XCOM 2 is out this week and I’m pretty flipping excited. But what of people whose hearts yearn for X-COM, the bedashed original series Firaxis rebooted and dedashed? Good news: Xenonauts 2 [official site] is definitely happening. Bad news: it’ll arrive in 2017 at the earliest.
Goldhawk Interactive’s Xenonauts, which came out in 2014 after years in early access, is essentially a tweaked unofficial remake of UFO: Enemy Unknown (or ‘X-COM: UFO Defense’, whatever). It’s pretty great! The sequel will be a bit more adventurous, taking more liberties with the X-COM formula as it also switches from sprites to proper 3D.
“Some of the issues in the original game were caused by our lack of experience / lack of early funding, whereas others were caused by the constraints remaining faithful to the design of a game dating back to 1994. The experience and income we have accumulated from the development of Xenonauts mean that we can make a sequel that significantly improves and expands on the first game – and this time we can be more innovative than before.”
Expect redesigns of the aliens, air combat that’s less frequent but turn-based, a better interface, better modding support, better performance, and plenty of other things detailed on the game’s site.
Somehow, this isn’t an announcement – Goldhawk are simply saying they’re making it and explaining what it’s about. Except more info “in the next couple of months”. They’d said before that a sequel was “more likely than not” and muttered about plans so hey, it’s good to upgrade its status.
Goldhawk plan to once again take the Early Access path, but the game will be further along when they do that this time. “People expect more from Early Access games these days,” they say. We will be watching.