Frozen Synapse 2 [official site] is the game I’m most looking forward to this year. Yes, there’s the not insignificant matter of Civ VI out there on the horizon, but there’s something about the combination of Laser Squad and X-COM Apocalypse that really gets me hot and bothered. In case the Apocalypse connection weren’t already explicit enough – the simulated faction-filled city as backdrop to strategic combat game being the clue – the first devblog for the game namechecks the least-imitated X-COM game almost immediately. You can enjoy the blog, which covers the central incursion mechanic, in either text or video format. The latter is below.
I’ve covered the central ideas, and the reasons I’m so excited about the game, in this pile of words, so if you want a primer, that’s the best place to look. This new video has several important details though.
First of all, it highlights the systems running in a way that shows the game behind the ideas more clearly than anything I’ve seen previously. Playing that game might still require some handy dev hacks to ensure everything hangs together but you can sense the shape of it. And then there’s the incursion themselves, which have been described in intentionally vague terms previously. That’s still the case, to an extent, but we’re told they’ll occur in two forms.
There are two types of Incursion: major and minor. Major incursions will take place on levels which are largely hand-crafted, with a specific enemy unit composition. This will allow us to do some narrative stuff as well as some scripted enemy behaviour.
Minor incursions can happen basically anywhere on the map, in any type of building. They’re defined in a few ways — the number and nature of enemy units; different types of spawn configuration etc — but they’re effectively entirely generated. They also scale up in difficulty as the game progresses.
The blog has details on the work to be done as well as more information about incursions and the progress so far.
This is a huge milestone for the game; it’s not the kind of thing you can shout about with a trailer or send out a big press release about. But it’s a stage which matters so much: FS2 is now properly playable to a meaningful extent, and we can start the major content push which will take us into beta.