What Should XCOM 2’s First Expansion Be?

I visited Firaxis in 2014 to see Civilization: Beyond Earth and it was impossible not to wonder which closed doors were hiding the XCOM 2 [official site] team. The game hadn’t been announced but surely somebody was working on a sequel. Would it follow the path of the original games and take to the Lovecraftian depths? Would it reach toward the stars and a battle on various alien homeworlds? Would it take risks or rest comfortably on well-earned laurels?

The answer, as we now know, didn’t quite fit any of the above. These are happy times for the XCOM devotee but I’m hoping for an apocalyptic future. Here are a few ideas and hopes for what the game’s first expansion might be.

I met Jake Solomon while I was visiting Firaxis – a half-jesting query about XCOM met with a variation of “if it ain’t broke” and a laugh. XCOM 2 does fix the linearity of the satellite-building strategic game. Beyond that, it doesn’t reinvent the wheel but it does expand on the original magnificently. The X-/XCOM organisation has never felt more suited to the small-scale tactical scraps they’re involved in than during this post-invasion resistance. These are desperate times and you are controlling the last remnants of humanity’s heroic streak, a fully customisable army of your family and friends.

As I said in my XCOM 2 review, the game is an instant classic. It might not shake up the formula quite enough to win over those who didn’t get along with its predecessor but for those who did enjoy Enemy Unknown, it’s a weighty and thoughtful follow-up. It’s also a far more meaningful and consequential sequel than Terror From The Deep ever was. With that in mind, I’ve considered three possible futures for XCOM, with no spoilers whatsoever for XCOM 2.

Turns out the Deep is Pretty Terrifying

Enemy Within was a fine expansion, providing the first signs of the narrative bridge that indirectly leads to XCOM 2’s occupied Earth. More importantly, it added creepy-awesome gene-mangling and bionic troops. I didn’t write about it at the time but the short cutscene that shows the actual conversion process for MEC Troopers gave me nightmares. One nightmare specifically, which was like a combination of Johnny Got His Gun and that one good scene in the Robocop reboot.

The conversion process requires total limb loss. All four of them. Gone. I suspect we’re supposed to believe the soldiers have volunteered for the process but I felt like I’d duped them because I hadn’t expected the alterations to be quite so permanent.

That detour into body horror hammered home the cost of the fight but it’s not the kind of horror I want from XCOM. The sequel cranks up the fear factor with some of its alien redesigns but an expansion could really bring the terror by doing what so many of us expected in the first place. Look to the waters, those untouched dark waters that take up so much of the map and yet contribute so little. Terror From the Deep always felt like an expansion and I wouldn’t be altogether surprised if it became one.

New tech, new environments, new classes, new threats. The original Terror From the Deep was always intended to be something of a stopgap while Gollop and company worked on a more intricate sequel. As an expansion, that stopgap nature would be fitting – one last gulp of breath and a trip into the abyss before the real journey continues. The brilliance of the switch from deep space to deep sea shouldn’t be underestimated either; what if our most frightening foes were much closer than we realised? And let’s not underestimate how effective a change of colour palette can be – the chunky bright b-movie style of XCOM would make the eerie bloated sea-corpses of an underwater horror story stand out all the more.

But if not Terror From the Deep (or perhaps after Terror From the Deep), I’d love to see that other game – the ‘more intricate sequel’ mentioned above. It was about the end of all things.

Bring on the Apocalypse

When people remake things that worked perfectly well the first time around, it’s natural to be a little bit confused. That’s why the idea of an X-COM remake was so disconcerting. Of course I wanted it and I wanted it to be good, but did it really need to happen when the original was right there? That’s a discussion for a different time – a time when I’m somewhere far away actually playing either X-COM or XCOM because, hell yeah, there are two of these things now – but what I’d like to propose is a remake of a game that didn’t quite work out the first time around.

In some ways, X-COM: Apocalypse, the third game in the series, is my favourite of the whole bunch. It was (and is) a wildly experimental future-city simulator with a business management and conflict-based strategy game planted somewhere in the middle and tactical combat that could be played in either real-time or turn-based modes sprinkled throughout. There were corporations to befriend, raid or destroy. The aliens, who entered the city through transdimensional portals, would seek to spread their influence through the various organisations that provided X-COM with the stuff they needed to fight back and survive.

When people talk about ’emergent gameplay’, I always want to rave about some of the brilliant things that happen in X-COM: Apocalypse. Small things, like a fire eating through the floor and causing a walkway to collapse, killing some parasitic worms. Or big things like fostering a healthy relationship (and a good supply line of hybrid operatives) with the Mutant Alliance and then watching in horror as they turned on me due to unintended collateral damage.

X-COM: UFO Defense didn’t need a remake to bring out its best features and that it got a reboot that took another rewarding approach to the same basic setup was a wonderful surprise. A treat. A remake/reboot of X-COM: Apocalypse would be a chance to realise the potential of the original design, which was left unrealised thanks to…well, you can read Julian Gollop’s take on the development process over at Eurogamer.

A new Apocalypse, if it were to tackle the full scope planned for the original, would still feel like a game ahead of its time. And it would still feel like a risk. XCOM 2 elaborates on the basic Geoscape strategy layer established in Firaxis’ Enemy Unknown and it’d be possible to do much more with that boardgame-like setup. But part of me would love to see the whole thing thrown out when the time comes to move the story forward – let XCOM 2 stand as the final statement of this current iteration of the Geoscape and focus on a single city and its carefully simulated inhabitants instead.

Plot-wise it could work – and that’s saying nothing about the events of XCOM 2 beyond the initial setting. Aliens live among humans. Cities are recognisable but future-tinged. Revisiting that world of emergent possibilities would be bold but then so was the entire idea of an XCOM reboot in the first place.

MAYBE IT’S TIME FOR A SPIN-OFF

XCOM Enforcer! But, y’know’, like Earth Defence Force instead of whatever the fuck X-COM Enforcer was supposed to be like. I’m not serious, of course, but I have managed to take the names of both XCOM and Earth Defence Force in vain. That’s probably going to come back and haunt me somewhere down the line.

Or, hey, maybe it’s finally time for that first-person shooter. Except it’s also a survival horror game. And Gillian Anderson does some mo-cap and voice acting.

Considering the fact that I bought X-COM: Interceptor day of release, I really shouldn’t tempt fate. The beauty of the current situation is that XCOM 2 is here – almost – and it’s the work of a team comfortable in their skin and gathering momentum.

XCOM 2 is out REAL SOON.

For more on XCOM 2, visit our XCOM 2 guide hub.

87 Comments

  1. Grendael says:

    How about The enemy without? A SECOND alien faction launches an assault on earth and a beleaguered XCOM must decide. Do they side with a faction in order to root out at least one threat or do they try to fight a war on two fronts. It could almost play as a choose your own adventures type game.

    Also is anyone a bit upset at the day 1 dlc from this? its definitely gated content which is a bit of a shame. Still bought it… glutton that I am.

    • JHVDH says:

      The actual Day 1 DLC is effectively an appearance pack, nothing more. It gives you more cosmetic changes for your soldiers. It’s not like it’s going to cripple your game if you don’t buy it. Heck, I’ve seen plenty of people complain that too much effort was put into the ability to modify the appearance of your soldiers who then also complained about the DLC existing. Guess what, if you don’t want it, don’t buy it!

      The other available DLC is effectively a pre-order for future DLC (also known as a season pass in some games). This I can see being a bit leery about, but it doesn’t bother me personally very much.

      • Grendael says:

        You are correct. I partially retract my previous comment.

        Something still tastes a little funny though. Maybe the way it was bundled

  2. SAeN says:

    Always thought TFTD was a mess. Those awful awful cruise ship levels that never ended because there was always some wee prick of an alien hiding in a bathroom somewhere. Far too many multiple stage missions. The Island Missions were frequently an alien hunting chore. Melee combat was questionable.

    I agree that the theming of TFTD is on point, but it was desperately in need of an editor to trim the rough off the edges.

    • Premium User Badge

      Bluerps says:

      Yeah. I mostly liked TFTD, but especially the ship missions felt like a chore. Fortunately it was possible to ignore them if things were going well.

      “Oh no! The aliens are attacking a cruise ship! Someone should do something!” *sets time to fast forward*

    • Shadow says:

      TFTD was actually the first X-COM I ever played. Its demo on an old PC games magazine CD, to be precise.

      It was quite good, if you could look past the bothersome 2-part missions and had the knowledge not to lead yourself to the preposterous tech tree dead end.

      I’m not sure how it’d hold up remade, though. Particularly because the tactical layer would need to be redone completely. TFTD’s battlescape was essentially copy-pasted from UFO Defense, art aside, and I don’t think running around and throwing grenades as if you had air instead of water around you would fly. You’d have to remove throwing anything from the picture, and make heavy use of some kind of suit propulsion, as you couldn’t feasibly swim to cover without getting shot three times in the process. Not sure how all that would pan out.

      • PhilBowles says:

        I ended up hitting tech tree dead ends in TfTD, Apocalypse and Interceptor (which I maintain was not that bad) – to this day UFO is the only one of the original games I ever finished. But to me the big failing of TfTD was the 12 identikit superhard 2-level missions. And while Tenticulats were, and should have been, scary, whoever felt that Chryssalids needed to be faster, able to move in 3 dimensions, and remain lethal right into the late game should probably be shot.

        • wraithgr says:

          Two things: disruption grenades and save-scumming. “What? You are a floating death brain that can kill me with a touch and create clones of yourself from my dead teammates? Well I have a remote controlled missile and I *can control time!*”

        • Asurmen says:

          Tech tree dead ends in Apocalypse sounds like an unlucky bug. Never had it happen in any game across multiple PCs. Or I’m lucky.

    • Artist says:

      The “last, scared alien hiding in a bathroom somewhere” is an X-com classic! Even Apoc had it. What relief it was when you became so powerful that the aliens surrendered in fear, hehe!

  3. Keios says:

    I want to see one specific mission- Bradford’s Sweater Heist.

    Bradford discovers that Advent have seized control of the last factory on Earth producing his favourite brand of sweater. Swearing revenge, he takes his accrued personal days, tools up, and disappears into the night. The game then becomes a cross between a branching RPG and XCOM, where you control Bradford on his mission to gain the tools and intel necessary to retake the sweater factory. Depending on how you choose to approach it, you can either end up dumping neurotoxins into the air vents, forcing all but the most human of humans from entering the building, or take on a full frontal assault, slaughtering all who stand between you and your cashmere glory, with multiple choices in between as well. If you’re imagining a sweater-themed sci-fi reimagining of Rambo you won’t be far wrong.

    • JonWood says:

      I’d pay good money for that DLC, you just had me laughing hysterically into my morning coffee!

    • Fothers says:

      I like that Bradford would still only use his accrued time off and would be back to man his station at xcom in good time

    • Einsammler says:

      Mod support has you, my friend.

  4. hotla says:

    Remove all the boring scifi stuff & aliens.

    • Keios says:

      So a Jagged Alliance reboot then?

      • Premium User Badge

        Andy_Panthro says:

        Another one? How many have we had already, three? Perhaps as many as five or six, if you count unofficial attempts.

        Jagged Alliance 2 (esp. w/1.13 patch) remains a true great that it seems that nobody can recreate.

        • Premium User Badge

          teije says:

          The day someone actually betters JA2 in that genre will be one for the ages. Still on my hard drive today (having installed it on new PCs too many times to remember).

    • Nevard says:

      I can’t imagine anything less exciting than a modern war-based xcom game. We need more exotic scifi if anything.

    • Coming Second says:

      Remove the humans as well. Utterly hackneyed protagonists. Just give us what we paid for: randomly generated numbers and snek porn.

  5. Zephro says:

    Oh god yes for Apocalypse. It’s still my favourite in the series. All the stuff about emergent behaviour is exactly why it has so much charm. It just created brilliant stories, times when the Government became so infiltrated they cut off funding so my X-Com went rogue, raiding loyal corporations for equipment while battling on. Or just deciding that sending my loyal men into a dangerous tower block full of baddies wasn’t a good idea, so just planted enough explosives around the bottom the entire place collapsed.

    • Artist says:

      Oh yes! Apoc is still a blast to play. Those epic all-out battles against alien ships that left critical parts of the roads so totally destroyed that you cant get to your next infiltration mission until its fixed! Or dont paying attention to infiltration of your weapon suppliers early on, so the damn aliens cut you off your supply from them!
      B-l-a-s-t! Big time!

  6. Laurentius says:

    An honest question Adam. I know you are chums with Firaxis but regarding Apocalypse and “emergent strategy” do you trully belive that present day Firaxis is even capable of pulling this off? Look at stragetic layer of XCom or Beyond Earth (whole premise of alien planet reduced to more gimmicky barabrians) and then look at what Paradox is doing with Crusader Kings2. These intersitng layers we see in CK2, well we don’t see them in Firaxis’s games, either they are not interested or not capable to bring them home.

    • rmsgrey says:

      Yeah, my biggest complaint about the new direction of the XCOM games is that they ditch the simulation aspects of the original series, replacing emergent events (like having multiple incidents occur near-simultaneously and having to decide which to prioritise) with scripted events (like having 3 missions spawn simultaneously and requiring you to pick one).

      In the original, you could recruit and equip a second squad to let you tackle more than one mission at a time or pick the more urgent mission and maybe pick up the other before it expired or be more/less aggressive in certain areas to change the aliens’ options. Sure, that meant you sometimes missed out on the interesting choice of which mission to go for, but it also meant you were facing that choice as a result of your other choices, not because someone decreed that once a month you will be posed that choice.

  7. MrFinnishDude says:

    scantelierly clad snake girls

    • Keios says:

      I fully anticipate this to be one of the first 10 mods uploaded to the Steam Workshop.

      • Llewyn says:

        I fully anticipate this to be oneall of the first 10 mods uploaded to the Steam Workshop.

  8. Sandepande says:

    I suspect that the designers are more into boardgames than CK2-style stuff, and building such a game probably doesn’t tickle their fancy.

  9. aircool says:

    TFTD was a pain in the arse, but had a good vibe… Somewhere between Stingray and a touch of Lovecraft.

  10. horsemedic says:

    Onto my hard drive! Oh ho ho

  11. Anthile says:

    XCOM 2: Beyond Earth
    Set a hundred years after the events of XCOM 2, humanity has reverse-engineered alien technology and colonized the stars. However, over the years the XCOM organization turned into a militaristic, quasi-fascist one-world government, using the threat of yet another alien invasion to stay in power. Dissent is treason and freedom is nothing but a phrase. Few people even remember elections. Now the aliens appear to be back but this time they appear as liberators. Could that be true?
    You play as the governor of one of humanity’s most important colonies as you try to find out what is really going on. Do you try to appease your XCOM overlords or do you join up with the aliens? Or do you take the third option and declare independence?

  12. NephilimNexus says:

    How about the non-english language packs for soldiers that we’ve been asking for since the previous xcom came out?

    • Shadow says:

      XCOM 2’s soldiers do have customizable voices and language. They haven’t really outdone themselves in language variety, but it’s something.

      More soldier language packs wouldn’t go amiss, though.

    • JonWood says:

      The ones that were in Enemy Within (or possibly one of the DLCs I got with the latest Humble Bundle, something certainly made my foreign soldiers speak foreign).

    • tifaucz says:

      I just finished Enemy Within last night. There is a lot of neat ideas here, both in the article and comments, but they go too far off to be expansions, would be better as sequels.
      I would like something just like Enemy Within… but instead of humans, you suddenly discover that some aliens are able to free themselves from the Ethereals, and start fighting back too. Now, is the enemy of my enemy my friend? Could you even recruit some? And of course, Advent will step up their game in response…

  13. rodan32 says:

    I always thought Afterlight was a big missed opportunity. Maybe the region-nabbing faction stuff might work out with a little more love.

    • Joshua Northey says:

      Yeah that game had some good ideas on the strategic side of these games.

  14. Premium User Badge

    gritz says:

    Massively multiplayer procedural generated open world with survival and crafting elements with retro-inspired art design.

    • Premium User Badge

      gritz says:

      No but for real, co-op campaign where each player has persistent characters would be just great.

      • Keios says:

        What I would genuinely love is for someone to get the Necromunda rights from Games Workshop, then make a persistent, online, team based PvP tactical game based on that.

        • Zephro says:

          That would be great if you dropped the online, PVP, team based thing.

          If you just made a tactical persistent necromunda game that was a lot like x-com though…

        • amateurviking says:

          If the modding tools are going to as extensive as they’re saying, I reckon someone could have a decent stab at some of the tactical stuff at least. The two move thing fits with the basic mechanics to an extent, the hand to hand stuff might need some tweaking but there are at least melee weapons and animations in this one.

          I do sometimes worry that my memories of necromunda are somehow incorrect and it wasn’t in fact the bestest best thing ever. But I definitely remember it being the bestest best thing ever. Mercifully cheap compared to 40k too.

          Now if only I could do 3d modelling and had half a scoobies how to code I’d do it myself.

    • mpk says:

      And zombies. Can’t forget the zombies.

  15. mpk says:

    XXXCOM, obv.

    I’ve just completed a full replay (just in time!) of Enemy Within – I’d previously only played a few hours or so of it. I must say that the additions made to vanilla XCOM make for a better game than I remember from my original playthough.

    I still think the skill trees are too limited – a third option, or more levels on the tree would be nice, although I suppose there’s always the danger of ending up with optimal builds and min-maxing hell.

    (Must note that, Adam’s review apart, I’ve not read too much into what’s in XCOM2).

    I’d like to see an expansion including more use of the Z dimension, and more flexibility with things like the Archangel Armour and grapples (or their XCOM2 equivelants). Narrow, cramped maps set over multiple levels of a tower block, or wide open spaces like the farm lands of ye olde UFO would be good for that.

    SHIVs that are actually worth the investment in time and resources would also be nice – how about support SHIVs that can carry and/or heal troops, and resupply them with more grenades or ammo? How about mobile armoured platforms, which would allow a similiar escalation in alien tech?

    • Boomerang says:

      Y is up, Z is depth.

      • Molay says:

        This depends on the kind of engine you’re running on.

      • Premium User Badge

        Phasma Felis says:

        Argh. No. Z has always been the vertical axis in aviation, architecture, and pretty much everything else for as long as Cartesian coordinates have existed. Y is only vertical in two-dimensional coordinates, and even then only when the plane is oriented vertically.

        It’s only the computer graphics field (and by extension gaming) that decided that, since Y is the vertical axis on a 2D monitor, it must also be vertical in 3D with arbitrary orientation, and it’s a huge pain in the ass.

        • Premium User Badge

          Phasma Felis says:

          That should say “as long as three-dimensional Cartesian coordinates have existed.”

    • dethtoll says:

      A quick browse of the XCOM 2 tag on tumblr tells me that XXXCOM is well on the way. :|

  16. minty says:

    if they did do a TFTD expansion to xcom 2 i would like it to see it extend the main campaign with an optional alternate start for the expansion, you destroy the avatar project, the advent government falls apart, the aliens retreat to the oceans, xcom knows they are up to something, the word is a mess. this would give the narrative justification for xcom to need to develop a whole slew of new tech with limited resources.

    This would allow you to keep advantages you have developed and built on land for when the aliens attack there. the oceans however are a dark and foreboding new environment where you don’t have your advanced tech. the aliens could start altering themselves to better suit this environment slowly getting. closer in stages to there TFTD counterparts and getting harder and more powerful as they do so. sectoids get gills then green scales and finally fins and webbing, mutons could start developing bony plates and then extra arms and claws.

  17. Joshua Northey says:

    A version of Beyond Earth that is actually enjoyable? I kid I kid.

    For a first expansion I would say what I always say. I just wish the first expansion of every game focused on bug squashing, AI improvements, and balance focus.

    I hate that in the current market customers force companies to make expansions about sparkles and new features, when what many games need most is a second coat of polish on the existing game.

    I haven’t played XCOM2, and it sounds fun, but most games I play these days have too many mechanics and features that are in poor balance because the game design is too chaotic. Forcing espionage into every 4X game is a great example. It is just not something that generally works well, is frequently an unbalanced waste, and while it is “cool” it generally hurts the gameplay.

    For the first XCOM the expansion was ok. But instead of a new resource to collect and new upgrade path, I would have preferred realistic gunfire modeling, alien patrols, and a beefed up strategic layer. I realize those are hard problems, which is why companies should be able to charge money to work on them.

    Anyway games are about decisions, and there should be an emphasis on making sure those decisions are interesting and diverse, but still matter. Adding more elements is often a bad way to achieve this as a situation where one additional decision is obviously dominant leaves someone with no real decision at all.

    • Distec says:

      I agree that companies should be making efforts to shore up a product’s deficiencies before rolling out the new whizbang toys.

      But then I would expect the improvements you mentioned to be included in a patch, not an x-pac I’d have to pay more for.

      • Joshua Northey says:

        Why on earth do you think that? This is exactly the attitude I am talking about. Say you have $400,000 units of labor to allocate to a game. And they spend $100,000 on art, $100,000 on QA/balancing, $100,000 on engine/UI, and $100,000 on gameplay.

        WHy on earth would you be like “well if the game needs additional QA/balancing labor I demand that for free, but if it needs additional art or gameplay then I am totally willing to pay”.

        It strikes me as a childish and ignorant point of few that really harms the industry and quality of games. money is money, and fixing bugs, and balancing mechanics costs money just like adding new weapons does.

        You attitude is why games are often released a buggy mess, because people prefer sizzle and flash to quality when they are forced to make a choice, and are too stupid to notice the pattern in their disappointment.

        • rmsgrey says:

          The answer to “the game as shipped doesn’t work properly” shouldn’t be “pay more to fix it” – that just creates a perverse incentive where devs who rush to market get to charge 2, 3, or more times just to get a game that works, while those that release “when it’s done” only get to sell it once.

          Ideally, a game would launch without problems. If it can’t manage that, then at least it should get patched up to launch standard for free.

  18. heliotropecrowe says:

    I have yet to play it but from what I’ve seen there isn’t really a “battle for hearts and minds” going on with Advent or any political side to your gameplay. I’d love to play a game balancing the need to attack the legitimacy of Advent, without turning too many people against you.Blowing up an Advent barracks convinces people that Advent aren’t able to protect you but will also hurt innocent civilians working there.

    Your activities will lead Advent to paint you as terrorists and how you respond to this is the key moral choice. Do you try to stay to the high moral ground when Advent propaganda means somebody informs on one of your networks and costs you men or do you try and make an example out of them as traitors to humanity?

    • Leonida says:

      I just logged in to write the same thing. The true horror would be to actually fight a civil war against human “loyalists” as well as aliens. I was a bit disappointed to see that Advent soldiers have been provided with yellow blood and strange voices; they look all similar, no beard, no different skin tones; they look like clones. I would have much preferred if they were humans in every respect; of course, as the war drags on, increasingly desperate measures would be taken by both sides (modifications/mutations).

      You know what? I think I might make a mod, after all: it will simply reskin Advent soldiers, so that they can have beard, various skin colours, male/female… would be cool to have actual voices as well.

    • Shadow says:

      I pondered this a while ago, from a somewhat different angle. Firaxis hasn’t been all that bold portraying ADVENT, instead simply making them thinly-veiled evil.

      But what if the aliens were actually fairly good? What if they could provide humanity everything it needs, except independence? No more hunger, no more disease, but no more control of your own collective fate. No dark, hidden truth everyone would be appalled about upon finding out. Resistance groups would crop up crying for independence, but a sizeable portion of the human population would be very understandably complacent.

      It’d be a tough rebellion to conduct, but would our human nature really allow us to remain docile and subservient indefinitely, even if all our needs would otherwise be taken care of?

      (after all these philosophical ponderings, I realized the whole concept is something like living with your parents…!)

    • tifaucz says:

      Like Battlestar Galactica Season 3. That would be neat…

    • cpt_freakout says:

      That would be The Best.

      Another approach I think would be cool would be to downgrade the players’ presence to one more commander in a network, however large. You’re no longer wielding absolute power (well, only over your soldiers), and have to submit your actions to the organization, as well as taking responsibility for missions that can possibly affect your standing in it as much as others’.

      So for example, you vote for doing an espionage mission in some collaborationist corporation’s building somewhere. Commander TechBoy has won 3 more missions than you at this point, however (which could be one influence measure among others), and he and his pals vote for sabotage instead, so you’re basically ordered to blow up the place. Do you follow orders and gain some influence with TechBoy and his buddies? Or do you go ahead and do some espionage instead, risking their ire but gaining some influence for the valuable stuff you’ve obtained, as well as some friendliness from Commander SpyGuy, who tends to think war comes down to information? He might back you up next time a mission’s voted…

      Anyway, yeah, I’d love to see the organization itself become more intricate by making the player one more power among many, instead of the usual route that places the player at the top of an absolute monarchy.

  19. ChairmanYang says:

    I haven’t played XCOM2, so maybe this couldn’t fit with the story at all, but…

    What if the aliens controlling Earth are embroiled in a much larger, galactic-wide conflict with many other factions? The expansion could retcon the story to show that XCOM’s success, in part, is due to shadowy external support from one of these factions. After humanity becomes liberated, they discover this, and are suddenly thrust onto a much larger stage, and into an interplanetary multi-sided war that they are totally unprepared for, technologically and diplomatically.

    Now XCOM is an elite team that takes on missions around the galaxy in a ship provided by some supposed alien allies. Earth is a babe thrown to the wolves, but maybe, with the right tactical strikes to steal technology, sabotage enemy alliances, and ingratiate Earth with enough alien allies to avoid being crushed in the harsh galaxy, you can give humanity a fighting chance.

    Tactically, this could build on XCOM2 in lots of interesting ways. You could have special alien units of various races, weird technologies from around the galaxy, and maps on different planets with truly bizarre environments and terrain.

    • Kitsunin says:

      I really like the idea. It would even act as a counterpoint to XCOM 2 — rather than: What if XCOM failed and earth were taken over? It’d be: What if XCOM succeeded?

      From what I know it makes a lot of sense — with earth being annexed on the galactic stage by the aliens, of course they would be handling all the inter-planetary stuff, leaving earthlings with the simple goal of liberating earth. If these aliens weren’t around, earthlings would be forced to deal with the inter-planetary woes instead.

    • Booker says:

      This is such a massive change to the game we have, that it is something they want to save for XCOM 3.

  20. Fitzmogwai says:

    Perhaps they could actually finish X-COM Alliance. THAT would be truly amazing.

  21. TheAngriestHobo says:

    XCOM2: Bunker Dating Simulator.

  22. racccoon says:

    Expansions have become a fad! just like game devs feel they have to be attached to Steam which is an unnecessary tool. I feel they are all pressured into these expansions now. When you bought a game way back yonder, it was that! you just bought a game. subject done.

  23. vecordae says:

    The prior XCOM game’s main expansion really expanded on the gameplay and I’d like to see more of that in XCOM2.

    So, instead of JUST rebel human factions, it would be cool to work with rebellious contingents from the enemy side. Maybe an Ethereal goes rogue, somehow effected by his involvement with the initial invasion, and takes his contingent of invasion-era (XCOM:EU) -style sectoids and snakemen with him. Or, you know, the cloning facilities to make them. You could recruit them as operatives with access to unique skill progressions and mechanics.

    • vecordae says:

      Now that I’ve said that, I really want a little sectoid commando with a skull bandana and a rocket launcher as a team mascot.

    • Kitty says:

      This kind of stuff is also perfect for mods.

  24. scut says:

    Co-op horde mode. Each player gets a squad. Imperfect information sharing. It’d be grand.

  25. Booker says:

    I’d like to see an “expansion” to the game’s engine, that makes it a lot more efficient and less laggy. Some also call it “patch”. Not really interested in anything as long as the game has such a horrible performance. UE4 games that look like heaven perform much better than this thing with its UE 3.5 engine. Shocking!

  26. Sinjun says:

    The first expansion should be the one that fixes the totally fucked performance problems. Booted it up tonight and not picking it back up until it’s been patched.

  27. ilitarist says:

    God damn it, I’m trying to ignore this game till patches and sales, people, and you’re already talking about expansions. I had only 9 attempts on Classic Iron Man and there’s this Long War thing I have to try.

  28. tifaucz says:

    For a sequel, I want it set in 1920 with terror from the depths of the ocean…

  29. Ufofighter says:

    X’COM 2 SPOILER ALERT

    Well the end of the game implies a remake of Terror from the Depths. Developed by a new game or a expansion I don’tknow, but there’s little room for doubts.

  30. skittles says:

    I am a little confused, aren’t the expansions/DLC already detailed?

    -ANARCHY’S CHILDREN is a rebellion themed DLC featuring more dramatic soldier customizations. (To be released in Spring 2016)
    -ALIEN HUNTERS introduces new soldier customizations and gameplay themed around XCOM as an elite alien hunting unit. Face off against “Ruler” aliens with new, more powerful weapons and armor. Experience a new dramatic mission & confrontation. (To be released in Summer 2016)
    -SHEN’S LAST GIFT introduces a new soldier class with unique upgradeable weapons, armor and customization features, and a new narrative-driven mission and map. (To be released in Summer 2016)

  31. grizlob says:

    I really like the idea of XCOM being a bunch of ragged, dilettante and suicidal rebels lead by a former high-class-now-slightly-maniac officer, who can’t admit defeat. More time spent in the underground militia phase without alien technology of their own, but lots of make-do solutions.
    Therefore, I suggest a mod/DLC where the starting point of the game is set earlier: XCOM is struggling hard to even get back to their knees to crawl!
    -The Avenger immobile. You have to complete several missions to find spare parts and get your engine back working
    -No Skyranger for sorties and EVAC in the beginning. You walk or take a Truck, reducing your zone of influence to only one Region until you loot an ADVENT Transport and repurpose it as the Skyranger
    -Missions only in rural areas (Cities being too dangerous in the beginning) with standard ADVENT troops and an occasional Alien as enemies; making the sectoid a really fearsome adversary
    -No Science until you rescue Tygan and remove his implant in a special mission
    -Standard Weapons and Armor limited to only very few, the other Soldiers fighting in civilian clothes with pistols, shotguns, hunting rifles etc. until you raid an army depot
    -Sometimes civilians on rural missions join you during the fight with their own shotgun/rifle/pistols, increasing your list of soldiers if they survive the mission
    -More Looting: Modular Weapons available from the beginning and advanced gear like armor, items etc. as mission rewards from raiding ADVENT supply lines
    -ADVENT Guns lootable, to either use or sell on the Black Market
    -Supplies mostly from selling on the Black Market
    -No Avatar Project until you find out about the first Black Site
    -Final mission: Rescue of the Commander like in the Tutorial, then the game develops like Vanilla

  32. unrealito says:

    I red a lot of things, some good, others really crazy, but i didn’t read the one thing i think is missing since enemy unknown. COOP!!

    I think coop is a game changer for xcom, we all know that xcom 2 will be the same as EU and EW, we will play for 3-4 months, finish all the ways and then never play until some DLC comes.
    Well, i think a COOP can solve that problem, making the game much more fun and challenging then already is.
    The COOP could allow you to be part of the resistance, as a xcom soldier any part of the world.
    You could creat your own soldier, custimize the way you wanted and join online with another players, controling only your soldier.
    First you´re a rookie and can only do the initial easy missions, and after you finish it ( depending the amount of XP you got ) you would be promoted and select the class you wanted to play with.
    And from there is basic XCOM gameplay. but instead of all the squad and the avenger, you help your resistance base with upgrades. You and your friends could have a resistance base of your own, and select what you wanted to build or research.
    You would get loot at the end of the mission, with stuff that would help your resistance base to evolve and get new weapons and armor, or your just save the parts to buy your gear.
    You would evolve normally, select the missions from the variety of XCOM 2 missions with other players online, all with their own soldier and gear. The level of dificulty would be selected at a lobby and the reward would be accordingly to the missions dificulty and type. And if you die, same as on the game, start a new soldier.
    I think it’s a way to XCOM be not just a game that we are all excited when it launches then we leave it after a while, but a game that we play for a very long time with our friends or with ppl all across the globe.

    Hope you guys like my sugestion.

  33. rittstar says:

    i really like to see something like TFTD, or most likely i really really want TFTD :)