XCOM 2: Long War 2 turning Geoscape to battlefield

XCOM 2: Long War 2, the officially-sanctioned sequel to the venerated XCOM mod, will expand the ‘Geoscape’ global strategy layer in new and awful ways. Long War 2’s initial announcement this month was a little light on details, leaving us guessing at how it’d give XCOM 2 that complex and gruelling Long War flavour, but interesting factbits are now surfacing. For starters, the Geoscape is now a battlefield of its own, with push, pull, and BETRAYAL!

A new blog post explains that Long War 2 players will need to actively manage the rebellion in regions they’ve contacted:

“Each region has a certain number of rebels who may be assigned to one of three different tasks: scrounging for supplies, recruiting new rebels and soldiers, or gathering intelligence to generate new missions. You’ll also be able to deploy a single adviser – a scientist, engineer or soldier – to each region to provide bonuses to a particular task, and may improve a region’s defenses by capturing ADVENT MECs and repurposing them through the advanced Specialist perk, ‘Full Override.’

“Rebels can die during retaliations and other missions, and even some can be Faceless in disguise.”

Lawks! And, naturally, the enemy will be more active on the Geoscape:

“The enemy has employed a new strategic AI that will be operating counter to your own efforts, under the same goal of finishing the Avatar Project. ADVENT will try to move forces from adjacent regions to your location; if ADVENT feels safe in a region, it’ll try to construct research facilities to further the Avatar Project. If you’ve managed to drive ADVENT out of a region, they may return in force to try and take it back.”

Long War 2 is still largely cloaked in shadow and mystery, which also covers details like a release date, but we do know a little more. It’ll introduce a new tier of weapons, Coilguns, sitting below the current top tier. It’ll also add a new character class, the Technical, who wears a mighty gauntlet packing both a rocket launcher and a flamethrower.

While the mod is made at the behest (and with the support) of Firaxis, Long War 2 is being made by Pavonis Interactive – the folks who made the original mod, who’ve since changed their name from Long War Studios. Maybe once this mod is it, we’ll hear more about Pavonis’s own alien invasion strategy game, Terra Invicta.


  1. Coming Second says:


  2. Horg says:

    Sounds good. Now we need to watch for implementing some sort of resource scarcity and add some depth to the tech tree. That would probably cover the strategic feel of LW.

  3. Relenzo says:


    You mean I can recruit people–AND THEY BE ALIENS IN DISGUISE?!?


    You mean they’ll TAKE MY REGIONS BACK?! So I’ll cry just like I did in LW1?


  4. dystome says:

    Gah! They didn’t get rid of that stupid Avatar bar. What I want is XCOM2 with proper, “you’re not all dead so you’re not all dead” campaign progress.

    I’d have played it ten times as much as I have if it weren’t for the constant, looming risk of having the last several hours of my life arbitrarily snatched away from me.

    • Zenicetus says:

      There are mods to take some (or all) of that pressure off. I used it before figuring out how to extend the timer within the normal constraints, so I didn’t have to worry about it.

    • thetruegentleman says:

      What kind of win condition do you want, then? The aliens have already taken over the world, so the only thing left is attacks on the resistance base by ever increasing waves of enemy fighters, which doesn’t seem any better.

      • dystome says:

        It is better because I at least have a chance. The black sites are often so far off the bits of the world I can reach that I’ve definitely lost the moment they’re brought to my attention.

    • Horg says:

      In case you didn’t know, you don’t instantly lose when the bar fills up. It starts a secondary count down lasting one month, which you can stop at any time by performing an event which would normally reduce the progress on the bar. e.g. a story mission or avatar facility mission. To not lose the game, just be sure to always have at least one facility on the map you can reach within 3 weeks. It’s fairly anti-climactic once you know that, but it takes the pressure off.

      • dystome says:

        Yeah, I suppose that’s it, isn’t it? Deliberately delay doing the thing that the game insists I always need to do with utmost urgency. Ho hum.

  5. Werthead says:

    Excellent. Hoping this improves the strategy game, which I’ve found slightly underwhelming in both XCOM games. The first game didn’t give you enough strategic decision-making powers and the second game stared off overwhelming before abruptly becoming too easy.

    Any chance of RPS looking at Phoenix Point, Julian Gollop’s new XCOM-meets-survival-horror game? That looks fascinating and it’d be good to see where it’s at a year on from the announcement.

  6. nottorp says:

    Say, did they remove the turn timers in missions by any chance?

    Edit: also, I’d like to add my vote to Werthead’s in favor of a Phoenix Point article. He made the original XCOMs you know…

  7. theblazeuk says:

    There is a mod for that on the workshop but you have to cope with reinforcements when you do break concealment

  8. thither says:

    This was quietly released last night and is now available in the Steam workshop!