Apocalyptic Incursions: Frozen Synapse 2 Dev Video

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.

Exciting times.


  1. slerbal says:

    Nice. XCom Apocalypse is an underrated gem of a game. Julian Gollop really was pioneering there. The core systems in that were revolutionary and despite some system limitations it made for a fascinating game where you could rewrite the rules of engagement and take the battle to your enemies. “Not going to work with me MarSec? No problem – we’ll take what you won’t give”.

    So glad to see it is being an influence on this and certainly makes me hyped for FS2 (and OpenApoc) :)

    • Heavenfall says:

      Seconded, I always thought the strategic city in X-com Apocalypse was the better part of the game. You’d see warring factions duke it out in air-to-air combat, and some ship went down into a building causing visual damage. And when you went there are fought in tactical the building was actually damaged from the crash. If a building got completely leveled you got to fight in a kind of slum/ruins area. It added such a visual feel to the game as you progressed.

      On the other hand, if you completely ignored the faction gameplay and just did your best in tactical, you probably would not be any worse off. Although they designed an interesting level of game, it didn’t have much impact on the gameplay.

      • automatic says:

        Thirdeded. They should make a remake of it with better AI and updated graphics. I bet it would be way better than this actual X-Com installment.

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    Waltorious says:

    The writing and worldbuilding were the weakest parts of the first game, in my opinion. I hour they are improved here, as I’d hate to habe all of these cool incursions in a city that I don’t really care about.