XCOM 2 Screenshots Venture Into The Wilderness

Most of what we’ve seen of XCOM 2 [official site] so far has been in the ADVENT cities, those sinister gleaming metropolises where humans supposedly live in harmony with their alien overlords. Shyeah right. But what lies beyond the spires and sculpture parks? A new load of screenshots from Firaxis show cabins in the woods, overgrown petrol stations, and icy fun. I’m going to assume these are from delightful little walking simulator side-missions where you’ll get to swim beneath waterfalls, chase squirrels, watch ducks, and end turn after turn listening to crickets.

You can see full-size versions of these screens over on the XCOM site, but don’t pay too much attention to their captions talking about alien ambushes and whatnot – it’s clearly a marketing smokescreen. Yes, the wilderness in the first XCOM was filled with crashed UFOs, but I don’t see any of those here. No, this is all calm.

This spot, for example, is from an early mission where you head out to the boonies to reclaim Dr. Vahlen’s former holiday home from creeping kudzu and set yourself up with a nice vacation spot. It’s a lot of hard work, and – spoiler alert! – ultimately you realise that the kudzu is here to stay now, and maybe you should accept this invasive species and learn to live in harmony. Perhaps that’s teasing a parallel for the main storyline?

The aliens have their own little holiday homes too. A little flashier than yours, sure, but they’re here for the same reasons as you. Don’t hassle them too much, okay? And don’t go swiping their space-snacks and space-brandy. Remember the story of Christopher Knight, the Maine hermit.

Wrap up warm for snowy hide-and-seek!

If you get peckish, petrol stations might have a few snacks left. Twinkies are nigh-on indestructible, and their hot dogs aren’t even legally classified as food. Chow down!

But do remember that the weather can change suddenly. Don’t be caught unprepared!

Ominous graffiti might mark this as some sort of rebel hideout. Steer clear of these troublesome folks – they’ll ruin your relaxing woodland holiday by blowing things up and attracting alien attention.

Once you’ve set Vahlen’s old home up, you’re ready to start venturing deeper into the woods. With high-level trail mix and walking boots researched, you might even reach this lovely little cabin. Rumour has it you can choose to end the game here, giving up on all that fighting and settling your squad down for a quiet life.

XCOM 2 is coming on February 5th, following a wee delay. I’ll be ruddy furious if Firaxis change these relaxing levels into shooty battlezones, as I’m sure testers are urging them to. Don’t do it! Stand strong!


  1. Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

    Topstab, move up to the clearing and lay down a heavy blanket. Ragemonster, I need you to storm over to the waterfall and shoot some selfies. Beefslap, deploy the heavy thermos and stand by. I need bugspray from Stormface and Hugefist on both approaches. Let’s move! Triangular sandwiches are incoming in thirty seconds, make sure we’re ready to recieve them.

    • liquidsoap89 says:

      Beefslap. Fucking BEEFSLAP!?

      One of my soldiers will be getting that name FOR SURE! Thanks for that!

      • Chiron says:

        Call one of the others Beefcurtains

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          ooshp says:

          I have both a Beefslap and a Beefcurtains, they’re a fine couple. I’m glad to see these are popular names, if only people would use them more for real babies.

    • mattevansc3 says:

      Sir! We have grey clouds incoming. I repeat grey clouds incoming. HQ are reporting a thirty percent chance of precipitation. Do we abort?

      • Ugubriat says:

        Negative, Private, it’s picnic or die! Get your game face on!

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          Bluerps says:

          *Mission Control*
          *The sound of rain can be heard over the radio*

          “Team, report! What is happening? Ragemonster? Beefslap? Custard? Is anyone there?”

          *For a long moment, now one answers*

          “This is Custard. I made it to the Skyranger in time. Everyone else is …” *A few seconds of silence* “Sir, they are all wet.”

  2. MrFinnishDude says:

    X-com needs a little squad social side things, like “relax by the pool” from various beach volleyball games. Imagine going to picnic with Dr Vahlen, eating jam sandwiches while discussing alien anatomy. If Firaxis doesn’t pick up on this grand idea I hope modders will.

  3. RaunakS says:

    Alright, so those are all excellently designed levels and gorgeously colourful and all that. Also, it’s quite possibly going to be my GOTY and I’m going to disregard all common sense and definitely preorder it. But let’s get to the important part:

    Holy crap, that story about Christopher Knight. That is strangest backwoods hermit story I’ve ever read- like something out of a Stephen King story (or a lost Enid Blyton character). And it’s darned sad too! We used to have people run away to the forests here, but they mostly get eaten by tigers or crocodiles. I wonder if a man so out of touch can even function in the world. Won’t he have lost 30 years of disease resistance? Has a game ever depicted true isolation like that, specifically the latent psychological problems he’ll have now.

    I can’t stop thinking about him. I’ll have to go on a news binge, I think.

    • Banyan says:

      Yeah that Christopher Knight story was one of the most interesting things I’d read about in many moons.

  4. Banks says:

    Gorgeous. I’m so hungry for more XCOM.

  5. klops says:


    Although I’m not so enthusiastic about this Falloutwalkingdeadish let’s-make-things-abandoned-but-in-a-trimmed-way-like-someone’s-mowing-the-lawn-and-sweeping-the-streets-but-letting-vines-grow-on-cars style.

  6. Pockets says:

    What bugs me the most about these screenshots is that the car has rust on plastic parts. :|

  7. Styxie says:

    I hope the starting base is a cave in the woods, and that the waterfall screenshot is the hidden entrance. Also, the new head of research should just be a bear in a lab coat.

    • klops says:

      I prefer Imagination Bear’s lines to the ones spoken in pseudo-German in XCOM1.

    • SpiceTheCat says:

      Squad Hidden Shadow, after action report. Ambushed joint Advent/BEM patrol. Recovered human-sectoid hybrid corpses and passed then to Dr Bear for investigation as instructed. Dr Bear now asleep, no sign of samples. Unconvinced as to usefulness of autopsy results.

  8. Stepout says:

    I love you, XCOM 2.

  9. Zenicetus says:

    This looks great. I wasn’t loving the idea of spending all my time in those gleaming plastic cities, so this will be a nice change for some missions.

    Also, Urgh… kudzu… (shivers). I owned some acreage in the Tennesee mountains as a vacation place for a few years, and we had kudzu creeping in on the lower clearings. Worse than any Alien to try and keep cleared out, I tell ‘ya!

  10. Kitty says:

    Not being a native English person is interesting sometimes – I didn’t realize what a kudzu was, so I assumed it was some kind of alien.

  11. wcq says:

    I do hope the sequel will be a bit less infuriating than XCOM:EU. I’ve decided I hate that game, after it decided to screw me out of victory one too many times in Classic Ironman.

    Squads of floaters teleport in the middle of my squad. Snakemen waltz (un-aggroed) right out of the fog of war and headshot my guys in full cover. Mission end flags don’t trigger. Every recruit rolls heavy, can’t get a single support or sniper.

    I want to like that game, but it just DOESN’T FOLLOW ITS OWN DAMN RULES.

    • MrFinnishDude says:

      Firaxis has said that x-com 2 is basically a tutorial to Long War. If you are not familiar to long war, it’s basically this:”ABANDON ALL HOPE”. So the chances are that you’re going to have a bad time.

      • klops says:

        I remember that being said about the first XCOM as a compliment to the mod, not as real plans for XCOM 2.

    • klops says:

      Every recruit rolls heavy. !!!!

    • Horg says:

      With the improved mod tools we’ve been promised it’s highly unlikely that XCOM 2 will be left in the same shambles that XCOM was. I’m still holding off on a purchase until I see exactly how powerful those tools will be though, there is still some pent up rage from all those muton teleport squad wipes.