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See the surprise XCOM game Chimera Squad in action

Alien love triangle

Following on from the surprise announcement of XCOM: Chimera Squad, a small, standalone game that has the frighteningly close release date of April 24th, we've tracked down some footage. If you want to see the motley crew of humans and aliens working together in turn-based harmony, breach this page break with your best officers.

Your team are a mix of humans and aliens, protecting the people of City 31 from those seeking to end the interspecies alliance that followed on from XCOM 2. Here's what that looks like.

Chimera Squad's work begins before you even start to fight. Breaching mode lets you pick and choose where you enter the battle, and the order you send your squad in. There's plenty of options: in this, the front door can be bashed open and charged through while the side windows are being smashed in to give the element of surprise. It's the sort of thing that sets up bizarre scenarios as a matter of course: the video shows a giant snake clinging to a ladder to breach attack an alien, and that's exactly what games are all about. That snake also has an ability that lets it slither through vents for an advantage. I love it.

The sides will alternate between single unit turns during each fight (rather than the whole squad moving together), but it's a set-up that can easily be gamed with special abilities. You can change the turn order and swap squad members around. It looks like a tight, tactical dance with just enough leeway for you to get out of a jam.

You're also fighting the ever-growing unrest in the wider city. Not every mission you go on will be of incredible technological importance, but you will need to show your face in areas where the population is feeling under siege. The game will fail you if the population is too scared.

Every XCOM has a base for you to work at. Chimera's will let you upgrade, repair, and restore your squad. You can even call in an android if one of your team is missing.

It's out on April 24th on Steam, and it’s currently on sale for 50%. It'll cost £8.50/€10/$10 until May 1st.

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