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19 Observations About The XCOM 2 Trailer

Snakewomen and Johnny 5

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I should have been there. I should have been there. But I wasn’t. I was busy toddler-wrangling when XCOM 2 was announced yesterday, so only now can I say my piece about the follow-up to my most-played game of the last decade (at least). I’ve watched the trailer several times over, and I have these things to say about it, in a vaguely shot-by-shot breakdown sort of way.

0:18 I will be 56 in 2035. Never mind the alien invasion, Oh dear lord what will I be doing for a living then?

0:22 I hope we get this sort of view in the game proper – like X-COM Apocalypse by way of Syndicate

0:31 Civilians going about their business, rather than hiding and getting murdered. If we get that, that’s an X-COM first, right? Also: I wonder if we’ll be made to feel about disrupting their ostensibly peaceful lives? XCOM 1 had a few gentle nods towards moral dilemmas as your advisors quibbled about the best course of action, though there wasn’t much of a pay-off.

0:40 (See header image) So the alien takeover was successful because one of them helped a man who was stuck in a large bucket?

0:54 The cars have glowy wheels, because The Future

1:00 Short Circuit 3, coming to theatres in 2035

1:06 Tcch, half-cover. Amateurs.

1:20 Cold-blooded murder seems a bit OTT, given the only bad thing we’ve seen the aliens doing is security scans. Though I guess I’d get a bit crazy too if my every day was like boarding an aeroplane. In any case – looks like there’ll be more human-fighting, as in the Enemy Within expansion. (Though I notice there are no mech or mutation upgrades on show here). I wonder if Within is considered canon, now the timeline is officially that the aliens won?

1:21 Snakemen are back at last omigod omigod! … Wait. Even better. Snakewoman. And in Commander Shepherd cosplay too. So much cooler than Thin Men.

1:36 Johnny Five got game.

1:40 More alien melee attacks should be interesting. It was a bit odd that the original Snakemen just waved around pistols, given their bodies were made of pure muscle.

1:48 I call this one Dave BigSectoid.

1:53 Oho, so we get to dabble in melee combat too. This is going to change things up quite a bit. Wonder if it’s going to be a (new) class-specific thing or an option for everyone?

2:05 This is actually the most exciting implication of the whole thing for me: one of the soldiers is carrying another’s prone form over his shoulder. Trying to get critically wounded units back to the Skyranger was one of the tensest and strangest aspects of the original XCOM: carrying your downed teammates around in your backpack, like a sack of bleeding potatoes. If this is more than irrelevant CGI posturing, it’s going to introduce a whole new layer of strategy to wounding and exfiltration.

2:12 Mad Max Fury Road mod asap, please

2:26 Yes that is an impressively enormous helicarrier, but I’m still far more excited about carrying wounded people on my shoulders.

2:39 Just for a second I thought that was Peter ‘ Optimus Prime’ Cullen saying ‘welcome back commander, and absolutely lost my shit. Then I remembered that they’ve used a soundalike before. Still, a geek can dream.

2:47 NOVEMBER IS ONLY FIVE MONTHS AWAY AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH but I still can’t wait

2:48 Looks like PC (and Mac & Linux) only. I feel sorry for our console kin, but that is a very, very good thing as far as I’m concerned – potentially more options, better mouse/keyboard controls, maybe more modding? Welcome back, commander of my heart.

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Alec Meer

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Co-founder of RPS. Dungeon Keeper & X-COM 4 Life.

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