Alien bosses beamed down into XCOM 2 [official site] today with the release of the Alien Hunters DLC pack. These ‘Rulers’ are nasty variants of alien species who can turn up in missions unannounced, duff you up good, then scamper off to return in later missions. Which sounds great/horrible. They also bring new weapons and, if you’re feeling bold, you can hollow the Rulers out and casually wear their skins.
A patch is also out today with improvements for all players, DLC or no.
Alien Hunters is framed with a new missions slipping into the regular XCOM 2 mission flow, which will see Bradford dropping into the battlefield too. The Rulers can appear outside these missions though, teleporting in when they please. They sound like a horrible shower of gits. Rather than spoil the surprise of what’ll surely kill some of your favourite soldiers, I’ll simply link to Firaxis’s descriptions of the Berserker Queen, Archon King, and Viper King for the curious. Rulers are tougher than their subjects, get to take a turn after every single one of your soldiers’ actions, and will teleport out to return later if you don’t take them down quick enough.
But hey, kill a Ruler and you get to hollow them out. Each of their hides can be made into unique armour which has special powers and will also scare the bejesus out that Ruler’s subjects. You can even have a trophy room to display heads. I realise the fall of humanity has been tough for everyone, but I think you lose some of the moral high ground once you start turning your foes into onesies.
The DLC also adds new weapons: a pistol which can return the shooter to stealth; the mighty single-shot Bolt Caster; ice grenades; and an axe which can be thrown. Neatly, if these unique weapons don’t make it back to the Skyranger with you one way or another, they’re gone.
Alien Hunters is out on Steam for £7.99/9,99€/$9.99 or is included with the £15.99/19,99€/$19.99 DLC season pass. The next DLC will be Shen’s Last Gift later this summer, adding a new soldier class which Firaxis say has “unique upgradeable weapons, armor and customization features”. Cyborgs, maybe?
As for today’s patch, the changelog doesn’t include anything like “Massive performance improvements across the board oh wow you’ll be amazed by how much faster it is zooom!” but it does list a few bug fixes, minor performance optimisations, multiplayer balance tweaks, and new functionality mods can hook into.