XCOM 2 Screenshots Introduce Aliens To Suburbia

Unlike its predecessor, XCOM 2 [official site] will have procedural levels. That means its cities, wilderness and small town settings will be different every time and clicky-clacked together from grim future Lego bricks. There’s new screenshots below of what that looks like in suburbia.

Think of the japes you’ll get up to in these environments! Hiding behind those low walls. Accidentally shooting your friend in the face in that car park. Dressing one of the aliens up in your mum’s big hats in that suburban home. Riding your bikes across the sky while on the run from the shadowy government forces who pursue you.

XCOM: Enemy Unknown and its expansion were wonderful games and I am looking forward greatly to the sequel. Right now, it’s filed under my head as a stately, sensible follow-up to the first game: nothing too wild about it, not too huge a departure, but adding the sensible things we want from it. A slightly more diverse cast of enemies; procedural weapons; more interesting base development; more varied mission types. Evolution not revolution, as a shit ’90s games mag might say.

These are not complaints. Sometimnes I wish Firaxis were wilder, but I suspect that’s what the XCOM 2 expansion – should there be one – will do. In the meantime the game is looking good. You can find larger versions of these images over on the XCOM site. XCOM 2 is due for release on February 5th


  1. dare says:

    So, based on that train, is Combine going to show up as well?

  2. neoncat says:

    Can’t wait! Hopefully, this one will also have fewer game-breaking glitches (*cough* teleporting enemy groups *cough*).

    • TechnicalBen says:

      That and the game freeze bug that was game breaking, though mostly fixed.

  3. epmode says:

    XCOM 2 is apparently turning into exactly what I hoped I’d get with the reboot. I’m so happy about the procedurally generated maps!

    • FreeTom says:

      I’m happy it *can* have procedurally generated maps. Kind of hope there a plenty of dev-designed ones too, though. RNGs are great for replay value but I’d say the level layouts are an important part of the game design for stuff like XCOM.

    • JaggidEdje says:

      Looking great. The previous entry was good…but not as long term replayable as the original (in my opinion, anyway). This one might have what it takes to actually keeping me coming back for years, just like the original did.
      I’m excited. :0)

  4. Thulsa Hex says:

    Oh, man. Bring it on. Incidentally, that second-to-last screenshot is basically the exact same view out my window right now.

  5. Horg says:

    Nice little touch in the 4th shot down, all the street lights are on solar power, and the house has several solar arrays on the roof. One of the shots not shown on this site was an abandoned and rusted sub station. The implication being that all the old human infrastructure has been allowed to fall into disrepair, and the humans not living inside the advent controlled cities have had to become self sufficient. Little details like that can tell the viewer a lot about the environment.

    • Horg says:

      Edit: substation shot is 3rd from top, missed it first pass.

    • subedii says:

      First shot indicates they’ve developed motorbikes that take up the whole road.

    • GWOP says:

      Good eye, Horg.

    • ensor says:

      And yet that digital billboard is bright and shiny. Perhaps for propaganda purposes? (“Tired of rolling blackouts? Unsure about next year’s crop? ADVENT can take your cares away!”)

  6. Papageno says:

    Pretty cool-looking. Hard to believe that those are procedurally-generated.

    • subedii says:

      The way the procedural generation works is more like a patchwork “quilt” as such. Buildings and items are developed whole, and placed down by the procedural generation to create random levels:

      link to uk.ign.com

      [quote]Here’s how the metaphor works: imagine a map in XCOM 2 as a quilt, with holes where a pre-constructed modular building will be placed – those are the parcels. The holes are big, small, and medium-sized, with a range of unique buildings that could fit into each size. These buildings, and the holes in which they’re socketed, are the parcels of the system.

      Though modular in nature, buildings in XCOM 2 aren’t procedurally generated, but crafted set pieces, and almost entirely destructible – including their ceilings and floors. “They’re actually high-cost to make,” said Foertsch. “There are a lot of steps that go with them. Then there’s the visibility stuff. And there’s a lot of things to iron out when you destruct these things.”[/quote]

  7. Themadcow says:

    At this rate, XCOM 3 might end up being as good as the 90’s X-Com games. Well, maybe.

  8. Szhival says:

    Anyone else noticing the this looks as good if not better then Fallout 4 ?

  9. DanMan says:

    Hmm, not sure I’m digging the more “real world” kind of look. I kinda liked the slightly comic-like look.

  10. ensor says:

    Personally, I am largely in agreement with Firaxis’ “thirds” design policy for sequels and expansions: one-third old, one-third new, one-third improvements. It looks like this is shaping up to be an excellent representation of that philosophy. Where they need to break out of that mentality is with something like Beyond Earth, which probably should have been more like two-thirds new.