills;
Interleaved Turns: An automatic initiative system will slot individual agents and enemies into an alternating turn order, creating new strategic possibilities based on what unit is queued to act next – and what unit is at the greatest risk when they do so;
Suspenseful Strategy Layer: Outside of combat, players will manage the operations of a high-tech HQ, where they must prioritize competing tasks, investigations and agent assignments in the face of a ticking clock: the constantly rising unrest in the city’s various districts, driving City 31 closer and closer to total anarchy.
XCOM: Chimera Squad is set to release April 24’th, do you have any plans on getting it? Let us know in the comments below.