Boss Aliens! New XCOM 2 DLC Sounds Rad

I really shouldn’t use the word ‘rad.’ I’m an Englishman – not in the alarmingly out-of-touch Zac Goldsmith sense, just in the nebbishly undemonstrative sense. I just can’t get away with boisterously hurling around ironic ’80s terms like they do in San Francisco. But by God, the new XCOM 2 [official site] DLC sounds rad. The Alien Hunters pack features, basically, boss aliens who show up at random and give you hell, and, if you fail to kill ’em, will get out of dodge and return to give you more hell another day.

A new story mission opens the gate to this trio of ‘rulers’, and if you do manage to take ’em down, each of which can provide the research for a brand new suit of armour. One of them, the Icarus, even restores flight ability to your soldiers.

You also get a few new weapons, each of which sounds as though it plays into the ‘remix any and everything’ ethos of XCOM 2’s abilities, which is pretty much my favourite aspect of the game. The Bolt Caster is a single-shot big-hitter, the Hunter’s Axe is a sword you can throw (whee!), the ShadowKeeper pistol has a guaranteed-hit ability and can chuck you back into concealment afterwards, and the Frost Bomb grenade turns foes into temporary popsicles. Good times – and another remix is that each of these can be obtained only once.

If the soldier carrying one of them gets him or herself killed, one of their chums will have to carry them to evac otherwise you’ll lose their mega-thing forever. Again, I’m a fan of the tense evacs in XCOM 2, so more variety to that is good news as far as I’m concerned.

Back to those boss aliens, though. Only one, the Viper King (pictured above), has been revealed, and their exact capabilities remain unknown, but there’s this to go on: “each will have their own unique behavior and tactics, so don’t expect them to act like their subordinates. If you can’t take out a ruler quick enough, the alien will escape to fight another day. We believe these rulers are incredibly intelligent and are pursuing your soldiers across the globe.”

The Alien Hunters DLC is out on May 12 and will cost $9.99 on its own, or comes as part as of the Reinforcement Pack season pass. In the summer, we’ll also be getting the Shen’s Last Gift DLC, which “introduces a new soldier class with unique upgradeable weapons, armor and customization features, and a new narrative-driven mission and map.”

More good, if belated news, is that Alien Hunters will be accompanied by a big old patch for XCOM 2, which features “general bug fixes, balancing in the single player, performance optimizations and a rebalanced multiplayer experience for the base game.” The thing still runs a bit rotten on my PC, so fingers crossed the problem finally gets solved.


  1. Premium User Badge

    distantlurker says:

    Alice made the “little bit of politics” tag for a reason Master Meer, chop chop ;)

  2. klops says:

    Regarding fallen chums and evacuations. I hope the exact square/area where to pick up you fallen XCommies will be shown. There were couple occasions when the soldier had flown a great deal from his/her original spot when killed and I could not pick the body up either from the original place of death or from the place the body landed. Or has this been fixed already?

  3. hurrakan says:

    Still need to find out what happened to Dr Vahlen.

    • klops says:

      I prefer XCOM without her and her accent.

      • RedViv says:

        Vai zet?

      • Durgendorf says:

        Really? Tygan’s delivery drove me up the wall. I much preferred the musings between Shen, Vahlen and Bradford from the first game.

        • klops says:

          Well, true. Tygan was quite bad, although I don’t remember was the reason the actor or the lines or both combined. He just didn’t have a horrible fake accent.

          I really hate horrble fake accents.

          • Durgendorf says:

            There’s a kernel of truth to every horrible accent. Doesn’t make it fake.

          • klops says:

            If anything in this world can be called fake, that’s Vahlen’s accent.

          • timespike says:

            I like Taigan, though Vahlen was a bit more interesting. XCOM in the first game was more morally gray and ruthless, and Vahlen played that up. Interestingly, in 2, despite having a fraction of the resources, XCOM is a lot more upstanding in their tactics. I’d still like to see Vahlen come back, possibly as an antagonist.

        • Michael Fogg says:

          There was more personality clash and difference of opinion in XCOM between the trio, something that the sequel didn’t manage to get right. I liked Tygan Southernf-fried accent, but Shens was to irritatingly Millenial.

        • Coming Second says:

          I didn’t mind Tygan at all. It was Shen Jr’s nasal Valley girl effort that grated for me, not helped by an incredibly flat delivery.

    • Horg says:

      I’m calling it now, ‘Shen’s Last Gift’ to humanity is Meca-Valen.

  4. tehfish says:

    I hope they do some sort of DLC to include the big stompy mechs.

    I do miss that from the last game.

    • Carlos Danger says:

      Lucky for you that they were removed from the game primarily to be released later as DLC.

      • Xocrates says:

        Honestly, I would be happy if they weren’t added back.

        I’ve never really liked to use them (mostly because they couldn’t use cover, but weren’t as replaceable as the SHIVs), but they were too good not to.

      • Durgendorf says:

        I liked their melee, but that should be redundant to the Rangers now. Plus they were a heavy investment to make them decent compared to the immediate benefits of the gene soldiers.

      • klops says:

        Is that a fact? Hopefully it is.

      • Faults says:

        “they were removed from the game primarily to be released later as DLC”

        Sooo… just like XCom 1 then?

  5. Nauallis says:

    It must be good to be the king (viper). All of the other vipers we’ve seen so far have breasts. Not that this means all of them are female. Maybe the boss will be the breasted viper king. So it might still be good to be the king. Could swing either way.

  6. mpk says:

    All the new rulers have been ‘revealed’ in the umpteen new achievements they added to Steam a few weeks back – there’s the Viper, a Berserker and an Archon ruler. There’s also a reference to a final tier of Hunter weaponry, so perhaps there’s a new class on top of everything else (or maybe just referring to the new weapons).

    At least when Payday 2 drops another half dozen achievements onto the twelvety bajillion already in existence, they keep the descriptions deliberately blank until whatever patch/DLC pack is released.

  7. Greg Wild says:

    There’s some screens of all the aliens here: link to

    I’m a little underwhelmed myself. Doesn’t feel like the current DLCs have justified the cost of the season pass at all.

    • Shadow says:

      Ugh, as if the punk/BDSM DLC wasn’t enough, horrible-looking gear galore.

      The alien bosses themselves look alright, but yeah, it feels rather underwhelming.

  8. X_kot says:

    I like the idea of these unique “legendary” weapons – reminds me of the bloodline weaponry in Massive Chalice, where an ancient crossbow or such is passed down through a family.

  9. Abaleth says:

    This is exactly what xcom2 needs, the late game is dull as dishwater. Hope it’s compatible with Long War’s variable soldier mods!