Making The Misfits: XCOM 2’s Character Customisation

It’s the RPS Horacetide lunch and beverage session today, which is why the entire site smells like eggnog and reheated turkey twizzlers. Here’s an early pressie in the form of a video showing the XCOM 2 [official site] character customisation suite in action. This is taken from my recent hands-on session – I’d made the rather fabulous lady above and she’d survived one outing. I decided to give her a new gun, and ended up giving her a new face and outfit as well.

At the beginning of the video you can see the folks lining up to join XCOM. I love that some of them are a little long in the tooth and that they have randomly allocated backstories.

When I zoom in on Laurie, you can see her Gremlin drone hovering over her shoulder. She’s a Specialist class operative and that drone is her main advantage in battle. In the next mission we undertook, she used the drone to hack two turrets, which we turned against two enemy squads, destroying both.

The terrain and buildings react to damage far more this time round and I actually managed to destroy a third turret that was firing down on my squad from a rooftop by blowing the roof out from beneath it. The device fell right through and shattered into pieces on the floor.

24 Comments

  1. RedViv says:

    I was going to fully comment on Flutterdash but now that I have seen that the voice went to UK English 4… I wonder how close they get to matching the recent The Long War options there.

  2. FuriKuri says:

    Is it possible to change the nationality and gender of soldiers? Couldn’t see these in the menu shown in the video, and I’ve always felt these options were conspicuously absent in the first game. I like the extra options shown but it’d be a shame to [still] be missing these.

    That said, if the modding side of things is as flexible as promised I can’t imagine there’ll be much of a wait for someone to add them in.

    • hamilcarp says:

      What a dumb idea. If they did that, it would completely undo the whole concept of recruiting soldiers. The thing that makes the game compelling is this simulation of sorts of being the commander of a secret organizations. This isn’t the Sims where you play God.

      • TWChristine says:

        Yea! God forbid someone play the game they want to! (As if someone changing options in their play-through will somehow jeopardize you recruiting the way you want to.) Not to mention, did you watch the video and see all the customization they were able to do? Kinda seemed like that was pretty much “playing god” already. And in the end, according to a senior producer, gender and nationality are customizable options after all. So I guess they didn’t care that it was “dumb.”

    • jojotheindiancircusboy says:

      I want to say that I saw someone able to change those on one of the videos from this presser.

  3. raiders says:

    I wasn’t going to get it. But the more I see…dammit!

  4. Pantalaimon says:

    It bothers me when games go to these lengths with the customisation but don’t add a randomisation button, or randomise things enough to begin with. I forget how jumbled up XCOM’s misfits were when they arrived on base, but I remember having to use a spreadsheet to gen up some numbers for their appearance, nationality, etc, just to give some flavour.

    Personally I never feel right manually adjusting all these things. Why on earth would I be able to decree someone’s hair colour? I just want the game to do it for me. Same thing happens in games like Fallout 4 where you have to tell the character to equip that super awesome Stalker radiation hat when the rad storm rolls in. Why don’t they do it themselves?

    • polecat says:

      I thought XCOM did a usually decent job of generating diverse squads; my problem was with the accents, though Annette and Chang from the DLC helped a bit. They seem to have properly cracked that.

      By the way did anyone notice that you got Scottish soldiers as well as UK soldiers in XCOM – a mistake or developer wish fulfilment? I wonder if the Advent administration has a position on how to implement extra devolution, or on English Votes for English laws; probably they will have at least solved what to do with the House of Lords by filling it with Thin Men.

      • April March says:

        XCOM was released in 2012 but took place in 2015. Considering that there actually was a referendum for Scottish independence in the meantime, it came pretty close to being very prescient.

  5. Shadow says:

    This video, like a bunch of others dealing with customization, left me wondering about the voice options. I want to see the list, but I have a hunch they’re not allowing the previewers to show it.

    Some anglo-centrism is expected, leaving aside some embarrassments from XCOM:EU, but if there’s at least 3-4 UK AND American English accents, I’m sure they could spare the resources to provide at least 3 voices for other full languages. For instance, Spaniard and Latin American Spanish accents are at least just as marked as the American-UK difference, and I’m hoping for some proper representation there.

    But given they’ve been lazy with easier stuff before (i.e. Brazilian soldiers have Spanish names in XCOM:EU), I don’t think I can hold my breath…

    • Shadow says:

      Voice option numbers stated per gender, of course.

    • Nokturnal says:

      link to youtube.com

      Try this one.
      4:45 into the vid.

      American x10
      UK English x4
      Aussie x2
      French x9
      German x9
      Italian x9
      Spanish x9

      Seems to be the end of the list. But could just be that more haven’t yet been added.

      • RedViv says:

        Ah, so it’s just an expanded EFIGS setup.

      • Shadow says:

        Not bad, but languages like Russian, Chinese and Japanese are conspicuously absent. Hindi too, if we prioritize large countries.

        They might be cutting corners to some extent, because all of those might be the mandatory voices of the game’s five localizations: English, French, Italian, German and Spanish.

        In essence, they could’ve done the same with XCOM:EU’s resources. Seems they only really went out of their way to provide more diversity for the benefit of English speakers, providing Aussie and British accents in addition to the standard American selection.

      • Shadow says:

        The game’s five primary localizations, I mean. It seems Japanese, Korean, Polish, Russian and Chinese are supported, but only as far as interface and subtitles are concerned. No full audio support for those, which is no coincidence.

      • NephilimNexus says:

        I see that, once again, the whole of Asia has been left off the list.

  6. TheAngriestHobo says:

    It’s a little concerning that I may end up spending 40 minutes on a soldier just to watch them get their face melted four steps from the chopper.

    • polecat says:

      I hardly ever customised basically for this reason. No point doing it on rookies who could be dead any minute, and by the time they’d got good I loved them just as they were and it would have felt like an intrusion. But I love that you can in theory!

      • lordcooper says:

        I had a designated ‘rookie’ outfit including a helmet for that precise reason. People then got a generic ‘assault’/’sniper’/etc uniform on their first promotion and earned the right to individuality with the second.

        • Haplo says:

          I did this exact thing.

          I made the rookie uniform red, as an aside.

          • polecat says:

            I’d forgotten about the colours – I did this too, except kept the rookies as they were and gave everyone coloured uniform matched to class once they specialised. Made it easier to read the battlefield. Plus when you get psi specialists they’re too cool for school and go sleeveless! (Perhaps their powers also conferred arm invincibility)

    • NephilimNexus says:

      Agreed. Which is why I thought it was an amusing touch that in Long War all rookies have red uniforms.

  7. AyeBraine says:

    That “Clearing Alien Machinery” progress note is very cool.

    – “What’s that?”
    – “A boombox.”
    – “With legs?”
    – “Have you seen them snake-bitch shoulders? Stop stalling and help me get it to the chute, that shit’s like a hundred kilos.”
    [An intern walking past the chamber stops suddenly at the sound of chittering immediately followed by a low thud, profuse swearing and intermittent gunfire]

  8. Cyrus says:

    As long as I can make a somewhat true or similar Worf, Jack O’Neill, Jayne Cobb and so on, I’m happy.

    Warriors of the sci-fi world unite!